Empress of the Universe

Sunday, August 20, 2006

More Evidence the World is Cruel to My Sister Chris

My sister Chris has gastroparesis. Among a host of other life-challenging health problems, she is also deathly allergic to mushrooms, coconut, latex, pineapple, kiwi, cats and all nuts. In fact, most of her allergies are air-borne, meaning if she is exposed to nut proteins in the air she will immediately have an anaphylactic reaction, requiring emergency use of an epi-pen and a trip to the hospital. Something as simple as shopping for the rest of us can be deadly to Chris. Within the past year she has almost died at Future Shop (they were having a bake sale to support a community group inside the vestibule; someone had baked with nuts) and Shopper's Home Health (a specialty store within the Shopper's Drug Mart brand, where ~ ironically ~ she went to purchase latex-free bandages only to walk into the store and find a large latex balloon bouquet!).

But here is the ultimate irony.

Chris entered a contest. She forgets what the contest actually was or which company was sponsoring it, but I imagine that she hoped to win $50,000, a new car or perhaps a trip to the Grand Canyon.

A few weeks ago she received a telephone call notifying her that she had won a consolation prize: 48 Oh Henry chocolate bars.

Doesn't sound so bad, does it? But what's the #2 ingredient in an Oh Henry bar after chocolate? NUTS!

Chris declined to accept the prize. She advised the caller that she was deathly allergic to nuts and asked him to award the prize to someone else. "We can't do that," he told her. "The rules clearly state that prizes must be accepted as awarded."

"But accepting your prize could kill me," she warned. "Can't you take it home or hand them out to the people you work with? What if I fax you a signed affidavit releasing you from any obligation to give me the prize?"

Nope. Not negotiable.

Let's presume that she had provided her address when she entered the contest and that's also why she couldn't have the box of chocolate bars sent to someone else's house (pick me!) ---

She told him to send the prize package via courier without a signature and to advise the delivery company to leave it on the front porch. She couldn't leave her house until her husband came home from work and moved the box to the trunk of his car. The next day he took 48 Oh Henry bars to his office and shared them with his grateful co-workers.

Chris, I'm sorry I laughed so very hard when you told me this story. The irony, the cruelty, the absurdity of it all kills me.


Blogger Angelove said...

Oh, Michelle, I totally understand why you laughed...as I'm sure Chris does too. It's sooooo ironic and cruel, that if you didn't laugh, you'd have to cry.

9:08 AM  

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