ATLANTA–Trees Atlanta, organization whose mission it is to keep Atlanta tree-friendly, has issued a formal apology for their part in the havoc that the pollen-fueled allergy season continues to wreak in the Metro Atlanta area. Trees Atlanta spokesperson Buddy Woodson addressed a crowd Tuesday afternoon with the following statement:
“We are truly sorry for the suffering, itchiness, and generally disgusting symptoms our program has caused to the people of Atlanta. We used to be proud that Trees Atlanta had planted over 80,000 trees since our establishment in 1985. Now, we are deeply ashamed at our part in this travesty. Although this apology is 28 years too late, we are ready to take responsibility for our part in this public health crisis. It’s time for change– the writing is as clear as the ‘Wash Me’ on the back of my car.”
According to information available on the CDC’s website, nearly 95% of Atlantans experience some form of discomfort directly related to pollen and/or trees. However, as of press time, representatives at the CDC were unable to provide more information since they also live in Atlanta and are equally miserable.
It’s not just allergy sufferers who have felt the brunt of Trees Atlanta’s actions; local businesses are also feeling the impact. Mack Driver, a manager at Ed Voyles New & Used Honda Dealership, explained between sneezes: “We haven’t been able to sell a black car in weeks. All anyone sees is the thick layer of tree filth. Honestly, I can’t say I blame them.” According to Driver, the only vehicles selling at a lower rate than black cars are the convertibles.
But it’s not all pain and post-nasal drip. Some industries welcome the sneezes as signs of booming business. “I’ve never seen allergy meds fly off the shelves like this,” says local pharmacist Doug Pillsbury. “I’d be more excited about it, but I took some Benadryl about an hour ago.”
Atlanta-based Whynatte is hoping to carve out a piece of the pharmacy pie for themselves. Pending FDA approval, the coffee-flavored energy drink company will offer a new line of energy drinks with anti-histamines included in the mixture. “It’s the ultimate non-drowsy allergy relief combo,” says Jesse Koffey, Whynatte’s owner and CEO. “We’re calling it the Whysnotte.”
However, the dangers of pollen-spewing trees far outweigh the benefits. “Trees Atlanta began with the best intentions: fresh air, shade, beautiful vistas. But when I look out at this–” says Woodson, as he gestures to the hazy, yellow horizon, “and know that I helped cause it, well, quite frankly it makes me sick.”
Beginning next year, Trees Atlanta will be turning over a new leaf. At a recent Board of Directors meeting, the organization announced plans to partner with Georgia Pacific’s Consumer Paper Products division to alleviate the tree problem in Atlanta. Encouraged by market trends towards locally produced “green” products, Georgia Pacific and Trees Atlanta will collaborate on a new locally-sourced, organic line of toilet paper. Because, according to GP Exec Mitch Booker “there’s nothing more locally-sourced than wiping your ass with the very same pollen-monger that used to pollute your own front yard.”