I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Head Lice (and isn't that a nice way to start the day)

When I was about 9 or 10, my parents sent me to sleep away camp in Israel. Sidebar: It was called Camp Tappuz (Camp Orange). Is it just me, or does "Camp Orange" not really invoke thoughts of summer fun, bright log cabins, friends for life, and making crafts from scraps of wood? I mean, could they not think of something better than that? Say, Camp Sunshine and a Tappuz? Or Camp Crafty Tappuz? Or Camp Wikki-Wikki-Tappuz? Camp Tappuzland? (Feel free to add suggestions below.) Anyway. So I got head lice at the illustrious Camp Tappuz and it was discovered one weekend by my (then) Aunt Yaffa. Aunt Yaffa was a nice person, really she was, except for her idea of lice treatment. First she brewed up this totally disgusting smelling, well, BREW....in a 1970's classic clear brown teacup. This stuff - which to this day I don't know exactly what it was - smelled so bad, it would tear paint off the walls. In large strips. Seriously, the smell made me want to pass out. It was the colour of sewer water and it had these tiny little hairy 'balls' floating in it, maybe some herb or something? So she made me bend over the world's smallest sink to get treated. The sink was so small, I had to carry out a complex head turning and twisting action to get my hair (short at the time) under the tap. I couldn't just put my head in and out, I had to dislocate several vertebrae first. So she pours this nasty stuff all over my head and then attempts to rub it in. Note, it's not soap based so it doesn't LATHER per se. It just ties one's hair up in painful knots - yes, even short hair, that's how evil this liquid hell was. Presumably this is to confuse the lice. So my back feels like it's going to give out any second, I'm trying not to dry heave from the smell, and this shit is being shmeared in my head and most of my hairs are actually being pulled out of my head in the process.

She then tells me to stay there FOR HALF AN HOUR before washing it out. I couldn't get my head out of the sink (because that crap would drip down my neck and presumably off my head altogether, thus burning large acidic holes in the towel, my skin, and eventually the bathroom linoleum.). By now this stuff has started to drip into my eyes - note I can't get my hand into the sink to wipe it away because my head is wedged in there - and it STINGS LIKE SOMEONE HAS RUBBED MOTHER FUCKING HABANERO CHILLIS IN MY EYES. My arms are flapping in desperation, my voice is yelling, "my eyes! my eyes!" and nobody can hear me. I am trapped in a tiny Israeli bathroom, my head in a sink vise, my eyes burning out of their sockets, my hair a mass of dreadlocks, my back in a permanently hunch back position...and nobody can hear me dying a slow but noisy death.

It wasn't pretty. But it cured the lice.


Poppets mum said...

Finally - a blog I feel you have dedicated just for me!!!! Thank god the treatment has changed. The treatment we used on Poppet not only served to kill the lice but smelled so strongly of Eucalyptus that it managed to clear my sinuses as well!! Yippee.

Jen3 @ Amazing Trips said...

I'm just wondering ... what provoked this memory for you? Did you catch a whiff of something that smelled like the habanero concoction?

Oh ... the thought of it is just awful ... and Camp Orange - I'd have to agree ... terrible name. It makes me think Camp "Agent" Orange. Maybe "Agent Orange" would be a more appropriate name for Aunt Yaffa's insta-death to lice special sauce. :)

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

ROLFMAO Jen about Agent Orange! What brought it up is that Poppet (Poppet Mum's daughter) recently had a bout with head lice and was telling me about the experience...which ended up in a much shorter hairstyle for her daughter and a mother traumatized for life (or at least till next week).