Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Is Your Receding Hairline a Sign of Ecological Crisis?

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Fellow head lice, we have reached an environmental crisis point: our habitat is shrinking.

We proud members of the pediculus humanus capitis species have colonized this scalp from time immemorial, raising brood after brood of nits, finding exactly the right spots to lay our eggs, and perhaps, if fate allowed, witnessing further propagation by our numerous descendants. For generations we have sought out the coziest spots on this head, forming vibrant communities around the ear and nape.

For a time, we could count on favorable living conditions even at the top of the head, where our lore tells us few lice could flourish – but we could nevertheless dwell there in peace when the gods would gather up the hair into a warm, insulating bun or ponytail.

But it has been some time since our glory days. While the blood mines are as rich and nourishing as ever, only a fool could not notice that our world’s hairline has receded, making the entire top of the head uninhabitable, even to the hardiest among us. Who knows how much longer we have left? Will the protective layer of hair continue its decline, leaving us exposed to the harsh elements? Will it continue only along the top of the head, leaving the area around the ears safe for our children? Will it stop at some point, or is this civilization doomed?

We simply cannot stick around to find out, for by then it may be too late. We must, for the sake of our illustrious and venerable infestation, take the initiative: we must marshal our resources and set forth to find more hirsute pastures. We can only know whether we shall succeed once we have done so. But it only takes one of us to sow our genetic seeds on a new scalp, a new world. We must depart fully confident that at least one of our many relatives shall find abundant head cilia, and promptly lay eggs.

Let us go forth now, and split into rotating shifts who will ascend to the tips of the hairs above, each seeking a sign of a new world to inhabit: of luxuriant, insulating hair; of nutrient-rich blood; and of no dreaded close-toothed comb, whose existence we have not encountered but which we fear nonetheless.

Onward, fellow pediculus humanus capitis! The itch to survive persists!


Written by Thag

May 13, 2011 at 5:48 pm

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