Friday, May 30, 2008

People Need To Get A Grip

Excuse me while I go off on a food allergy rant for a bit. Earlier this week, the St. Louis Cardinals and the River City Rascals (the minor team? Baseball is not really my thing) announced that they will have ONE peanut-free section for ONE game, so that people with peanut allergies can go see a live ball game.

Oh, I see that the Rascals have designated ONE section for every Wednesday game. Cool! The Cards have only announced it for one game, and will apparently reevaluate afterwards. Seems fair.

This is becoming more common and several MLB stadiums have announced nut-free sections for certain home games. It started with the Minnesota Twins, I think. I've written the Braves, but they haven't seen fit to return my email just yet.

There are two ways to look at this Peanut-Free Section at the Old Ballgame thing.

My Way

Baseball teams are businesses. They want customers because customers come to their stadiums and leave lots of their money behind. The teams scoop up all that money and use it to pay the players and the peopleguys who mow the grass and the peanut vendors and the parking attendants, etc.

There are people who work for the teams who try to get more customers to come to the stadium so they can scoop up more money. Hmmm.....some people really can't come because of the peanut allergy, so in an effort to encourage those folks to take their money to the ballpark and leave it there, they decide to clear out a section for ONE GAME and ask the peanut vendors to focus on the other ninety zillion sections for that ONE GAME only.

The customers who sit in this section will leave some of their money behind at the stadium. They just won't spend any of it on peanuts. But that leaves t-shirts and big foam fingers and programs and Cokes and beer and popcorn and toys and probably lots of other things. The customers are entertained and nobody suffers from anaphylaxis. The team owners scoop up some more money.

And the best part, IMO, is that this is completely voluntary. Nobody got the Big Bad Government (Fed or State) to force the stadium to provide this service as an accommodation. It's a SERVICE, by the way. Accommodating certain potential customers is provided as a service. If the government gets involved, then it becomes an Accommodation.


The Jerk Way

Oh no! It's AN AGENDA!!!!!! They're telling us what to do with OUR LIVES!!!!!!

  • Is this a good idea? How far should public places go to accommodate such issues? Where would it end? Oh, the humanity! And are these really public places? I don't really know how it works, I suppose it's possible that some of the cities own a partial interest in the team or the stadium?
  • I can still remember back when .0000001% of the population didn’t set the rules for the other 99.99999%.
  • I cannot believe that, if this is the big problem everyone says, that no reasonable prophylaxis has been devised. Neither can my son! Also--how stupid is that remark? It amounts to saying that since there is no treatment/cure/prevention, then the disease is imaginary. I suppose people with other (currently) incurable illnesses are faking it, too.
  • “At the ballpark, they came first for the smokers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker; And then they came for the drinkers, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a drinker; And then they came for the peanut eaters, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a peanut eater; And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.” Oh, bloody hell.
  • This is one more Minority group exercising a tyranny over the majority. Like all other Minority group demands.
  • there is a peanut free zone - its called your home - give it a try.
  • . . . but I am bothered by helicopter parents with allergic children. These people constantly hover over their children, and are ready to savage anyone who dares eat a peanut M&M around their child. Frankly, how are we supposed to know the child is allergic? They look normal on the outside. THEY LOOK NORMAL! I'm boggling here.
  • But if it becomes a matter of ACCOMMODATING these freaks (oh yes, I said it). . . . But hey, at least they "look normal!"

Okay. I feel better now. I'm right, by the way.

I've often wondered if some of the vehemence of people who write some of those things is really just pent up frustration because they feel so little control over their own lives. So THIS thing becomes the Big Thing that they are determined to fight. Not, you know, the Patriot Act or Real ID or something else that actually infringes on their actual rights. 'Cause they're all confused about rights anyway. I know, psychologizing, but I continue to wonder. Seriously, people need to get over it.


Monica said...

Amen, sister! You tell them!

No need to be excused -- I like these posts. Keep it up.

I think your last paragraph really hits it on the nail. They feel they cannot do anything about other violations' of their rights, and then, seeing this as a violation (which it is not), they feel bound to attack it but it's only recent government decisions (which this is probably not) that can usually be effectively fought. (Unfortunately, I think there are cities that own stadium or baseball teams, and they shouldn't.)

Needless to say there is huge confusion in this country about what a right is. Not to mention (you effectively pointed it out) the gross, gross ignorance -- willful ignorance, even -- of some of these people on the basic facts of allergies.


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I am glad to see someone with clarity about the difference between a right protected by the Constitution and private decisions to accomodate customers in order to enhance the company bottom line and reputation (reputation is important to the bottom line).

The 'everything is a right' crowd have also attacked restarants that ban smoking where there is no such law, which is also confusion about the above difference. Some such eateries cater to the morning crowd and the family crowd, and they have found their business actually increasing with the private decision for a smoking ban.

And I am shocked-shocked!--at the language of these ignoramouses towards those who have food allergies. (Well, not really shocked--although it is amazing what people will say on the internet).

Mamique said...

Thank you for posting this. I followed the link and read through the posts.

Wow! I couldn't believe the ignorance! Some of the comments were hateful and mean! And we're talking about children for the most part. Why people would feel so strongly about a peanut-free section (which they don't have to sit in, btw) is beyond me.

4mylilE said...

I take offense at your comment ". . . but I am bothered by helicopter parents with allergic children." and "freaks", as a mother of a 2 1/2 yr old child with multiple life threatening food allergies to EVERYTHING milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts and garlic. I've had the unfortunate experience of witnessing my child two separate times in the last year endure anaphylaxis due to accidental ingestion of milk where within two minutes she began coughing, choking and vomiting over and over 4 times until we could get her Epi pen administered. Of course, this does not come without a lot of screaming crying and fear from both her and my 4 yr old son, with no allergies. Not exactly a picnic in our house, trying to manage a healthy nutritional balance with two polar opposite DNA specimens here.

Also, we then have to deal with the possibility that the EMT's sent by 911 after the Epi pen administration, are not going to take the reaction seriously because of how quickly the Epi and bendryl can work and I've had to practically force them to take us to ER. In this last case, my daughter was still reacting with whole body hives in route due to a speck of vomit still on her face and was prescribed 3 days of intense steroids to prevent and further reactions. I was also ordered by our Doc to avoid Easter Holidays with family because any exposure to an allergen at that time could bring on another episode.

So does this make me unnecessarily protective? Maybe in your ignorant eyes, but I think I'm just doing my job as a responsible parent. I can't begin to imagine what peanut dust might do to her little body, which is twice as high as her milk and her egg allergy 3x as high. I don't think any parent of an allergic child is looking for rights, but rather some consideration. This is about life and death and it is not an American right to have the freedom to kill someone. If you could find a moment in your self centered world to check out an article in Newsweek "A Plea for My Daughter" where the mother says not speaking up her daughter's safety is "unthinkable".

Canico said...

4mylile-Jenn was using a quote from some of the comments on the other websites, and emphasizing how crazy it sounded. Her words are in the Italic letters, the last sentence on the end. If you want to post your comment to the people who made the remarks, click on the link in her blog. I don't know Jenn, but LOVE her blog and have read many of her views as a food allergy parent, since she is a rational food allergy parent herself. Thanks Jenn!

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks to everyone! I'll comment more tomorrow, but: 4mylile--you have COMPLETELY missed my point. Please go back and read this post again.

I AM A FOOD ALLERGY PARENT. I was quoting nasty comments from big jerks in response to the article--it's an emotional outlet for me to do that sometimes. I'm on your side--those people are the sickos--not me.

I hope you are subscribing to these comments because you have grossly misread my post.

Canico--thank you for defending me! I think I'll try to be more clear next time I do a post like this--which comments are mine and which aren't. (Although I did think it was pretty clear.)

4mylilE said...

I stand corrected and I'm glad I checked back. It was late and was my first time reading this blog from a Google alert. My sincerest apologies for getting carried away. I did see the link to the forums per another comment here, but obviously mistakenly took your bulleted comments as your own? I thought I learned this awhile ago from reading too many comments online about allergy issues, but I let the naysayers on the baseball issue get the best of me and make me feel out of control about educating others on the food allergy issues. I wish more people understood the severity of the condition and that it's an everyday effort to avoid dangerous foods and still find an appropriate nutritional balance. OK, that's it, don't want to embarrass myself any further....thanks for your effort in awareness. Best wishes.

Rational Jenn said...

4mylilE--I'm so glad you checked back. I was sure it was just a misunderstanding! Trust me, I hear you about anaphylaxis, we've BTDT with our son. Only once, thankfully.

It is a struggle to educate people about food allergies and it's even harder when there is a stereotype that we must also fight against, isn't it? I truly scratch my head about why some people are so belligerent about this. I used to get upset by their comments--and they still get to me just a little, or I wouldn't have had to rant!--but now I try to look at it as an opportunity to educate. Because whether or not those people like it, food allergies are REAL and until there is a cure, they are unfortunately here to stay.

By the way, if you haven't seen it already, be sure to check out our Living with Food Allergies blog carnival! It comes out every other Thursday, hosted at different blogs, and collects some of the best posts from food allergy bloggers. It's always good for recipe ideas and I am always encouraged just by knowing that I am not out there alone. If you click on the "Peanut Allergy" label at the bottom of this post and scroll down, you'll see links to some of the blog carnivals we've done in the past. The next one is due out next week.

Thanks for stopping by and I'm sure glad we cleared up this misunderstanding. :o)

Leslea from said...

They're trolls, just looking for a fight.