Owing to strict adherence to my personal principles, I had managed, for over 45 years, to avoid cleaning up other persons' medical waste. My principles have been heretofore bolstered, late in my thus-far life, by an Ironclad No-Diapers Policy, under which I get to periodically bang Ilse like a screen door in a hurricane at a cost not involving really even thinking about little Bam-Bam's diapers, except to the extent that the little poop machine occasionally makes me wrinkle my nose with one of his less pleasant deeds. And it's a net benefit to Ilse on those rare occasions when I'm around to notice such things, because honestly? Her sense of smell ain't all that sharp. Not so I could count on it; I mean, I only hang out in strip clubs where the dancers don't wear perfume.
All things must pass, however, and yesterday, phony history and Ilse's parents conspired to topple my principles like a statue in Dzerzhinsky Square (also known, apparently, as Lubyanka Square--who knew that Iron Feliks merely lent a nickname to this place beloved of Ian Fleming and Tom Klancy?).
See? That's real history, albeit of a populist sort. Columbus Day, while no less populist, is certainly a welcome holiday, but hardly much of a commemoration of real history. The guy found islands. The guy never really knew where the hell he was. The guy got run out of Italy (whose American sons and daughters now embrace him fervidly on the second Monday of each October, and well they might, given the bounty of Americanness which has descended upon the millions of descendants of Italian immigrants to this country) and basically soaked the Queen of Spain for a job. He died syphilitic and useless. Okay, I made up that last sentence, but given the prevailing winds of the times, I estimate a 70-percent chance that it's actually true. I'm sure that Minions' official history grad student will be along to advise on this shortly, having earned beaucoup bonus points with his agreeable assessment of this writer's theories--dismissed by many of you as purely Frenchified lunacy--about George Washington. Who has a holiday of sorts, too.
Columbus Day, then, deserves a certain amount of disrepect as a holiday. We don't go around hammering this home on our fervidly Italian friends; why rock their boat? They're entitled to their worldview, and I'm entitled to an official U.S. Government holiday. Everyone can remain happy without causing anger and hurt and conflict. Which are bad.
Even schools in My Local Neighboring State of Gilead respect this holiday. As do day-care centers. Sadly, this lofty example is not followed by many Gilead employers, including Ilse's. This left a slight void in the child-care department, since Databoy and Bam-Bam, Ilse's wee persons, are not noted for their ability to sustain themselves.
Fortunately, this void was filled by Ilse's parents, to whom I shall decline to assign a moniker. They were able to watch the Ilseissue until about mid-afternoon, but were on their way to somewhere and had to be gone by then. So I stepped in to care for the little crackers, because I am, after all, The Good Boyfriend.
Upon my arrival, Mrs. Ilse's Mom told me that little Bam-Bam's personal hygiene system had just been cleaned and recharged, and I greeted this news with much joy and glee and salaaming. I even promised, silently, to be nice to the Jesus for a short time in honor of Mrs. Ilse's Mom, who thinks that such things are important.
And I was nice to the Jesus for a short time, refraining from throwing Databoy, Ilse's smartass punk seven-year-old who thinks he's unassailably cute, out of any windows or other egresses for a good 15-20 minutes after his grandparents/bodyguards left town.
In truth, the little peckerwood was reasonably well-behaved, needing no corporal punishment and only one short term of imprisonment during my stewardship, and that only after a half hour of very nearly good behavior preceded his sudden and unexpected infraction. Usually, Databoy is a slow learner, but his seven-minute confinement convinced him that his most reliable forms of verbal communication were limited to "Yes, SIR!" and "No, SIR" and "I don't know, SIR!" For Databoy, this is the equivalent of monkeys speaking Mandarin, so we're gonna put that one in the win column.
We played our version of living-room soccer, which consists of Databoy trying to hit a target with a soft soccer miniball while I guard said target from a thoroughly encouched position. Databoy thinks this is soccer, and pretends to be his hero, Brian Carroll.
Yeah, everything's a fucking conspiracy, innit?
Bam-Bam, who is five and is, as you may know or recall, autistic, spent his time weaving through the room, or off in his own room, bouncing and shrieking. Bam-Bam is built like a linebacker/tight end/fullback--I can't decide yet which role he'll best fulfill, but the need to settle that just now isn't great--and likes to do about five things: shriek, run, bounce, chew on or play with strings, and eat. This last, of course, has consequences.
After a time, I noticed a rubbery odor. I ascribed this to the fact that Bam-Bam was chewing on three rubber bands, the closest thing to strings upon which he could manage to lay his grimy little paws yesterday. But after a time, he began to emit demanding shrieks that were not diminished by offerings of grape juice and potato chips. I investigated and discovered that my time was at hand.
I'll leave the details to clinicians. Suffice it to say that this was a five, count 'em, FIVE babywipe event. I emptied the babywipes box and started a new one, which created a convenient depository for the remains of the day. Later, upon hefting the hermetically sealed package, Ilse pronounced a birth mass of about five pounds. For my part, I am convinced that priceless hoards of Japanese war gold discovered in the Philippines have weighed less.
I recovered from the sensory assault in time to choke down some dinner. And it is actually moderately horrifying, in a tribal responsibility sort of sense, that I managed to go 45 years without changing a diaper. But I am no longer entertained by my own farts. Little Bam-Bam's weapons of mass destruction have robbed me of my innocence.