this is really gross. you have been warned.

There is a tree near my house, that has probably been there for years, just doing its tree thing, watching patiently as families come and go, empires rise and fall, and Isengard is flooded. I'm sure it's a beautiful tree, cheerfully trading carbon dioxide for oxygen, providing shade, and most likely supporting several birds and squirrels. It's a lovely tree, I'm sure … but I hate that motherfucker because I am super allergic to whatever pollen or voodoo or evil waves of itching sneezing bullshit it emits. I've seen doctors and witch doctors and oracles and psychics* about it, and all anyone's been able to do for me is suggest I take an antihistimine (Oh? Really? Thanks, medical professionals! I never would have thought of that on my own!) and … well, that's just about all I can do, so just pay the receptionist on your way out, Wil.

In the course of your life, you have probably come across someone with allergies. It's possible that this person has told you that having allergies is awesome**. That person is a liar.

You see, in addition to the itching all over my skin, the sneezing and coughing all the time, and the general annoyance that accompanies being constantly under assault from a fucking tree***, I have a severe case of what a specialist calls "allergic rhinitis." Translated into English: I snore like a beast, and there's nothing I can do about it.

It's warm and humid right now, which apparently makes the trees really horny, because I've just been dying the last couple of days. I'm snoring so badly, I've temporarily relocated myself to the pull out sofa in my office, so that Anne can get a good night's sleep, and I don't have to wake up every time she does because I can't stop snoring godammit.

The thing is, the cats have their litter box and their food and stuff in my office, and over the last couple of days, I've found out that my cat Watson likes to eat dry food right about 5am, and then take a giant toxic nuclear shit as soon as he's done.

Yeah, you're probably going "eeeewwww gross" right now, but at least you haven't been woken up twice in two days by the suffocating Cloud of Cat Shit Stench**** like I have, so maybe keep a little perspective, gang.

Anyway, the whole point of this sordid tale is this: when Watson woke me up this morning by punching me in the face from inside my nose, I thought this would be pretty funny: "Me: Dude, come on, cat. Your toxic shit is suffocating me over here! Cat: I CAN HAZ-MAT? Me: Yes. Yes you can."

I know, it's a long way to go for a silly joke that isn't even that funny four hours later in the cold light of day, but the important thing is that I just wrote about 500 words for the sole purpose of joking about cat poop.


*Not really. Psychics are bullshit con artists who prey on vulnerable people.

** I don't know why someone would say that, but I also don't know why someone would go see a Michael Bay movie on purpose, so maybe I'm not exactly making a whole lot of sense right now.

*** Get it? Fucking tree? Because the pollenating tree is, literally, a "fucking" tree, but it's also just a fucking tree because I hate it. Like I said, I'm not making a whole lot of sense right now.

**** That's a level 4 monster from Monster Manual II, though having encountered it I think it should have been in the Fiend Folio


139 thoughts on “this is really gross. you have been warned.”

  1. Seriously – this is brilliantly funny. I have pretty bad allergies as well, and I feel your pain. I have a friend who is also allergic to many things, but is particularly affected by trees, and he’s said the exact same thing about them (referring to their copulating ways – he’s quite the punster.)
    It’s just too bad that the allergies aren’t affecting your sense of smell; it would certainly help with the kitty poop. I will second the opinion expressed by others here – a neti pot is a great way to clear out your sinuses (though you may also need something else to help your sinuses stop reacting to allergens).

  2. …I thought you said this one would be gross. I am disappoint.
    Never been one for allergies, glad I’m not (for now, anyway), but my dad has to wear this thing at night so he doesn’t snore. Nuclear poo? No problem. Been there, done that. Debated checking the contents of my kitties barf because…really? Why did they eat that? Hell, where did they find it?

  3. Wil,
    I suffer from adult onset allergies. I used to just think I got really bad colds in the early spring, then as time went on, they got worse, and I figured out it was allergies.
    I tried every allergy medicine. Sometimes the allergies would escalate to a proper sinus infection. I hate the feeling of disconnectedness I get from allergy meds, and couldn’t find any other way of dealing with it other than holing up in my bedroom and channeling Bubble Boy.
    Anyway, I kept reading about Neti Pots and their magical abilities. (Magic, I tell you. Magic!) A friend of mine started using one few years before I did and he raved about it. I eventually broke down a few years ago when my schedule dictated that I couldn’t be laid out with allergies for 1.5 months. (we were moving the office from one place to another.) So, in desperation, I bought one and started using it.
    It actually worked. OK, it didn’t eliminate the allergies completely. It lessened them to the point where I was functional over the course of the day with only a case of mild sniffles. That I could deal with.
    Sadly, you’re already in the throes of allergies, and it’s not recommended to start using a neti pot when your allergies are already in full swing, but it’s worth considering in the future.

  4. Wil,
    Have you tried echinacea? It’s found in capsule form, in most stores with the vitamins and dietary supplements. As I’m not a botanist, I won’t attempt to explain it– I’ll just tell you it’s a magic plant that makes allergies go the fuck away.

  5. Okay I thought this was hilarious; but I’m also sorry for your pain.
    As I learned from a German film while I was in college, there is a reason for men to snore. It’s to protect their wives from wild animals. You’re just strongly protecting Ann, and she should love you more for it, not kick you out of the room.

  6. Dear Wil – An encouraging thought from another new-reader.
    I especially related to this post, my husband suffers incredibly from hayfever-esque allergies, he finds that no specialist antihistamines or ‘over the counter hayfever’ brands work for him – he just uses plain old Piriton and finds that works the best for him. But everyone is different – so I hope you can find something that helps you specifically.
    We also have 3 cats (well, 2.75 if you count that our youngest only has 3 legs) and suffered from the cursed Litter-tray-in-the-bedroom stench whilst we were moving house. We stayed with the in-laws temporarily for about 3 weeks, and as they have 3 cats of their own, we had to cloister our 3 in our bedroom so they wouldn’t escape through their cat flap and get lost. 3 weeks in summer, in an enclosed space, is not good for the nose. Thankfully the trauma lessens as you grow accustomed to the smell, however the waves of nausea are unescapable when you exit to the fresh air – and have to return. I am sure I exagerate, we use the pine-chip cat litter, which doesn’t smell so bad. But the stress for the cats of the long drive, different location, other cats sharing the house – of course meant that one of our three suffered stress-diarrhea, usually occuring about half an hour after we go to bed, so the sudden noise + wave of smell was unpleasant to say the least. Of course, having good humour was essential, and we would just burst into fits of hysterical giggles (with a maniacal edge).
    So I think your reaction of finding something funny in the unfortunate circumstances is a testament to your character!
    Regards, Kat.
    p.s I am glad I have finally taken the time to read your blog – finding it thoroughly enjoyable. I had a crush on you during the Star-Trek days! As I was a youngster then, thoroughly geeky (not much has changed) – and am a firm believer that the ‘Next Generation’ was the best. Probably because I am what my husband calls a ‘technology snob’ and the cheap-cg of the original Kirk Star-Trek was before my time ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I know all the “science people” in the crowd will have conniptions, but I swear by my homeopathic remedies for my allergies. I’ve had environmental and food allergies since I was a little kid and I’ve worked my way from Benadryl through all the newer drugs; now OTC anti-histamines have little to no effect on me. My remedies are mixed up particularly for my symptoms and work great. On a recent camping trip, with cottonwood trees shedding so much it looked like snow, my antihistamine-taking friends were sniffing and wheezing while I felt fine. Maybe it’s hoodoo, maybe it’s placebo – I don’t really care anymore, since I can breath, my eyes aren’t watering and I’m not tempted to take a veggie peeler to my skin!
    As an added bonus, they cost about half of what antihistamines do!

  8. Yeah, I've tried a lot of them, but all they've ever done is make me sick to my stomach, and piss off my sinus tissue so it swells up even more. Good times.
    I'm currently trying one that's OTC and not as harsh as some of the others. It *may* be working a little bit, but it takes about 4 weeks to really kick in, I guess.

  9. Yuck. The worst reaction I ever had to any of them was the headache that felt like an ice pick driving into the base of my skull. (It was almost worth it, because it also made my sinuses feel completely normal.) Most just had no effect on me at all, and a couple worked ok for a while. Never had any of them make my sinuses swell! :O
    Good luck with the OTC one!

  10. Wil to cat: What an incredible smell you’ve discovered!
    I’m sadly familiar with the “butt skootch” method of cat cleanup. Not diarrhea at least but sticky stuff. (ugh!) It must come from the lack of opposable thumbs and toilet paper. I’d probably do it too since the only alternative (which they end up using anyway) is…. the usual method they have too groom themselves (double ugh! that’s one argument against being a cat. It kind of trumps the “get to sleep all day” argument).
    Sing it with me, people!
    Smelly cat, smell-ly cat, what are they feeding you?
    Smelly cat, smell-ly cat, it’s not your fault….

  11. I agree wholeheartedly with this. I have had horrible allergies all of my life and this past winter it turned into the sinus infection from HELL. I went to and ENT and he suggested I stop the antihistamines. I haven’t taken anything on a regular basis in months expect Omnaris and it has done wonders.

  12. Eliminate wheat and other grains for both you and your cat. Cats are not supposed to eat grains. A hip, cool guy like you, I would have thought would be all over the paleo community with the science. Check out Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Melissa McEwan and my favorite, Denise Minger who uses science and his own statistics to blind T. Colin Campbell’s China Study.

  13. “Raw sewage and spent nuclear fuel. Why?” Thanks for the gigglesnort, although I don’t think my 3 kitties appreciated it nearly as much. Yes, I read your answer to them. Why? Doesn’t everyone read to their cats?

  14. I was about to suggest the neti pot, too. I had pregnancy rhinitis–no snoring, just a stuffy nose as a bonus pregnancy symptom. Used the neti pot every morning and it cleared me enough to get through the day without snarfling every five minutes.
    Maybe try using it an hour or so before bed. I had a fancy ceramic one from Whole Foods, but it broke, and ironically the cheapo molded plastic job from Walgreen’s (NeilMed) is a much better design and easier to use.
    Good luck! Allergies are evil.

  15. Late to the party here, but do a Google search for “NAET.” It is an acupuncture/acupressure allergy elimination treatment that I can say has worked for me. It also has some weird spiritual stuff that goes with it, and believe me if a friend of mine hadn’t recommended it that shit would have kept me away. She found out she was allegic to dogs shortly after adopting a puppy, and now she owns two with no allergy problems at all. With that recommendation I decided to give it a shot. I have to go back for tune-ups every so often, but that’s not the case for everyone.
    If you can deal with the mumbo jumbo and don’t mind the acupuncture part, look for a practitioner in your area and talk to them about it.

  16. This post made me LOL several times!!! :) :) :)
    I also have allergic rhinitis, and yeah, it’s awesome. Not. ๐Ÿ˜›
    I get 2 allergy shots per week and take an anti-histimine/decogestant daily. I’m allergic to many substances which are unavoidable on the planet Earth (dust, trees, weeds, grass, several animals, etc).
    I’ve been told I snore pretty loud and I’ve never been able to breathe out the right side of my nose. I’ve complained about it a lot and had both an ENT and my Immunologist perform rhinoscopies (camera up the nose) to see what’s wrong.
    Sidenote: when my Immunologist threaded the fiber optic thread up my nose, the numbing drops hadn’t quite taken effect and I sneezed right in his face. He thought it was funny, but I thought it was snot. (LOL)
    Well, it wasn’t until I got a 3rd opinion from another ENT that my problem was diagnosed: deviated septum. Took this ENT like 3 seconds to figure it out! All he had to do was hold my nostril open w/ this little device and shine a flashlight in there.
    So, 9 days from now, I’m having surgery to fix the inside of my nose. The allergic rhinitis will still be with me, but at least I’ll finally know what it’s like to breathe with both sides of my nose. Plus, this’ll cut down on the # of sinus and throat infections I get, and all the nosebleeds I’ve been getting lately, which are also awesome. NOT.

  17. I live in Arizona, and there are tons of prickly plants spreading their pollen everywhere. True, it’s not as bad when it’s dry, but springtime is the worst. Also, after Monsoon storms, tons of junk grows.
    Maybe you’re lucky and have no allergies?

  18. Wil,
    Have you ever tried allergy shots? I know it takes awhile for the full effect (5 years before you are completely immune to whatever you are allergic to). But within 6 months you are generally on a maintainace dose and whatever you are allergic to should be less. My son is 6 an allergic to the entire state of VA (where we unfortunately live). And when I say the entire state, I mean he’s severly allergic to grasses, weeds, pollens, and worse of all is trees (with Oak being the main culprit which fills our yards). His eyes swell shut and he has difficulty breathing. He’s been on the shot for a year now and doesn’t need his eye drops as frequently, but still needs his nasal spray and antihistimines. His doctor said most people don’t need them after the 6 months, but his are so severe that it’s just taking longer for him to build his tolorance. Just an idea if you haven’t done it yet.

  19. It’s awful feeling like that, I know. I have non-allergic Rhinitis so I’m like that all the time. It really sucks, I have a nasal spray to take which helps a bit, but I still have to carry tissues around with me everywhere and I snore quite a bit. Nothing much else they can do for me apart from the spray though. Plus I have asthma and hayfever, so my handbag is like a portable pharmacy!

  20. I’ve had the same problem ever since I moved to Seattle. Plants are randy here year-round. When it’s really bad, I found that a couple of ibuprofen and taking my antihistimine before bed helped on the nasal swelling front. Not a great long-term solution, but it helped me a lot.

  21. omg ~ wil ~ words can not say how hard I laughed when I read this particular post.
    I still can not see very well due to the tears. Recent rib injury is complaining too…
    Cats. A species that says fuck you in ways that none of us can misunderstand.
    I am sorry for your rhinoshititus ~ I did not read all the comments and in case no one else recommended it ~ have you tried a naturopath? I am having some success with homeopathic ~ and if it is all in my head (heh) so be it. whatever fcking works!

  22. I laughed till I cried when I read this because I swear, if my 2 year old daughter could talk, that is EXACTLY what she would say about the general outdoors from April to October…minus the cat stuff. Their stuff is in the basement.

  23. ROFL!!! ok, really I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. It sounds horrid.
    Ok, a few things on allergies… Vitamin c and local honey both help.
    Here’s a link to some vitamin c and allergies info, written by a doctor. There is also info about certain foods which you should probably avoid. The entirety of the site will have you scratching your head and wondering why the hell you haven’t heard of this before.
    Page one:
    Page two:
    Ok, now for the honey, the idea is to eat the pollen in the honey, so you want to be sure to get a local honey. If you can, find out what kind of Hell Tree that is, and get a local honey that has those trees where the bees have been hanging out. Here’s the thought process: yanno how old school kinds used to eat a bit of poison every day to build an immunity? Same concept. You’re ingesting the Hell Tree Poison so that your body does not react when you breathe in said poison.
    There is another school of thought that says to drink tea of the tree leaves, stamens, and pollen, but considering the threat of actual poisoning, better not try that. I have, however, tried the other two, and I have to note a marked improvement in my seasonal allergies.
    As for the toxic waste cat shits… I feed my cats a raw diet, and they have the most lovely non stinky shits. Cats are made to eat dead mice and birds at dead mouse temperature, and they have trouble digesting all that other crap. No one likes to talk about it, but much protein in commercial pet foods includes the bodies of euthanized cats and dogs. And whatever diseases they had, collars they were wearing, and whatever chemical in their system put them to sleep. Is it any wonder that our pets don’t do well with crapping? This also reduces their health and shortens their lives.
    I don’t have the recipe link handy for the food recipe I use, but if you’re interested in looking at the link to the vet that posted it, let me know, and I’ll hunt the URL down. Cheers!

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