We’re All Going to Die of Pollen

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A severe pollen count is 1,500.

Yesterday Nashville’s pollen count hit 16,000.

This is the highest recorded pollen level in the city’s history.

I think I’m going to die of pollen.

Several years ago I went to the Vanderbilt allergy clinic to be tested for allergies. I spent the entire morning there being stuck with needles. My mom made the appointment. At the time I was already married and over 25 years old. Which, if you happen to be married, does not make your wife happy.

I learned two things from my allergy screening:

1. I am allergic to 14 of the 16 objects they test you for. (more on this later) 

2. I can only breathe out of one nostril.

The most alarming thing I learned was that I’m allergic to trees and grass.

Think about this for a minute.




That’s like being allergic to oxygen.

How in the world is it possible for a human being to evolve and be allergic to trees and grass? What advantage did this give my caveman ancestors that would have made them more likely to kill a saber tooth tiger and pass on this evolutionary trait? Wouldn’t the caveman without the allergy to grass and trees be a more efficient hunter? If you were a cavewoman and you had to choose to breed with the man who was allergic to trees and grass or the man who wasn’t allergic to trees and grass, wouldn’t your decision have been easy to make?

Yet, somehow, I’m here.

And I can’t breathe.


That’s because I’m also allergic to dogs, cats, dust of all types, and roaches (the over-under on roaches being one of the sixteen items tested for allergies has to be the highest).

The only thing I am not allergic to is mold.

Which means I would have thrived in a hermetically sealed dungeon alongside the Count of Monte Cristo.


Not so much.

When I asked the allergist whether it was normal to have this many allergies and only have one working nasal passage she told me that I had “a high degree of adaptability.” Which is allergist speak for, “You are a freak.”

It also means someone could drown me by holding just half my head underwater. If I’d been a terrorist and gotten waterboarded, I would probably have died.

On the positive side, I like to think that if I had two working nostrils my forty time would be cut in half. (Provided, however, that I was running on artificial turf).

So you can imagine my agony right now. 

I truly cannot breathe at a pollen count of 16,000.  

Worse than that? I had total faith that my allergies were better because I took the advice of a 3HL listener about eating a spoonful of local, organic honey each morning to combat the pollen count. The idea seems sound, ingesting the pollen to get your body used to the allergens. Then I went for a jog yesterday afternoon. 

Now I can’t breathe at all.    

And chances are, if y’all live in the South, some of you are close to dying of pollen too.

I feel like walking death, a pollen zombie.

In an effort to stave off death, I plan on avoiding grass and trees for the rest of the spring. 

So far that plan is not going very well.  

Especially since we’re broadcasting outside today for the U.S. Men’s Soccer game at LP Field.

Pray for me. (Even more than usual).

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.