Sunday, April 19, 2015

God's Plan To Keep Virginians Humble

Being a native Virginian, I have often bragged about the happy accident of my origins...Southern by birth, Virginian by the grace of God...that sort of thing. Besides the rich historical heritage of my home state comes the special geographic charm of living in a place which is equidistant from the Blue Ridge mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, we have four separate and distinct seasons. We get snow in the winter, beautiful greenery in the spring, hot summers and gorgeous fall foliage. However, once a year we also get something else, something that for a brief season makes me hate where I live. 

 Pollen.

Yes, about the time that we shake off the surly bonds of winter, we start noticing the yellow/green menace. It begins to sneak into our lives, a thin haze of goo, the residue of a veritable orgy of plant copulation going on all around us. All this vegetation has no shame, no sense of decorum. Everywhere you look, all manor of stamen, anthers and pistils are doing their business in full view, with no concern for the God awful mess they leave behind. It is left to us to clean it from our cars, our driveways and side walks. It is up to us to somehow prevent it from infiltrating our homes. Just this morning amidst radiant sunshine and mild temperatures, I briefly forgot that I am a Virginian and it is mid April. I foolishly decided to take my breakfast out on the deck. Within five minutes I noticed that a yellow film had coated the top of my coffee. It took five freaking minutes!!!

So, for the next month or so, Short Pump will see probably half of its citizens clutching white hankerchiefs in one hand and a bottle of Claritan in the other. Everyone's eyes will be red and runny, and half of us will be high on some sort of anti-histamine, making car travel on Three Chopt, Pump and Broad an even dicier proposition than normal. You put a West End woman behind the wheel of a Tahoe under the best of circumstances, and your odds of damage are pretty high. Hype that woman up on Benadryl and you've got an M1 Abrams tank with a half blind teenager at the wheel.

Then there's the problem of what to do with the cars. I mean, you can't just drive them around with an inch of nature on the windshield, but you also can't spend 30 bucks at Carpool getting them cleaned either. So, you put them in the drive way each night and while wearing all the required protective clothing, you hose the things down. Then you watch the yellow river of pollen flowing down your driveway into the street, a trail of tears. Then you turn the leaf blower on yourself before going back inside the house. Still, a cleansing shower must be taken before you dare get into bed for the night.

Fortunately for we Virginians, this is only a four to five week adventure. It is the price we pay for being so clearly better than the other 49, God's way of keeping us humble, I suppose. There's more I could write on this subject but I've gotta go to Lowe's to buy some air filters.