A Bug in a Rug or a Whole Tub of Chicken?

Contrary to the popular adage, ignorance is decidedly NOT bliss.

Not in the lice eradication business, anyway.

Imagine thinking that you’d continue to be plagued by lice unless you cleaned and sanitized every square millimeter of your home, burned your bedding and replaced all your furniture. Sound blissful? I didn’t think so.

How about hopping around your home sprinkling baking soda like a deranged fairy duster? Other than the comic relief, it won’t accomplish a thing.

Yet that kind of extreme housecleaning, or some version of it, is what people choose to believe is necessary, despite scientific evidence to the contrary. I do understand why the evidence is ignored when lice are concerned—the ick factor can be so overwhelming that nobody can concentrate on the truth. Now that I think about it, it’s a great metaphor for life—when you’re in full-on fear mode, reason vacates the premises and slams the door behind it.

But, c’mon, people, listen up. The truth shall set you free—from fear, from shame, and from the raucous voices in your head that tell you what a lousy parent and housekeeper you are (pun intended, of course).

True facts: Lice cannot live and breed in your carpet, on the back of a movie-theater seat, or on your dog. They cannot jump or fly. Once they leave their host head, they’re goners. Seriously. If they can’t hang on to a hair shaft, they figure they’ve got nothing to live for.

The odds of finding a healthy louse in the carpet are about as good as finding a chicken in the bathtub.

Oh. Wait. That’s not a good example because it actually happened.

Not the part about the healthy louse in the carpet. I’m talking about the chicken-in-the-bathtub part.

I swear on all that is holy: I am not making this up.

A few weeks ago, I asked to use a client’s bathroom, and as I walked down the hall, she called out, “Don’t worry if there’s a chicken in the bathtub!”

It didn’t really sink in, because it’s not what you’d expect to hear as you make your way to the lavatory, but as I shut the bathroom door behind me I heard a scratching noise from behind the shower curtain. I pulled it aside, and there it was—a brown chicken in a blue bathtub giving me a yellow stink-eye. If you’ve ever been given the once-over by a chicken, you know how they cock their heads and blink while they decide whether or not to peck you to death.

Let me be honest. I don’t like to use public restrooms—it’s almost an oxymoron for me. I don’t “rest” well in public. Trust me when I tell you that being stared at by a barnyard animal while “resting” is not conducive to success.

I drew the shower curtain closed, and pretended there was no murderous chicken behind it secretly plotting my demise. I pondered what a chicken might be doing in the bathtub. Waiting for its bath? I wondered: Do chickens play with rubber humans in the tub?

I still don’t know why that chicken was in the bathtub, as it would have been rude to ask, and there’s nothing worse than having a rude nitpicker in your house.

As I drove back to Annapolis, I thought about what to bring home for dinner. Definitely, a tub of chicken.