I can guarantee that this one word just sent a good number of you into a panic, while others have frozen in terror with your shoulders jerked up around your chins; hands scratching madly at a plethora of imaginary (or ARE they) itches and wiggles. How do I know this? Because I just heard the word mentioned down the hall and around the corner in a complete stranger’s whispered anecdotes – did I not mention the hyper sonic frequency that victims are forever tuned to? Crap. Even as I write this I can feel my scalp contract and I’m squirming because well, LICE.
To be fair, our household got over a small-scale infestation in January so that might account for the knee-jerk reaction. Just so you know, I do realize it’s almost April, but these things take time. You’d think that living through Nit Show 2015 toughened me up a bit, so maybe Lice Fest 2018 shouldn’t have bothered me as much, right? Nuh-uh. You’d probably also think that once you have the lice combs and the shampoos and the treatments and all the containment and cleaning tips and tricks, the little buggers wouldn’t garner the same reaction. But no.
This year’s fiasco, which was relatively tame compared to the carnage of 2015, had the same effect as a slow-burn slasher film launching into it’s first vile and enthusiastic kill. Like, you knew it was coming at some point (because kids and hats and dress up inevitably seem to add up to pure EVIL), but you’re just not prepared for the moment background voyeurism becomes foreground blood splatter on the lens. In fact, this year’s episode was more like a really good horror sequel, because THEY CAME BACK.
In fact, I’m convinced that lice would be the most perfect horror movie theme ever. Here’s why.
1. The first reveal is the most terrifying jump scare ever.
2. Then you see just how many there are stuck to your kid’s head and you realize you’ve actually been dragged to hell.
3. No one wants to believe you until they see it for themselves.
4. Forget vampire, demon, zombie ‘incubation downtime’; once you even see a nit on your kid you probably have them too.
5. And even if you don’t, you feel like they got you.
6. From then on it’s a terrifying family secret.
7. Which leads to full scale containment panic.
8. Including all the things, in all the bags.
9. And the obsession with treatment instructions and ingredients because, life or death.
10. Not to mention creepy-ass ‘Did I get it all?’ compulsive checking to the extreme.
11. Even after you’ve parted and combed and treated, you feel like you will never ever ever get you and your family clean.
12. At one point you will be completely overcome by the sheer need to kill the things on your kid’s head. Ethical quandary to follow.
13. At some point your kids will start chanting ‘KILL THEM MOMMY’.
14. If you miss one, it’s too late, they’ve reproduced ON YOUR F*CKING HEAD.
15. You and your shell-shocked kids will see little white nits and crawling things everywhere.
16. For months.
17. When it’s finally over, you feel like you got away.
18. But rest assured, they’ll find you again and again and again.
So what do you think? If I pitched ‘Infested’ tomorrow would it be green lit? Or would it be… green nit? Haaaaaaaa.
Want more? You can read about Nit Show 2015 here. And remember to tell me your lice horror story in the comments!