Published on April 14th, 2017 | by Richard Black


The Sunny Side of Lice

Faster than the speed of lice.

This past Sunday morning my daughter Darcy hopped into the bed and began to furiously scratch her head. I took note of the activity and then did what I imagine most men in my place would do and went back to sleep.

My wife Laura took a different approach. Instead of rolling over and catching another twenty winks Laura intuited that something might be amiss and in less time that it takes to throw a child who might have lice into the shower my wife had our daughter in the shower.

Being the supportive husband I am I stood by to provide emotional support and analyze the lice comb Laura was using to comb through out daughter’s hair. The process went something like this:

“Do you see anything?” Laura would asked after passing the comb around the shower curtain.

“Nope,” I would respond.

“How about now?” my wife would ask again.



“OHH MY GOD…Wait. Nope.”

Ten minutes into the search it occurred to me that I should probably put on my glasses and give the comb a good look. If there was something to be found then Laura was going to find it and I suspected that there was something to be found. The culprit was, most likely lice but it could have been something even more insidious and too horrifying to comprehend like another Eagles reunion tour.

And so the next time Laura passed me the comb and I viewed it with my untrammeled (yes it’s a word, look it up you knuckle dragging morons) sight I found a louse, or a lice. I’m not sure of the singular or the plural rules right now regarding the species and frankly I’m too drunk to care.

“Fuck,” I muttered immediately peeking Laura’s interest. For a woman who can’t hear me screaming for a roll of toilet paper from the next room my wife has an uncanny knack for hearing precisely what I don’t want her to hear.

“Did you find one?” she asked

I gave some thought to lying. Serious thought I might add. I even considered slipping out of the house or even the country for a little while until Darcy was 18.

”We’ve got a live one,” I said somewhat reluctantly and precipitating a barrage of curses, wails and weeping on the other side of the shower curtain. It wasn’t the first time we’d dealt with the little fuckers; lice that is not cursing or children. Last year in Kindergarten Darcy came down with a head full of lice and after blowing a few hundred dollars on over the counter medications and shampoos we discovered that they don’t work.

It turns out that my little slice of heaven here in Missouri is inundated with lice that are immune to over the counter treatments. Isn’t that something? They’re even called Super Lice which, now that I think about it, isn’t a great moniker. The word “super” generally has positive implications and a lice infestation isn’t really all that great unless you manage to find one that can leap over buildings in a single bound or you’re into S&M.

Given our past experience my wife and I decided to forego home treatments and head straight to the professionals. Both Laura and I were checked for a nominal fee and were found to be lice free. I feel compelled to note that fact because, well, I’m not a filthy, dirty human being.

Darcy’s treatment was substantially more expensive but really worth every penny and, as I watched the technicians comb meticulously through my daughter’s hair, I came to a few conclusion.

It’s been noted, at times, that I’m…a bit negative. When life hands some people lemons they make lemonade. I, on the other hand, wonder why in the fuck someone named “Life” would hand anyone lemons. Even more concerning is the fact that someone would name their child “Life” but we live in strange times.

Instead of dwelling on the shitty hand I’d been dealt I decided to take a more positive approach and give thanks for my many blessing. Every cloud, after all, has a silver lining and if you’ll wait a for a few minutes while I puke after writing that last line I’ll get back on subject.

I’m thankful for my resilient liver. I’m thankful that I never caught a venereal disease in college. I’m thankful that I have a wife who puts up with me, that I have a roof over my head and three pairs of jeans, ten black t-shirts and a badass set of cowboy boots.

More pertinently I’m thankful that I don’t have lice and even more so that my wife doesn’t either. On the flip side of that thought I’m thankful that Darcy has lice. Children, after all, need to learn how to deal with adversity and public ridicule particularly when they’re only six.

Thanks. Thanks a pantload.

I’m thankful that when we went into the lice remediation establishment that there were three other children in my daughter’s class being treated for the condition. I’m thankful that we were all able to laugh about the situation and that I as able to give some poor woman who was freaked out about the stigma of having lice some measure of levity and comfort but not in a sexual way because I’m married and this is a PG site.

I’m thankful that this opportunity has given me a chance to vacuum the living hell out of anything that can’t be thrown into a laundry machine. I’ve never thoroughly vacuumed the underside of eight padded chairs, four mattresses and a few thousand stuffed animals before and I’m thankful that, with the proper measures, I’ll never have to do so again.

More than anything however I’m also thankful that I had the chance to spend over $200 to remove all of the lice and the nits from my daughter’s hair. The money could have been used for a more enjoyable purpose like a prostate massage or a trip to Florida to visit my parents but it looks like those pleasures will be put off for… well at least for a few years now.

I am thankful I haven’t sat on my balls for two days in a row.

I’m thankful that I have four metric tons of laundry to do in eight hours.

I am thankful that I have a college degree but, now that I’m a stay at home dad, I’m really not sure why and now I’m thankful I have a therapist on call because I’m getting, just a bit, depressed from being so thankful.

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