Last week the family decided to break our impressive chain of about 10 days of doing basically nothing by taking a little two-hour field trip to Itasca State Park, home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
We’d visited the headwaters once before — 13 years ago — and while the actual beginning of the Mississippi isn’t quite as mighty as you might think, we remembered the area being serene and lovely.
You can imagine our surprise and dismay then, when we walked down the path and were met with this:
Mississippi headwaters? More like “Redneck watering hole: brought to you by Walmart.”
Seriously, there were people on rafts — full sized rafts — floating in the clear, shallow water (which I can only imagine was clear because all the urine that it contained came from people who’d been hydrating well due to the warm temps).
Toddlers in soggy, saggy diapers ran screaming about; children were risking serious head wounds by crossing the river (“I walked across the Mississippi!”) on moss covered boulders which resulted in a few spills and howls; an entire boy scout troop and their leaders were splashing and shouting; mothers were ripping toddlers’ diapers off as they exited the water and ran gleefully around, as happy to let the breeze dry their bits and pieces as they were to show them off; and to top it off, the whole scene was clouded with the very distinct odor of plastic poop.
As in dirty diaper.
As in, a mother changed her baby’s shitty diaper right on the banks of the Mighty Miss.
IN A PUBLIC SWIMMING AREA.
With a very clean, very large public restroom 800′ away in the visitor center.
I’m not kidding, we had to breathe through our mouths because the smell of dirty diaper was so fresh, until we realized exactly what we were breathing in so we had to stop breathing altogether and run about 10 yards to gasp for air.
If you’ve been hanging around here for awhile, my friends, you know what this means, don’t you?
It’s time for another letter.
Dear Asshat parents who change their kids’ poopy diapers in public,
I once had babies who wore diapers.
I once had babies who pooped (quite frequently) in those diapers.
I took those babies to many, many public places the years they wore diapers, including recreation sites that other people might — oh, I don’t know — want to enjoy without the sight or smell of baby poop, not to mention the threat of being contaminated by e-coli.
Did my babies poop in their diapers while at such recreation facilities?
ALL THE DAMN TIME.
Not only did they poop, I remember very distinctly one of them who, at about age one, decided that every time we left the house it was a good time to have a “blow-out” (and I’m not talking about smooth, shiny hair).
Did I throw them on the ground and rip off their diaper and mop up their back in the middle of the zoo or the neighborhood Chili’s or The Freakin’ Happiest Place on Earth?
NO NO NO I DID NOT.
Because IT’S DISGUSTING and INTRUSIVE and SOCIALLY REPUGNANT.
Listen, I know there are times when it can’t be helped.
There are times when there’s not a changing table within 800′ of you.
Say, if you’re on a beach or in your car or in the middle of a turbulent flight right after 9/11 and you’re not allowed to get up to go to the bathroom without fear of being attacked for violating the seatbelt sign by an overzealous air marshall (I’m assuming).
But you don’t do it where other children are swimming and other families might be interested in enjoying the smells of the pines and the leaves and the wildflowers instead of your baby’s shit.
AND WHERE THERE IS A CHANGING TABLE 800′ FROM YOU.
And speaking of those other children, every heard of a swim diaper, ass clown?
What’s that you say?
Adults also pee in lakes and rivers and pools so why am I so hell bent on punishing you for leaving your child in a pee-soaked diaper?
One word: POO.
Seriously, get your head out of your ass and realize that poop carries e-coli and e-coli is DISGUSTING — not to mention dangerous — and poo particles can and will leak out of the leg holes of your child’s soggy, saggy assed diaper unless it’s covered by a plastic diaper or secure in a tight-legged swim diaper (they ain’t called swim diapers for nothing).
Listen, no one likes to smell or see poo.
So stop thinking that just because they’re babies we do.
Next time I see your baby’s poo-covered butt out where it shouldn’t be, I’m coming over and rubbing it on your head.
You know why?
Because since you obviously have shit for brains, you might as well look the part.
The lady who was gagging while trying to enjoy Old Man River