Which Would You Rather Have Nest in Your Hair?

I only read this “viral” article because I remember my parents also thinking I had an imaginary friend when I told them about the little creature living outside my bedroom window.

Parents Didn’t Believe Their Kids When They Said A ‘Creature’ Lived In Their Closet Until They Found It 3 Days Later


When we moved to Oahu, and never having seen a mongoose before, I was excited to see one dart around the yard. Also never having seen a mongoose before, my parents were sure I was making him up. Rikki was real, they realized eventually, and he was kind of a bro, it turned out.

The silly part of that article isn’t the possum-appearance. It’s the response/comments that are so over-the-top. I know it’s social media and everything is over-the-top but gimme a break. Possums are startling but not terrifying. At least not to Southern Californians. (These people are in Ohio so it’s possible that this is the most exciting thing that has happened since that one cow did that thing or whatever it is they do there.)

This sudden-possum-event that’s caused a viral uproar used to happen to us all the time after we moved back to Solana Beach, CA. Our underwear would disappear from the laundry basket on a weekly basis. Some little thief would carefully pick through the hamper in the garage and drag away the softest underthings during the night. We only confirmed this once we found the nest of hissing baby possums in a utility cabinet. Once you got over the hissing and fangs, it isn’t that big of a deal. Adult possums are kind of gross but even baby possums have their adorbs to them.

Most Southern Californians have stumbled onto a possum nest at one point in their lives. If you haven’t, you will. Everyone has them. It’s normal.

These flabbergasted Ohioans, with their grossed-out, icky tweets about “monsters” also remind me of the same reaction Southern Californians have when they hear about ukus.

Ukus are head lice. Every kid living in Hawaii gets them. It’s so common that if you ever attended any school in Hawaii, you knew how to line up, offer your pencil to the school nurse for her to pick through your hair, for uku inspection. Sometimes monthly, sometimes more.

Uku is the Hawaiian word for Lice. Growing up here, you most likely have had ukus at least once and for most it’s multiple times. If you are new to Hawaii and have never experienced ukus, not to worry!  You are sure to get it soon enough!


My sister and I didn’t mind uku-inspection day at school. We got to goof around with our friends standing in line, graffiti with our pencils on the sidewalks, until it was our turn to be told we got to go home for the day. We weren’t overly horrified if we got them because a lot of kids did.

Ukus are just normal in Hawaii.

Our poor moms weren’t as happy to have us come home with bug-infested hair. They had to cancel their plans, herd their children into steaming showers covered in uku shampoo and practically boil everything we touched. But for us, we got grilled cheese sandwiches and I Dream of Genie reruns on daytime TV.

Unlike our Ohio friends freaking out on having a possum in their house, it’s just life to Californians. Similar to our California friends being disgusted by kids have dreaded “head lice”, it’s just life to any Hawaiian-raised kid.

It makes me wonder what’s left to freak out on and where these uber-sanitized people live. Probably in those exclusively white, utra-clean-type rooms from “the future”…of 51 years ago.


I don’t know about you but I don’t think I’d be comfortable there.

I’d rather put up with a billion uku-infestions because this is what looks like home to me:

Ukus be damned

Better yet, don’t go there. There are bugs everywhere. You stay home, I’ll go to Hawaii and battle it alone.

Gross. 😉

You’re welcome.

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