#106 Parasites


Come to think of it, children and head lice are extremely similar. They both cling to you, drain you and cause you constant irritation. The main difference is that we don’t love head lice. So they’re the one’s that have to go.

Children, or “life lice” as I now call them, kindly bring the head lice into your home. On examining my son’s head my wife disturbed a louse approximately the size of a guinea pig. “Hello.” It said, waving. She yelped. She’d never seen one before. She’s definitely the posh one in our family.

Turns out my son is the proud host of a complete head louse civilisation. Being an intelligent, observant parent I hadn’t noticed his incessant head scratching. Now we’re all infested.

Of course you immediately feel shame. Yes, they say head lice like clean hair best, but you know deep down that they’re instinctively drawn to the children of bad parents. My wife barks orders at me. I have to go out and get chemicals. Now.

Turns out they can kill head lice nowadays is by drowning them in smelly oil. This is an improvement on the neuro-toxin shampoo my mother had to use on my hair, since outlawed by the Geneva convention. I blame the neuro-toxin shampoo for my inability to spell, or remember birthdays.

We cover all our heads in the smelly oil. We look great. Turns out this is the easy bit. After waiting for the stuff to work I then have to bath the children. It’s at this point that life unleashes hell upon me.

The smelly oil suppresses all soaps. Nothing will foam. My son sits in the bath water sullenly as I wrestle my baby daughter out of her clothes. She is so covered in smelly oil now that I have to hug her to me like a fat, squashy bar of soap as I take off her nappy and find an enormous poo. She flops about, wailing, covering me with poo and smelly oil. My son joins in the wailing.

There is a moral here. I think it’s: don’t have kids.

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