I have a totally different impression of the song. Since Misfits failed to impress me (most probably because of my non-English-speaking origins), to me the album seemed to kick off with Hay Fever. I don't necessarily expect grand statements in every song I listen to, and the fact that Hay Fever could be seen as belonging to a specific category of "non-serious" or "novelty" songs never really occurred to me (though I may feel different for French songs, I don't know). I only heard a great riff, great playing, great song construction, great vocals. And I even managed to hear the lyrics in a semi-serious way. What the song is saying is, a lot of what we socially are rely on 1) appearances and 2) good health, taken for granted. The slightest of ailments can ruin both our public self and the way we experience life. This can be construed as a very touching song about the frailty of being. Of course I'm half joking, but the reason why I relate to this song is, I remember a Christmas morning when I was feeling sick, either from too much eating (don't judge me, Father @mark winstanley !) or genuine illness or both, and life really felt crappy, and I wrote a thematically very similar song to Hay Fever about stomach ache, and though it was definitely "novelty", I meant every word of it !