Noggin Guests

Posted on November 25, 2014

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Well I cried wolf and it happened: I have lice. No, for reals. And I don’t know how I got them, except I fall asleep in taxis with fabric seats a lot. Gross.

My head has been itching for over a motherfucking MONTH. At first I thought it was my new shampoo, so I switched back. Then I thought it was some kind of irritant I was allergic to, so I tried Claritin. Finally I posted on facebook asking for a dermatologist, but finding, going to and then paying a decent one proved onerous and someone posted that it was probably just dryness and I should do a hot oil treatment, which made sense as I’ve been super dehydrated lately. The same laziness that prevented me from even calling a doctor for a month urged me to do this at home, so yesterday I rubbed a large quantity of warm extra virgin olive oil that an erstwhile swain brought me from Greece mournfully into my scalp. When I was done I looked like an 80s Egyptian mechanic, and my head was still itchy, but it was more of a TICKLE itchy. I took this as a good sign but now I know that was the lice wriggling to get free of the oily morass. Gross.

I know what you’re thinking: why didn’t she suspect lice before when she’s lice-panicky and shit’s all third worldy there? I did. I had my friend El Jimss check my head under a bright light. He now says perhaps his eyes aren’t what they once were (he is 34).

This morning I was sitting at my desk when I felt a tickle on my left ear, and believing it to be an olive-scented strand I brushed my ear and a small insect fell onto my desk. This was it:

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Only it was about 2 mm long. GROSS. Googling proved inexorably that it was a louse. Perfect specimen. I texted Sarah Carr about it. “NO. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR” she wrote. I carried on talking and proposed coming round. She said I could if I brought an Ebola suit. Then she relented and asked for a picture, was appalled at the dimensions and offered to ask facebook to confirm it was a louse. I refused this, and also to open a link about some fish tongue parasite she thoughtfully linked me to.

I ran to my boss’s office, shouting, “I have to go home, I have lice!” to him and two other people who were in there. “OK,” he said startled. He was on the phone. I ran off to text a bunch more people about it and took myself to the pharmacy down the street. On the way there I encountered a colleague and told him the whole thing, of course. He laughed.

The kindly old pharmacist and his assistant also laughed when they found out it was for me. They were sympathetic though. As soon as I got home I flung off all my clothes like I was in the grips of passion, and stripped the bed like the passion had already reached fruition. Towels and sheets flew across hallways into laundry baskets as I danced frantically to and fro clad only in furry slippers with pink mouths on them. Then I read the instructions and realized that there was no particular need for me to be naked. Clothed again I kneeled over the bathtub and sprayed the shit out of my head, in “sprouts” as the instructions stipulated. The spray had one of those long tubes like with the strongest cans of Raid. I sprayed this also over all the things, all.

I sat down to wait an hour and texted The Singer with the tale. “Dude indeed! Eh el old school dah,” she wrote. She displayed the utmost excitement to see the picture and barely restrained herself from posting on facebook about it. I should have warned her about the scale, as she’s a serious katsaridaphobic (cockroaches. Good, no) because she text-squealed a lot at the picture as I picked dead lice off my sleeves, but said sympathetic things like, “no grown person should have to deal with this.” Nits don’t know how old the heads are!

I was given the opportunity to fully realize the literal meaning of the phrase “go over it with a fine-toothed comb.” My hair dealt with it pretty well, because of the olive oil, luckily. Lice corpses rained into my drain over the next few hours of repeated sprayings, washings, and combings, with a modicum of sweater- and towel-flinging (because of moribund nits). Work called. My wonderful assistant was asking after my infestation with concern when my boss interjected with, “GAS. SHWAYAT GAS 3ALA RASEK WE HATEB2Y KWAYESA!” I assured him we had no need to seek recourse to his esteemed mother’s methods and agreed to do some work. They’re amiable.

The instructions on the sensitively-named Liceed say I’ve got to do this twice a week for the next month. Then you’re supposed to apply a small quantity to your head every THREE days… indefinitely.

God. I house-sat for people. My apologies to everyone I’ve infested. But this is all El Jimss’s fault.

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