Did you realize 50 million Americans suffer from allergies?

Thankfully I’m pretty much allergy-free. Well, apart from gluten. Oh, and bee stings, mustn’t forget those.

I’ve been stung twice in my life. I remember it hurt – a lot. The second sting was the one which produced an added side-effect. Having foot-planted on a soon to be deceased bee on a beach, a good mile away from the life savers and first aid, I hobbled my way back to get the sting removed and to receive whatever magic spray they had.

This worked for approximately 14 minutes as thereafter I developed an itch so fierce I could have happily taken a grapefruit knife to my hoof to provide maximally abrasive scratching. A quick teeth-grinding trip to the pharmacy and a bottle of Benadryl later, I was out like a light for about 14 hours but finally became itch free.

A dear friend of mine is pretty much allergic to nature – from pollen, to mold, pet hair, you name it – the poor girl gets to the screaming abjab stage with her itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and all the other miseries inflicted upon the sufferers worldwide.

I had a science teacher who, after years of suffering dreadfully cracked skin on his hands, discovered he was allergic to plastic. Just imagine how many times a day your hands encounter plastic – it’s enough to make the mind positively curdle.

I was reading up on it, and you can pretty much claim an allergy to everything on the planet. Do you know you can be allergic to water? Oh my word – now that’s something I never hope to experience. To not be able to take a swim, a bath, a shower – get caught in the rain even – without breaking out in hives must be a living nightmare.

Sir, as you know, is a chocolate devotee and has been known to giggle when he eats it. It also produces a not-so wonderful additional reaction.

You’ve heard, no doubt, of a 5-alarm chili? Well, I am amazed to announce that I have created the 6-Sneeze Flourless Chocolate Cake. I will confess the cake was a thing of beauty and a joy forever, and Sir acclaimed it as the best damned thing he’d ever had. This sentence, unfortunately, was pronounced between seismic sneezes, causing the praise to be rather protracted and thus fairly unrecognizable. At least, that’s what I think he said.

I looked at him with sympathy and gently said, “My darling, I hate to do this to you, but you do realize your sneezing shows you’re allergic to chocolate, don’t you?”

I must say I caused Sir’s little face to crumple in potential sorrow. His bottom lip got a tad quivery, his chin trembled and I feared tears were not far away.

But he manned up. Peacockly puffing out his ample chest he made a rather Scarlet O’Hara declaration.

“As God is my witness, I will be true to chocolate – allergies be damned”.

What a trooper!

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com.