Saturday, July 25, 2009 ended our last full week of camps at the Space Center. I was ready for a nice lay down when I got home to Wit’s End (the name of my home). I was shutting down my computer and gathering my things when the phone rang.
“Are you sitting down?” my sister Jilane asked. Jilane is one of my five sisters. She lives one block from me in Pleasant Grove.
“Who died?” I responded as I removed my lanyard and whistle. You’re not a real teacher unless you wear a Shrieker 2000 industrial strength whistle around your neck.
“Aidia has lice.” She said as a matter of fact. At first I didn’t comprehend the ramifications of such a statement. My first reaction was to say something like “And that means what to me?”. But after a moment’s reflection I realized why she wanted me to sit down for the news.
Perhaps a bit of a back story. My sister Lisa and her three children are staying at Wit’s End for the summer. They return to California at the start of the school year. Aida is her daughter. She has two sons, Draker and Caden. Many of you that work at the Space Center met 11 year old Draker at camp this summer.
This last week Wit’s End became Wit’s Discount Lodge and Home for the Elderly and Senile. The following extra guests checked in for a week’s stay:
- My sister Annette and her four children.
- My aunt and uncle from Arizona.
- Our permanent residents, my parents Charles and Luella whooccupy a small mother in law apartment in the dungeon. They are still able to function normally, drive and use the toilet but can’t be trusted with electricity and anything that uses electricity.
“Lisa wants you to check Draker for lice but don’t make a big deal of it. It will embarrass him,” Jilane added.
“Yes, I’m going out into the Voyager, take the microphone from Emily and announce to the crew and staff that I’m taking my nephew off the ship so I can check him for lice and other vermin.”
“Just do it.”
I found Draker wearing a Voyager’s engineering uniform ready to go out to the Bridge to check the ship for hull fractures. I mentioned for him to follow me. Emily objected saying she needed him to do the acting part first.
“Spread the joy,” I mumbled to myself. “Send him to me when he’s finished.”
A few minutes later he walked up to my desk. I asked him if he knew what ‘unclean’ meant.
“You need to take a bath?” he questioned.
“Yes, in a manner of speaking. Do you understand what happens to little boys that never bath or wash their hair?” His eyes widened expecting me to accuse him of such a thing. I stopped him before he could continue.
“Little boys that refuse to apply water and soap to their bodies can develop diseases like leprosy, scabs, leeches, and lice! I need to check you for lice. Don’t run, it won’t help. Crying will only draw attention to your condition and if word got out that lice could be present within these walls there would be a panic and stampede not even my Shrieker 2000 could stop. Now walk quietly into the nurse’s station.”
He followed me. I put the rubber gloves on and began the inspection. Several minutes later I pronounced him lice free. Draker was happy and wanted to return to the Voyager. I called Jilane and gave her the good news. Her reaction surprised me.
“Do you know what you’re looking for?” she asked. A few moments later I was driving him up to her house for the professional inspection. I’m please to announce that my initial diagnosis was correct. Lice free.
I expected to see EPA agents in full biosuits at my home when Draker and I pulled into the driveway. I was pleased with how Mormony everything looked. Yes, your typical average LDS neighborhood in Utah County. I got out of the car, took in the warm summer air scented with freshly mowed grass and pondered how pleasant everything was in Pleasant Grove.
The calm and serenity came to an abrupt end when I walked into the kitchen from the garage. The kitchen counters and table were covered with every possible cleaning agent, brush and pad used for lice abatement available for purchase at your neighborhood WalMart - all gathered for a major assault on the infestation eating through the hair follicles of innocent Williamson’s, Belnaps and Coronatos. Oh the Humanity!
I carefully walked around the chemical shop and into the living room. I stood in the center of the room afraid to let my body come in contact with anything that might have a moving surface. Lisa saw my predicament and rallied to my cause. She grabbed a can of lung burning Destructall spray in each hand and attacked everything in the that wasn’t moving with stereo shots of spray. Mother was caught in a corner chair. A cloud of Destructall moved in her direction like a death fog.
“Move!” Lisa shouted. Mother saw the fumes, rose to her feet and did a shuffle that, had we had a camera, would have been a YouTube hit.
Both my sisters were armed and ready for war. They had their children in bathing suits, lined up at the four bathrooms and ready for the delousing process. Each child was brought in, put in the tub and scrubbed from top to bottom with Nuclear Nix Lice Removal shampoo, cream, ointment, solution, and alixer. Both sisters were in their bathing suits as well so it could all be contained in the tubs.
Once the sandblasting was complete and the children’s bleeding skin bandaged, out came the lice combs and the tedious process of de -nitsing their scalps. The children’s screams were so intense mother had to leave and seek refuge at my uncle’s. I of course wasn’t bothered considering I spend all day in space blowing up children ;)
Once the unclean were proclaimed clean, the delousing of the house began. Destructall Spray was unleashed on the children’s mattresses. All the bedding, towels, blankets, pillows, clothes, etc. etc. and etc. was dumped into the back of the pick up truck and taken to Pleasant Grove’s only coin operated laundry mat. Several hours later and twenty five dollars in quarters lighter the bedding was finished and pulled from very hot dryers.
It was after 11:00 P.M. and all was done. It only took six hours and over one hundred and fifty dollars but the home was safely nuked and ready for habitation.
I was exhausted from sitting and watching these two great mothers scrub, curse, shout, clean, clean and clean. The debate that ran through the entire process was who’s child got lice first, and from where.
Today I sit in my sterilized home feeling lucky to have survived my very first lice infestation. Rest your worried minds - I didn’t have lice and neither does Draker. The Space Center is therefore lice free (unless Brock has lice. We will have to check him out).
All is well and I hope and pray next week will be uneventful. Please, may I ask for boring, dull and mindless. I need boring, dull and mindless.