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Cooties - The Scariest thing on the Planet

Updated on August 24, 2012

Cooties - The scariest thing on the planet

As a six year old boy there was one thing that I feared more than anything else: the fear of cooties. On the playground I would run away from girls and boys with the fear of catching the legendary disease. Of course this was an irrational fear, but a fear none the less. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was something that kept me awake into the wee hours, but as soon as I stepped foot onto the playground it was always on my mind.

Almost twenty years later that childhood fear has a total different place in my life, resigned to the laughable memories and more rational analysis. In this hub I am going to delve deep into my past and see what I can remember from the good old days.

Do you remember 'Cooties' from your childhood?

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What is a Cootie?

A cootie is a generic term for a variety of diseases / infections a child can catch from other children. A young child's mind cannot always differentiate between ailments and so a name was created from the pits of the playground that described all the illnesses combined!

A cootie to an adult could be translated as parasite or virus. It could refer to flees, lice, ticks or even the common cold or cough.

In a child's mind a cootie was a small insect that would imbed itself into a child's skin or hair and work its way through their system. The cootie insect itself was a monster. It would be small, almost invisible to the naked eye but very deadly. It would have eight long piercing legs that would latch onto your skin. Its body was as tough as a diamond, and totally indestructible. Four, not two hell like eyes would constantly watch and stalk its prey. It would have wings but could not fly very far. It was more of a jumper. Its body was bright silver at birth, but darkened to the black of night as it matured.

As soon as the cootie landed on your body it would start to bite. It had four rows of teeth that would rip through your skin and it would work its way through your flesh and delve into the blood stream. Once inside it would lay its eggs and start an attack on all your organs and body parts. Cootie Soldiers would attack your heart, giving you cardiovascular issues, making it tough to attend classes such as physical education. Interestingly the physically stronger children, especially the really sporty ones would be immune to this part of the attack.

Other soldiers would go for your lungs. It would create shortness of breath and coughing fits would soon emerge. Some soldiers would travel to the nose and cause sneezing and in some rare cases it would bring on nose bleeds.

Most of the soldiers would travel up to the brain and would affect all sorts of systems. Many children blamed cooties for their under ability to perform in class. The cooties would steal all their knowledge and were often to blamed for poor grades. The cooties would start to take control of the brains and start to force the children to chase after others with the intent of infecting them. You would often see children chasing others with arms outstretched much like zombies from current scary movies.

Eventually the cooties would completely take control of the victim’s body and lead to a painful excruciating death.

How do I catch a Cootie?

Catching any childhood infection usually happened through physical contact. Lice would jump from one head to another and pathogens such as the common cold would be air born in the immediate area.

Childhood fantasies were not very far from this. You would catch cooties by close contact with others who were infected. As a child much time was spent running from the infected.

What happens if I became infected?

In reality lice, flees or a cold could be easily remedied with a few days in bed and some medicine. Parents would usually be in charge of their children’s welfare. Occasionally with something like lice, teachers would become involved and exclude the child until they were healthy. The last thing the school would want would be an epidemic of lice.

On the other hand I remember friends coming back after a few days off school with awesome stories. Some were taken into hospital and treated for cooties with a huge injection.

Others were taken to a secret government facilities where they were conducted experiments on. Eventually, deep within the government labs, they were given an invisible injection in the arm whilst the doctor said: Circle circle dot dot! Now you have a cootie shot!

Looking back

Looking back on those days of my life all I can think is how much I miss that time. Life was so much simpler those days, as a child you had no worries. Your biggest concern was catching the 'cooties' and missing the latest playground gossip.

For all of you reminiscing about those days right now I hope it brings a smile to your face. I hope you can remember who you used to be and who you are now. I hope you realise how much we have all changed and matured over the years. If you ever feel you are worthless or nothing think back on whom you used to be as a child and compare it to who you are now!

Below is a video warning of the dangers of Cooties. Please show this to your children. Make them aware of the situation....

By the way, you’re it!!


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    • profile image

      lesliebyars 5 years ago

      Very cute idea for a hub!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading!!

    • naeemebrahimjee profile image

      naeemebrahimjee 5 years ago from London

      Thanks a lot! I wrote it on one of those days when I really missed being a seven year old!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Ha, this does bring back a lot of memories, and nowadays, we would like to just have the cooties, as compared to everything out in the world now!!! Great hub. In His Love, Faith Reaper