Luck or just a happy coincidence? Watching Jonathan Ross on Friday night interviewing Jack Dee, the conversation turned to allergies; just days after my blog post on allergy jokes, and the lack of good ones out there for us to enjoy. I certainly sat up and listened.
I love Jack Dee and his incredibly dry sense of humour; I always find shockingly inappropriate and politically incorrect humour the funniest – probably because I really shouldn’t do, being the fine upstanding member of the community that I am – honest.
The interview went something like this for those of you who missed it:
- JD: We worry too much these days. Allergies. What a load of nonsense. Everyone’s allergic to something these days.
- JR: Hey you can’t say that, people can die from allergies.
- JD: Not very often. Just say you’re a fussy eater. I’m handing round peanuts at a party, I don’t want to know your health life history.
- JR: A friend of mine who has a peanut allergy had a reaction in a really absurd way, and this is completely true. She went to London Zoo and the elephant’s trunk brushed against her face and she came up in a really nasty rash.
- JD: I’ve got a penicillin allergy – now that’s a real allergy.
- JR. It’s not quite the same though is it Jack? When was the last time you saw Penicillin passed round at a party?
So many people think we are making allergies up
This made me laugh out loud, and not much actually makes me do that. I often smile, or chuckle quietly, but a proper out load laugh is rare for me. I think it’s funny because it’s actually what a lot of people really think.
They feel like those who have allergies are making it up, that it’s all in our heads, that perhaps we are just being fussy and not really allergic at all.
Allergies are real and serious
If only that were true. Real life threatening allergies are very serious; it’s not just a bit of a skin rash, or a tummy ache. It’s a full blown anaphylactic attack with constricted air ways, vomiting, swelling of the face, neck, mouth and tongue, and in extreme circumstances people can fall unconscious and die. Definitely NOT in our heads or being fussy.
Saying you have an allergy when you don’t!
Unfortunately, some people say they have a food allergy when they clearly don’t, and then promptly decide to try said food, just for a treat, and they’ll suffer the consequences. People who do this have a food intolerance, not an allergy, and I can understand people finding this annoying. Don’t complain if you’re going to eat the food anyway, and don’t say you have an allergy if you don’t. Just stop doing it!
Allergies are no joking matter
You can see why Jack has used allergies as material for his jokes; having a true allergy himself he finds it annoying to hear others saying they have allergies when they haven’t.
It can only be a good thing for allergies to be discussed, even in such a light-hearted fashion, on prime time TV. But hey Jack, I forgive you, because you made me laugh. ;o)
You can read more about Jack’s views on allergies and just about everything else in this article for his new book “Thanks for Nothing” in The Mail Online.
Jack, care to comment? If you do, by some miracle of chance come across my blog, I’d love to hear from you. Go on, make me laugh again.
Did anyone else see this episode on Friday night? What did you think? Did it make you laugh or upset you?
I’ll have to watch it again. I turned on just after Jack Dee was on!
Les Booth says
No, I didn’t see the show. I live in the U.S. and don’t watch TV via satellite, but cable. We don’t get your BBC shows too often and not that one to my knowledge. Don’t believe I know who Jack Dee is anyway. I will look him up though.
But to your topic: It’s very true what you say about folks feeling the problem we have called allergy, is more psychological than real. Too bad. People do die because of this misplaced ignorance.
A very good video is out on YouTube, sponsored by the Food Allergy Initiative (faiusa.org) out of NY, NY – called Living With Food Allergies (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-TU7_hZ9wk&feature=player_embedded).
I’ve just started a blog called YOSAKIME (yosakime.wordpress.com) to present a personal (my own!) perspective of dealing with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and providing helpful information and contacts on the MCS problem.
I found your blog searching for information on the WordPress Tag Surfer – concerning blogs w/ similar interests.
Best of success in your efforts.
I did see this on TV and it brought back slightly sad memories of a friend of mine at school who had a genuine allergy and died from an anaphylactic attack. This was back when we were both 14. I don’t have a problem with comedians making fun of the concept however, just so long as people are aware that these things can be very serious. Similarly I saw Rhod Gilbert’s stand-up show recently during which he talks about having a nervous breakdown. He clearly hasn’t and it is very funny, but again it’s a serious issue.
I agree with you and am very sorry to hear about your friend. Jack, whilst being a very funny man, fails to appreciate that living with his ‘real’ allergy as he puts it, to penicillin, getting a ‘nasty rash’! is the least worry for someone with a REAL allergy that causes anaphylaxis and potentially death.