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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Head Vermin

Prior to having children, I developed a very bad case of what I now refer to as “Other People Syndrome” (OPS). Actually, let’s be honest. On a scale of 1-10, my case was probably around an 11. In other words, it was serious. The symptoms for OPS may appear at any time, but most frequently occur in public places, such as the grocery store. For example, as a young, hip, single gal in the check out line, OPS would flare up whenever I politely smiled and did not openly stare at the mother desperately trying to quiet her screaming child. I would think to myself, while I picked up a copy of the latest celebrity trash magazine to peruse, “Why can’t she control her kid? Make it stop already.”

I thought that having kids had cured me of OPS because I have become THAT woman in the grocery store. The haggard, eternally without make-up, wearing yesterday’s clothes Mom who can’t always get her kids to stop crying. I accept this reality as part of my life.

You can only imagine my surprise last week when I realized that I am not completely cured.

While chatting with my neighbor I learned that some of the kids on our block have come down with a case of head lice. “Eh!” I replied. “How terrible for them.” Did it dawn on me that my neighbor’s children and these kids attend the same pre-school? Nope. Did I make the not-so-great leap that my son and my neighbor’s son have a weekly play-date together? Of course not…I still have OPS! In my mind, head lice is something that only happens to other people’s children. My house is clean, my children are clean.

We now resume Monday’s lice tale where we left off…

The scene: My neighbor telephoned to tell me that she feels terrible, but lice capsules were found in her kids' hair. I thought, “Ugh! How do you deal with this? Dip your child in lye?” Perhaps, but probably not as a first course of action. Instead, my neighbor recommended that I enlist the services of a local full-service delousing salon.

Have you ever heard of such a thing? I definitely had not and was compelled to look into it further. There is actually not one, but three businesses that fall into this category in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Apparently, prevailing in the war against these evil creatures is very lucrative. For $100 an hour per head, a technician in a plastic cap combs through sections of hair, collecting small insects, living and dead. They then spray an organic solution onto the scalp to “stun” the bugs and, hopefully, cause them to let go of the hair.

Seriously? $100 an hour only buys me “hope” that the lice removal process was effective? Why isn’t my money buying me something in absolutes?

Thankfully, I was able to avoid this potential calamity for only $30.00. The appointment, which required a countless number of suckers so that G would sit still, confirmed that he did not have lice. My neighbor unfortunately was not so lucky. The cost for the service for her family of four…$350!

I think the other 3 Bay B Chicks and I should abandon blogging entirely and move onto greener pastures. Thuy and I even brainstormed on our catch phrase for when we answer the phone at our delousing salon, “Head Vermin Removal Service. Your itch is our niche. How can we help you today?”

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Patricia said...

Alright I will admit it, I was board while on the computer this morning and ran into your head lice story. Post traumatic stress immediately set in! Our family made it all the way to the teen years before getting that nasty bug. Then it was only my daughter that got it. Hours and hours later, weeks even, using every treatment available on our little island and after three weeks and an organic compound, poof! they were gone. I can so relate. Just couldn't help myself from commenting. Patricia

forever folding laundry said...

I had absolutely no idea there were salons that "handled" this!! Ugh.

I remember when I was teaching & the nurse would come in and do a lice check a couple of times a year. She'd have all the kids put their heads down on their desks so no one could see and she'd start making her way through the room. Once or twice she would look up at me and point to a certain kid and I instantly itched. It's horrible to say, but I always had a harder time leaning over that kid's shoulder to help them with their work after that!

BlueCastle said...

"Your itch is our niche" I just about choked reading your new buisness idea. How hilarious! I can't believe lice is so expensive. :)

I have to admit to having a little bit of OPS at times myself. But then, my kids usually cure me of it by doing something embarassing. In public.

Thanks for stopping by!