Ranch Life Gets Lousy
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A photo of the boys after lunch.
Occasionally, I substitute at the schools ‘in town’. I prefer to work with the high school students because they are pretty self sustainable: you hand them a worksheet, and then they do it. I don’t have to deal with, “Mrs. Teacher he took my pencil!” or other problematic life altering events that six year olds seem to experience every five minutes.
Well, last month I decided to take a job at the Elementary school, and what do you know, four days later, I find out one of the kids in the class had lice. Great. Just the little bonus I had in mind. So I had Greg check me, and all was fine. She turned out to be the only kid in the class who got it, and the teacher didn’t even pick it up. I was also only there for 2 hours, and didn’t come into contact with her. However, much like pregnancy scares, lice scares have a way of creeping up into your brain and playing tricks on you.
You know that time when you were 19, and convinced you were pregnant, and all of a sudden your breasts started hurting, and you were very queasy, and you were almost certain it would be twins? Then you get your period and all is fine in the world? Well lice are like that. Only it just makes your head itch.
So for the past month my head has been itching, and every day I’d start crying, telling Greg I just KNEW I had lice, so he would thoroughly check me, and nope. No lice. So then I started taking pictures of my scalp with my phone and comparing them to google images. Still, no signs. But I KNEW they were there. So I called the school and begged them to check me, and they did, and guess what? No lice. But I still didn’t believe them, what if they missed something? So I bought a lice detection kit and combed through my hair like a mad woman outside the CVS parking lot, analyzing the metal prongs with the miniature magnifying glass. But, no lice.
So I think it’s safe to say, I don’t in fact, have lice. But all of this reminded me of a time when I discovered lice on the ranch…
I had gone up to the cook-house for lunch, and after the meal, with my belly full of butter and bread, I decided to go outside and sit under a tree and analyze my decision to eat the 6th slice of bread. Zorro – the best ranch dog that ever lived – could tell I was at the crossroad of, “do I go get a 7th slice? Or do I sit this one out?” and decided to come mentor me. Like any good psychiatrist, he plopped himself right onto my lap and begged to be petted. I started scratching him, and forgot about that 7th slice of bread.
I noticed he had some little seeds buried in his face, and started picking them out of his brow. I figured he must have been sniffing through the sage brush to have so many little seeds buried in his face, and as I picked through them – with great satisfaction I might add – I realized the little seeds were moving.
The little seeds were not little seeds. The little seeds were little bugs. At that point I started crying/freaking out/searching for a bottle of bleach to drink. I told Zorro our counseling session was over due to the fact that I now had to go light myself on fire.
While I waited for Greg (who was not concerned about my life being over), I convinced myself that I most certainly had the lice, and began to plan my funeral.
The exact moment I realize my chickens were infested with the beetle….
We finally got home, and even though my in-laws were inside the house, I stripped myself down on the front porch, threw my clothes into the lawn, and streaked through my own house into a boiling hot shower, where I cried like a maniac until my skin had sufficiently melted off.
With the realization that many people live through lice outbreaks, I decided to ask Google how to handle a lice outbreak, but you know what he told me? Humans can’t get dog lice. They are a different species. So, I live to tell the tale.
So now I ask you, are you like me where the second you even hear ‘lice’ you automatically assume you most certainly have it? Have you ever had lice? You are a soldier in my book. Tell me your lice tales, I want to hear them ;)
PS – is your head itching yet?