25 November 2007

Apocolypse Job

I've always been interested in disaster planning, and what would happen to me if our civilization collapsed. Well, I think I've found my true calling, one I could do after the world fell apart — professional nit picker.

I got "The Call" Wednesday — my 7 year old son was found scratching his head in class. Yup, the school nurse gave me a 15 minute lecture on what to buy and how to pick nits. We dashed home, grabbed my daughter, drove her to an emergency orthodontist visit (yet another popped bracket) and went to the pharmacy while she was in the chair.

When we got home, I sat my son down, took out my contacts, and started my new job. My, those eggs are small!

Fortunately, my son seems to have gotten off lightly. We've been doing picking 2-3 times every day, and this morning I had to hunt long and hard to find only 3 nits. It looks like he'll be back in school tomorrow.

But I realized ... this is a job I'm suited for. If the world fell apart, my gas-perm contacts would only last a few years, then I'd be semi-blind. [I'm very, very myopic.] What use could I be to a small community of survivors? Sure I can design and teach knitting, am learning to spin, have made a weaving loom (and would travel with loom plans), and can sew, but none of this is that unique. I can do lots of other things as long as I can care for my lenses, but after that I would be dead weight.

Except ... I can pick nits. And see them, and do a thorough job. And in a low-tech community, without modern sanitation, lice are likely to be a much worse problem. I know they don't spread disease now, but can they? A talented nit picker would be an asset to a small post-apocalypse community.

So, I will add to my polymathic list of skills ... nit picker.

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