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Don’t let the baseball bugs bite!

Submitted by on Friday, 9 April 2010 No Comment

Glove: Check.

Bat: Check.

Water bottle: Check.

Batting helmet: Uh, Mom, I don’t know where it is.

Didn’t I tell you to put all your baseball stuff in your bag?

The helmet won’t fit in my bag, Big Guy retorted.

Dang it, he’s right. But there’s no way we’re leaving home without it anymore. Not after rumors of a lice outbreak left me scratching my head – funny how you automatically do that at the mere mention of the word – and examining the guys closely.

There will be a learning curve on this one for the guys. All last season, Big Guy and his teammates used whatever helmet was handy. He didn’t even have one of his own until this season, when I bought it as a consolation prize because Boots got a bat and bag while Big Guy was about to leave the PX empty-handed. Luckily, I bought two.

At this point, we’ve heard nothing from the school that’s the site of the alleged outbreak, so it might be more mythological than fact. The rumors were running hot enough, though, that one dad bought huge stickers and plastered his daughter’s name on her batting helmet. That’s the other complicating factor around here – we all shop mainly at the PX, which means most of the batting helmets look alike.

Big Guy’s coach immediately banned his team from sharing helmets – I don’t know what they’re going to do about catcher’s gear, because there’s only one set of it. As I dug at my scalp for no reason after the announcement, the guys wanted to know why all the fuss about a bug. Won’t it just fly away? Boots asked.

Oh, I wish!

No, these bugs don’t fly, I said. We’ll have to use special, very stinky shampoo to get rid of them. Then I’ll have to use a special comb to comb your hair very carefully.

Special like your combs? asked Big Guy, who for some reason covets my styling products. I’m just happy he doesn’t have enough hair to wrap around my rollers or I’d walk out of the house looking like a bigger train wreck than I do already.

No, special combs that are metal and a little rough. Believe me, you don’t like this.

I like buggies, Boots said. I won’t mind.

Trust me, you will, I said, involuntarily scratching again.

So we can’t use anyone else’s helmet? Big Guy asked.

That’s right. Just yours.

That means he can’t use mine either, Big Guy looked accusingly at Boots.

Actually, that doesn’t matter, because if he gets them you’ll have to be treated anyway, I said. Didn’t you sleep in his bed the other night?

Ewwwww. Keep away from me, Big Guy glared at Boots. You have bugs.

Oh, sheesh. Don’t even start those rumors. If your grandmother hears them, she’ll be too ashamed to say your name out loud in public, because she still thinks only “bad” people get lice.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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