Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lice -- not nice!

Long Suffering Spouse calls me almost every day on her lunch break at school; when we spoke yesterday at lunch time, she told me one of her usual horror stories about her unruly eighth grade students. We discussed who was picking up whom and what was on the schedule for the evening. In other words, we had a perfectly normal conversation.

So when my caller ID indicated she was calling back an hour or so later, I knew something was wrong. In fact, I answered the phone by asking, "What's wrong?"

"I'm going home," she told me. "I've been sent home. I have lice."

She was not alone: A number of students, older and younger, were being sent home. A nurse, who'd been called in to investigate just how widespread the outbreak was, was nit-picking in the hallway outside my wife's classroom. So my wife asked to be checked out as well... and that's when she found out... she was lousy.

(Gee, a lot of expressions come from this condition, don't they?)

I have always thought the lice infestations happened only in underclass areas, in the poorest neighborhoods. My wife, however, teaches at a school in a very nice neighborhood -- our own neighborhood, in fact -- in a very middle class area. So maybe we weren't as vigilant? Is that why they didn't recognize the problem until it was well established? The outbreak is widespread among all the grades in my wife's PK-8 school, but the most cases seem to be in the younger grades. Long Suffering Spouse's primary responsibilities involve the attempted teaching of Spanish to unwilling middle school pupils. However, once a week, she provides Spanish 'enrichment' to the younger grades....

I don't know how many other teachers were found to be infested. I do know I started itching the moment I hung up the phone... and I haven't stopped yet. I seem to be suffering mostly, however, from the power of suggestion: My prose may be lousy, but I'm not. Not yet, at least.

And, speaking of health issues, it was a year ago today that I found out that I had cancer. I subsequently gave my colon up for Lent and all has been fine and dandy since. (Well, it was a lengthy, and sometimes very awkward recuperation... but I think I've been fully recovered for few months, at least.)

So I shouldn't complain, I know, about this latest lousy health news... but, hey, I'm a curmudgeon... anything else would not be in character.

And I also updated my profile today: Youngest Son turned 15 last week; Older Daughter turns 24 tomorrow. Which brings up another dilemma: How am I going to persuade people that I'm still 23 when I have a 24-year old daughter?


The Beach Bum said...

Curmudgeon –

Back years ago, in the Stone Age, when I was attending school, the big problem was Ring Worm not Lice.

The first time that I encountered Body Lice was when I was stationed in Africa in the mid 1960’s. The guys would call them “Crotch Crickets” or “Crabs”. You would usually get them when sleeping with an indigenous person or from a blanket exchange.

We were issued a bottle of “Crab Powder”. This got rid of them until the next time.

The Beach Bum

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

oh now i am itching just from reading this. drat. so sorry. i know how much work is involved in getting rid of the little buggers... it is not pretty.

smiles, bee

landgirl said...

Re lice. I was never so happy to have my itching scalp diagnosed as dandruff as wehn my best friend nad her whole school had an epidemic of lice. Nasty little critters but definitely not restricted to any particualr class.

Re age. I would have thought yu would be a perennial 39 like Jack Benny

Jean-Luc Picard said...

The Nit Nurse at school used to check our hair for nits.

Ralph said...

No, it seems that the less vigilant about lice are in the 'burbs. It's happened in 'nice' schools as well. Is individual lice referred to as a louse?

You have never seemed a complainer to this blog reader...your colon for the opportunity to blog? Not an even exchange, for sure, but we enjoy your blog