Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Of Lice and Men

Did you know that it is only in the last century that mankind has not been largely covered in bugs?

Think about that the next time you read one of those bodice-ripping, historical romances. It's not quite as sexy if you think of the wicked Duke and the innocent young noble woman, crawling with parasites as they get it on.

I enjoy learning about that kind of gross stuff, although I have never wanted to experience head lice for myself! It looks like I might get a chance to, though. Apparently there is a now lice epidemic going around in my neighborhood. My best friend's three kids are all infested, as are all of their playmates. I have been freaking out about this ever since she told me. I have long, long hair that nearly reaches my waist and it brushes against everything, so I've surely been exposed.

Damn, bugs are so nasty! Anything with little tiny legs like that makes me shiver. I can't even stand it when my dog has fleas.

But lice are very common in childhood and extremely contagious, or so I have been reading on the internet. My mom said I actually caught a case when I was in kindergarten and that it was a nightmare to get rid of. She said she had to douse my hair with poisonous chemicals twice, and pick nits off my head for months before they were completely erradicated. Strangely, I have no memories about this event whatsoever. I can only assume they are so traumatizing that I've repressed them.

One of the main symptoms of lice is an intensely itchy scalp. Naturally my head has been itching non stop since I found out about it.

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Because that little itch may be telling you something.

It's probably just psychosomatic since I haven't found any little buggers yet, but it's still driving me mad! Being a somewhat obsessive person, once I get an idea in my head (like, for instance, that I'm crawling with bugs) it is hard to let go.

It's almost like an anxiety attack the way it descends on me all of a sudden. The minute my head starts itching, I feel a compulsive urge to make sure I'm clean. So I make my mom do lice checks several times a day. And if she's not around, I won't hesitate to get whomever is to examine my scalp real quick for bugs. The other day I nearly asked the jewelry counter lady at T.J. Maxx inspect my hair.

I need a box of RID and some Valium STAT!

**Here are a few natural cures for head lice.


Mister Underhill said...

At least it's not crabs.

You know, we really are simpatico. Your head itches intensely and so does my crotch. What are the odds of that?

WendyB said...

I think you should cut off the long,long hair. I will douse it in lice-killer and make a new faux-ny tail for myself out of it. I could use a fresh one.

xl said...

Prunella dreams she'd
"like to see a flea circus"
but sees lice instead

Prunella Jones said...

Mister U- offhand I'd say about 69%.

Wendy- cut my long ass hippie hair? Over my dead, tree hugging body will these locks come off!

XL- LOL! I bow to your haiku skills, sir.

LarryLilly said...

Lice are so 18th century!

Today its malware, scabware, and STD's.

Yeah, they had a story at the NYTimes a week or so ago about the fact that even after you wash the inside crock of your arm, there are over a zillion (well, maybe just a million) bacteria per square inch. And those bacteria are very specific to just that part of our body. The human body inside and out is a regular UNIVERSE of millions of different living things that are not uniquely human.

So dont worry, a few head lice wont add to the population on/in your body. Now, get a major case of herpes, well, I would kick you out of my bed!

LarryLilly said...

Well, maybe I would take a chance!


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Ack!! Lice! My little niece got lice once or twice and each time I panicked and even though I found not one lice on me I washed my hair with the toxic chemicals!! (I don't have a lot of hair so I saved money too!)

xl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
me said...

are you staying the hell away from those gnarly neighborhood kids?!

i had lice as a child and thankfully have repressed that memory as you have. thank god.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Lice, chiggers, bed bugs, ticks, fleas, crabs - there's so many miseries to choose from!

muse said...

It's just not like swallowing a penny is it?

mr_g said...

Start with the Valium. Then you won't feel the urgency to get the RID. If that doesn't work, try more valium. If you live in CA, this is enough stress to get you a medical marijuana card! Better living through chemistry and gardening!

Prunella Jones said...

Larrylilly- they say that herpes, like God, is everywhere. Isn't that a cheery thought?

Ron- so far so good (knock wood) I haven't one yet, so I haven't put the chemicals on my head. I did coat my scalp with olive oil and rinse with vinager just to safe. Supposedly that kills them, and adding a few drops of tea tree oil to every shampoo repels them. I'd rather not use the poison until absolutely neccessary.

Me- that's the problem with kids, they are so cute and lovable you just want to hug them but they are little petri dishes of germs and bacteria and bugs. Dayum!

Brenda- I know, huh? Pick your plague. It's so interesting to see the effect such critters have had on people throughout history. I've been rereading one of my favorite books, Rats, Lice, and History by Hans Zinsser. A good read if you like that sort of stuff.

Muse- hmmmm I've never swallowed a penny to my knowledge. I did, however, ingest massive quanities of Playdough as a kid. Is that an old wives tale or something?

Mr. G- damnit, I used to live in California! It would be nice to have insurance pay for my pot.

t said...

If you swallow a penny eventually it will ... pass.
but with lice...they have to be treated you just won't shat them out.

M-M-M-Mishy said...

I was one of the only kids who never got lice in public school. I think I'm immune. Or I have just cursed myself and will get a raging case next week. Damn

LA said...

miser underhill - I think crabs are actually just "pubic lice." Seriously.