It’s that time of year again up north, when after what has seemed a winter to rival the Ice Age finally ends, the sun shines, birds begin once more to sing, and trees and flowers bloom and then… the misery commences.

I’m talking about noses running like fire hoses, eyes itching like they’ve been rubbed with barbed wire and watery eyes that make it appear that you’ve been peeling bushels of onions while watching the final scene from “Titanic” (admit it, you cried). Yes, I am talking about allergies, hay fever, whatever you want to call it. It hardly seems fair that after 99 months of ice and snow, the lovely weather arrives and we sufferers cannot enjoy it.

Medication is available, I know, but I am already doubtful enough of my waning ability to remember my own cell phone number without the influence of drugs numbing my already numb brain further, and I can only imagine how these substances affect woodworkers working with machinery. With shops looking to save costs by opening up doors and windows to let light, fresh air (as well as those evil allergens) into the place, how do you allergic folks in the woodworking trade cope?

Let us know how you fellow sufferers survive allergy season. Does the dust collection system help in this matter? Do you dose yourself and try to stay awake while running your ripsaw, or do you just try to ignore the symptoms and get nasty looks from coworkers who suspect you are carrying the swine flu? Drop us a line with some suggestions on how to beat this dreaded plague — I know I’d appreciate it.

Well, I have to go now. I just sneezed and have to clean myself off.

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