A measurement of 1500 PPSI is cpnsidered unhealthy. This past Monday, the Shire experienced an all-time record, and on Tuesday the previous day's record was surpassed by more than 1500 PPSI. 9,369 particles per square inch descended upon every imaginable surface. For the uninitiated, the subject measurement is of tree pollen.
Every keystroke on Frodo's computer is followed by a tiny miasmic wisp. His left ocular orb is red enough to halt automotive traffic. Sam has spent exactly eight and one-half minutes outside over the past four days. Mick, the Wonder Dog, leaves tiny yellow footprints from the front porch to every marked urinary release for days on end. At the same time, the gardens of the Shire are stunningly beautiful. Every flowering plant in the world is abloom.
The fourth mildest winter ever recorded in Middle Earth has just been concluded, and the earliest blooming plants (forsythia, pussywillow, daffodil) are joined by those whose blossoms usually occur long after the passage of Easter (dogwoods, white azaleas, gladiolus). The biggest culprits, according to scientific sources, are oak and maple trees which incidentally seem to be everywhere. Frodo cannot tolerate being indoors, even with the NCAA Tournament at full tilt, when there is so much beauty (even with blossoms covered by blowing alien pollen) to behold.
A runny nose and scratchy eyes is small price to pay. Besides, it provides one more opportunity for the worst-managed metropolis on the small blue planet to chant, "We're Number One."