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December 26, 2013


I clicked through...I hope I'm not the only one who thought this was about "adult baby" fetishes and not incontinence products.

Sorry, Bob. It was the word "Depends" in the title of the post that gave it away instantly.

"diaper arbitrage trade....."

Giving a whole new dimension to the term carry trade.

D'oh. Missed that completely.

/muttering to self

I have seen the future, as my mother declines into her senescence and dementia, and we American baby boomers will follow Japan into adult diaperhood.

I'd never thought about it much, and regret that I must now, but the adult diaper is a great labor-saver for the legions of unpaid and underpaid caregivers and their charges, the latter population of which will become a glut of wheelchaired, incontinent husks lined up in the hallways of mammoth institutions and/or taking over, with their medical accoutrements crowding out the heirlooms, the main rooms of their homes, a vast suburbia from sea to shining sea of dwindling personalities (I'm an agnostic regarding the Soul, but increasingly I wonder where these vivid personalities of our loved ones go).

It doesn't bear thinking about, but my plan, such as it was, nor my siblings', nor anyone's, including my mother's, didn't include the daily monitoring, maintenance, and detailed commentary regarding her bowel movements.

She thought, and I thought we were done with that end of things once her kids and now her grandkids were out of diapers, but, alas, no dice.

As my mother will make clear at times as we head for the bathroom: "Why are you doing this to me? I know you're just trying to kill me!", which actually I don't think she'd be opposed to, as a humane gesture and measure, to be blunt.

Other times, she is very sweet and we laugh over the irony of it all.

So, hooray for the Adult Diaper!

A Dystopian view of things can foresee the current bankrupt political rhetoric in this cost/benefit, bottom (pun) line culture and intergenerational economic warfare regarding the burdens and costs to the taxpayer of the burgeoning dependent Baby Boomer class degenerating further into openly hostile policy, privately applied, as formerly staunch pro-life but fiscally-strict conservatives, abetted by "pragmatic" liberals, join the productivity-is-everything Ayn Rander spreadsheet kibitzers in proposing cutting and gutting Adult Diaper stamps/government support programs and even going so far as to begin constructing, in the private sector, of course, vast drive-up facilities with a conveyor belt at one end where you can let off your old baby-boomer mum and dad and the uncles and aunts (still living, fully diapered, just lie down there mom, it's like an amusement park ride) for conveyance into the plant for processing and you pick the package up at the other end of the facility in an hour, like the old photo processing kiosks.

Not that I would resist, necessarily, considering the alternatives. I would hope though to be able to stand on the conveyor belt wearing nothing but Depends and a Yankees cap, and kind of surf my way (duck your head there, sir) to my demise, while heckling onlookers.

Blue-eyed killer Paul Ryan will congratulate himself on the fiscal discipline of cutting government Depend(ency), while admiring the austerity he has returned society to, and while waving away questions about the messy Boomer processing plants with vague allusions to Ayn Rand texts regarding the primacy of the private sector over government meddling in end-of-life care.

Fear not, though, lobbying by Kimberly-Clark and Proctor and Gamble, along with the minimum wage caregiving industry, will forestall the impact of this Dystopia, citing the job-killing and bottomline reductions that will attend any diminution of the Adult Diaper market.

About once a week, either the caregiver or my brother or I, will take my mother upstairs to the more formal living room which she furnished to her tastes, put on some classical music, and sit and talk or just sit.

She will invariably ask, "Where did all of the people go?", or mention in passing "I wish all of the people were here.", referring and conflating all of the people who had been in that room over the past 53 years -- her little kids and their friends, my Dad, the four grandparents, all of her relatives, friends and business associates during parties, neighbors who used to drop in, now long gone.

For some reason, since I'm fascinated by and drawn by abandoned, once peopled landscapes and structures, this series of photographs reminded me of what the inside of my mother's mind must look like:


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