Once, when I was a child, in what qualified as a moment of deep contemplation, I decided that soldiers fighting in wars must wear diapers during combat. To me, this made all the sense in the world.
Think about it: If people were shooting at you, you would almost certainly crap your tighty whities. I was quite sure I would. More importantly, though, if you were in the midst of a heated battle, you wouldn't want to drop your guard and/or pants for even an instant, lest you lose some tactical advantage.
So, in my 5-year-old brain, the issue was settled; soldiers wore diapers -- not because they weren't manly enough to control their bladders or bowels, mind you, but because if they were wearing diapers, they wouldn't have to, and that would free them up to be the efficient fighting machines modern combat requires.
But as I grew older and gained a greater measure of bladder and bowel control myself, I came to the conclusion that I might possibly be wrong. Fear, I learned, has a way of tightening up anuses and making involuntary expulsion less of a threat than I once thought it was. And going No. 1? Well, you hardly have to take your finger off the trigger to whip it out and water the flowers. Most guys are already looking for an excuse to.
With that in mind, in retrospect I decided there was no way that soldiers wore diapers. Soldiers were more than tough and disciplined enough to keep from accidentally soiling themselves. The very idea was ludicrous -- or was it? Suddenly, I'm not so sure. For you see, I read an article online the other day that leads me to believe I may not have been quite so far off the mark after all.
The story, courtesy of Fox News, came with the headline, "Manila traffic enforcers to wear diapers during pope's visit." (On a side note, if you could see a headline like that and not read the article, you should be concerned about your lack of curiosity.)
Sure enough, the story was about how traffic cops in the Philippines will be required to wear adult diapers during the pope's upcoming visit from Thursday through Jan. 19. In this way, authorities in Manila hope to keep the city's streets from becoming gridlocked when enforcers have to answer the call of nature during their shifts.
To some Manilan traffic cops, the edict must have seemed like an insult, to others a godsend, and to still others it might have been what they were already doing in the first place. Regardless, in general, the diaper mandate was "well received" by the men, according to the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
The diapers will get a trial run today during the 24-hour annual procession of the Black Nazarene, an event that celebrates a statue of Jesus that supposedly cures ailments and grants wishes and stuff.
The procession draws hundreds of thousands of barefoot Catholic men to Manila each year, and as the chairman noted, "If you attend an event that will last for 24 hours, you cannot go around looking for a (portable toilet)," particularly in Manila.
Of course, the hundreds of thousands of Black Nazarene devotees pale in comparison with the millions expected for the pope's open-air Mass on Jan. 18, and the chairman flat-out stated that there won't be enough portable toilets to accommodate everyone. With that in mind, he suggested that others, including priests, nuns, seminarians and anyone planning on waiting for hours to see the pope, also wear adult diapers.
I think the chairman's idea -- that basically everyone wear diapers for the pope's visit -- is great, but with unintended consequences being what they are, I fear it could have the effect of ensuring that this particular pope never comes to Manila again. I mean, how's it going to look when the pope comes away from his visit thinking everyone in Manila just goes around crapping their pants?
Admittedly, the alternative -- thinking everyone in Manila craps in the streets -- isn't much better, so I say strap those diapers on and let 'er rip. Get on out there and direct traffic and wait around with one less thing on your mind.
And to any soldiers out there, if you're not already wearing diapers and you're thinking about taking up the practice during your deployment, you may be wondering when an appropriate time would be to use the diapers.
Let's just say it depends.
Todd Hartley was a spokesmodel for "Oops, I Crapped My Pants" from 1982 to 1987. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.