Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Plague Upon My House

Let’s talk for a bit about this guy to the left.
This is a Louse. Ever heard of it? It used to be used as sort of a slur, a slam on someone, as in “That car salesman’s a fucking louse.” In the era of I love Lucy, The Honeymooners, and the Andy Griffith show.
I’d heard of the term, but never really gave it much thought. I got the context, but never really understood what the hell a louse really was.

I know the definition now.
i know this because last week a lice outbreak took place in my daughter’s elementary school. They sent home a flyer on it in my daughter’s school folder. It was photocopied on pink paper so bright you could see it from miles away. So bright that the only reason deer hunters don’t use it is because they don’t want the countryside to look like a set off of Brokeback Mountain.
So bright you can’t not see it.
I saw it. I read it.
I thought “they’ll get it under control.”
Then my daughter casually mentioned that her head was itchy, whilst making a face like she was tasting something really sour.
At this point, the realization that I was in serious trouble hit me in the forehead like a sledgehammer on a 400lb pig destined for the slaughterhouse.
An eighty mile an hour drive to CVS drugstore and a self conscious walk to the cashier with two “Family Packs” of Nix (a head shampoo that apparently is like watered down napalm to the little bastards making villages in my daughter’s hair) later, I arrived home and scooped up my daughter in a fireman’s carry on the way to putting her in the bathtub and apply said shampoo.
Oh, did I mention I have a son as well? He’s two and a half and stubborn as an over the hill mule plowing a muddy field. Although apparently I make the cut for a wrestling playmate in the living room, there is little else that my son agrees with me on. Often I can reverse his “yes or no” position simply by reversing mine first, what I like to refer to as the Bugs Bunny vs Elmer Fudd scenario. There will be moments later in his life where I will sneak silently into his room and flick his nose, on purpose, waking him from a deep sleep. Just for payback.
My son has short hair, easy to look through and see if there are highways being built, strip malls being erected or anything else being considered by lice.
And I had to hold him in a headlock to do it.
After which, his butt went into the tub so i could shampoo him as well.
Ten minutes later, the stuff was washed out and then the really “fun” part of this took place.
In the Nix kit, they give you this funny little blue comb.
The tines on it are very close together, the space in between narrow enough to catch a lice or a louse as it’s combed through hair. But the thing is, the lice are crawling on the scalp itself, so you have to carefully pick through the hair, frantically plucking them off like a chimpanzee on crystal meth, and running the comb under the faucet to rinse them free.
Once that’s done, the next step is to go through the hair again and look for Nits.
Nits are white egg sacs. They’re smaller then the already small 1/4 of a piss ant sized lice which makes it more time consuming then the last round.
But Nits have the added benefit of being so sticky that they adhere to the hair shaft in such a way you have to literally scrape them off with your fingernails (dragging them off the full length of hair) OR (and this is what the school nurse told me so don’t go crying to Social Services) yanking the strand of hair free of the head.

This whole process took quite some time and I just got done ripping the bright pink sheet of paper announcing the lice outbreak into tiny confetti sized pieces.

The school did not take care of it.

I have been dealing with several ridiculous deadlines this week and I have two more facing me early next week. I have received questions this week from people that... You. Would. Not. Believe.
Questions that, after responding to them, I would have giggled insanely had it not been for the sheer frustration of the matter.
And I have had to deal with lice. The mere thought of it right now gives me the heebie jeebies and I have run (not walked) twice and stumbled drunkenly up the stairs once to see my reflection in the bathroom mirror because of feeling something itching me. And each time there was nothing.
I took a break and am drinking my third shot of alcohol tonight. I don’t feel the heebie jeebies right now and my mind has stopped playing tricks on me.

I also just got some news I’m excited about that I’ll reveal later this year but I’m only telling one person because quite frankly I’ve gotten pretty damn superstitious since I’ve turned my attentions toward being a professional writer.

I am finishing this shot and going to bed because at this rate, tomorrow there will be frogs raining from the sky or a dark cloud of locusts blotting out the sun overhead.

But if I get fucking lice, you will see the signs of the Apocalypse my friend.

Believe. You. Me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely material for making you Father of the Year.

7:33 AM  

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