Fathead’s Lice Removal System

Hello all! I hope your President’s Day weekend went well. We had some good times over here which is fairly remarkable considering that Friday we figured out that the neighborhood tree rats had invaded our heating ducts. Riley figured it out first because they were apparently nibbling on the vent in her room while she was trying to sleep so she was fairly freaked out about the whole thing.

I however handled it pretty darn well. I just barricaded the vents, turned off the heat and handed out parkas. It’s brisk in here. It feels like the home of a post menopausal woman, but at least we don’t live in North Dakota.

Riley is demonstrating a hypothermic coma in front of her blocked vent. I don't know where she gets her overdramatic nature.

Riley is demonstrating a hypothermic coma in front of her blocked vent. I don’t know where she gets her over-dramatic nature.

Take a moment to admire my pioneer spirit.

Thanks. Because last night at bedtime, after a full afternoon of Frisbee golf and beer, I received the news that we had been exposed to lice and the pioneer spirit left me. Nothing brings out my inner OCD like small insects in my home. Seriously, my kids apply for the Witness Protection Program every time we have an ant invasion.

However, Hubs and I came up with two separate systems for lice removal and I thought I’d take a moment to document them, so that if you have children or a fondness for Third World Country brothels (ahem, Senator Menendez), you would know what to do.

Fathead’s Lice Removal System

  • Freak the f*ck out! (This first step is important. Skipping this step will unravel the whole system.) Think about all of the things your vermin carrying children have touched. Become overwhelmed. Contemplate your life before children. Remember how happy and pest free you were. Obsessively scratch your head and cry a little.
  • Stick everyone in the shower. Stick your neighbors in the shower. Wash everyone with lice shampoo. Hand out tiny torturous combs to comb out the nits. Obsess over each piece of dandruff that the tiny comb rips from your children’s heads. Comb their hair every day for a week or until they are hairless.
  • Channel Tom Sizemore in Black Hawk Down and deliver inspirational battle speeches to your shell-shocked children while their scalps bleed. They will be especially puzzled when you tell them “everyone’s been shot!” but you will understand the reference and that’s what is important. Throw the towels down the back steps.
"In Mogadishu the lice carry RPGs and work for war lords."

“In Mogadishu the lice carry RPGs and work for war lords. Hair is for the weak!”

  • Strip the beds. Throw all bedding, stuffed animals, kids’ clothes and anything else that isn’t nailed down out the back door with the towels to be washed in hot water. Cover your naked, shivering children with a tarp.
  • Vacuum all of the carpet and upholstery in your home and car. Empty the contents of the vacuum in the outside trash bin. Dismantle your vacuum to wash all of the parts. When you’ve forgotten how to put your vacuum back together, throw it down the back steps. Tear out the carpet. Throw it down the back steps with the vacuum.
  • Change clothes after each task. Throw the clothes you were wearing down the back steps. When you’ve gone through all of your machine washable clothes, borrow your husband’s clothes. Throw those down the back steps. Finish your tasks naked.
  • Throw everything that can’t go in the washer in plastic garbage bags and seal. Leave in the airtight bags for a couple of weeks or until you and your children have forgotten what are in the bags. Throw the bags away.
  • Lose your keys. Have a tantrum about losing your keys. Tear your house apart. Realize that your keys are in the bottom of one of the airtight garbage bags. Abandon driving.
  • Eat a bucket of Red Vines.
  • Repeat this process in ten days.

Hubs’ Lice Removal System

  • Go to bed.
  • Avoid your wife for two to three days.

Note: this post was written in a sanitized area while wearing a winter jacket. I hope it has been helpful.




Photo Credits


Crippled Hamster Mentality

I woke up the other morning feeling vaguely insecure. Out of sorts. Unworthy of all good things in the universe. Like a giant sack of poo. You get the picture.

Something was gnawing at me and it started with a dream I’d had that I was trying to save a crippled hamster in a cow field.

I pay attention to my dreams. Often my subconscious sends me messages because my conscience is too busy making snack foods to notice something is amiss. The dream seemed harmless enough, but the more I thought about it, the more that little crippled hamster really bothered me.

The crux of my issue with this dream came down to a simple question: What did the crippled hamster symbolize?

Was it me? Had my own psyche cast itself as a disabled rodent? Was my ego that small and fragile? And furry? Was my brain the carrier of the Bubonic Plague? Seriously, what was wrong with my head??

Meet my psyche. In times of stress it’s known to chew off its own hind end. (image via Flickr & Marina Avila)

You never imagined hamsters were this upsetting, did you? Let’s just say that hamsters and I have a troubled history.

Then I got on Twitter and discovered I was down one follower. What?? @buycheapgold abandoned our Tweelationship? I thought we had a meaningful connection. Nothing lasts these days.  Twitter just makes me feel cheap and alone. Like everyone is funnier and more popular than I am. And better dressed. And less flatulent. Whatever.

I was still coming to grips with my social media insecurities when I noticed that everything smelled and tasted like metal. Being the mild hypochondriac I am, I immediately went down my list of possible causes: a stroke, a brain tumor, toxic mold, a psychological break caused by being terminally unpopular. None of the options seemed particularly appetizing. Or accurate.

Then I sneezed and sprayed myself with bloody snot and realized that I’d merely entered the stage of sickness where my sinuses bleed. Obnoxious but not deadly. I would live! And yet my realization brought me no joy.

I was tired of feeling so negative. I like having a sunny disposition. I was raised by Midwesterners. We don’t tolerate weak, insecure people very well. You can be a giant nutball in my family but you can’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself. That accomplishes nothing.

In the Midwest whiners turn to dust and are trampled by cows. (image via Flickr & Paul Williams)

To quote Tom Sizemore in the movie, Black Hawk Down, “Everyone’s been shot.”

Subtext: “Everyone is in the same boat, you giant p*ssy, so stop complaining.”

That pretty much epitomizes my family’s feelings about whining.

So I met up with my yoga buddy in an effort to counteract some negative energy. She picked out a routine for the express purpose of ridding me of bloody snot, insecurities and crippled hamsters. It involved a lot of back bends and headstands.

What I would look like if I could do a headstand. And was 20. And in the French Riviera (image via Flickr & Lululemon athletica)

I think the theory was that the brain damage that followed being upside down for so long would lead to bliss. Or the weight of my brain would crush the crippled hamster and make it stop bothering me. Either way, it was a win/win.

Only the headstand also jarred my sinuses and when I righted myself I was greeted with a great gush of bloody snot on my mat. There very well might have been a crippled hamster in there too. It was hard to tell.

I don’t usually like to display the contents of my psyche or my sinuses for an audience without the internet to buffer my vulnerability, but oddly enough I did feel better about things. I literally dumped my baggage on my yoga mat for the world to see and lived to tell the tale.

I think that’s what yoga is all about: breathing through the tough patches and honoring where you are. And looking good in yoga pants.

“I found Nirvana and a tight butt.” (image via Wikipedia)

So this is where I am right now and it’s okay. I will embrace the crippled hamster within. And feed it a grape. Namaste, crippled hamster. Namaste.