Opinion&Letters, Sept2017
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Lice Paradise

The revulsion one witnesses in response to announcing that their head is lice-ridden is more or less equivalent to the revulsion one witnesses when watching someone clean out a sink drain. The furrowed brow, chin sunk back into their neck, and the immense urge to get as far away as possible from the horror in question.

I truly believe telling someone I have lice can make for an unrivaled educational experience. It is only when one has lice that questions arise which, under normal circumstances, would never be asked for fear of sounding completely ignorant. It is much easier to ask an embarrassingly ignorant question to someone who appears of lower social standing than it is anybody else.

Let me explain.

Despite being untrue, “infested with head bugs” is often synonymous with “dirty heckin hippie who hasn’t showered in eight weeks and doesn’t even know what shampoo is”. Even if you do not subconsciously make this association, you are well aware that there may be other people who are making that very assumption and are therefore dropping the lice-infestee to the lowest ranks of their carefully constructed social hierarchy.

“But, Valerie,” you say in defiance, “what if I’m in a room with plenty of lice-educated people whom I know would never make that silly assumption? I would never dare ask an ignorant question around them”. It is the very nature of lice that strongly encourages people to stay away from you. You may lose the majority of your friends for about a week – unless you have already given them lice, in which case buckle down, you will be spending ample time on lice treatment with them.

If you find yourself close enough to a lice-infestee to ask them questions, ignorant or not, you will probably find that there are not that many people in the vicinity. The lice-infestee may mention that they are lonely since all their friends are scared of their head. This will not only place you way above them in social standing but also the lack of witnesses will allow for many ignorant questions without losing that standing. Then comes the most enlightening conversation of their life.

I have written below some common (ignorant) questions to relieve the pressure of having to risk your head to come ask me in person to soothe your undying curiosity.

So you have crabs, too?

Head and pubic lice are different species of louse. If I have crabs it is because I had sex with someone with crabs, which is none of your business nor concern.

Can I get head lice from you if I touch your socks?

Considering head lice can only reside on my head, imma say no.

How many are there?

It takes 5 full hours to brush all the eggs out, let me know how long it takes to count them.

This entry was posted in: Opinion&Letters, Sept2017


Valerie Fowles

In addition to working with the Mark this year, Val is an employee of the SRC as the communications officer and a co-organizer of the Our_Futures academic colloquia. If you talk to her in person beware her horrible puns and her strong opinions on corn.

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