It's officially fall: School is in full swing, sweaters are coming out and thoughts turn to pumpkin-carving and apple-picking. I know it's fall for another reason: At the cineplex, the film previews have turned to all things sinister. You know what I mean. The trailer starts off with a girl entering a long, abandoned attic, and pulling drop cloths off Victorian furniture. Then she comes across an old charm/mirror/clock/masque and the violent montage begins. After a few lines of dialogue explaining the premise--the man murdered a dozen girls then disappeared/they thought she was a witch and burned her home with her in it/he walked into the old mine one day and never emerged—the credits pop up. Brace yourself. Then, there's one final scary shot of a face with yellow eyes (or a dead body sitting up). Yeah, yeah.
So, that happened. After some 17 years of being louse-free, last week, I got the call: Punch has head lice. Now, before you recoil in disgust—well, after you've finished recoiling in disgust, I feel I need to clarify. Having lice is not a reflection of one's general hygiene. The daughter of my most germaphobic friend had head lice five separate times. The cleaner the head of hair, the more likely a louse will find a suitable home. Much like us, it seems lice like a clean living space. Why they would choose to reside on the head of a 13-year-old boy who showers only at gunpoint only confounds me more. Regardless, a home they did indeed find.