It’s season 3 of Sex And The City, episode 13.
Carrie has got herself a Brazilian, the crazy cow. It’s hard to imagine but back in the year 2000, that was quite an alien concept. Cue filthy observation from the foxy nymphomaniac, Samantha: "LA men are too lazy to have to go searching for anything. You can't hide your light under a bush." With that line Kim Cattrall condemned an entire species to extinction. Soon, millions of women were ripping, stripping and shaving their nethers in an act of reckless deforestation akin to the loggers of Borneo.
Thus began the slow demise of pubic lice, which rely on the dense curlies of the world’s human population to survive. The natural habitat of pthirus pubis was being wiped out. In a presentation due to be given at the British Association of Dermatologists’ Annual Conference in Liverpool next week researchers will hypothesise that the impetus behind our modern obsession with hair removal did indeed stem from Sex And The City. And as girls’ bits lost their hair faster than Ant and Dec, so men’s privates began to lose their louse habitats too.
Imagine them, the poor crabs, scuttling around in the pants of the promiscuous. Whole families turned into pubic refugees, trekking across arid stomachs in desperate search of an armpit.
Crabs, for those who don’t know, are tiny, grey parasitic blood-sucking wingless insects that infest the human genitals, causing itching and red spots. They look like crabs – hence the name - and they stick white eggs to your pubic, beard hair, leg hair or eyelashes. They’ve been infesting sinners for thousands of years, with archaeologists discovering specimens in the UK as far back as the 1st century AD. One team investigating funeral mounds in Hampshire, came across the burial site of a woman who had such a severe lice infestation, her flint vajazzle had fallen off.
The pubic louse evolved from its ancestor, the gorilla louse, about 3.3 million years ago and adapted to live in areas on the human body. By all accounts, lice are a nightmare to get rid of once they’ve been transferred to you by a sexual partner and you’ll probably have to burn most of your clothes, towels and bed linen whilst simultaneously launching an all-out US-style jungle war, hopelessly bombing the critters with insecticide cream…or so I’m told.
This week, thanks to Carrie and her outrageous friends, the world pubic lice population is dwindling fast and the insects are in danger of disappearing forever. Thank goodness, you might say, but who are we to condemn these creatures to annihilation just because they’re ugly and they make us itch? If you got a giant panda stuck to you after a one night stand, would you want the lot of them to die out?
The fact is, if you have pubic lice, your bush is now a vital habitat in desperate need of EU protection. The David Attenboroughs of this world will doubtless be crawling into your dark jungle to whisper from behind a tree as your crabs pupate in the background. Soon the World Wildlife Fund will step in with fundraising walks up Mount Kilimanjaro, in aid of protecting your infestation from destruction.
As Carrie Bradshaw herself might say: “As I walked home that night, thinking about crabs, I asked myself…if we’ve got ants in our pants to deforest the hair in our pants…are we any better than Brazil for getting Brazilians?”