When I was in third grade, a lice epidemic hit my elementary school. It was quick, brutal and terribly itchy. Luckily, our parents raided CVS and saved us all with a dose of RID. Apparently, rich people have other options:
According to David Hochman of the New York Times, parents in Bel Air are turning to "Lice Whisperer" Amy Goldreyer in order to save little Applebee Xavier Thomas Barnaby Williston FancyPants III from the scourge of head lice. "I certainly wasn't going to pick them out myself," one mother, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Times. Heavens, no!
Goldreyer's business, Hair Whisperers, apparently functions a bit like an extermination company, only instead of ridding one's home from roaches and rats, Goldreyer & Co. come equipped with lice-busting tools designed to rid the children—and their home—of the nasty little parasites. And as Hochman notes, she's not alone: "indeed, even in recessionary times, the lice business appears to be thriving. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida have Licebeaters. Dallas has the Texas Lice Squad and Boston the Nit-Picker."
In many ways, this reads like your typical Times styles piece: rich people and their wacky ways of spending money! But it also touches on the embarrassment factor that comes along with lice infestations (or any other parasitic infestations), in that the parents seem horrified that lice could come to their homes, seeing as their children are clean and their house is well kept. When lice hit my school (and took out 98% of my class, outside of Carlos, who had shaved his head a few weeks earlier), I can remember the embarrassment our mothers shared while bumping into each other after we'd all been scrubbed and saved: "Can you imagine? I wonder who started it? Oh, it was awful." Perhaps for many people, it's not really the hassle of removing the nits as much as it's the embarrassment of perceived uncleanliness that leads families to drop big bucks on professional cleaning services.
So what say you commenters? Would you pay for a "lice whisperer?" And are you totally itchy right now from reading this, or is it just me?
Killing Lice Is A Growing Business [NYTimes]
Image via South Park Studios]