I have nits. All day, it feels as though the four horsemen of the apocalypse have been galloping freestyle across my scalp. I have scratched my head so much I look like the Medusa. When I told my partner about my condition, he looked so disgusted, so well and truly turned-off, I may as well have said, “Hey darling, I just love eating shit.” Or, “Honey, I seem to have acquired an infestation of pubic crabs, but not to worry, they’re as happy as larry playing in the moist, thrushy rock pools of my groin.”
I should explain. My partner is the Nits Nemesis. He hates nits more than anyone else on the planet. I would go as far as to say that his hatred of nits is so off-the-scale that he now has a fully-blown Hedrin habit. Every time he goes shopping, he buys another bottle of the stuff. I say things like, “Look love, it’s not as if you’re stocking up on bottles of water, which, you know, in the event of the Mayan Apocalypse, might be really useful. It’s only Hedrin. And we’ve got six bottles already.” But then, to be fair to him, Hedrin is always bringing out newer, better versions (lotions, mousses, spray gels, overnight gels, one-hour gels), and it’s pretty hard to keep up. Hedrin is worse than that other motherfucking asshole, Adobe Reader, which needs about 40 updates a week just to stand still, each of which requires downloading and installing programmes, and shutting down and rebooting your computer, which eats up at least twenty minutes of your ONE AND ONLY life, every day, and all of this when you only have half and hour of childcare every week, the fucking assholes.
But anyway, before I go on, let me give you a ‘flavour’ of the kind of conversations we have about nits:
ME: I think I might have got nits.
PARTNER: Go and sort it then, for fucksakes.
ME: Yeah, I will in a minute love, just give me a minute will you?
PARTNER: There’s plenty of Hedrin up there. GO.SORT.IT.NOW.
ME: Yeah, I will love, IN.A.MINUTE. Can’t you see that I’m just trying to put this kitchen FIRE out!?
I freely admit I procrastinate. For a start, applying Hedrin to your hair makes you look like one of those tragic sea otters caught up in the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster. (Or Bob Geldof.) Also, if you do happen to drip even the tiniest droplet of Hedrin on your bathroom floor, please don’t EVER try to clean it up, please. If you do try to clean it up, this is what will happen: you will die. You will slip on the tiny Droplet of Oleaginous Doom and skid, in some horrible parody of figure skating, through your bathroom window, to your death. Instead seek out the assistance of someone who can build a suspended floor.
But the absolute worst thing about head lice is this: even when you’ve applied a whole bottle of Hedrin to your hair, and sectioned it, and scraped a nit comb through it for half a day, and there’s a stink of genocide in the air, and the evil teeth of the nitty gritty comb are dripping with blood and human skin tissue and drowned louse carcasses, and you’ve also managed to get a bit of Hedrin in your eye, and you are standing half-blind, gorgon-like, in front of your bathroom mirror, you just know that there’s still one left. One survivor. In the night, you can feel her, The Alpha Louse Mummy, The Immortal Grey Queen, running triumphantly between the strands of your hair, high on blood and human shame and Hedrin. And you know that she’s heavy with child. God bless her.