Call me an insensitive bitch. Go ahead, I won't correct you. But check this out:
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The return of peanuts to the snack menu at Northwest Airlines this month has prompted a spasm of protests from travelers with allergies.
The change comes four months after Northwest merged with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and in the midst of a national salmonella outbreak involving Peanut Corporation of America. In Minneapolis, where Northwest is based, news of the change has resulted in a flood of responses on the Web site of the Star Tribune, a local newspaper.
"This is a very disappointing development," wrote one man who responded to the story. "My wife's allergy is so severe that if someone is sitting next to her and eating peanuts, the odor is enough to trigger an allergic reaction."
"Northwest is really out of touch with its customers and the reality of allergies to peanuts," wrote another reader. "What's wrong with pretzels?"
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.
Delta says it will make accommodations for those with peanut allergies, if a request is made.
"We'll create a buffer zone of three rows in front of and three rows behind your seat," the airline's Web site says.
My question is this:
When the fuck did everyone start having such a problem with peanuts? When did these insane allergies descend upon us?
When I was a kid, no one had peanut allergies. No one. Kids across the lunch room opened up their Scooby Doo and Garfield lunch boxes and happily munched on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (on white bread, with the grape jelly seeping though like a wound.) Now just the threat of being near a peanut prompts an airline quarantine.
When I was a kid, no one had to make sure they didn't get peanut M&Ms on Halloween. No, our concern was the threat of some creep putting razor blades in apples or handing out Ex-Lax instead of chocolate. Our parents had heard about this on the nightly news. Of course, this never actually happened to anyone we knew.
And I'm starting to wonder if peanut allergies are the new nightly news boogeyman.