The Eight-Year-Old’s New Friends Eight-Year-Old: Can I have some money? Me: Why? Eight-Year-Old: I want to get something for mommy for Christmas. Me: You already gave mommy something this year. Eight-Year-Old: I did? Me: Yes, you gave her head lice.  The eight-year-old visited her grandmother in Indiana this year and returned with some stowaways. They somehow escaped detection from airport security. The Trump administration was not monitoring their migration. They did not even have to put on false mustaches and beards when they crossed state lines.  They simply hitched a ride on the scalp of an angelic blonde-haired eight-year-old who looks like she tumbled out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Head lice. They were perfectly happy reproducing and living among us, enjoying the American dream, until the brand new second grader decided to scratch her head at the breakfast table. Her mother told the child to stop scratching. The request was agreed upon for a whole thirty seconds. Her mother, who was talking on the phone to me, leaned in for a closer look. She moved the eight-year-old’s hair. I picture her eyes getting huge. I like to imagine her looking down at one of these six-legged beige creatures about the size of a sesame seed and it looking back up at her. The jig was up. I know I heard her spring backwards and then a torrent of profanity that at first I thought was her using her pet name for me. Now head lice are interesting. They only attack humans. Dogs, cats, and other animals are immune from them. Did you know that scientists can date when human beings started to wear clothes? It was when head lice began to differ from pubic lice. We can trace our early migration patterns from head lice. They have been around since our caveman ancestor played “pull my finger” jokes around the campfire. Dried-up head lice have been found on the scalps of ancient Egyptian mummies. There is also a theory, first introduced in 2006 by a couple medical doctors, that pubic lice are going extinct thanks to the “Brazilian” and other human grooming technics, but a lot more research is needed before any real conclusions can be reached. Still, I don’t think there will be a stampede of researchers wanting to deal with that topic. First, behind your back, you know that all your colleagues are going to refer to you as the pubic lice guy or gal. Second, your love life is going to be reduced to zero. Doctor: “Can I buy you a drink?” Girl at bar: “Of course. What do you do for a living?” Doctor: “I’m a doctor.” Girl: “I bet you have some interesting stories, saving people’s lives and the like.” Doctor: “No, no, I study pubic lice.” Girl: “Are you suggesting that I might… I’m going to be over there with my friends.” Doctor: “I don’t think throwing that drink in my face was called for, but nice meeting you anyhow.” Other than that, they are bloodsucking vermin that will ruin your life for the next several weeks and that is if you are lucky. The kid had head lice. The first thing I thought about saying, but was smart enough not to, was, “Maybe you should check the renter’s insurance policy, then I would suggest a can of gasoline and some matches.” It was also clear that any suggestion of shaving the second grader’s head was out of bounds.  It seems women really like their daughter’s hair. Then there would be that whole confusion with having cancer, not that I would be totally opposed to that if it got me a chance to test-drive the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. I have always wanted to drive one. Me: “I was hoping I could test-drive the Sesto Elemento.” Salesman: “That is hilarious. I doubt you could afford to purchase one of the floor mats or even the keychain.” Me: “It is just that the little girl has always wanted to…” Salesman: “Oh, I didn’t see her. Of course, just let me get the keys.” Me (to eight-year-old): “I’ll probably burn in hell for this, but what a great ride I am going to have getting there. Totally worth it. What do you do if we see Lolo Jones, the most beautiful woman in the world, while we are out and about in the car?” Eight-Year-Old: “Look sad and pathetic and say all I ever wanted is for you, the sweetest man ever, to find someone as nice and pretty as she is.” Me: “There is a reason I love you, kid.” Even though 80 percent of schools are going to deal with a head lice outbreak at some point and between six to twelve million children will contract head lice this year, when your child gets head lice it is a stigma. You feel like you need to stumble through the streets in sackcloth, chanting, “Unclean, unclean, unclean,” or at least say to people, “I like that Dollar General. They are not all high and mighty like that Wal-Mart. I can wear whatever I want there. Crocs and black socks if I please. I heard they have the Duck Dynasty box set there. Stop scratching, kid.” This is why going to the doctor is so important. There is this notion that getting head lice is due to poor personal hygiene. If you have a kid in your life, you realize that it is a daily chore just to have your house not look like a Civil War battlefield the day after. A doctor will assure you that head lice actually prefer clean hair, which needs to be heard for the parents’ sake. It is easier to climb on. An infestation is a sign that you have a very social and friendly child, more than likely getting them from hugging, snuggling, play that involves contact, and sharing hats, towels, brushes, or helmets. In other words, if your child is of Scandinavian heritage, you are safe.   A number of helicopter mothers will resist a doctor’s suggested treatment because of their concerns over chemicals instead trying home remedies and cures that the self-taught medicine woman who is stocking shelves at Whole Foods thinks will work. I am totally sympathetic, almost all of my ex-girlfriends are granola girls, and I believe we should be more in tune with nature. But I suggest you visit the nearest assisted living facility. You are going to see a lot of hundred-year-old people there who probably gargled with DDT in between eating every cancer causing food possible. On the other hand, the chemical free, healthy eating caveman was put on an ice flow if they were somehow lucky enough to make it to their 30s because they were slowing down the tribe.   No matter what remedy you choose, ridding your world of head lice is labor intensive with the washing and cleaning and nitpicking and combing. You will feel like you are a teenager buying condoms or porn when you go to the local CVS or Walgreens to buy fine-toothed wire head lice comb. In the back of your mind this plays out. Me: “I’ll take some gum, a couple rolls of duct tape, some Cheetos, some cotton balls, some condoms, extra-large, and mumble, mumble, mumble.” Cashier: “What was the last thing?” Me (in a whisper): “um (looking sheepishly around at the other costumers), um, a head lice comb.” Cashier: “It is not ringing up. Just a second. PRICE CHECK ON THE TERMINATOR HEAD LICE COMB. Betty, do you know the price on head lice combs? This man needs a HEAD LICE COMB.” Still, two months later, I got a call from the eight-year-old’s mother.  Eight-year- old’s mom: “We got new guests.” Me: “Please don’t say head lice.” Eight-year-old’s mom: “No, you know how a bunch of marines and their families live in the area, and when they get reassigned overseas they often just set their cats free to roam around. So, there are a ton of feral cats everywhere. Well, we got fleas now.”     
The Eight-Year-Old’s New Friends Eight-Year-Old: Can I have some money? Me: Why? Eight-Year-Old: I want to get something for mommy for Christmas. Me: You already gave mommy something this year. Eight-Year-Old: I did? Me: Yes, you gave her head lice.  The eight-year-old visited her grandmother in Indiana this year and returned with some stowaways. They somehow escaped detection from airport security. The Trump administration was not monitoring their migration. They did not even have to put on false mustaches and beards when they crossed state lines.  They simply hitched a ride on the scalp of an angelic blonde-haired eight-year-old who looks like she tumbled out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Head lice. They were perfectly happy reproducing and living among us, enjoying the American dream, until the brand new second grader decided to scratch her head at the breakfast table. Her mother told the child to stop scratching. The request was agreed upon for a whole thirty seconds. Her mother, who was talking on the phone to me, leaned in for a closer look. She moved the eight-year-old’s hair. I picture her eyes getting huge. I like to imagine her looking down at one of these six-legged beige creatures about the size of a sesame seed and it looking back up at her. The jig was up. I know I heard her spring backwards and then a torrent of profanity that at first I thought was her using her pet name for me. Now head lice are interesting. They only attack humans. Dogs, cats, and other animals are immune from them. Did you know that scientists can date when human beings started to wear clothes? It was when head lice began to differ from pubic lice. We can trace our early migration patterns from head lice. They have been around since our caveman ancestor played “pull my finger” jokes around the campfire. Dried-up head lice have been found on the scalps of ancient Egyptian mummies. There is also a theory, first introduced in 2006 by a couple medical doctors, that pubic lice are going extinct thanks to the “Brazilian” and other human grooming technics, but a lot more research is needed before any real conclusions can be reached. Still, I don’t think there will be a stampede of researchers wanting to deal with that topic. First, behind your back, you know that all your colleagues are going to refer to you as the pubic lice guy or gal. Second, your love life is going to be reduced to zero. Doctor: “Can I buy you a drink?” Girl at bar: “Of course. What do you do for a living?” Doctor: “I’m a doctor.” Girl: “I bet you have some interesting stories, saving people’s lives and the like.” Doctor: “No, no, I study pubic lice.” Girl: “Are you suggesting that I might… I’m going to be over there with my friends.” Doctor: “I don’t think throwing that drink in my face was called for, but nice meeting you anyhow.” Other than that, they are bloodsucking vermin that will ruin your life for the next several weeks and that is if you are lucky. The kid had head lice. The first thing I thought about saying, but was smart enough not to, was, “Maybe you should check the renter’s insurance policy, then I would suggest a can of gasoline and some matches.” It was also clear that any suggestion of shaving the second grader’s head was out of bounds.  It seems women really like their daughter’s hair. Then there would be that whole confusion with having cancer, not that I would be totally opposed to that if it got me a chance to test-drive the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. I have always wanted to drive one. Me: “I was hoping I could test-drive the Sesto Elemento.” Salesman: “That is hilarious. I doubt you could afford to purchase one of the floor mats or even the keychain.” Me: “It is just that the little girl has always wanted to…” Salesman: “Oh, I didn’t see her. Of course, just let me get the keys.” Me (to eight-year-old): “I’ll probably burn in hell for this, but what a great ride I am going to have getting there. Totally worth it. What do you do if we see Lolo Jones, the most beautiful woman in the world, while we are out and about in the car?” Eight-Year-Old: “Look sad and pathetic and say all I ever wanted is for you, the sweetest man ever, to find someone as nice and pretty as she is.” Me: “There is a reason I love you, kid.” Even though 80 percent of schools are going to deal with a head lice outbreak at some point and between six to twelve million children will contract head lice this year, when your child gets head lice it is a stigma. You feel like you need to stumble through the streets in sackcloth, chanting, “Unclean, unclean, unclean,” or at least say to people, “I like that Dollar General. They are not all high and mighty like that Wal-Mart. I can wear whatever I want there. Crocs and black socks if I please. I heard they have the Duck Dynasty box set there. Stop scratching, kid.” This is why going to the doctor is so important. There is this notion that getting head lice is due to poor personal hygiene. If you have a kid in your life, you realize that it is a daily chore just to have your house not look like a Civil War battlefield the day after. A doctor will assure you that head lice actually prefer clean hair, which needs to be heard for the parents’ sake. It is easier to climb on. An infestation is a sign that you have a very social and friendly child, more than likely getting them from hugging, snuggling, play that involves contact, and sharing hats, towels, brushes, or helmets. In other words, if your child is of Scandinavian heritage, you are safe.   A number of helicopter mothers will resist a doctor’s suggested treatment because of their concerns over chemicals instead trying home remedies and cures that the self-taught medicine woman who is stocking shelves at Whole Foods thinks will work. I am totally sympathetic, almost all of my ex-girlfriends are granola girls, and I believe we should be more in tune with nature. But I suggest you visit the nearest assisted living facility. You are going to see a lot of hundred-year-old people there who probably gargled with DDT in between eating every cancer causing food possible. On the other hand, the chemical free, healthy eating caveman was put on an ice flow if they were somehow lucky enough to make it to their 30s because they were slowing down the tribe.   No matter what remedy you choose, ridding your world of head lice is labor intensive with the washing and cleaning and nitpicking and combing. You will feel like you are a teenager buying condoms or porn when you go to the local CVS or Walgreens to buy fine-toothed wire head lice comb. In the back of your mind this plays out. Me: “I’ll take some gum, a couple rolls of duct tape, some Cheetos, some cotton balls, some condoms, extra-large, and mumble, mumble, mumble.” Cashier: “What was the last thing?” Me (in a whisper): “um (looking sheepishly around at the other costumers), um, a head lice comb.” Cashier: “It is not ringing up. Just a second. PRICE CHECK ON THE TERMINATOR HEAD LICE COMB. Betty, do you know the price on head lice combs? This man needs a HEAD LICE COMB.” Still, two months later, I got a call from the eight-year-old’s mother.  Eight-year-old’s mom: “We got new guests.” Me: “Please don’t say head lice.” Eight-year-old’s mom: “No, you know how a bunch of marines and their families live in the area, and when they get reassigned overseas they often just set their cats free to roam around. So, there are a ton of feral cats everywhere. Well, we got fleas now.”