LAUREN BRAVO: Headlice relieves the itch to find a topic to write about

I’LL admit it, it’s not always easy coming up with ideas for this column.

“NO!” you’re probably gasping.

“They always seem so insighful and so well-researched!

“What about the time you spent 500 words trying to convince us that Christmas didn’t start early enough?”

But it’s true – 11 years of filling this space means that I regularly need to have a little head-scratch for a topic that a) I haven’t written about before

and forgotten (this happens), or b) isn’t too tedious, irrelevant or unappealing to the palate of readers in Chichester, Bognor Regis, Midhurst and Petworth

and beyond.

Sometimes, however, there are things that just beg to be written about. The topics it would be rude NOT to attempt to bring to wider attention.

And speaking of a little head-scratch, today I have stumbled across an article on entertainment website BuzzFeed: ‘Are Selfies Really Causing The Spread Of Head

Lice In Teens?’

JACKPOT. It’s an article that has everything. BuzzFeed! Selfies! Nostalgia! Spurious health claims!

Marcy McQuillan, owner of premier California grooming establishment Nitless Noggins, claims she ‘has seen an alarming 50 per cent increase in cases of headlice among high school kids since 2012’, and attributes the epidemic to all those pouty photos they’re taking with their heads touching – the ‘selfies’.

As someone whose family spent half of the 1990s trapped in a merry-go-round of nit maintenance – just as one child banished them, the next would bring them home – I can’t even read the word ‘headlice’ without itching. But...

Headlice are a great leveller. Those little critters don’t discriminate. Even the beautiful, popular people can get headlice.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but selfies are now being blamed for everything.

They have risen rapidly up the ranks of what can be regarded as youth culture evil.

They’re making us narcissists, it is claimed, or at least providing the narcissists with a new lake to fall into.

They’re making average Joes and Josephines behave like celebrities, which will probably lead to an influx of debauched dancing, hammer-licking and people wearing Pharrell Williams’ massive hat.

Though that last one, to be fair, might just do something to assist incubating the headlice on the average Joe or Josephine.