Thursday, June 17, 2010

Keeping up to scratch

An awful feeling has come upon me, a horrible, itching, scratching feeling. I am trying hard to ignore it but there is no denying the almost overpowering urge to scratch like the famed Mexican bandit. Just to clarify the situation, it’s my head that is doing the itching which is leading me to consider a horrifying scenario. Is it possible I have got nits?

I have been attempting to dismiss the itching as dry skin and the change in the weather, but I have my suspicions that this may call for more than shampoo for sensitive scalps. Such is the level of my paranoia that I am even willing to invest in bulk purchase of Head and Shoulders just in case this is a full on attack of dandruff. Things have got to a pretty low level when I would be pleased to discover I just had a bad attack of middle aged male scurf shoulders rather than the follicularly mobile alternative.

Being a primary school teacher, exposure to childhood infections and infestations is par for the course. Despite the added risk factor of having three children of my own I have managed to avoid nits up to this point, and have been secretly proud of the fact – oh how are the mighty fallen.

Fortunately, I have relatively short hair, which is useful when tackling nit infestations. Unfortunately it is also extremely thick, ‘yak-like’ is one of the more descriptive phrases coined by husband. The biggest problem in this scratchy situation is, to paraphrase Bill Murphy in Ghostbusters, “Who you gonna call?”. Hairdresser is obviously out of the question as I wish to maintain a cordial and mutually respectful relationship rather than start a mass fumigation of saloon. Husband if provided with comb will make a couple of half hearted pokes at my head and then shudderingly retreat saying it all looks fine to him. Imploring the teenage Drama Queen daughters to explore my head with a nit comb will shift the balance of power in the household. There are many things I ask my friends to do – but search and destroy missions on my head are beyond the call of duty.

Having read Alpha Mummy’s blog about Hairforce, the lice busting London operation I am strongly tempted to set up the Sydney equivalent. A friend and I have discussed a fleet of black vans that would draw up discreetly outside nit infected households and for a small price will get rid of the hair invaders – actually that should read small fortune for after all the truly desperate will pay anything for a delouse – and I should know.

It may be there is actually nothing foraging around in the tangled forest of hair – it’s one of those things that the more you think about it, the worse it gets. But I’m not willing to take the chance. There’s nothing for it but a chemical compound. If you should pop round our neck of the woods tonight you will find me gloomily sitting in the bathroom clad in fetching bath hat ticking off the minutes as disgusting green gloop does its work. To add insult to injury, according to an article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, infestations of lice in sheep in New South Wales are at an all time high. I feel a fellow sympathy reading of ‘matted fleece’ - perhaps I should be investigating the sheep dip option or lousicide to give it its technical name.


  1. Hi Catriona,
    Iehh, I get itches myself now. Anyway, I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now (since I found it on expat-blog or something) and I really enjoy it. I've just moved to Sydney from the Netherlands and during one of our explorations of Sydney I came across this business in Parramatta. I had never heard of such a business before, that's why I remembered it while reading your story.

    But hopefully you don't need to go there at all if the stuff has already worked. Good luck! And keep on writing. Marieke

  2. What I would like to add now I think of it:
    Although you don't know me, you/your blog encouraged me to sign up to a 'boot camp' near my place in Coogee. I've been wanting to sport outdoors in the morning, but did not have the discipline yet to get up that early. And when I learned about boot camps in your blog I wondered if that was the answer.. So tomorrow I'll go for the first time and I hope I'll enjoy it. And if not I should, because I could certainly loose some weight ;)

  3. Hi Marieke - lovely to hear from you and I have to say Boot Camp transformed my life in that I am now a slightly slimmer, much fitter version of myself and it definitely keeps me sane. Good luck tomorrow. Bad news is I am still scratching and so may have to head off to your Parramatta no nitz business - thanks for the tip.

  4. You got publiced in the SMH yesterday with this blog. Congratulations!