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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: On lice and why Marie Antoinette lost head

Near as I can tell, the recommended new way of dealing with the age-old problem of head lice in schools is "Don't Ask, Don't Scratch."

I'm not sure that is wise, but the current Manchester policy, which is apparently to send kids home with lice, seems barbaric. Shouldn't we send them home without lice?

Where do the schools even get the lice they are sending home with the kids? Is this one of those federal government programs? Back in my school daze, in Candia, no self-respecting kid would accept free government lice. If we couldn't grow our own, we just did without.

Is this one of those deals where, if New Hampshire doesn't apply for its share of lice, some other state is going to get them instead? I say, let them.

And let them eat cake, too, which is what Mr. Peabody and Sherman saw Marie Antoinette doing when they used the Way Back Machine to travel to the French Revolution in the new animated movie, which is a huge snore unless you are the age of Ike, Mike, or Spike.

I used to like Mr. Peabody when he was doing five-minute episodes on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. That may have been because an erudite talking dog was clever to me or because I thought it was way cool that my older brother let me watch with him.

But 90 minutes is too much, even when Peabody said Marie could have kept her head if she had only issued an edict providing bread to the poor.

When Sherman asked why she didn't do so, Peabody recalled the old saying: You can't have your cake and edict, too.

See what I mean?

Today is St. Patrick's Day. William Loeb once told me to make sure that "The Shamrock" poem is reprinted each year on March 17 and I'm not about to mess with that edict. You should find the poem in an adjoining column of today's Union O'Leader.

The day also reminds me of the name of the first Irishman to come out every spring: Paddy O'Furniture. Take that, Peabody.

And to remind faithful readers of how old we are all getting to be, this weekend will mark birthdays for eldest grandson Ike, and for the youngest, Spike, as well as for the Lady of the Little House and for the former rugrat. Ike will be turning seven. The Lady of the Little House remains forever young.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @Deucecrew

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