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Personalias

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Personalias last won the day on September 16 2017

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  1. Personalias

    It's Not A Competition.

    I don't see why I wouldn't share this stuff. I like sharing my stories with "the community" (whatever that means). It's also advertising for those who have a little extra money to not wait a year and come see what else I've got, and for the people who don't have the money; well it's no hard feelings isn't it? It was harder at first when I just started writing for Cushypen, but now that I've got more than a year back logged in site, every month or so I can share a story. So it's kinda win win. As for the banter, I may have modeled it off of some of my friends whenever we get together.
  2. Personalias

    It's Not A Competition.

    It was a fun quick one for Cushypen.com. I'm allowed to re-post after a year. It was a fun quick write.
  3. Also, clones start out as non-adult babies. I'm not raising my clone children just so that I can make hundreds and hundreds of dollars in 27 years (When I started writing) BTW, this is all meant in a spirit of friendly joking, in case the tone doesn't carry.
  4. 1) Get out of my head. Get out get out get out! 2) Self insert is a thing. 3) Completely agree about the sexism component. 4) Get out of my head. Get out get out get out!
  5. “The Rainforest Room is just up here, let’s go!” Skye skipped, her long breezy skirt swishing. She caught my hand and tugged me along. I blushed with pleasure. Opening the door to the Rainforest Room was like stepping into a steamy, animal-musk filled sauna: Hot. Moist. Pungent. Noisy. Somewhere, Macaws cawed, monkeys screeched, and humans chattered, their voices echoing off the walls and high ceiling in the huge building. In between the vast and various animal enclosures, the building was stuffed to the brim with realistic, plastic recreations of rainforest trees, bushes, and other plants. It felt like we were actually in a rainforest. Immediately to the left of the doors was a display of panels with pictures, explaining why the rainforest was so important, why it was endangered, and ways we could help save it. At the end of the panel display stood two mobile carts. One was a small refreshment stand filled with ice and chilled drinks. Behind it sat a young, dark skinned woman on a stool. Her whole being just radiated pure Rasta. Dreadlocks have never appealed to me; I cringed a little behind Skye. The young woman wore a green t-shirt with the Zoo’s logo on it and khaki uniform shorts and shoes. The other cart was piled high with merchandise on display, mostly stuffed animals and t-shirts with cartoon zoo animals on them. Most of the shirts were small, kid-sized, but some underneath those lurked some larger ones; maybe for older siblings or matching parent-child outfits. Stuff that would appeal to little kids, who in turn would beg their parents for the goodies; smart advertising. Skye’s eyes lit up when she saw the female worker. “Kadija!” She hollered, rushing over. She held my hand, so I was dragged along. The worker immediately perked up from her bored, half asleep slouch. “Skye!” She waved back, all bright white smiles. I groaned softly; one of Skye’s on-campus pot head friends. Figures, just my luck one of them would have a job out here. “Got that bag I told you about? Good! Save your coupons, these ones are on the house. I still owe you for letting me copy on that test. “ She plucked two plastic bottled beverages from the ice, handing both to Skye, who passed one to me. Skye opened hers and drank while she chatted with her friend. I just held the cold bottle in my hand, staring. Part of me was appalled at them for cheating on a test, but another part was just resigned. Of course, Skye would not see it as cheating on a test; she was just helping a friend out. And now that friend was paying her back by giving her free drinks without taking the coupon. Nothing shady going on here. Sure. “Gavin, try it. It’s really good.” Skye reached over and opened up my bottle, deftly twisting the cap off. “So this is Gavi-poo?” Kadija leaned forward on the cart to get a better look at me. “Skye, you’re right. He is a little cutie.” I blushed at her assessment, looking down and quickly raised the bottle to my lips. I froze when I read the label. “Baby Formula?” I quickly held it as far away from me as I could, as if it had morphed into a venomous snake. I glanced at Skye’s; hers read “Mother’s Milk”. “Is this some kind of sick joke? It’s not funny!” My cheeks burned and I glared at the two girls. Skye laughed but Kadija snorted, rolling her eyes like she thought I was over reacting. That made me feel like a small child throwing a tantrum. “It’s a marketing ploy. Goes with the whole “Mom and Cub Day” thing. It’s a new product some company paid the zoo big wigs to test drive or something. I don’t know; I’m just paid to sell it. The Mother’s Milk is good, I’ve had it. Dumb name, but tasty stuff. Also healthy. It has….” Kadija looked down at a little plastic card. “Nutrients, vitamins. Probiotics? Lactotics? Whatever that science-y shit is. It’s healthy and tastes good. That’s all you really need to know.” Skye already had her milk half gone. “It’s kinda creamy, like a vanilla milkshake. Forget the name; it’s probably still in beta phase.” I rolled my eyes at her use of gaming terminology. I still wouldn’t drink something called ‘Baby Formula’. That was way too humiliating to even contemplate. “It’s just a name. Get over it, Gavi-poo.” Kadija rolled her eyes at me again. I glared at her, my cheeks red. I hated how she took Skye’s lovey-dovey nickname and turned it into a degrading insult. “Umm...I’m not crazy about the name, either. But it is really, really tasty.” A second vendor spoke up. “Once you umm... try it, you won’t even worry about the… uhhh.. name... anymore.” he stuttered on nervously. “It really is that good. Even better than those fancy drinks at Starbucks.” My eyes widened at the sight of him. He was young, about my age. He, like Kadija, wore a green t-shirt with the Zoo’s logo on it. He, unlike Kadija, wore a big white diaper plastered with colorful cartoon zoo animals. I thought only the poor clowns were diapered. My eyes shot to the kid oriented merchandise. Maybe that was just part of the promotional package? Poor bastard. He shifted shyly on the stool, the huge diaper crinkling and rustling noisily like a flock of plastic grocery bags. “Come on, Gavi. Just one tiny sip?” Skye wheedled, taking the bottle out of my hand and holding it up to my lips while staring at me with puppy-dog eyes. Maybe just one sip wouldn’t hurt...and it would get everybody off my back…. “Fine.” I acquiesced. Skye smiled and without waiting for me take hold of the bottle- maybe she thought I would chicken out again- she raised it to my mouth, tilting it. I hurriedly parted my lips as cool, creamy milk rushed in. I had to swallow or it would come out my mouth and dribble all over me like a baby covered in spit up. I had chugged almost half the bottle before she relented. “Well?” Skye smiled. “I knew you’d like it. I can tell by your face.” She purred in satisfaction. Both vendors stared at me, smiling just as Skye did. “It….it’s not...that bad…” I grumbled, looking down at my sandals. It was a flavorful explosion of creamy dairy delight. My tastebuds tingled and even my stomach rejoiced. Already, I wanted more. They were right. Make an ice cream flavor out of it and stores would sell out. “What does yours taste like?” I asked, reaching out to steal a sip. Skye raised her bottle up out of my reach. I lowered my hand, blushing. Even standing on tippy toes, I wouldn’t be able to reach that high up. I pouted up at her. “No, no Gavi. This is mine. You still have some of yours left. They taste just the same ” Skye added hastily after a pointed look from Kadija. “You don’t want that stuff, boy,” Kadija said pointing to Skye’s pink bottle of Mother’s Milk. “That stuff is specifically formulated to benefit a woman’s body.” “Yeah,” Skye hastily added. “Kadija told me it’s supposed to give me easier periods and stuff.” “And,” Kadija chimed in, “helps with older women going through menopause.” I immediately withdrew my hand from reaching for Skye’s bottle. “Yours is more like uh..an...an energy drink, if you know what I mean” Kadija grinned and winked at me conspiratorially. Then she smiled big. “It...it really makes you….ahem... get up and go!” she chuckled under her breath. “You crazy kids have fun with that stuff,” “Wait,” the guy in the diaper said, smiling like an idiot and blushing “do you...do you...uh...do you mean?” “Kadija,” Skye hissed under breath. I saw her throwing her friend a serious case of side-eye. The diapered man and I just threw each other unknowing, uncomprehending looks. Holy shit, was I drinking liquid Viagra just now? “Drink yours all gone and we’ll get some more.” Skye turned to me. “We’ve got all day to enjoy them.” “Baby Formula….” I muttered, mulling it over with this new information then smiling a little. “It’s like it helps with making babies. So, Baby Formula! I get it now.” “Yeah, it really helps with making babies” Kadija bit her lip as if trying to hold back laughter. More people came into the Rainforest Room, forming a line behind us. I tugged on Skye’s hand. She turned and looked. “We’d better get going.” She waved by to Kadija and the diapered vendor boy.fc “Call me later and let me know how it goes!” Kadija waved as we walked off towards the first Rainforest exhibit. We rounded a corner, stepping deeper into the jungle. Plastic trees- lifelike, detailed replicas of the many varieties found in the Rainforest- stretched high overhead, their shiny, broad green leaves intertwining to form a canopy. They blocked the harsh artificial light, creating dappled shadows on the cement floor, which had been painted to look like jungle ground. A fresco of brown dirt, twigs, and green grasses paved our way to the first exhibit. Shiny metal plaques told the common name, scientific name and a brief blurb about each rainforest plant represented. “Feels like we’re in the Jungle Book.” Skye said as soft, plastic fronds gave way to the heavy, smudged glass of a big tank. The walls were painted with jungle scenery. Rocks, dirt, grasses and a small but deep pool of green tinged water filled the bottom of the enclosure. Twisted, heavy barren brown branches and logs took up the rest of the space. Whatever was in here liked to climb; a tree dweller. I glanced down at the information plaque. Green Anaconda, dwells in the tops of trees. One of the largest and heaviest snakes in the world. Didn’t those kind of snakes eat people? I shivered, stepping back quickly from the glass. I hated snakes. Especially ones large enough to eat people. I recalled horror movies with snakes that did just that. Oh, I really, really hated snakes. I took another step back, eyes wide and glued to the glass, pinging around the thick barren trunks in desperate search of a reptilian body. Where was it? It couldn’t have escaped, could it? My body was stiff, pulse starting to pound. My stomach tightened with nervousness. I suddenly felt the need to pee from my tense bladder. A flash of movement at the back of the tank, just behind some rocks rimming the small pool, caught my eye. Greenish-brown coils blended in perfectly with the brown branches, dirt, rocks and vegetation. The snake was coiled up at the back of the big tank, it’s body thicker and wider than my thigh. Nature’s deadly camouflage at its finest. I shivered again, slumping against a sturdy, decorative plastic tree trunk as my body went slack with relief. I blushed, feeling ridiculous. Okay, so I was a little anxiety prone. So what? Skye still liked me despite it. My bladder relaxed, the urgency to urinate receding. “BOO! I’M KAA, AND I’M GONNA EAT YOU!” Skye hollered behind me, fingers jabbing into my sides. I jumped and screamed, a high pitched little EEP. My slack bladder tensed; I had to go again, bad. Like a little kid who pees their pants when frightened. I clamped down hard, slamming the gate on the potential flood. Skye’s laughter echoed in my ears. “Skye! It’s NOT funny!” I glared at her, huffing in annoyance. She can be so juvenile sometimes. She knows about my herpetophobia, my fear of reptiles and amphibians. Hey, if you grew up with a stepdad who thought it hilarious to wake you up by throwing a rubber snake in your bed you’d have a few mental scars from the experience, too. I never told her about that; I was too ashamed. But she knew about my deep fear. “I’m-hah-s-haha-sorry.” She sputtered, choking on suppressed laughter. “I….ahha..you were just...hehe...so damn cute. I..haha...couldn’t resist...heh…”. Her arms slipped around me, pulling my shorter, tense body to hers as she enfolded me in a warm embrace. My face pressed into her bony shoulder. The soft, feminine musk of her perfume enveloped me in a sensual cloud mingling with the apple scent from her shampoo. She rubbed my back, kissing the top of my head. Her body shook with amusement; slowly her laughter died down to quiet chuckles. I stayed stiff and unyielding as she smothered me like a python. I shivered, then shifted my weight to my other foot as my bladder protested the movement. I didn’t really have to pee, not yet; but I would have to find a bathroom soon. It had been a long drive, and I hadn’t gone since we left my place. “Gavin. Baby. I’m sorry. I got carried away.” That was part of the problem; Skye always got carried away, drifting on the winds of life. Live in the moment. Consequences be damned. That attitude was what had, in part, attracted me to her in the first place. And she really was sorry; I could hear the apology in her voice, in her soft caresses and tender kisses. I relaxed a little but kept quiet, basking in the attention. Hey, if she could have fun at the expense of my phobia, then I could milk this moment. “I’m really sorry. I won’t do it again. Gavi-poo. My sweet baby.” Skye cooed, voice soft as a lullabye. A warm feeling blossomed in my stomach and I relaxed even more. She began to sway side to side, rocking me gently. I relaxed even more, leaning against her and letting her support some of my weight. She took it willingly, easily, as if I weighed no more than a bird. I wasn’t a heavy guy, but I wasn’t that light, was I? Maybe she was just that strong? Her hand slipped under my shirt and a jolt of pleasure shot through me at the contact of skin on skin. Her hand was warm, slightly calloused from pole dancing as it skimmed over my back, rubbing soothing circles and drawing little designs. She felt me relax, her touch light as a hummingbird’s wing. I sighed happily, my resistance fully crumbling. I hid my face against her shoulder to hide my little, contented smile. “It’s….it’s alright…” I mumbled out, voice muffled by her shoulder. Her skin was warm and soft under my cheek; I could feel her muscles and bones shifting with every small movement. “I love you, Gavi-poo! My sweet baby.” She hugged me tight at my whispered words. Her small breasts pressed into my chest and I blushed even more as blood rushed south and something stirred in my pants. She either didn’t notice or chose to ignore it; this was not sexy time, this was comfort time. Still, I’d take whatever I could get. “I love you too.” I whispered back, my voice softer, more demure than her happy squeal. I forgave her, so all was right in her world again. I sighed, wishing my life could be so simple. “Aww, how cute! I wish you’d be that cuddly.” I cracked my eyes open at the unfamiliar female voice. A woman with mousy brown hair slopped up in a stylishly scruffy bun and limbs long and pale, built like a gazelle, watched us with what looked like envy in her eyes. She pretended to look at the Anaconda, but I felt her gaze on me and Skye as she talked down to the little Asian boy tugging on the hem of her sunny yellow sundress. An apple red balloon was tied to the boy’s’ thin wrist; it bounced in the air with his tugging motions. Huh, that’s weird. Maybe the little boy was adopted? She was cracker white, Caucasian through and through; he was Asian. Chinese? Japanese? I couldn’t tell, but definitely Asian and not from her womb. I studied them through the veil of Skye’s colorful braids covering most of my face. She was still occupied with rocking me and rubbing my back. So warm and comforting; I felt so loved, and after the scare I’d had, I was in no rush to relinquish this moment. “But, I gotta go potty.” The Asian boy whined, then frowned. He spoke plain English; no Asian accent. Just a toddler’s cute lisp. “Potty.” His lips puckered some more, as if he didn’t like the sound of the word. “Baffwoom! I gotta go baffwoom!” He tugged pleadingly on his mom’s skirt, a desperate little boy trying hard to sound grown up while insisting he has a potty emergency. “Shh. We just got here. A moment ago you were whining to see the froggies. Now you wanna potty.” She sighed, shaking her head and taking his hand firmly in hers. “You can hold it until we’re done in here. Then I’ll take you potty.” She held a gift bag just like Skye’s. Two bottles, just like the drinks we’d been given, poked out of the bag’s top. She pulled him along, vanishing behind some thick, leafy bushes that jutted out between animal displays. The boy grabbed his pants with his free hand, doing the potty dance. “Baffwoom!” he whined as she dragged him along, his pleas falling on deaf ears. “We should get going, too.” Skye stepped back, the warmth of her body melting into the warmth of the humid air as she pulled away from me. I sighed a little in disappointment. She took my hand in hers once more and tugged gently while I followed. She gave me a reassuring smile and a peck on the cheek. “Don’t worry, baby. I won’t let any more snakes scare you.” She teased with a wink and I pouted, blushing and looking away. “Here, you look kinda thirsty.” Skye handed me my partially drunk bottle of Baby Formula. I still blushed at the name, but now that I knew what it was for, it wasn’t that bad. And the drink really was so good I didn’t care much about some stupid product name. She had already taken the cap off before she passed it to me. I drank, distracted, while she led the way, tugging me along by my hand. I let her go first; that way, if there were any more snakes lurking about, we could avoid a full-blown panic attack. A huge case of preserved butterflies hung from the wall, framed by information plaques and more imitation-jungle plants. We stood, doing more staring than reading. Some of the butterflies were huge; I didn’t know they could get so big. Giant snakes, giant butterflies; was there Miracle Grow in the rainforest or something? There was the beautiful cerulean blue Morpho butterfly, the pretty black and yellow Swallowtail, the pale pinkish-purple Saturn, and the bright green Goliath Birdwing. It was the second largest butterfly in the world. The largest was also there; the Queen Alexandra Birdwing, with a wingspan of up to a foot. Can you imagine something that huge fluttering past? They were pretty, but I think I liked them better preserved and under glass. Skye oohed and ahhed over the pretty colors and wing patterns, occasionally sipping from her own bottle, while I quietly drank from mine and read the different plaques. After that came more reptiles like the giant green iguana. I didn’t mind those so much; one of my friends has a pet iguana named Daenerys, who likes to ride around on his shoulder, and she’s never bitten him, even when he feeds her lettuce right out of his hand. I’ve never been able to work up the nerve to hold her, or even pet her, but thinking of Daenerys made this iguana seem not so bad. It was actually kinda cool. The chameleon was an odd little critter; Skye thought it was cute. I thought it was just weird. Then again, Skye was weird, too. I just shook my head as we moved on. More snakes; those Skye quickly pulled me past before I could give anything more than a quick glance. Next came the small rainforest mammals. Several species of bats were on display, their exhibits mimicking caves and other natural environments. They were numerous, noisy, and extra smelly. Skye exclaimed she wanted one for a pet. I pointed out their smell; she just waved a dismissive hand. “When babies make poo-poos, it’s always smelly, no matter the species.” She smiled at me as she said it, like she knew some secret that I didn’t. I frowned, getting ready to argue the stink wasn’t just from baby-bat guano. Bats stunk, period. I was much more relaxed in the mammal section, but Skye still kept tugging me close whenever I’d try to drift off to examine some new animal, like the weird, bug-eyed furry little Tarsier. Walking in the rampant humidity took its toll on us. We were barely through the huge exhibit, our bottles were empty, and we were thirsty again. After the small mammals, we came to the aviary section. At the entrance to this was another drink vendor. The zoo sure made their money on beverages in the Rainforest Room. Skye redeemed her coupon for free drinks here. “Sure, little lady. What strength?” The smiling vendor said. He had glasses, a trimmed black goatee, a green t-shirt with the Zoo’s logo on it, and a big safari animal themed diaper. I blushed at that, edging behind Skye. “Oh, toddler for him.” Skye casually said as she handed over the coupon. I barely listened to what she said. My eyes were wide, glued to the smiling cartoon animals on the diaper. He seemed way too comfortable in it for my taste. I knew it was rude to stare, that the poor bastard was just doing his humiliating job. I tried to look away, really I did, but my eyes kept straying back to it. What did it feel like? I heard it crinkle with every move the vendor made. It looked so thick. How many wettings could it take? Did all that thirsty padding make it comfortable? It looked comfortable…..a small, curious part of me wanted to ask about it. I bit my lip. I couldn’t stop staring, but I could stop myself from opening up my big, fat, secret-exposing mouth. Still, the questions lingered on my tongue and brain, prodding me to open up. The vendor caught me staring; he just smiled in an all-too knowing way. Could he read my mind? Did he know what I was thinking? Shame washed over me and I hid behind Skye, again grateful for her tall height. “So, are you two enjoying your visit?” He asked casually as he handed the drinks over to Skye since she was in front of me. She opened mine yet again then passed me the opened bottle while she thanked the vendor and drank from hers. “We just got here not too long ago. I’m looking forward to this afternoon.” Skye smiled, anticipation in her voice, her eyes lighting up. I drank deeply; walking in the humid, almost suffocatingly damp air made me very thirsty. A small glimmer of suspicion curdled in my stomach. Skye was up to something….she wanted to take our relationship to the next level...she wanted me to move in with her…. Did she want me to marry her? Was she going to propose? My heart skipped a beat and I felt light headed and dizzy. Wasn’t the guy supposed to propose to the girl? Leave it to Skye to chuck the status-quo out the window. I felt rushed, nervous, my guts churning. Was this too fast? Too soon? Would I say yes? Of course I would. Marry Skye. Ride the wild wind, Gavin. “Ah, the fun’s just starting then. Enjoy your day here!” The vendor called, looking right at me as he chuckled. Lost in my own thoughts and swirling emotions, I ignored him. I took a deep, steadying breath as Skye tugged me along through the open doors into the Rainforest Aviary. The noise level exploded through the roof with the chatter and shrill cries of colorful birds as they hopped around their vast cages. As we watched the brightly billed Toucans and neon and teal Quetzals, a growing need filled my bladder, aching for release. Was there a bathroom somewhere in this manufactured jungle? “Skye?” I tugged on her hand. “I need to go the bathroom.” She didn’t respond right away, too busy staring at a beautiful tropical bird. “Hm? You gotta potty?” I let go of her fingers. “I’m going to find a bathroom.” She didn’t let go of mine, tugging me back to her side. My bladder ached; I bend over slightly to relieve the pressure, my legs pressing together. “Skye!” I cried desperately. “Okay, okay sweetie. I’ll take you potty.” I barely registered what she said, too focused on my bladder ready to burst. For once, I led the way, taking charge; my only goal was the nearest toilet. Skye lagged behind, tugging on my arm and slowing me down. My bladder twinged; my free hand grabbed at my crotch, trying to hold back the inevitable flood. I didn’t expect the drinks to catch up with me that fast. “Skye?!” I whined, tugging on her hand, trying to make her hurry up. Why was she going so slow? “Gavi-kins, slow down, baby. You’re going to fall, and I can’t read the signs when you keep tugging like that.” She said, so calm and matter of fact, like she thought I could hold it until she found the bathrooms. “Skye!” I cried, shaking her hand off. I couldn’t deal with this now. I had to urinate, badly. What part of that didn’t she understand? “We have to find the potty so you can go, honey.” Skye explained in the patient tone you’d use with a toddler. She snagged my fingers, tugging me back to her again, forcing me to go at her pace. Slowing me down. The need to go grew with every step. This was now a bathroom emergency. My stomach ached with my need for release. “Skye!” I tried to break away again, but she gripped me tightly, forcing me to slow down. Her words made sense, but I didn’t have time for that. I needed a potty NOW. “”I REALLY gotta go!” “I know, baby. Hush. Ah, here we go. This way.” She made an immediate left into the amphibian room, suddenly in front of me and taking control. She tugged me along, forcing me to slow down. I paid no attention to the people or displays we hurriedly past. They were just tall and small blurs, the displays and decorative plants green blurs. She still didn’t move fast enough. I tried to surge ahead as my bladder twitched and spasmed painfully. I gripped my crotch tighter and bit my lip with my effort to hold back the yellow tide bearing down on my poor bladder. “Skye! Hurry!” I pleaded. Her grip was iron; she practically crushed my fingers as I tried once more to pull away. I winced. I couldn’t break away from her, but I needed to rush. As we left the amphibian room, we heard the sound of running water. A small spurt almost squeezed out; I squeezed my pants hard, whimpering. It took all I had to clamp down on the leak. “Skye.” I whined, voice squeaking in desperate fear and pleading. “Gavi-kins, shush. We’re almost there.” Skye slowed, forcing me to slow as well. We passed a jungle themed seating area with yet another group of vendors. There was a drink cart and a snack cart. Plastic tropical flowers in bright pinks , oranges, and reds bloomed all around us. Broad, shiny green plastic leaves swayed in the moist air, stirred by the small fountain that merrily splashed down into a pond full of bright orange and white koi fish. I could’ve peed myself right there. My knees buckled as my bladder twitched painfully. I whimpered loudly. I bit hard on my lower lip, teeth pressing into the soft flesh and sending waves of pain out in contrast with the pain and urgency of my bladder. It distracted me, just a little, from my need to pee. Gave me the edge I needed to keep from wetting myself. “Here’s the potty, baby. We made it just in- oh.” Skye’s reassuring coo fell flat. Her hand tightened around mine; she helped me stand up. If it wasn’t for her hold on me, I’d have collapsed to the floor in a yellow puddle. Something in her tone brought me up short. I was almost trembling in anticipated relief but the abrupt cut off of her words jerked my head up. Just ahead were the restrooms. Closed for repairs. CLOSED. All three bathrooms- men’s, women’s and family. Yes, I was so damn desperate I’d have pissed in the women’s toilet. Better there than in my pants. Sadly though, it looked as though I was running out of options.
  6. Personalias

    It's Not A Competition.

    A piece from a Request Thread I did last year on Cushypen.com. It’s Not a Competition Jim wandered down the baby supplies aisle, past the diapers, wipes, food, and formula. Where were the toys? True, he had seen some stuff in the toy section of the store, but he wasn’t about to spend that kind of money on something some kid would forget about in a month and never remember. He briefly thought about the pet aisle and wondered if a two year old would know the difference between a dog toy and a kid’s toy. More importantly, would the kid’s mom know? “Jim?” a familiar voice called out. Jim turned his head and at the other end of the aisle was a short and spindly man with scraggly hair and tuft of chin hair that belonged on a mystery solving stoner with a talking dog. “Dale?” Jim called back. “Jim!” Dale called back. “DALE!” “JIM!” The two ran and hugged each other, as if they were long lost war buddies who thought the other hadn’t made it home. It hadn’t even been a week since they’d last seen each other. Their hug broke down into raucous laughter as they slapped each other on the back. Their own “bromance” had become a self-sustaining joke long ago. “One day I hope you love me like that,” Lisa would often quip to Jim when he went out for a night on the town with his friends.” “Dude,” Jim said, “fancy seeing you here.” “I know, right?” Dale agreed. “What are you up –?” “Dale? Jim?” A third voice rang out. Dale and Jim looked and saw him. He was half a head taller than either of them, but weighed almost as much as the two of them combined. He had the gut to prove it and the complete lack of facial hair to hide his multiple chins didn’t have a slimming effect either. “STEEEEEEVE!” Jim and Dale shouted out in unison. And once again, the ritual repeated itself, this time in a massive group hug with Steve purposefully trying to bear hug and squeeze the air out of his friends. This is how it had always been for the three of them, or at least that’s how it felt. They had met years ago in middle school, bonded, and had never really looked back. They had managed to be roommates back in college, traveled the world a bit in their mid-twenties, and were even each other’s best men (yes, plural), at their respective weddings. Even now with jobs and wives and responsibilities, they managed to meet for drinks at least once a week. “So, no joke, what are you guys doing here?” Jim asked. “Mindy sent me to get some diapers,” Steve shrugged. Jim and Dale exchanged looks. “Dude…” Dale said. “Like, are you…?” he let the question hang in the air. “What?!” Steve frowned, “No! God no! We’re not pregnant…” “Pregnant?” Jim smirked. “I was gonna ask if you were pissing yourself or something. But if that’s the case,” he gave Steve’s belly a playful poke, “you might want to go down an aisle or two. I don’t think any of this stuff will fit you.” Jim was rewarded for his sophomoric humor with Steven’s big meaty hand smacking him on the head just hard enough to remind him that Steve could hit like a truck when he wanted to. It had been well over a decade since Steve had been a linebacker for the high school football team, but that didn’t mean he didn’t remember how to ring someone’s bell. “Worth it,” Jim said as he instinctively rubbed the back of his head. “But yeah,” Steve ignored Jim, “Mindy’s dragging me to a baby shower this afternoon. Figured diapers were a safe bet for a present.” “Heh,” Dale said, “thought you’d already won the dad race or something.” “Nah,” Steve shook his head. “Nothing like that.” “You sure?” Jim asked. “You know the lady? What if this baby shower is how you find out that you’ve won?” “If you can call that winning,” Dale added. “Congratulations, dude, you win eighteen years of responsibility!” This was another curious quirk of their relationship; most everything was framed as a competition of some sort. Who could drink more, who could eat more, who could stay up watching bad movies longer, who had the highest paying job, who had the nicest house; they were always friendly competitions, but they were competitions all the same. “No, I’m pretty sure this isn’t how I find out,” Steve replied. “Pregnant women don’t go buying more tampons three days ago.” That elicited an immature shudder of revulsion from all three of them. “’Sides,” Steve added, “I don’t need to win the Dad race. I already beat you guys in the marriage race.” “Which is bullshit,” Jim countered, still grinning, “because I beat you in the getting engaged race.” “By a week,” Steve replied. “It’s not my fault that Mindy and I got our wedding planned and booked before you and Lisa.” “Pffft,” Jim scoffed, “As if you had anything to do with the planning.” “Hey, I helped!” Steve said, seeming somewhat offended. Jim crossed his arms and cocked his head to the side in a smug expression. “Uh-huh,” Jim said. “and when I was a kid I used to ‘help’ my mom lick the cake batter out of the bowl. I was a real helper, same as you.” Steve’s nose started to crinkle up into a snarl, one of the few signs that he was getting truly angry. “Guys, guys, guys,” Dale interjected. “I think you’re both missing the point. I won the competition for hottest wife.” Dale smiled wide and toothy. Both Jim and Steve’s demeanor’s instantly softened. They looked at each other, then at Dale, then back to each other. “Really, dude?” Jim snorted derisively. “You think Heather is hotter than either Lisa or Mindy?” “Uh…yeah?” Dale said. Now it was his turn to get defensive. “I mean, she’s okay…I guess…” Steve shrugged. “If you’re into that sort of thing.” “What do you mean ‘that sort of thing’?!” Dale huffed. “No, no, no, no,” Jim bit his lower lip in an attempt to hide a shit eating grin. Dale’s buttons were so easy to push sometimes. “Heather is a really nice, cool person….” And he let the phrase just hang in the air. “But…?” Dale pressed, his toes curling in his sandals. “Huh?” Jim pretended to not understand. “Nothing. She’s just a really nice and cool person.” “Hey, little buddy,” Steve placed his hand condescendingly on Dale’s shoulder, “the important thing is that she’s attractive to you.” “Oh you sons of…!” Dale puffed. He swatted away Steve’s hand. He wasn’t truly angry; not really, he knew a rib when he heard one, but it was still frustrating when you couldn’t think of a good comeback. “Heeeeeeey!” Jim exaggerated, “That’s too far, Steve. Way too far! All of our wives are attractive.” He turned to Dale. “Dale, I swear to you that if Lisa ever dies before me, I’ll have sex with Heather; right in front of you if you want, just so you know I’m telling the truth.” There was an intense silence as the three stared each other down. Then, they all burst into raucous laughter and the tension evaporated from the baby aisle in an instant. “There is no good way out of this, guys,” Jim laughed into his hand, “so let’s just awkwardly change the subject.” “Yeah, there was no way to win that,” Dale agreed. “It’s not a competition.” “So yeah,” Steve chuckled into a sigh, “last minute baby shower gift. What are you jackasses doing here?” “Two year old birthday party,” Jim answered. “One of Lisa’s work friends got invited and I’m being dragged along. Looking for a toy,” he added. “Weeeeeird…!” Dale said. “Heather talked me into going to this christening for some work friend of hers. We’re not even religious.” “Why is that weird?” Steve asked. “All three of our wives are having us do baby stuff today,” Dale said. “That’s kind of a weird coincidence, don’tcha think?” “Dude,” Steve said, “Our wives are getting the fever…” “Ugh,” Dale groaned, “we might all win that ‘Who’s a dad’ competition at the same time.” “Dude, it’s not a competition,” Jim said. “Besides, Lisa’s not getting the fever today. I practically guarantee it.” “Why not?” his friends asked. “You want a woman to get baby fever,” Jim explained, “you take them to a baby shower, or a christening, or something like that. When the kid is still crawling and cute and cuddly or not born, it seems so romantic.” “Uh-huh,” Dale and Steve nodded, thinking about their own not so distant futures. “But if you want to turn a lady off of having kids,” Jim continued, “have them hang around a bunch of toddlers. The whining, the crying, the snot, they can’t make up their damn minds; complete turn off.” “Okay then,” Dale said. “Then you mean you’re not getting laid tonight.” “What?!” Jim said. “They get the baby fever,” Dale said, “they want to make babies. You know where babies come from, right Jim?” “Do you want me to tell him?” Steve nudged Dale. “No,” Dale joked, “that’s not our place. But you and Lisa need to have a long talk when you get home. Talk. But no sex.” “Whoa,” Jim said. “I’m totally getting laid tonight. I’m so smooth, Lisa won’t be able to resist, AND she won’t want kids yet. Just you guys watch.” “What is it with him and watching today?” Steve said. “Ha-ha.” Jim shook his head. “Well I got a party to get to,” he reached for a pack of Huggies, size 5. “See you guys later.” “Whoah!” Dale said. “What are you doing, man?” “I’m getting my present for the party,” Jim cocked an eyebrow. “Why?” “Dude,” Steve said, “that works for a baby shower, but that kid already has diapers.” “Besides,” Dale added, “don’t kids start potty training at two? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to get a potty or something? At least some Pull-Ups?” “Well he’s gonna need more,” Jim defended his decision. “And it’s not like they’re gonna start potty training right at the birthday party. Most kids are closer to three when they start training.” “Fair,” Steve shrugged, grabbing his own package of Huggies, size 1, for the baby shower. “And isn’t giving a two year old a potty a little bit like giving the kid homework or like giving your wife a vacuum cleaner?” Jim didn’t really care or believe what he was saying, he just liked arguing and wanted to win. Sometimes it was a competition. “Happy Birthday, kid!” Jim mocked, “Now here’s a chore for you.” “Point taken,” Dale said reaching for his own gift package of Huggies, size 3. He looked at the duo of his friends, now staring at him like he was the biggest hypocrite on earth. “Really?” Steve and Jim both asked. “Hey,” Dale said, “it’s not like I know what to get a kid for a christening, either. Might as well go for the safe bet.” And so each one took their package of Huggies and went home, diapers in tow to their waiting wives. But as each man stepped across the threshold of their home, their world went black… The three men came to consciousness quite suddenly. The last thing each of them remembered was coming home, cheap but practical baby gift in hand and opening the door, and then, as if reality itself had had a stroke, they were here. And more disturbing to each of them, in turn, was that they each had the distinct impression of having missed time. It was difficult to describe, really. It didn’t have the groggy feel of slowly waking up from a long sleep, or the wooziness of waking up from a nasty hit on the head. It was more like they had been “on” one moment, switched “off” as soon as they had gotten home, and now who knows how much time had passed and they were back “on” again. They existed, they ceased to exist, and they existed again. They had been dead, now they weren’t. They were dead… “The….?” Jim stopped himself from talking, his voice raw and caught in his throat. He took a few more deep breaths, cleared his throat and finished, “…hell?” He looked to his left and his right, Dale and Steve were beside him on the floor. They were on the floor. All three of them were blinking and turning their heads, confused as to what was going on. “Fuck was…” Dale coughed. “…fuck was that?” “No idea,” Steve grunted. “I feel like I’ve got a two ton weight on my shoulders though.” “Where are we?” Jim asked. He sat up, the light rustling crinkle he heard not registering to his conscious mind as anything other than the slight creek of floorboards under old carpet. Dale sat up too, rubbing his eyes, his vision still blurred from whatever drug was still in his system. It had to be a drug doing this. He didn’t notice the sounds his movement was making either. Steven didn’t even think to sit up. He rolled over to his belly instead, lifting his head up oh so slightly off the ground to get a look around; but he would be forgiven for that soon enough. The room was painted pastel blue- baby boy blue- and pictures of Looney Tunes paraded around the top trim of the wall. They were baby Looney Tunes, Dale noted. Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, Porky; the whole gang. They were playing with blocks, or lying on their backs, crawling after a bouncing ball, or taking naps. Stereotypical snapshot stuff you put as the sample pictures in frames. Baby stuff. You knew they were the “baby” Looney Tunes because each and every one of them had a plain, puffy white diaper wrapped around their bums, and nothing else. It wasn’t until he rubbed his eyes and took a second look that Dale noticed that even though they were definitely wearing puffy white diapers, those weren’t the “baby” Looney Tunes. A full grown, but padded Sylvester cuddled with a stuffed Tweety Bird. Bugs Bunny, also diapered, walked with stiff legs, and an awkward gate with arms flailing, a tiny carrot in his mouth like a pacifier. Dale even noticed a scene of Porky Pig getting his ass dusted with baby powder by Granny, what could only be a fresh diaper laid beneath him as Granny hoisted his legs into the air with one hand and applied powder with the other. “Is that a fuckin’ crib?” Steve asked from his position on the floor. “It’s huge!” Indeed it was. Any one of them could have fit into the bed with the wooden bars. The entire room, each realized as they took in their surroundings, had the appearance of a nursery for oversized infants. The giant crib was directly behind them. To their right was a dresser with a concave, cradling changing mat so thick it might as well have been an air mattress. A colossal wooden box marked “TOYS” was to their left, and directly in front of them was a small walk-in closet. Jim stood up off the floor and walked to the closet. As he looked through the clothes he saw rows of shirts and shorts decorated with cartoon characters like Spongebob Squarepants and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. In the back he saw a couple of boxes of Huggies lying against the wall. The only thing that struck Jim as odd was that all of the clothes seemed big considering how they were decorated. Some of the shirts looked like they could even fit him. Jim stepped out of the closet. “Jim,” Steve called from his spot on the floor. Something sounded off about Steve, like something was bothering him; “Just a second, bro,” Jim said sliding the closet door closed. He looked at the closet door, and then turned his head to the right, where there as a door leading out of the room. Then Jim’s spacial awareness finally kicked in. “Guys, I know this room.” Jim said, looking to his friends who for some reason were still on the floor. Steve hadn’t even sat up yet. “This is the spare guest room in my house. Somebody re-painted it. Jim went for the door leading out to prove his theory. His hand clutched rough, hard plastic and he turned the knob, but to no avail. “What the…?” Jim drew his hand back and looked at the door knob. It had a child grip on it. Stranger yet, Jim soon realized as he tried to open the door again, his hand couldn’t properly navigate the grip. His fingers had developed a mind of their own, and that mind wasn’t particularly bright. “My hands…” Jim gasped, looking as though his own digits had betrayed them. “Dale,” Steve called when Jim had ignored him. Dale wasn’t much better. Dale was preoccupied with his own problems. “Jim,” Dale said, a touch of panic in his voice. “I got a problem, man. I can’t stand up. My legs aren’t working.” Jim turned from the door and looked down at Dale. He noticed that Dale was still sitting on the floor, his bare legs gathered up underneath him, and his bare feet digging impotently into the carpet. Dale looked like he was trying to rock forward, but he could barely get his rump off the ground, and his feet wouldn’t move or shift to support his weight. He just kept rocking back and forth as if that would somehow accomplish something. It only then registered to Jim that his friend wasn’t wearing any pants. Dale was clad in nothing but an orange t-shirt and ridiculous underwear printed with polka dots, circles, tiny pictures of Disney characters and for some reason the number 3. Only, Jim realized, it wasn’t underwear…not really. “Dude…” Jim said. “Are you in a diaper?” Dale, who had just then managed to shift his weight enough so that he could support his weight on the palms of his hand and the flats of his feet- like a little scrunched up cat- looked between his legs and couldn’t believe his eyes. “SHIT!” he yelped, right before he tried to cover his groin with his hands. He was beet red. Unfortunately, this caused him to lose balance and fall right back onto his padded backside. “The fuck man?!” Dale’s legs splayed a bit as he was forced to sit back down, the bulk of the diaper caused his legs to spread ever so slightly. Adrenaline rushing, Dale went for the tapes around his waist- ready to rip the infantile garment off of him right then and there- only to find out that much like Jim, his fingers wouldn’t cooperate. “The hell,” Dale said as he struggled in vain to remove the diaper, “Why won’t these tapes come off?” Dale took a closer look at what was encasing his nether region. “And who makes Huggies this big?” “Dude,” Jim laughed. “You look ridiculous. Steve, did you get a look at this?” “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, fucker,” Steve cursed. “I. Can’t. Move.” Both Dale and Jim finally took the time to notice their friend. Steve, all close to three hundred pounds of him, was sprawled on the floor, squirming pathetically with his arms and legs leeched of strength and not getting any traction whatsoever. Unlike Dale, who was pants-less, and Jim with his T-shirt and shorts, Steve was dressed in soft yellow pajamas with feet sewn in. Only Steve’s hands and head remained uncovered. And even though they couldn’t see it directly, the crinkling sound as he struggled to find purchase and significant bulge around his hips and buttocks made it obvious that he was thickly diapered. “Ha!” Jim pointed and laughed. “You guys are so messed up, man. I knew you were going to a baby shower, but I didn’t think you’d be the baby!” Steve groaned and grunted as he managed to roll back over to his back with almost Herculean effort. “This isn’t…errrrr…funny…Jim.” Steve said. “Besides, you’re dressed like a baby, too, bro.” “What?” Jim was incredulous. “No I’m not. I’m…” he looked down at himself. His T-shirt had a “Go Diego Go” logo on it, and his shorts- which come to think of it he didn’t normally wear shorts- were a soft Navy Blue color with an elastic waistband. His shoes were an obnoxious shade of neon yellow and were obviously the kind with Velcro instead of shoe laces. Still, that didn’t mean that he was dressed like a… Jim heard the crinkle as he bent over to look at his shoes, and realized it was coming from him. How he had not noticed how far apart his feet were? He realized he had appeared to gain a few padded inches of girth directly below his belly as well. Jim lifted the front of his shirt up and heard Dale and Steve gasp and start to sputter as he looked down at his waist. Poking up above the elastic waistband of his new shorts was a white paper thin top of a diaper, and for some reason, Jim somehow knew that if he pulled his pants down he’d see Mickey and Minnie Mouse holding hands on the front. Just like the Huggies that he’d bought earlier today. “There they are!” a familiar voice caught Jim’s attention. The voice was immediately followed by equally familiar giggles. Jim turned around and saw, what had made Dale and Steve start gasping and sputtering in embarrassment: Lisa, Mindy, and Heather. Their wives. “Whatcha doin’ lifting up your shirt, big boy?” Lisa came over to Jim. “Are you wet?” Then, without any further warning, Jim found his pants yanked down and his wife squeezing the front of his diaper, a dry crinkle being the result. “Nope,” she pronounced. “Baby!” Jim screeched. “Not in front of the-“ “I know, I know,” Lisa tutted as she walked around Jim. “You’re a big boy and don’t like having your diaper changed in front of the littler babies, but Mommy’s still gotta check.” That wasn’t what he was going to say at all! Still, Jim stood there, a crimson statue of embarrassment as his wife pulled back the waistband of his diaper and glanced down his backside. “Good for now,” she pronounced, letting the diaper snap back into place. Then, just as quickly as she yanked Jim’s shorts down, she bent over and shimmied them up his hips. “The fu-?” “Mindy? Heather?” Lisa talked over Jim’s astonished swearing, “How are your boys?” Dale gawked like a fish as Heather walked over to him, her high heels and the fact that she could stand making her seem so much taller than he was. “Honey,” he started, “this isn’t what it looks mmmph!” Dale’s attempt to explain was cut short as his wife shoved a pacifier in his mouth and clipped it to his t-shirt. Dale’s lips began sucking on the thing immediately, and a strange sense of relaxation began to spread through him. That didn’t mean that he didn’t notice or mind when Heather bent over and traced the thin yellow line on his diaper running down his crotch with her finger nail. “Still dry,” she said, a hint of disappointment in her voice. “Oh well,” she said, bending over, “let’s get you to your party. Dale had wanted to echo “party”, but his lips wouldn’t stop sucking, so all that came out of him was a mumbled “pahpy?” The almost stoned buzz that Dale was getting from the rubber tit between his lips was thrown off as Heather, his wife almost his exact same size and weight grabbed him under his arm pits and deadlifted him off the floor. His legs, part from shock and part from a long buried instinct wrapped around Heather’s waist. In a seamless, and effortless transition, Heather moved one hand to Dale’s back, and the other arm to under his rear end. She was holding him like a baby. “Mommy!” Dale shrieked without entirely meaning to; though the pacifier in his mouth made it come out as “Mmmmeee!”. Heather looked at Dale in the eye, and a faint smile crossed her lips. “Dude!” Dale heard Jim exclaim. Dale looked over at Jim. Jim hadn’t seemed to notice it, but he was holding Lisa’s hand, now. Jim’s hand was white knuckled, while Lisa barely seemed to register. Mindy walked over to her husband and knelt down beside his prone form. “Mindy, help!” Steve begged. “I…I…I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Mindy ignored her husband and unsnapped a few buttons running up the legs of his feetie pajamas. Barely able to lift his head up, Steve felt her two slender fingers slipping past the leg gathers of what was most definitely the diaper he was wearing and feel around. “He’s wet,” Mindy actually smiled, “but I think he’ll be okay for a little while longer.” She quickly refastened the buttons she had undone. “Wait!” Steve panicked, “You don’t mean I…I…?” The words “I pissed myself” wouldn’t voluntarily come to Steve’s brain, but they did to Dale and Jim’s. Both Jim and Dale watched in astonishment as Mindy, who while tall, was over a hundred and fifty pounds lighter than her husband, picked him up from the floor and cradled his massive form in her arms. Steve’s diaper became a little wetter for the experience. “Okay, Mommies,” Lisa proclaimed, “now that we have the stars of our party, let’s go meet the guests.” “Guests?” All three said. Then the three ladies began to walk. Dale could only hold onto Heather. Steve, big as he was might as well have been a kitten in Mindy’s arms. And Jim try as he might, couldn’t pull away from Lisa’s grip. He tried, briefly to dig his heels, but his feet wouldn’t listen and just kept in a leisurely pace with Lisa who was leading the way out of their spare guest room, down the hall and into the living room. “Lisa,” he said, “what’s going on? Why are we dressed like-?“ “Patience, big boy,” Lisa pushed a finger on his lips, which somehow shushed him. “It’s your and your little friends’ big day.” “Aaaaawwwww!” a series of overlapping and ear piecing cooes and squeals overwhelmed the men’s ears as they were carried and lead into the living room. Women, close to a dozen of them, all around their age, were sitting around the family room with gift boxes in childish wrapping paper. Jim, still being led by his wife, avoided eye contact. The women, who all seemed to know his name kept saying “Hi” to him, and waving at him. “Hi Jim!” “Hi Jimmy!” “Say Hi!” “Hi!” They were smiling at Jim, but not in a way that made him feel particularly comfortable. When he finally caved and waved back at them, causing them to cheer even more. He felt like a trained monkey. Like a captive animal he immediately began looking for exits and to his dismay noticed that there was an impossibly high wooden gate blocking his way to the front door. No way was he going to be able to jump that, not with the super thick underwear crinkling between his legs and throwing off his gait. He was the only one of his friends that could still walk, it seemed, and it was more of a waddle at present. Dale was getting more of the same, with the requests for waving “hi”. Instead of complying like Dale, he buried his face in Heather’s hair, nuzzling her shoulder as if it could protect him from all of these strangers. That only made them redouble their efforts. They started running their fingers through his hair, and patting his pack. Some even tried to poke him or tickle him while beckoning “Look at me!” “He’s so shy.” “Poor little guy” “Doesn’t know what’s going on.” Well, they at least had that part right. “Awww,” Heather reassured him, gently. “It’ll be okay.” Somehow, Dale knew that to be both true as far as Heather was concerned and a complete lie as far as he was. Steve had his cheeks pinched, and his belly rubbed as Mindy paraded him around the living room, every woman’s hand just dying to touch him as if he held the cure for cancer. “So cute!” “Oh my god, so tiny!” “Are you kidding? He’s already gotten so big!” “Stop!” Steve demanded after the first one started tickling his chin. “Stop!” He pleaded when a second one started working on his feet. “Staaaa”, he broke down into whining and squirming and squealing when an entire horde descended upon him and he was unable to do anything to stop it. “This was a great idea, Lisa,” one of the strangers said. “Having a late baby shower for little Stevie at the same time as a birthday party for Jimmy is just perfect! Two birds with one stone” she raised a wine glass. “And don’t forget Dale’s christening,” Heather chirped in. “Oh, he was so cute up there in his fancy little onesie,” One of the strange women added. “Good thing you got that off him as soon as you did, though. Wouldn’t want him getting it all messed up crawling around on the floor.” “Wish I could just crawl around the floor in my underwear,” one of the guests joked as she tipped back a glass. “Didn’t that used to be your job?” another remarked. More tipsy laughter followed. “So which gifts should we open first?” someone asked when the laughter died down. “Oh I think we should open little Stevie’s gifts,” Mindy said, “but then I’m biased.” “That’s a good idea,” Heather nodded while lightly bouncing Dale on her hip.” “I agree,” Lisa said. “Jimmy’s a big boy. He can wait. Besides, if we let him start opening his gifts, he’s gonna want to open everyone’s.” All the women nodded as if sage wisdom had just been uttered from the lips of the sage herself. Jim thought he saw a few mouth the words “Terrible Twos”. “Do you want little Stevie to open his presents?” a guest asked. “Oh, I don’t think he has the patience to sit in my lap while I help him unwrap everything” Mindy said. “Why don’t we let little ones play in the pen a bit, and I’ll open the first round of gifts.” “Agreed,” Lisa said. Lisa led Jimmy over to an impossibly large playpen that could have been the plastic, steel, and mesh skeleton of a bounce house and put Jimmy inside it. Jimmy waddled through the door, a door that a regular playpen would never need and turned around to view the party behind him. “Aren’t you worried that Jimmy might be too rough with the little ones?” someone asked. “Not really,” Heather said, lowering Dale onto the floor of the playpen with Jimmy. “Jimmy and Dale have always gotten along so well.” “And I know they’ll both be careful with Stevie,” Mindy added, as she laid Steve down the padded mat on the floor. “Now let’s open some presents!” “Dude,” Steve choked back a sob as the women began to drink more wine and unwrap presents somehow intended for the men, “the hell is going on?!” “Vey fink..!” Dale stopped and finally spit the pacifier out of his mouth, leaving it to dangle on the clip. “They think we’re babies or something,” Dale hissed. Dale managed to scramble to all fours and was now on his hands and knees. “Yeah, but why?” Jim asked. “I mean, Dale’s in a diaper, but…-” “You’re in a diaper too, asshole!” Dale snapped. “At least you can’t see mine right now,” Jim’s lip curled defensively. “Really?” Dale said, “because I’m pretty sure you’ve either got a diaper on under those shorts, or you gained five pounds in the ass and are really, really happy to see me.” “Guys!” Steve pleaded, “This isn’t a competition. We’re all fucked.” “Says the guy who wet his diaper,” Jim snarked. “Jim!” Steve growled. “I can’t sit up, mother fucker!” Both Jim and Dale had the decency to look ashamed. “I feel like I’ve been working out for non-stop and that there are invisible weights on every major muscle in my body and that my spotter is on coffee break. And I’ve got a giant sponge wrapped around my dick that’s getting wetter and wetter every couple of minutes.” “Okay man,” Jim admitted. “This isn’t a competition. You win ‘suckiest situation’ right now. How do we get out of this?” “I don’t even know how we got into this,” Steve said. “Me neither,” Jim sat down so he could look his friends in the eye. Dale shook his head, and began to grab his pacifier to put it back in his mouth like a smoker going for a pack. A glare from Jim and Steve made him reconsider. “You heard what they said, right?” Steve asked from his back. “This is a baby shower…for me.” “And my second birthday party,” Jim added. “And I apparently got Christened today,” Dale said. “But we’re not babies.” “I dunno,” Steve said. “Diapers. Wet. Hard to move. I’m kinda feelin’ the part.” It was meant to be a kind of ironic joke to cut the tension, but inside, Steve was already beginning to despair. “Yeah, we’re dressed the part,” Jim acknowledged, “and kinda acting the part, too. But that shouldn’t matter. We’re still grown-ass men” “Yeah,” Dale agreed. “How is Heather picking me up, then? Fuck, how is Mindy picking up Steve? No offense Steve.” “None taken,” Steve replied. “It’s pretty fuckin’ weird.” “So this is more than just dress up,” Jim said. “But what’s going on?” “Sounds like somebody’s hungry.” Mindy walked over and into the play pen, interrupting their conversations. “You hungry, little guy?” “Little?!” Dale shouted indignantly. “Mindy, he’s like me and Jim put together!” He reached up to tug on her dress. “Uh, uh, uh,” Mindy easily swatted Dale’s grasp away. “You’ll have to get fed by your Mommy, sweetie.” “It’s like they’re ignoring us because we can’t talk or something,” Jim said. Predictably, Mindy didn’t respond. Steve’s world was thrown off again as he was lifted into the air and cradled by what had until today, been his wife. Now, Steve wasn’t quite so certain. Soon he was separated from his lifelong friends and being taken out of the playpen. “Let’s get some num-nums in your tum-tums,” Mindy announced. “No cake for you. Mommy’s got all you need.” “Do you want room on the couch?” one of Mindy’s work friends asked, preparing to give up her seat. “No I’m fine doing it here,” Mindy said, gently settling down on the soft carpet of the living room; repositioning Steve on the floor so that his head and upper body was in her lap, and his legs sprawling on the floor. The continued remarks of “so tiny” made it clear they weren’t seeing the same thing as he was. “Time to eat,” Mindy said, as she popped one of her breasts out of her dress. “Show everyone what a good little eater you are.” Here? Here?! In front of everyone? Steve trembled, helplessly as Mindy guided his mouth to her nipple. And of their own accord, fueled by a long buried primal instinct, Steve’s lips latched on. A small but vital part of his adult-self broke away from him with each gulp, and Steve felt the warmth of Mindy’s milk filling him and sliding down his throat, as well as a very different warmth soaking into the front of his already saturated diaper. “Oh, Mommy,” he whispered between gulps. Meanwhile, Mindy whispered sweet nothings to him and rubbed his back. The two seemed, if only for a moment, completely content. Jim and Dale watched on in silence from the play pen. They didn’t say it, but both of them were a little jealous. Maybe the big guy didn’t have it so bad after all. “Mommy,” Steve gasped as he was shifted over to the other breast. “Please.” Whether he was about to beg for help or beg for more, only Steve knew for sure, and even he might not have known. All the while, giant “Steve size” onesies and jammies and teething rings and baby blankets were being unwrapped and shown to Mindy, who just nodded her approval while Steve kept nursing. When he was done Mindy sat him up and started beating on his back. Several loud belches followed in quick succession, followed by applause from the other party goers, including Dale and Jim’s wives. “I think it’s about time for a nap for this little baby,” Mindy announced while Lisa and Heather spread out a baby blanket on the floor. All the other women watched in awe as she delicately picked the giant baby up and laid him on the floor. Steve seemed drunk in a haze. “But first…” she held out her hand. Heather brought her an already open package of Huggies, Size 1, and Mindy removed a diaper from the pack. Jim and Dale’s jaws both hung wide open as they watched the tiny diaper, meant for infants only a few months old, at most, balloon into something that could fit their plus-sized best friend. The Winnie the Pooh decoration on the diaper stared back at them from their spot in the playpen. “Holy shit!” Dale shuddered. “Did you see that, man?” “Yeah,” Jim nodded mutely. The world had gone mad. “Yeah I did.” Then he looked over to Dale and a flash of blue drew his eye down to Dale’s crotch. “Whoah!” Jim exclaimed. “Huh?” Dale looked down at the diaper between his legs. The wetness indicator had turned blue. “Whoah!” Dale echoed. “I…I peed!” “Yeah,” Jim said dumbly. “When did that happen?” Dale asked. Dale stared at his urine soaked crotch and wondered. The wet squish down below confirmed what the wetness indicator told his eyes. But how could he, an adult, manage to wet himself and not even notice it until someone else pointed it out to him? “No clue,” Jim shook his head. “No clue at all.” Jim tentatively grabbed between his legs. Thankfully, as far as he could tell, he was still dry. “Mommy!” Steve mewled. “Mommy! Nooooo!” Jim and Dale turned their attention away from their own diapers to Steve getting his changed. “Such a fussy little guy.” “Oh they always hate getting their diaper changed at this age.” Mindy placed the gigantic “Size 1” diaper down and used both hands to rip at the tapes of Steve’s all but destroyed Huggies. Steve kicked feebly at the air as the front of his diaper was pulled down and cold wipes were drawn across his cock and balls before being deposited into the front of the soggy padding. Mindy easily lifted his legs into the air and wiped his ass before dropping the last of the wipes into the wet diaper and kept his hips and buttocks off the ground while she slid the old diaper out and balled it up on itself with her free hand. She only hit a snag when she reached for the fresh Huggies. She wasn’t sure how to unfold the diaper with one hand and keep her giant baby husband’s legs in the air. “Better hurry before he tinkles again,” one of the visitors teased. Lisa, still nearby, unfolded the diaper for Mindy and handed it to her so she could slide it under Steve and set him down on the fresh padding. “Pro-tip,” Lisa said, “Make sure to have the new diaper ready to go before you open up the old one.” “Good point,” Mindy said while bringing up the diaper between a still crying Steve’s legs. “Where’d you learn that?” She taped one side up while he continued to bawl. “Jimmy’s given me lots of practice,” Lisa said. Jim and Dale were sure that she winked at Mindy. “Oh yeah,” Mindy giggled, taping up Steve’s mammoth Huggies. “I guess you have, haven’t you?” “Kinda weird that those almost newborn diapers inflate to be big enough to fit Steve, isn’t it?” Jim mused. “I mean, our diapers are probably smaller than his.” Jim shuddered once he realized that he had referred to the infantile underwear wrapped over their loins as “our diapers”. “Dude!” Dale said. “That’s it! The diapers!” “What about them?” Jim asked. “Steve bought Size 1, I bought Size 3, and you bought Size 5.” Dale explained. “And that’s what we’re all wearing, and that’s how we’re being treated. That can’t be a coincidence! “Yeah, but why?” Jim wondered. “Did we buy magic diapers or something?” Mindy quickly redressed Steve, whose bawling had started to subside to whimpers now that he had a clean diaper on. Then, without missing a beat, she began to wrap the blanket around him, first binding his legs, and then his arms. Steve was being swaddled. His eyelids were drooping and he was already snoring lightly by the time he was completely wrapped. “Mind if I put him down in Jimmy’s crib?” Mindy asked Lisa. “Oh go right ahead,” Lisa waved off Mindy’s question. “Man,” Jim muttered after watching their best friend be swaddled and carried away to be put down for a nap. “Steve’s done.” “So are we if we don’t get out of here,” Dale shuddered. “Whoooooo’s next?” Heather playfully asked as she walked up to the mesh prison. “Dale is!” She opened the side and held out her arms to Dale. “Come to Momma!” Dale was never one to say no to his wife; he couldn’t resist. Hand over hand, knees scraping against the play mat, Dale crawled to Heather. “Heather,” Dale pleaded. “It’s me, Dale. Your husband.” “That’s right,” Heather agreed with all the enthusiasm reserved for a small child. “You are my special boy. Now show all these nice people how you can walk.” She held out her hands to him. Slowly, Dale reached out to his wife and pulled himself up by the hands. Then with unsteady steps, guided by his wife, Dale stepped forward. Heather took a step back. Dale stepped forward. Heather stepped back. Her steps looked easy and without effort. Dale appeared to be using a great deal of concentration as wobbly legs and locked knees propelled him shakily forward. “Jim!” Dale screeched. “Jim! I’m walking! I’m walking!” Dale sounded as though it were some kind of miracles. “Dude,” Jim called back. “You were walking this morning! And,” he added “you weren’t wearing wet diaper, either.” Dale frowned at that. “Oh man,” Dale said, the blood rushing to his face. “You’re right. I was just so excited that I was-” “Such a good little walker,” Heather interrupted Dale, “let’s go over to the couch and you can sit in Momma’s lap.” “Hey!” Jim called out from the playpen. “We’re talking here, Heather!” Either ignoring him or not understanding him, Heather continued to lead Dale over to the couch where a spot was cleared for her and she pulled her husband into her lap. “Oops,” Heather looked down at Dale’s diaper. “Someone’s a little wet.” She gave it a gentle pat as if to confirm. “Better go change him, Heather,” one of their friends suggested. “I read somewhere that if they get too comfortable sitting in a wet diaper they get harder to potty train.” “Oh, I’m not worried about potty training,” Heather giggled. “Dale’s got a long ways to go before that happens.” “It’ll happen sooner than you think,” the friend replied. Heather only giggled more at that and bounced Dale, squishy Huggies and all, on her knee. “Shhhh,” Lisa walked up the playpen. “I know you’re excited with all of your little friends, Jimmy, but Stevie just got put down for a nap and he needs his sleep. So we need to be quiet.” “Lisa, baby,” Jim begged. “I don’t know what’s going on, but this isn’t right. Let me out, please.” “Sounds like someone is getting restless for his presents,” Mindy said as she walked back in the room. “How is he?” Lisa cocked and eyebrow. “Sleeping like an angel,” Mindy confirmed. “Would you like to come out of the playpen and get some presents?” Lisa asked Jim through the mesh wall that Jim for some reason could not traverse. When phrased as the option between being left alone in the playpen, and being let out, Jim was inclined to go with the latter option. Biting his tongue, Jim nodded. “Okie dokie,” Lisa smiled. “Let’s get my birthday boy some presents.” Now it was Jim’s turn to be lifted into the air and miraculously hoisted up onto his wife’s hip. As they walked to their own seat on the couch, Jim felt Lisa give his padded rump a firm patting as if checking for something. Then he watched her mouth cock to the side the way it always did when she was annoyed or frustrated. “I didn’t know what to get Dale for a Christening,” a strange lady gave a relatively small, giftwrapped present to Heather. “I hope it’s okay.” “Thank you very much,” Heather smiled politely and then put it in Dale’s naked lap. “Go on, Dale,” Heather whispered. “Open it. It’s yours.” Dale looked to Jim. Seeing no other option, Jim nodded. It took about half a minute longer than it should have. Dale’s hands felt much clumsier than usual, as if only his fingers were drunk, but Dale finally managed to get it open. It was a book, or more accurately, it was shaped like a book. It was an electronic music box that had several thick and rigid plastic pages on top, so that it resembled a book. The writing, or title Dale supposed, was “Storybook Rhymes.” “Oh, it’s perfect,” Heather clapped her hands. “Go on, Dale,” she said to her baby husband. “Open it.” Dale opened the plastic book and in an annoyingly high pitched, sing-song voice, “I Went to the Animal Fair,” blared out of the fake book’s tiny speakers. “I went to the Animal Fair The Birds and the Beasts were there The old baboon by the light of the Moon Was combing his auburn hair!” Dale turned another page, and “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” played. Then when he turned the page back, “I Went to the Animal Fair” started playing again, only to cut itself off as Dale started to lift and set down the page experimentally. “I went to the- I went to the- I went- I – I went to the- I went to – The Itsy-Bitsy Spider crawled up the- I went to the Animal Fair.” “Hey Jim, look!” Dale looked up from his new toy, “Remix!” Heather giggled at her baby husband’s cleverness. The others laughed and clapped, happy that the baby was entertained by the simple little toy. Both Mindy and Lisa nodded approvingly at Heather. It was only the shock on Jim’s face that snapped Dale out of his excitement. “Oh shit…” Dale gasped as the toy dropped from his fingers and onto the floor. “Let’s give Jim a present,” Lisa suggested, bouncing Jim on her hip. “Here you go, big boy” the work friend who had suggested that Dale’s diaper be changed post haste to promote potty training presented Jim a box. “This is for you.” A box was pushed in front of Jim, and it was big, too, at least compared to the baby music box book that Dale had opened. “Go on honey,” Lisa said, lowering Jim to the floor. “Open it.” Much like Dale, Jim’s fingers were clumsy and really only good for opening and closing. It took a bit, but Jim managed to rip off most of the paper by himself. The sound of the ripping paper masking the crinkle that came with every step he took. It was a child’s potty, like the kind that a two or three year old- the kind of kid that everyone seemed to think Jim was- would use during potty training. Jim frowned at the gift. He reached into the box and pulled it up to his chest, hoping that maybe the thing would engorge in his hands in the same way that Steve’s tiny Size 1 diapers seemed to grow to fit him. No such luck. The thing might have been the right size for a proper toddler, but if Jim sat on it, he estimated, his knees would be up to his chest and his dick would be scraping the bottom. The giant pair of Huggies he was wearing wouldn’t even fit into the bowl all the way. He literally had more room and privacy to relieve himself in his pants than in this tiny little thing. And furthermore, he thought what kind of person gave a two year old a potty on their birthday? That was like giving his Mommy…Lisa…it was like giving Lisa a vacuum cleaner for Mother’s Day. Jim felt a pang of jealousy. It was only after he felt it did he realize that maybe it wasn’t good to be jealous that your friend got a baby toy and you got a pot to piss in. Really, the problem was that they shouldn’t be in this situation to begin with. “For potty training,” the work friend said. “He’s two, so it’s about time.” Mindy was snickering about something and whispered to Heather, who snickered back. “Oh, you shouldn’t have,” Lisa smiled insincerely. “This is very nice, but I don’t think Jim’s quite ready yet. Thank you, though.” “Oh, well,” the lady friend shrugged. “He can use it when he’s ready.” There was a bit of an awkward silence. Then Lisa brightened up and announced, “Let’s get the boys some cake!” Everyone seemed excited by that. Once again, Jim and Dale, both full grown men as far as they could tell, were manhandled and transported into the kitchen. A surprisingly large highchair and an adult sized booster seat awaited Dale and Jim respectively. Before the tray was clicked in place, Mindy and Heather yanked the shirt off of Dale’s chest, leaving him only in his wet diaper. Dale himself wasn’t completely sure, but he had the sinking feeling that the blue line on his crotch had suddenly spread a little more. “Here you go, honey,” Heather said playfully. “Eat your cake. Make it all gone.” Lisa lovingly, and expertly tied a bib around Jim’s neck. “Try not to make a mess, big boy,” she told Jim, before putting a plastic fork in his hand. Each of them had a piece of cake slid in front of them. Jim and Dale looked down at the cake in front of them. Dale looked at the cake with temptation. Jim with disgust. There was no way he was going to give in to this. Dale was another story. “Dude,” Jim said, looking at his friend. “Don’t.” “But…” Dale said, his lip trembling. “It’s cake. It’s chocolate cake.” “That’s what they want you to do.” Jim warned. “Yeah, I know that’s what my mommy wants. She told me,” Dale sighed, sounding defeated. “Dale,” Jim gasped. “Heather isn’t your mommy. She’s your wife.” “Can’t she be both?” Dale asked, a mixture of denial and hope hidden in his tone. “No.” Jim said flatly. “Dude,” Dale said. “I’m already naked. I’m in a highchair. I’m wearing a wet diaper from a pack that I bought this morning, and if I’m being honest, it’s actually kind of comfy, even if it is wet.” Dale blushed at the admission. “Like, I might not know or care if it wasn’t for the wetness indicator.” “Nobody but you and me knows or cares that I’m not a baby and that Heather’s not my Mommy,” Dale went on. “The only way I’m getting out of this diaper is if Heather- I mean, my Mommy,” a single tear rolled down Dale’s cheek at the correction, “changes me into a new one. I might as well eat cake while I’m at it.” Dale took one hand and made a ham handed fist, crushing the cake between his fingers. Then, without breaking eye contact, he shoved a fistful of the stuff into his mouth, smearing it all over his hands and lips and face. Then, still chewing, Dale went for another and ate it in much the same way. Then another. Then another. “Look at him go,” came the cooing cat calls. “Loves that cake!” Jim watched in a combination of disgust and horror. His friend had given up and accepted this bizarre reality that saw them all as toddlers and younger. And the final straw had been a toy and some cake of all things. At least Steve lost himself to his wife’s titties, Jim could sympathize with that. Soon enough, Dale had demolished the cake and even gone so far as to wipe the frosting and crumbs on his bare chest. “Uh oh,” Heather chuckled. “Looks like Dale got more cake on him than in him. I’m glad you enjoyed it sweetie.” She pinched Dale’s cheek and Dale giggled sheepishly, throwing his frosting covered hands over his face. “Such a cutie! Yes he is! Yes he is! He’s Momma’s little cutie!” Jim was entranced by this exchange, as if he were witnessing a car wreck. Was Dale getting an erection? “Any chance I can put Dale in the tub, Lisa?” Heather asked. “I think it’ll be a lot easier to clean him up, that way.” “Of course,” Lisa said. “Go take care of what you need.” Heather walked back to the living room briefly to grab a Huggies, Size 3 from the pack that was laying in the living room with the rest of the presents. Jim watched again as the diaper ballooned from “Huggies, Size 3” to “Huggies Size Dale” as she walked back into the kitchen and removed the Dale’s highchair tray. Jim sat in the booster seat at the kitchen table, staring sullenly at the untouched piece of chocolate cake as Dale was carried away on his Mommy wife’s hip to be bathed and changed into a fresh diaper. “What’s the matter, Jimmy?” Lisa asked. “Don’t you want some birthday cake?” Jim shook his head. “Oh come on, baby boy,” Lisa cooed, “Just take a little bite. You’ll love it. I promise.” Again, Jim shook his head. “Pleeeeease,” Lisa asked. Jim remained stone faced. “You’re a little old for this,” Lisa said, snatching the fork away from Jim, “but let’s see if you still like this game.” She dug in with the cake and brought a piece of it up to Jim’s lips. “Here comes the choo-choo train! Chugga-chugga-chugga-” “Get that away from me!” Jim slapped the fork out of Lisa’s hand. “Terrible twos,” Jim heard go around the room in not-so-hushed laughter and whispers. “Okay,” Lisa said, unbuckling Jim from his booster seat. “If the birthday boy doesn’t want cake, he doesn’t have to eat cake. Let’s go “No!” Jim said defiantly. “This is way too messed up, Lisa. I’m an adult. I’m not a baby! I don’t need diapers. I don’t need cribs! I definitely don’t need this birthday party.” “Oh honey,” Lisa smiled. “I know you think you’re a big boy, but don’t be in such a rush to grow up. You’ll always be my baby.” Jim’s face was hot with anger. “I am not a baby!” he stomped. “I’m not! Stevie isn’t a baby! He’s an adult! Dale’s not a baby! He’s a grown-up! And I’m definitely not a baby! I’m a big…” Jimmy stopped and grabbed at his tummy. “I’m a big…” something was bothering him, but he couldn’t quite articulate. He was looking at Lisa, but and was ready to scream, but then he just sort of stared off into the middle distance. His mind was furious but his body needed to take care of something, so he did what came naturally. “I’m a big…” Jimmy went quiet until the need had passed. “….boy.” He finished. The women were giggling. Why were they giggling? What had he done? Lisa walked around Jim, and peered down the back of his pants again. He shuddered a little bit when she reached around him from behind and gave the front of his diaper a little squeeze for good measure. Jim didn’t hear the crinkle this time as much as he felt the muted squishing all around him. “Yup,” Lisa smiled as she walked back around. It was a contented smile; a satisfied smile. Not typically the expression of a mother who just found out her toddler needed a fresh diaper. “Finally,” she whispered. “It’s done.” “So much for potty training,” Mindy laughed. “Not today. Not today.” “Come on, big boy,” Lisa smirked. “Let’s go change your diaper.” Jimmy took Lisa’s hand and together they walked, Lisa smoothly, Jimmy, waddling and bowlegged the entire way, flinching with every step towards the nursery where he had woken up in diapers earlier today. “Shhhhh,” Lisa hushed Jimmy as they went inside. “Let’s not wake Stevie. He’s napping in your crib.” Jimmy nodded, feeling a knot in his throat. He didn’t want Stevie to see him like this. He’d have to be good and quiet while Mommy…while Lisa changed his diaper for him. There was no way he’d have the will to do it himself. He flinched as Lisa pulled his pants down to his ankles and then picked him up and positioned him on the concave changing mat on top of his dresser. So much was coming back to him now, as if he had always been two “The hell is going on?” Jimmy asked himself while looked up at the ceiling. “I’m changing your diaper, sweetie” Lisa answered as she undid the tapes on his Huggies, Size 5, and pulled down the front. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.” Jimmy flinched as his legs went towards the ceiling and Lisa began wiping him down. “Used to it?” Jimmy asked, his voice still a whisper. “Soon it’ll be like you were never potty trained at all.” Lisa confirmed sliding the used diaper out from under Jimmy. She balled it up and threw it away, before reaching under the changing table and producing a new Huggies, Size 5, complete with a portrait of Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the front and a big smiling Mickey- now solo- on the back. With a flick of her wrist, she unfolded the diaper before it magnified itself to fit Jim’s decidedly adult frame and slid it under him. “Never potty trained?” Jimmy asked. Why was Mommy talking like this? It was like she knew. She knew! “You can understand me?!” Jimmy asked, confused why his wife would be diapering him if she knew and recognized that he was a full grown adult. “Yes, baby,” Mommy said dipping her fingers into a small jar of white goo. “Now hold still.” Jimmy couldn’t help but as Mommy began to smear and knead diaper cream into his bum and private parts. Mommy gave him a look telling him to be quiet lest he wake Stevie in the crib and Jim moaned into his thumb while Mommy finished her work and reached for the baby powder. “You’re still my baby, but I can make diaper changes very fun for you.” Mommy whispered. Jimmy’s pee-pee felt funny and began to swell while Mommy rubbed in the baby powder. Jim shook the cobwebs out of his head as Lisa began to pull the front of the diaper up and secure it around his waist. “How are you doing this?” he asked her. “That’s not important for babies to know,” Lisa said sweetly. “You wouldn’t understand.” “Then why?” Jim asked, on the verge of whining. “Well,” Lisa seemed to think for a moment, choosing her wording carefully. “I love you,” she whispered. “Just not as a lover. Same for the other girls.” “While you’ve been hanging out with your little friends,” Lisa said, “we’ve been talking. We all married you because we were attracted to your boyish charms, despite…or maybe because of how immature you all were with your ‘dudes’ and ‘bros’ and drinking and late nights. But we thought you’d grow out of it. You didn’t. We thought we could change you. We couldn’t.” She chuckled darkly at that. “But we all realized we liked taking care of you. We liked being needed.” “But now,” her tone brightened, “we can change you. We get to take care of you. We get to love you. And you don’t have to ever really grow up! Everybody wins.” “But…but…but…” Jim meekly argued from his spot on the changing pad. “No ‘buts’, baby boy. This is for the best,” Lisa said. “You’ll see.” “You bitch…” the words came right out of Jim’s mouth without thinking. It was the last part of his adult-self, his raging angry manhood attempting to assert itself. How dare she do this to them? How dare she?! In the blink of an eye Jimmy found himself across his Mommy’s knee, pants still around his ankles, being spanked like there was no tomorrow. Jimmy’s wailing woke Stevie from his nap and Stevie’s whining mewls blended with Jimmy’s cries of pain. Mindy ran in to see what was going on. She gave Jimmy just a passing glance before picking up Stevie and shushing him before starting to change his diaper, now wet again. Heather came in with a freshly cleaned Dale from the bathroom. He was naked save for the clean diaper he’d been put in and the fluffy white bath towel wrapped around. “He got fresh?” Heather asked. “Oh yeah,” Lisa said in between spanks. “Should have gone younger,” Mindy said in the midst of wiping Stevie. “No, Jim was most like a two year old to begin with.” Lisa said. “This was more appropriate.” “Fair enough,” Heather conceded. She turned her attention to Dale, “Just don’t pick up any bad habits from Jimmy, okay honey?” Dale nodded goofily. Meanwhile, crying, whining, snot bubbling out of his nose, Jimmy didn’t know how this had happened to him but he did know the truth: That just like his friends, he was a baby. He might have been a big one, but he was still a baby. And he’d be a baby for as long as Mommy said so and that was that. Only now, he promised himself, he was going to be a good baby. “Oh, I like Stevie this way,” she said, now that her baby husband was changed and had once again latched onto a breast. “You have no ideas how close I feel to him right now.” “I’m quite happy with my little snuggle bug,” Heather petted Dale. “Girls,” Lisa said, ending the spanking and pulling up Jimmy’s pants. She pulled him up to a sitting position and gave her baby husband a kiss on the cheek. “We all win. After all, this isn’t a competition.” The End
  7. You do yourself a disservice. Any talent that I may have is not genetic. It's like Ratatouille. Anyone can write.
  8. Personalias

    The Struggle

    Side Effects Include… “So you’re serious about this?” Jack asked as he pulled the baggy sweat pants over his diaper. The robot nanny had brought out a baggy t-shirt, sweat pants, socks, and tennis shoes, all on Jamie’s command. They were a little dumpy looking, but they were probably the only thing that could fit over the bulk of Jack’s diaper while managing to somewhat conceal it. Jack shuddered at the idea that he had just mentally labeled it his diaper. That had to be more of the nanites that had rewired his brain. Had to be. “Well,” Jamie snorted a bit, blushing her blonde hair to the side, “I wouldn’t say serious. Serious implies that I have something to lose in this. But if my new baby boy wants to play big kid for a day, I’ll let him.” She leaned in and tickled Jack under the chin. Jack felt himself “hmm” a little bit from her caress, but then made himself recoil from her touch. He wasn’t supposed to be enjoying this! “Look, Miss Vasquez,” Jack said, taking a plain blue t-shirt- baby blue, he realized- and pulling it over his head, “I can’t go to the police or tell people what you’ve done to me; you’ve made that much clear. But I am leaving, and I’m not coming back.” “D’awwww,” Jamie grinned, “He called me ‘Mommy’.” “I’m serious,” Jack said, feeling indignant. Why wasn’t she taking him seriously? “I know,” Jamie chuckled, “and that’s what’s so cute about it. You’re like a two year old telling me you’re running away from home and going out to live in the backyard forever.” “That’s…that’s” Jack stuttered, “that’s not what it’s like at all!” This mad woman was gaslighting him. Worse yet, she was trying to trick him into staying, she had to be. “Of course not,” Jamie cooed insincerely. “You’re a big boy. But just so you know, Mommy will be here, ready to take care of you while you go camping under the slide.” Jack said nothing, but instead sat down on the ground so he could pull on the socks and shoes that had been presented to him. He gave a final indignant sigh when he noticed that the shoes were Velcro instead of laced. “Don’t want my little baby tripping over his shoe laces,” Jamie said when she noticed Jack’s annoyance. Jack stood up, choosing instead to say nothing, afraid of how his mouth might betray him now that the language centers of his brain had been tampered with. “Just remember,” Jamie said slowly, almost seductively, “it can be really bad out there. But in here, with me, with your Mommy, it can be really, really good.” Disgusted with the insane woman in front of him, Jack turned around in a pivot and did his best to storm out of the posh office. However, the waddling from the bulk between his legs and the soft crinkling coming from his rear end greatly diminished the effect. “Oh Jack-Jack!” Jamie called after him. Jack stopped, his lip curling in disgust and the hairs on his neck standing on edge. “Don’t you want your wallet, baby boy?” Jack looked back over his shoulder and saw Jamie dangling the wallet between her thumb and forefinger like it was a treat for a lapdog who’d done a fairly amusing trick. Now all he had to do was beg. “I managed to save it from your little accident, earlier,” Jamie smirked. “Good thing you didn’t have a more serious accident, baby boy, or else this would be ruined.” Jack half-snarled as he made himself turn around and waddle back to Jamie. “Don’t worry though,” she added as he re-closed the distance between them, “you’ve got your diaper back on, so you should be fine.” That part, in particular, struck a nerve with Jack. ‘You’ve got your diaper back on…’ The way she phrased that was so insidious, so venomous, so condescending. The statement’s purpose, Jack knew immediately, was to imply that Jack had worn the giant diapers his employer had foisted on him before today. It was as if he wasn’t a grown man, but some naughty toddler who had decided he’d been ready for potty training, even though he clearly wasn’t. She was gaslighting him, all right, and he was done putting up with it. Jack’s stomped up to his tormentor and looked her dead in the eye. Jamie didn’t blink. Jamie didn’t look away. Jamie was in no way intimidated by him. And why should she be? He was the one who a short time ago had just pissed himself and watched helplessly as he was stripped, diapered, paraded through a gaggle of women, pissed himself again, force fed mush in a wet diaper, and then have his body hair removed and his diaper changed; all because of a woman who had taken a perverse interest in him yesterday. Jack imagined what she might do to him tomorrow. He swiped through the air and snatched the wallet from Jamie’s fingertips before shoving it angrily into the pocket of his baggy pants. “We’re going to have to do something about that,” Jamie said seriously. “Otherwise Mommy isn’t going to be able to take you shopping without worrying about you snatching things off the shelves.” Jack did the smart thing and chose not to engage her. She was trying to make him mad; she was trying to justify to herself and to him that he should be treated this way. Jack turned around, again, and moved to leave, but as he did, he felt the back of his waistband being pulled back. He stopped and looked around to find Jamie peaking down the back of his diaper. “Just checking.” Jamie said. “You’re good. Go play, baby.” She let the waist band snap back into place, before giving Jack a pat on the butt. Something inside Jack snapped right then. Without saying a word, Jack reached down the front of his pants and grabbed hold of the tapes holding the scaled-up Pampers around his waist. The tapes ripped open with a flick of his wrists, and then with the slightest repositioning of his hands he grabbed the front of the diaper and yanked up, pulling it out of his pants and sending it wafting into the air above his head. Jack knew this was a bad idea. He’d just experienced first hand that Jamie could make him pee his pants whenever she wanted. He was likely incontinent. But right now it was the principle of the matter. Jamie didn’t gasp as the diaper, still thankfully dry, sailed through the air. She didn’t laugh as it fluttered down to the ground. She didn’t yell. Instead, in a tone much less playful and infinitely more clinical, she said six words: “You’re going to need that diaper.” “Maybe,” Jack managed to say. He couldn’t think of anything else to say; nothing witty, nothing threatening. He just wasn’t going to give that bitch the satisfaction of the last word. He didn’t look back again as he walked once more towards the elevator, now no longer waddling or crinkling. As the doors to the elevator closed behind him, he heard Jamie call back, “Bye baby boy! See you soo-” Damn it. So much for the last word. “MiSs VaSqUeZ,” Nanny buzzed. “ArE yOu SuRe ThIs iS a WiSe CoUrSe Of AcTiOn?” The robot rarely offered much in the way of counsel or conversation, especially when it didn’t involve the direct care of Jamie’s big little ones; so this was a bit odd. Then again, according to its programming Jamie had just done the equivalent of sending a child out to play in traffic. So perhaps it wasn’t that odd after all. Jamie re-punched some calculations into the almost comically tiny little tablet in her hand, before looking back at the droid. A pleasant ping came back in response. “There is an infinitesimally small chance that this little outing of his will backfire on me.” Jamie said. “There’s virtually no risk. I have a higher chance of being bitten by a shark who’s won the lottery while being simultaneously struck by lightning.” “AnD tHe BaBy?” Nanny asked. “He’ll be fine,” Jamie assured her humanoid appliance as much as herself. “He’ll be back by tomorrow.” “YoU dIdN’t Do ThIs WiTh ThE oThErS,” Nanny beeped. “No,” Jamie sighed to herself, “I didn’t. But they didn’t work out, did they? And you know what they say about doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” “FiLe NoT fOuNd,” Nanny droned in reply. “Oh,” Jamie shrugged. “I guess you don’t, then. Point is, it’s madness. Scientifically and statistically speaking, I have to try something else if I expect this to work.” “ThEy LoVeD yOu,” Nanny stated. It was not suggestion, it was fact. “ObJeCtIvE cOmPlEtE.” As much as any broken man baby could. Jamie rolled her eyes. “Love and care is your primary objective, Nanny. Not mine.” “PlEaSe StAtE oBjEcTiVe,” Nanny responded. “Nanny,” Jamie groaned, “just shut yourself off until the baby comes back or until I have need of you again.” She’d grown tired of the artificial “intelligence”. “YeS, mIsS vAsQuEz.” ************************************************************************************* “Come on,” Jack whispered to himself as the elevator slowly descended. “Come on!” The elevator dinged and came to a stop, but it wasn’t at the ground floor. As fate would have it, Marty walked in, beard first, as usual. He came in and stood next to Jack, absentmindedly before doing a double-take and gasping in surprise. “Jack?” “Hey,” Jack said, nervously. If it hadn’t been whatever Jamie had spiked his food with making him unable to properly tell anyone what had happened to him, the almost crippling embarrassment he felt would have silenced him anyways. “Dude!” Marty exclaimed. “You look…different. I almost didn’t recognize you.” Jack shifted uneasily on the balls of his feet, grateful in that moment that he didn’t have a giant diaper on that crinkled with every move he made. “Yeah,” was all Jack said. He looked over at his coworker. The look in Marty’s eyes made it clear he was expecting more of an explanation. “New job,” Jack said after an uncomfortable silence. Couldn’t this metal box move any faster? “Yeah,” Marty nodded, smiling. “I heard all about it. Sweet gig, bro.” Heard all about it? Heard all about it?! Either Marty had actually heard all about it, and was subtly weedling Jack under orders- he wouldn’t put such things past Jamie-or he knew nothing about Jack’s new “job” and was only unintentionally tormenting him. The worst part was Jack couldn’t be sure which was going on. “I’ve got some good news of my own,” Marty prattled on, oblivious to Jack’s discomfort. “While you’re living the sweet life in product testing and reviewing, Shelly from HR just told me, I’ve been given all of your clients. It’s more responsibility and a bigger workload, but it’s more money for me too. So it looks like we both made out thanks to your little promotion.” “Uh-huh.” Jack said. He stared at the numbers going down. Too slow…too slow… “So,” Marty leaned in, conspiratorially . “Got any good stories, yet?” “Huh?” Jack asked. “Come on, man. You’re working side-by-side with the genius hottie herself,” Marty playfully elbowed Jack in the ribs. “What cool shit are you trying out? What’s coming down the pipeline to market?” “I…uh…” Jack fidgeted nervously. “I can’t say.” “Non-disclosure agreement,” Marty sagely nodded. “I understand.” He really didn’t. “So,” Marty said. “What’s she like, anyways?” “Jaime?” Jack said – or at least thought he said. “Mommy!” Marty barked out a laugh. “Dude! I didn’t know you were that close already.” Jack bit his tongue, angry at himself. Stupid! Fucking stupid! “I know it’s a sweet job,” Marty guffawed, “but tell me you didn’t call her that to her face. Chick that young? That hot? Being called “Mommy” would not be the way to go if you wanted into her good graces.” That decided it: Marty had no idea what Jack was going through. Jack suddenly felt a slight twinge in his bladder and cast his eyes downward, in horror. You’re going to need that diaper. Jack braced himself, ready for the yellow stream to just gush out of him and begin trickling down his legs. Surely, he was incontinent. Obviously, the dam inside of him was about to break loose and he’s piss himself uncontrollably in front of his coworker and friend. Yet, somehow, nothing happened. He still felt like he had to pee a little bit, but nothing more than “that soda went right through me”. For the moment anyway, Jack felt very much in control. The elevator slowed to a stop, dinged, and the doors slid open. Marty moved to get out, but then stopped himself. “After you,” he motioned out into the receiving area for “Sales” “I’m going to the ground floor,” Jack said unsteadily. “Lunch break,” he added. “Oh!” Marty said. “I thought you were coming to clean out your desk or something.” “I’m sure somebody else is coming for that,” Jack half-lied. “You can raid it first for anything you might want.” “Dang, the perks you must get.” Marty shook his head. “Okay, see you man.” “See ya.” The doors slid closed again, and Jack took a white knuckled ride all the way down to the bottom floor. He kept staring at his crotch, wondering he would suddenly pee himself. You’re going to need that diaper. He had to be incontinent on some level. That was the only reason to explain why he had peed himself while being wheeled around in that giant stroller. There was no other reasonable explanation. Maybe it was a command phrase. The deliberateness of how Jamie had said “Mommy wuvs it when her widdle babywears his diaper,” had to be a command phrase. As soon as the words “Mommy wuvs it when her widdle baby…” came out of her mouth Jack was sure his body would react and obey the next direction. But then again, how likely would it be for anyone else to use that phrase and make Jack pee his pants? You’re going to need that diaper. That, in of itself might have been a command phrase to his reprogrammed brain. Perhaps a time release of some sort. Jack stared again at his crotch, expecting his bladder to let loose as the elevator doors slid open. Still, nothing. Jack sighed, bitterly, and walked out into the lobby and then rushed out into the busy city streets. He was going to wet his pants again, likely at an embarrassing moment that would cement his adult infancy in his mind so that he’d come crawling (perhaps literally) to Jamie. The Sword of Damocles was hanging over his head; of that Jack had no doubt. Now if only he could figure out where the scissors were so he might be able to dodge it. As he hailed a cab to take him home, Jack felt yet another ache coming from his bladder. God, why was this happening? Did he really have to pee that bad or was the anticipation of having to pee just making things seem that much worse? A yellow car pulled up and Jack opened the door and got in the back seat. “Where to?” A man with a foreign sounding accent in the front of the cab asked. “Co-op City,” Jack told him. Jack leaned back in the seat and closed his eyes, exhaling slowly. You’re going to need that diaper. “And where is that, sir?” The cab driver asked. Great, a cab driver who didn’t know directions. “The Bronx,” Jack sighed, not even opening his eyes. “I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific than that, sir.” The driver replied in a measured and calm tone reserved for when customers were being particularly difficult or obtuse. “You want directions?” Jack leaned forward, his eyes open. This was getting to be annoying. Jack had had enough bad luck as he could stand. “No, just a more specific location than ‘home’.” The cabbi said. “I said Co-Op City,” Jack said very slowly. “In the Bronx.” “I’m sorry sir, but I do not understand you.” Fucking idiot. Guy clearly didn’t know how to speak English. Jack felt another unpleasant tingle down below and envisioned himself pissing all over the back seat of this guy’s cab. It’d serve him right, but Jack was in no mood to humiliate himself. His bladder was likely a time bomb now and he wasn’t ready for it to go off just yet. Jack opened the door, and went back into the street. “Hey!” The cabbi called after Jack. “You still owe me two-fifty for opening the door!” Jack was in no mood to argue with the useless idiot, so he opened his wallet peeled off a five dollar bill and threw it in through the passenger side window. A very enthusiastic “Thank you very much sir!” made it to Jack’s ears as he continued walking down the street. Frustrated at how easy it was for someone to get a permit to drive a cab and the fear of wetting his pants buzzing in the back of his mind, Jack walked down the street, his eyes cast downward the whole time, trying to think of a plan of some sort. He needed to see something for himself. Jack walked a couple of blocks, apprehensive the entire way, and ducked into a nearby liquor store. Without saying a word, Jack ducked and weaved through the aisles of gin, vodka, and rum and slipped into the tiny little bathroom. Door locked, Jack dropped his pants, held his dick in his hands and… And…. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He pushed. He relaxed. He grunted. He shook it. Nothing. He was as dry as a bone. But why? He felt the urge to pee, but couldn’t actually complete the act. It was like his prostate was swollen or something. Or was it shrunken? Jack wasn’t sure which one, but he was sure that not being able to pee had somethingto do with his prostate. He’d have to look that up later when he’d found the time. Jack lowered the seat and sat down on it, like a little kid. Maybe that would get things going. It didn’t. Jack looked around to make sure there wasn’t any cameras, and when he didn’t see any, he tried sticking his thumb in his mouth. Maybe there was some kind of stimulus that would trigger his bladder. If there was, he hadn’t found it yet. Dejectedly, Jack rose up and hiked his sweatpants back up. Not even bothering to flush, he walked back into the liquor store, head down in worry and frustration. You’re going to need that diaper. “Hey, buddy!” The shopkeeper called from behind the counter. “Toilet’s for customers only. You better be buyin’ somethin’.” “Huh?” Jack looked up from the floor. “Oh yeah.” Jack grabbed a bottle of rum from off a nearby shelf. Fuck it. The way his day was going, a drink would do him good, anyways. Drinking always made him have to pee anyways, thanks to it inhibiting his vasopressin secretion. (Thank you, trivia night!) Jack placed the bottle on the counter and grabbed a two-liter of coke to join it. Then, he reached into his pocket, pulled a few bills out of his wallet and all but slammed them on the counter. The store clerk behind the counter looked at the rum, and then looked at Jack, and then eyeballed the rum again. “Lemme see some I.D.”, he said. “Huh?” Was all the response Jack could muster. “Come on baby face,” the clerk motioned ‘gimme’ with his hands, “lemme see some I.D.” Jack sighed as yet another straw was added to the pile and held open his wallet so the man behind the counter could verify his age. “This isn’t you,” the clerk said plainly. “What do you mean this isn’t…?” Jack flipped his wallet around to look. It definitely wasn’t him. Jamie must have tampered with his wallet. “You don’t look like a Hector Gutierrez to me,” the man behind the counter smirked. Jack squinted his eyes to read the name on the license, only to realize he couldn’t. Some part of Jack’s mind knew it was written in English; but for the life of him, Jack couldn’t read it. The name on the license might have said “Hector Gutierrez” but Jack couldn’t be sure of that, and that made him even more scared. Language centerrrrrs “Jamie…” Jack hissed. “Don’t cry for your Mommy in here, kid.” The clerk said. “Ask her nice, and maybe she’ll by you booze. But I’m not sellin’ any to you.” “I wasn’t…” Jack started, “I didn’t mean…I wasn’t trying to say…” Jack sighed, this time in defeat. He moved the bottle of rum to the side and pushed the two liter of coke to the front. “Just this, please.” The man rang Jack up and gave him some change and the bottle of coke. It was only when he was putting the change back in his wallet that he noticed something: He couldn’t tell how much money he had. The numbers made no sense to him. They just looked like little scribbles and marks. They didn’t mean anything to him. He recognized the faces of Jackson, Hamilton, Lincoln and Washington, but none of the numbers on the bills himself. The same was true for the soda waiting for him on the counter. He recognized the familiar red and white color scheme and knew the white scribbles to be writing of some sort, but nowhere could he read the words “Coca-Cola”. He couldn’t read. That must’ve been why the asshole cabbie had been so happy; Jack must’ve peeled off a bigger bill than he had meant to; something that would have made stopping and arguing with a customer about where the Bronx worth the time. That must’ve been why the cabbie was such an asshole to begin with. Just like how he thought he was saying “Jamie” but people were hearing “Mommy”, he must also be describing his neighborhood, but all that was really coming out of his mouth was “home”. Language centerrrrrs. Fuck. Jack couldn’t hail a cab and communicate on how to get home. He couldn’t read, so the subway was out. For all he knew his brain had been damaged to where he couldn’t even be able to properly ask for directions to the correct train. Phrases like “A-Train”, “B-Train”, and “C-Train” might have been replaced with “Choo-Choo”. Fuck. It was going to be a long walk home. Jack took the coke with him as he started walking down the sidewalk. He twisted off the little red bottle cap easily enough, but then it got slippery and fumbled out of his fingers and onto the pavement. Great. Just great. Now it was guaranteed to go flat in a few hours. But soda that wouldn’t last the night was literally the least of his problems. It was at least a sixteen mile walk back home, and a trek in the heat of the day, with the sun reflecting off of the hot pavement, all while worrying about wetting his pants, wasn’t going to be a fun one. With regards to the pants wetting: Some of that had to be a trick, Jack reasoned. He was just likely oversensitive and paranoid. He remembered a time when he had a urinary tract infection; how it hurt like hell and how because of that he was particularly aware of his bladder filling up to the point of absurdity. Peeing was sometimes like an itch. The more you thought about it the worse it was. He wasn’t about to pee himself, he didn’t have anything left in his bladder to pee out again. And the best way to prove that would be to fill up the proverbial tank once again. You’re going to need that diaper. “Fuck you, bitch”, Jack muttered to himself. He tipped the bottle back…and gasped….and sputtered. Brown, fizzy, sticky, sugary liquid rushed out of the bottle and into his eyes, and nose, then spilling into his mouth and then running out the corners down his face. Jack stopped and spat as people walked by him, his face and neck dripping with coke. Like a kid who had swallowed too much pool water, he gave a loud and almost angry burp as he shook his head, splattering little brown droplets onto the sidewalk. “The hell,” Jack whispered. He had just over shot it a little, that’s all. He tipped the bottle back again, this time making it went properly into his mouth and his lips wrapped around the nozzle. He started sucking at the bottle with all his might, inhaling the sugary drink as much as he was drinking the stuff. When his own suction wouldn’t get enough of the stuff inside his mouth, he tilted his head back with it and gazed up at the sky through the clear plastic bottle. He let gravity do the work. Then Jack realized that he was gripping the bottle very carefully. He was holding the Coke bottle with both hands, one on either side of the bottle. He was holding the bottle just like a….like a…. You’re going to need that diaper. Damn it! The bottle tipped and spiraled out of Jack’s grasp from the shock of realization. Jack didn’t have time to react as liquid sugar splashed down his chest, stomach, and the front of his baby blue sweat pants. Great, he looked like some kind of drunken slob. Or, more appropriately, he looked like some kind of toddler that couldn’t even feed himself properly. He couldn’t even buy booze and yet somehow he had a literal drinking problem. Well, now his pants were wet anyways, but a diaper wouldn’t have been able to stop that regardless. Jamie had really thought things out though with what she was putting Jack through. His mind had been, for all intents and purposes, hijacked. He couldn’t read, couldn’t accurately describe important people, places, or things so that people would understand him, there was something definitely off about his fine motor skills, and for some reason he constantly felt like he had to go to the bathroom. This was likely exactly what that psychopath bitch had in mind when she let him “have the rest of the day off.” It really was going to be a long walk home. ************************************************************************************* Roughly sixteen miles later, Jack staggered home, exhausted. The long walk had given him time to acclimate and think about his predicament. It was a big city, and plenty of people freakier than a messy eater were out there walking the streets in broad daylight. And Jack definitely was a messy eater, now. A stop by a hot dog cart and ordering a foot long with the works had confirmed that much. Unless he really concentrated, he’d grasp the bun too hard or too lightly. He only seemed to be able to take either meager nibbles that provided neither taste nor sustenance or huge gaping mouthfuls that smacked up against the roof of his mouth and sprayed out into the air between bites. It had taken him five whole foot longs to get it right so that he could adequately eat his food instead of wearing it, and even then a very un-adult-like amount had stained his clothes. Fortunately “One please. The works,” had been enough to be understood. The words “Mommy” or “home” or possibly even “hot doggies” had not even needed to come out of Jack’s mouth. The guy selling him the food didn’t seem to mind. Jack’s money was still good, and Jack had enough wherewithal to remember which dead guy was on which bill. The vendor had meant well enough when he asked, “So do you have that Michael J. Fox disease or something like that?” “Something like that,” Jack replied. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” The vendor prattled. “You don’t seem stupid, if you know what I mean. Like one of those…” the man paused and made a rude gesture with his hands to his chest and cocked his head to the side for emphasis. “Just seems like your arms and mouth ain’t listening to your brain. Kinda like my grandpa near the end before senility kicked in.” “Thanks,” Jack said flatly. “If you don’t mind me asking,” them vendor kept digging, “why don’t you have some pretty nurse or somebody to help you? Not that there’s anything wrong with being independent,” he added before Jack could shoot him death glares, “but there’s no shame in getting help if ya need it.” Jack would have normally agreed with the man, except that the person who wanted to ‘help’ Jack had done this to him to begin with, and ‘help’ meant parading him around in Pampers for all to gawk at. You’re going to need that diaper. For what felt like the hundredth time today, Jack glanced down at his pants. If he was peeing his pants, he couldn’t tell because of how stained they already were. The ache in his bladder wasn’t going away, either. No relief. So that was a good sign…kind of. “Hey buddy…?” the words of the hot dog vendor stirred Jack out of his reflection haze. “Why don’t you have some kinda help?” Jack paused and chose his words carefully. “It’s…work related,” Jack said. “Oh those sons of bitches,” the vendor shook his head, gravely. “Lemme guess; you got hurt on the job, fucked up your spine or something, and they’re dragging their asses with the insurance money while you’re out there having to fend for yourself with nobody watching your back, and they’re hoping that’ll make you willing to settle for less.” “Pretty much,” Jack nodded. “Mother fuckin’ rich fat cats,” the vendor commiserated. “They think everybody else is their doll or something. Like we’re just something to just play with and amuse them, never mind that we’ve got our own shit going on.” “You have no idea,” Jack said. “Here, buddy. This one’s on me.” He handed Jack the fifth and final foot long. The one that Jack could actually eat most of the way. “There ya go!” the man’s fist pumped into the air. “Fuck those sons of bitches! If they think you’re gonna come crawling back to them because of the shit that they put you in, they’ve got another thing comin’!” Jack blushed as this perfect stranger cheered him on as if he were a toddler learning how to feed himself. “Yup,” Jack said after swallowing. “Oh,” he added. “And it’s Parkinson’s Disease.” “What is?” “That disease that Michael J. Fox has,” Jack told the guy at the hot dog cart. “The disease that gives him the shakes. Bit o’ trivia.” Presently, Jack was just outside his apartment building. He didn’t even bother trying to get home through the front door, since Jamie hadn’t bothered to give him his keys back. It was very possible that Jamie hadn’t even intended Jack to get as far as he had. Jack hoped that meant she hadn’t thought to disable his ability to turn knobs and locks. “Might as well check out what I’ve got left in me,” Jack said to himself as he eyed the fire escape. A dumpster push, jump, climb, and sneak later, Jack was just outside his apartment. Fortunately the tiny robots that Jamie had poisoned him with hadn’t taken away his natural athleticism. Now, Jack was poking and prodding the windows of his living room, trying to remember which pain was the loose pane. “Come on, come on,” Jack muttered. He was rewarded with the feeling of a small pain of glass jiggling like a loose tooth. Jack’s pokes became outright pushes and the specified piece of glass came right out and fell to the floor, shattering. If Jack had had better neighbors, he might get the police called on him for trying to break into his own apartment. Jack did his best to will his arm to become a snake as he twisted and contorted himself to reach through and unlock his own window. He almost dislocated his shoulder, but he was able to trip the latch, allowing him to slide the window open. Once he was inside, and the window was closed and latched again Jack collapsed in exhaustion and laid on the floor. His eyes closed and if it weren’t for the sounds of the city outside streaming into his apartment through the missing pain of glass, he might have thought he was dreaming. You’re going to need that diaper. Jack sighed. He still hadn’t managed to pee since he’d put on non-absorbant clothes. Now was as good a time as any. He was exhausted, but then again, all he really had to do was properly relax his bladder and let nature take its course. Maybe that’s why some people called public toilets “restrooms”. He picked himself off and walked to the toilet, feeling the need to relieve himself welling up inside of him. Not even bothering to stand, he dropped his pants, sat down, and… And… Nothing. No gush. No trickle. No nothing. No relief. And try as he might, Jack couldn’t make himself pee. He definitely had to go to the bathroom, he knew that much himself. “What gives?” Jack asked himself. You’re going to need that diaper. Jack couldn’t understand what was happening. Why couldn’t he pee? Why wasn’t he peeing more often? Why hadn’t he peed himself on any number of occasions throughout this miserable day? He couldn’t speak like an adult when it mattered. He could barely eat like one. Why wasn’t he pissing his pants? Everything Jamie had revealed told Jack that she had wanted to treat him like a big baby. And babies didn’t have any kind of bladder control. That’s why they wore… You’re going to need that diaper. Eureka! What if Jamie hadn’t meant that Jack was going to be incontinent? What if Jamie had meant that he was going to need diapers? What if after the initial “accident”, Jamie’s tampering with his brain had made him absolutely and definitively diaper dependent? What if he wasn’t incontinent? What if he wasn’t un-potty trained? What if by some strange mechanism, Jack was now diaper trained? Only one way to find out. Jack hiked his pants back up and went to the front door, the urgency of his need eating away at his composure. He unlocked his door and let himself out. If some burglar wanted to rob him, let them. He had more urgent matters on his mind. The nearest pharmacy and convenience store was an agonizing four blocks away. Every step Jack took caused a festering pain in his nether region. Briefly, Jack’s mind flashed to how in ancient times men’s penises were tied up and they were force fed wine until their bladders ruptured. That was not a fun bit of trivia to have in his mind right now. Would that happen to him? If something in his brain was making him hold it in right now, would his bladder ever give out or would it rupture and kill him? Even if it did give out, would the strain do any kind of long-term damage such as true incontinence or would he be subject to a life of excruciating pain until inevitably he peed himself? No option seemed good, and the lesser of these evils lay in front of him. With pain driven steps, Jack walked into the store and went straight for the embarrassing medical products aisle. He grabbed a package of Depends without breaking his stride and went straight for the men’s room. The handicap stall in the men’s room didn’t give Jack much in the way of privacy, but it did give him room to change his clothes. In a perverse reversal of order of operations, Jack was squirming and squinting and shifting from foot to foot– doing a potty dance- as he opened up the package, kicked off his shoes and pants, and slid the adult pull-up up his hips. The tiniest trickle came out of him was he was padded and Jack held his breath. Yes? Yes? Then nothing. What the hell was going on? He was diapered, wasn’t he? The condition had been met. He was wearing a Depends for God’s sake! He was as diapered as any… You’re going to need that diaper. Jack looked over to the wall in the handicap stall and saw the baby changing station on the wall. Oh no. Jamie hadn’t put him in an adult diaper. It was adult sized, but that was the only thing “adult” about it. Still without pants, Jack dashed out of the men’s room and ran to the baby aisle. He grabbed a package of Pampers before doing a U-turn and running back into the men’s room. The started shouts and guffaws of other customers echoed behind him as he ran back into the men’s room handicap stall from which he came. He ripped open the package and the sweet smell of baby perfume wafted up to his nostrils. The cast of Sesame Street smiled at him from the soft padding in his hands. Jack unfolded the diaper and stuffed it in the front of his incontinence brief. It wasn’t even ten seconds before Jack felt the sweet humiliating relief of his bladder relaxing and the warm wet liquid gushing into his pants. The baby diaper didn’t hold much comparatively, and it wasn’t long before the leak guards failed and leaked out the sides and back and into the waiting Depends. The diaper was sagging with the better part of a day’s worth of urine. Jack had just put on the diaper and already he needed a change. He grimaced and looked down at the packages on the bathroom floor. These things weren’t cheap, either in the long term. He was effectively incontinent, but required baby diapers in addition to incontinence products that might actually get the job done. A catheter might work, Jack considered, but that was painful and expensive too. Plus, he highly doubted any kind of medical scan would indicate a blockage explaining why he could no longer pee on command, so there likely wasn’t an insurance company in the world that would pay for the supplies. Some nagging feeling also told him that it wouldn’t go over well if he requested a brain scan to prove that his “Mommy” at “Mommy’s work” had drugged him so that his name was “Jack-Jack” and now he couldn’t go pee in the potty. He was also effectively illiterate, and he ran the risk of literally not knowing what he was talking about. Was this how it was going to be? Buying adult diapers and baby diaper stuffers so that he could have the comfort of being able to uncontrollably wet his pants or else be in constant pain from a bladder that wouldn’t unclench otherwise? And having almost no skill set with which to support himself? Jamie literally had something that no one else could give him. Diapers. Rent free shelter. Bottles he could drink, and food he could eat. And like the guy at the hot dog stand had brought up, was it really that bad getting help taking care of himself if he needed it? More importantly, did he really have a choice? The door flung open and a man walked into the restroom. Based on the logo on his polo shirt, he worked here. “Excuse me, sir,” the man began. “Here,” Jack cut him off. He handed him the wallet from his sweat pants. “Take it. There should be just enough money left to cover the diapers.” “Sir, if you don’t put your pants back on I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store,” the man said with a mix of practiced forcefulness and a touch of fear. Jack must’ve looked like some kind of crazy to the man, and everyone knew you just don’t mess with crazy. “I’m already leaving,” Jack said. No looking back now. Only forward. It was going to be a long walk back to Jamie. “D’aw,” Jamie cooed. “Look who came back!” It was late, but not too late, as far as Jamie was concerned. Jamie had stayed in her office and was prepared to spend the night in case Jack had decided to come back. Just as she was getting ready to fall asleep on the couch, security buzzed her and let her know that a strange man wearing just a ratty t-shirt and an adult diaper was banging on the front door. Of course she instructed them to let the boy in. Jack now stood before her, at the doorway to her office, smelling of sweat and stale urine, an adult diaper swaying like a pendulum between his hips. “Awww,” she mocked her new fascination. “You missed your diapers, so you came back didn’t you?” Jack didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to. Jamie was certain and her calculations were correct: If the meddling with his language centers didn’t do the trick, the trouble eating and the diaper dependence would. Jamie was curious though. With the programming from this batch of Dominance nanites, he shouldn’t even have been able to relieve himself in an adult diaper. Casually she leaned over and pulled back the front of his diaper. Sure enough, there was a baby diaper of some sort stuffed in there. He had managed to find a loophole in her programming. To say that she was impressed would actually be an understatement. She’d have to remember that for future batches of Dominance. Maybe this baby boy would provide more fun for her than expected after all. Still, she was going to win and that made it all better. “Such a clever boy,” Jamie patted her charge on the head. “But aren’t you tired of wearing these homemade diapees? Don’t you want some that actually fit you?” “Yes, Mommy…” Jack said, his head bowed. He hadn’t meant to say “Mommy,” Jamie knew. Likely he had just thought to say “Jamie” or perhaps “ma’am.” But soon enough, he’d call her “Mommy” and mean it. Jamie smiled. “Let’s go home.” To be continued….
  9. Personalias

    Better Late Than Never

    (Dakota) It was like a train wreck, or a car crash, or a terrible circus accident involving hungry lions and fat clowns. Point being: Dakota just couldn’t make herself look away. She and Kelsey sat on the floor, not ten feet away from the adult sized changing table, their legs forced apart by the sodden bulge in their diapers. On the changing table was Susie, and Dakota couldn’t take her eyes off the girl. It was like watching a snuff film, but only the adult part of the girl was dying. She watched with morbid fascination as the polka-dot panties were shimmied off of Susie’s hips and off her legs, revealing her swollen, oversaturated diaper; shades of yellow and brown overpowering the once pristine white outer layer. The mean girl turned brat couldn’t help but steal a glance between her own legs? Was her own diaper that ruined? More worrisome, when had she wet herself? She could have sworn that she’d been clean when the adult had strapped her into the highchair, yet the squish from squelching squish when she’d been set down on the floor was no mistake. Looking back up to the changing table, Dakota saw Susie holding that dumb stuffed rabbit over her head, tilting it back and forth like she were making it fly; giggling too. Meanwhile, a complete stranger tended to the space between her legs. The sound of ripping tapes caused Dakota to flinch. Kelsey, little bird that she was, jerked in surprise too. Then the diaper was pulled forward, and Dakota spit out her paci for fear she might vomit on it. From front to back and even a bit on the sides, Susie was coated in her own mess. Even the daycare worker-who from her perspective had to have had plenty of years dealing with things like this-let out a guttural “Oof” and fanned her hand in front of her own face. Susie just giggled and played with her bunny. It was mesmerizing in a way: Susie by her dumb stuffie; the other two by the sight of her having poop wiped off her vagina. Averting her gaze, Dakota’s eyes darted down past her nose and towards her mouth. How did her paci get back in there? With great effort, she took the pacifier out of her mouth for what felt like the millionth time. “This is so weird.” “I know, right?” Kelsey whispered back. “And we’re next. On the changing table, I mean.” Dakota gave a half-playful half-mocking nudge to her (until recently) rival. “Not that,” she said. “I mean the stuff that’s going on in my head. I didn’t even know you this morning, and now I’ve got all these memories flooding into my head from before. Further back than most people ‘member.” She stared as the rest of the poop was scraped from Susie’s most delicate parts, and then the daycare employee went to work closer to the point of origin. “It’s not normal.” “Not used to empathy?” Kelsey asked. Yes. But that’s not what Dakota had been referring to. “It’s memories…and feelings. Like, we were strangers this morning. We’d forgotten each other. And that’s normal, right?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “And even if we found out we used to be friends; that was twenty years ago. We should be like…I dunno…meeting each other for the first time all over again. But it’s all fresh in my head like it all happened yesterday all of a sudden. It feels like we’ve always been best friends; like our whole friggin’ grown-up lives never happened.” “More like they happened…” Kelsey paused. Dakota sincerely hoped it wasn’t because she was doing something in her pants. “..but all those years happened here instead.” “Exactly!” Dakota almost screamed. Dumb little bird wasn’t so dumb after all. “So, it’s like I look up there,” she gestured to the changing table where an absolutely vile diaper was being rolled up from beneath Susie and thrown into a nearby pail with an audible thump; “and I’m seeing two people. One of them is my best friend and this is perfectly normal and right. The other is my best friend and she shouldn’t have to go through this kind of crazy.” A hint of a sob threatened Dakota’s composure. “A-a-and I don’t want her to be my friend. I don’t want YOU to be my friend…no offense…” “None taken.” “It was just so much easier when I was surrounded by people I didn’t care about. I could write them off as stupid, or crazy, or whatever. And now I’m remembering planting stuff in a garden with you…and feeding ducks at a park with her…and naptimes and sleepovers…” “How old were we?” “That’s the thing. It’s getting harder for me to tell.” Dakota sniffed, and started twirling her pigtails around. Better to keep her hands busy. “As soon as Susie told us about the wish, it’s like a switch got flipped on my head and stuff is getting edited while I’m not looking. When I think back to the wish we made I keep seeing us like we are now, not like we were then.” Kelsey looked distinctly disturbed. “Yeah…me too.” She moved to give Dakota a hug. Dakota released one of her pigtails and held up a hand to stop her. They both turned and watched as a fresh diaper was unfolded and slid under their (almost forgotten) friend. A cloud of baby powder soon covered her bum and genitals. If Susie was bothered by any of it, she didn’t signal anything. “So if we’re gonna get out of this, we gotta…” “I know, I know,” Dakota cut Kelsey off. “We gotta wish on something else. You think this wishing fountain at the college will really work?” The front of the diaper was pulled up between Susie’s legs and taped snugly around her hips. Susie was only now making things difficult by kicking at the air playfully while the daycare worker tried to work the polka-dot baby panties back over her legs. “It’s gotta work,” Kelsey insisted. “It’s how magic works. You believe hard enough, and it happens.” THAT rang a few bells. “How do you figure?” Kelsey shrugged nonchalantly. “It’s how it happened the first time.” “Yeah.” “Also, I read it in a book.” Despite herself, Dakota arched an eyebrow. “Yeah? Me too.” “Oh? Weird. Huh?” “Not compared to this.” A loud rustling crinkle announced Susie’s presence. Even though her diaper had been changed and was now considerably less bulky due to lack of use, Susie still had the same ungraceful waddle of a one year old still figuring out the finer points of locomotion. With surprising speed and no control, Susie plopped down on her padded rump. It was less of a controlled sit and more of a lucky fall cushioned by the diaper. “Hi guys, whatcha talkin’ ‘bout?” Neither Dakota, nor Kelsey had time to answer before a pair of hands reached down and picked Kelsey up off the ground. Dakota saw Kelsey tremble. “I guess I’m next,” Kelsey whimpered as she was taken. Naturally, Susie was oblivious to her companions’ discomfort. Whatever cosmic drug had entered their system, Susie was tripping balls on it. By comparison, Dakota and Kelsey were only getting a mild buzz; just enough so that they could function. “Hi Dakota.” Dakota slumped, her eyelids going to half mast to hide her contempt. “Hey Susie.” The new Forbie rolled over onto her back. “I think I like gettin’ my diapee changed, now.” “You don’t say…” “You get to smell nice and clean,” Susie went on. “And the powder feels really good. And the crinkle sounds nice. And it just mooooves different than a wet diapee.” As she was counting off the merits of her new underwear, Susie kicked her legs in the air and started playing with her toes; giving each one a tiny pinch before moving onto the next one. Was she playing “this little piggy” with herself? Ugh. “And they’re kinda like undies but not. Like they can get covered up, but it’s okay if everybody sees ‘em. They’re cute too.” Dakota inhaled deeply, the air going into her nostrils carried a deep sweet scent of fresh baby powder. It really did smell nice. Better than the faint odor of pee-pee that surrounded the ex-gold digger. Soon though, Dakota would get to smell pretty, like Susie. Dakota liked smelling pretty. That thought was a mistake, Dakota realized. “Stop it,” she said out loud. “Just stop.” The forever baby that used to be her friend, rolled to her side, her legs plopping to the ground. She propped up her head on one hand and looked Dakota in the eye; her legs still splayed, unable to come completely together due to the large bulk between them. “Whyyyyyyyyy?” “You’re not supposed to be this way,” Dakota reminded her. “You’re supposed to be…I dunno…I’m guessing a boring but responsible grown-up.” Dakota wasn’t sure. Everything in the memory department was starting to align and tell her that yes, Susie was more or less acting the way she’d always acted, but common sense screamed otherwise. Just earlier this morning, the big dumb diaper butt in front of her was acting infinitely more like a grown-up. But that was Susan. Maybe Susie, as Dakota couldn’t help but think of her, was a completely different person; a baby in an adult’s body. Would that happen to Dakota, she wondered? Would she just cease to exist and then some two year old (if that) copy of herself would just take permanent residence in her skull? “You’re not supposed to be this way.” She repeated. The Forbie’s eyes fluttered, a random thought popping into her head. “Don’t I get ta decide how I’m s’posed to be?” Dakota’s diaper was already wet enough that it was getting difficult to tell just how wet it was; but she wouldn’t have been surprised if she had just let another little spurt out in surprise. “But you didn’t,” she said. “The wish did.” “But I made the wish,” Susie replied. “You said.” Her tone wasn’t accusatory or mocking. None of the bitterness that was making itself home in Dakota’s soul lingered in the other girl. “It was my wish a long time ago. But it was still what I wanted.” Dakota shook her head, disgusted, but with what or whom she couldn’t tell. “What did you want?” “Not to be my Mommy.” The blonde girl blanched. “Wuh? That’s kinda…dark.” Dakota’s companion pushed herself up into a seating position, the crinkle of the diaper still audible in every move and little shift. “I don’t hate my Mommy,” she explained. “When I got biggerer, she just wanted me to be more like her,” she took a breath, “And I just wanted to be…to be…me.” Years of self-training, of droning out countless boyfriends as they rambled on about whatever self-important nonsense they were rambling about, told Dakota that Susie wasn’t done talking yet. “I used ta be a tomboy,” Susie confessed. “I threw away all my pretty clothes and dollies because dressies and cutesy stuff is what Mommy wanted. I wanted different. It was fun rollin’ round in the mud and playin’ with the boys…” a slight blush came over Susie. “I think I’m gonna do that more later,” she added “but now I get to be a girly-girl too.” Ten feet away on the changing table, Kelsey let loose a fresh gush of pee-pee just as her new diaper was being slid underneath her. The poor little bird buried her face in the palms of her hands while the grown-up sighed and began re-wiping her. “There’s less difference ‘tween boys and girls right now,” Susie kept on rambling. “We all squish and stink and then get changed and smell pretty and like soft and squishy and fluffy things. So I can do both if I want to.” Flashes of Brendan’s rejection of her for ‘cooties’ bubbled up to the surface. The slightest pang of heartbreak echoed inside of her. “I wouldn’t bet on that. Boys suck.” Shouldn’t have said suck. Just the thought of it made her lips itch for her paci. Susie frowned. “What happened to you?” “I grew up.” “Yeeeeeeah,” Susie said. “That’s not workin’ on me. How’d you turn into such a…a…a…?” “B-word?” Dakota offered, unable to say the actual swear word. The other girl’s eyes lit up. “Yeah! That’s it! A brat! How’d you turn into a brat? You used to be so nice and cute.” “Till I wasn’t…” Dakota mumbled a little too loudly. Crinkling all the way, Susie crawled over to Dakota and sat directly in front of her, like a puppy begging for attention. Darn it. Dakota wasn’t getting out of this too easily. “I used to be the cute and precious one in my family,” she explained. “Then my little sister was born, and I wasn’t the baby anymore. I was four. I couldn’t out-cute her. So I found…other ways to get attention.” “Like bein’ bratty?” The brat pressed her finger to Susie’s lips. “Don’t interrupt. I’m only saying this because that grown-up can’t figure out how to button up Kelsey’s plastic pants. Long story short, I couldn’t make people like me, but I figured out how to make people hate me. Then I figured how to make people fear me. Then puberty came and I figured out how to make people want me,” she gestured to her body as if she needed no further explanation on that front. “And somewhere along the line, that became normal. I needed attention, I figured out how to get it…and yeah…attention is what I got.” “But you didn’t get nothin’ else, didja?” Susie observed. “Like love, or happiness or that other stuff that matters. You stopped bein’ the baby, and you haven’t been happy since.” Dakota slumped down again. “Yeah…” The other girl leaned in to give her a hug. This time Dakota didn’t stop her. It felt nice. “Look on the bright side,” Susie said. “You get to be the baby again. At least for a little while.” A lightbulb went on over Dakota’s head. “What do you mean ‘a little while’?” “When we unwish this wish.” Confused, Dakota asked, “You mean you like being a big baby but you’re still going to help us?” The newest forever baby scoffed. If it were possible for a giant infant to look well and truly offended, this is what it looked like. Susie said, “Of course I am!” For once in her life, Dakota was at a loss for words. Fortunately Susie had enough to spare. “I like bein’ drunk too, but I don’t wanna be drunk forever. And you guys are my bestest friends. I’d do anything for you.” Some long unrealized tension left Dakota’s soul. She’d been assuming that Susie wouldn’t be helping them from here on out. Maybe there was more than a little Susan left inside that baby brain. Over Susie’s shoulder, Dakota made out the last of the poppers being snapped into place on Kelsey’s diaper cover. “One thing that keeps bugging me,” Dakota said in hurried tones. “We all wished on that start together and it changed the world. Don’t we need to wish on that fountain together?” “Yeah?” Susie nodded. “So?” “In case you didn’t notice,” Dakota said, “we don’t have our own cars.” Susie smirked. “So? We can fix that easy.” “How?” “Oh Susan,” a daycare worker called out, “Look who you left at the changing table.” Kelsey was holding the grown-up’s hand, looking ashamed of herself. In the other hand was- “FLOPSY!” The big baby reached out and clutched the stuffed bunny like it was her most prized possession. “Flopsy kept Kelsey company near the end while she was getting changed.” Kelsey’s face almost beat her padded bottom to the floor as she retook her seat next to the others. Looking up at the grown-up standing above them staring down expectantly, Dakota knew it was her turn next. She couldn’t though, she just couldn’t. She didn’t know what brilliant idea Susie had to get them all to Kelsey’s wishing fountain at the college. The rational part of her brain told her she could just bring it up again after she got changed, but the fearful paranoid part of her brain panicked that Susan’s mind would drift off again into full blown Susie territory. “I’m not ready to get changed, yet!” Dakota blurted out. “Oh?” The grown-up asked. “Why not?” How to stall? How to stall? Thinking quickly, Dakota rolled over onto all fours. “I’m…pooping?” The grown-up leaned back from trying to pull the ex-gold digger to her feet. Dakota looked to Susie. “How do we get to the fountain?” Susie giggled. “We get our Mommies and Daddies to take us.” A fart escaped the blonde bimbo baby. If she could have slapped her own forehead without losing her balance, she would have. Kelsey asked the question for their indisposed colleague: “Why would they take us?” Their regressed friend scoffed. “Cuz we asked ‘em to. We’re cuties now. And friends.” “That doesn’t mean…” Dakota started, then stopped. Uh-oh. This bluff was becoming more than a bluff. “…That doesn’t mean they are,” Kelsey finished. A sly, almost Cheshire cat smile crept across Susie’s mouth. “We’re best friends now, remember? Betcha we’ve done sleepovers a million times. They know each other.” “Sleepover,” Dakota grunted. Kelsey started connecting the dots. “We do a sleepover with the fountain as a meeting spot for pickup…” Dakota finished, “We can make…our wish.” She finished more than just the sentence. For the second time that day, the back of her diaper was filled. For the first time that day, she actually felt a sense of relief come with it. “Okay…” she panted, looking back up at the patiently waiting grown-up. “I’m ready. Change me.” Thanks. I guess that's my strong suit.
  10. Wouldn't I lose value if I were cloned?
  11. Personalias

    Better Late Than Never

    Friends, What can defeat magic, this reality bending yet fundamental force of the cosmos? What can possibly contend with something that makes wonders by working one’s will? The foolish magician will say “nothing”. Nothing can beat magic. That’s why it’s “magic”. Swords rust. Soldiers die. Eventually the sun and stars will burn out of existence. But magic? Magic is forever. Magic wins. Look around though, friends. If magic is real, and so potent as to make the sky kiss the ground, why isn’t there more of it? Even with the limitations of belief and the human psyche, all it would really take is two to three potent magicians to make belief a papier-mâché barrier. Seeing is believing, isn’t it? So why haven’t we seen more of it? Why are we not running around with our magic wands casting whatever spells need to be cast to make our lives more bearable. Or at the very least, why are we not currently being ruled over by magical god kings as the legends of nearly every culture depict? If you’ve read this far, you can surmise that the most “logical” reason isn’t “magic isn’t real”. It’s because at some point in the forgotten history of humankind, magic was defeated and dispelled from reality; all of the potent energy of the mortal imagination and desire rendered latent, just waiting to be tapped into again. The question still remains, though. What can beat magic? -An excerpt from “Do You Believe In Magic?” By Cornelius Crowley. (Susie) Tears made the room blurry. They made Susie’s face hot and uncomfortable. The hot wet feeling of them dripping down her cheek and onto her polka dot dress was a constant reminder of her own folly. The little balloons of snot that bubbled out of her nose whenever she exhaled weren’t much better either. She’d been crying for the better part of an hour, Susie estimated. They had all been crying; Kelsey and Dakota, too. The other Forbies would be crying too if they knew what the three of them knew. Any sane and rational person would. They had doomed themselves. They had doomed roughly everyone in the world who was close to their age. All because of some stupid wish that had decided to come true twenty years too late. No more college. No more jobs. No more cars, or sex, or money, or privacy, or anything that made being an adult bearable; all because Susie and her little friends hadn’t wanted to grow up. Susie had been the first to remember it, that fateful early morning in a daycare not unlike this one. She wasn’t the last though. Her screeching, panicked cries of “Guys! It was us! We fucked the world! We did it! Our fault! Our fault!” had not fallen on deaf ears. The world had been placed under a leaky faucet, but Susie could still recognize her companions clapping their hands over their mouth and screaming. Whatever bit of mundane detritus that had kept that memory of that day trapped in the bowels of the girls’ subconscious had been swept away with Susie’s proclamation, and her own lone wail had become a chorus of shrieks and swears. The swear words hadn’t fallen on the deaf ears of the grown-ups, either. Hands on shoulders were shirked off, and admonitions and cries of “language!” were drowned out by a sonic sea of bellowing curses. “TIME OUT! ALL THREE OF YOU! TIME OUT!” Susie hadn’t known who’d said it, hadn’t heard where the voice had come from, but something about that phrase had sparked something inside of her. Time out? Time out?! She’d gone from diapers to underwear; from elementary school to graduation; from the kitchen of her mom’s greasy spoon to college; all waiting for the time when she could finally be her own person. Now some cosmic force that was beyond her twenty-two year old comprehension- never mind her two year old comprehension-had yanked her back to the very beginning. And there she’d wait. Forever. Forever Mommy’s little girl needing to be dressed in frilly outfits, spoon fed in a high chair, pushed around in a stroller, and have her diaper checked and changed for her lest she get a rash. Her entire life was in time out right now. She’d looked down at Flopsy lying on the floor where the stuffed animal had been dropped. “No fair.” Flopsy was right. If she was going to time out, she might as well earn it. Even Dakota had let out a yelp of surprise when the first chair went flying. Then the second had happened. Then the third. Then screams of fear and delight joined the three girl’s wailing as they became a living hurricane, tearing through the entire playroom in a blur of fury and misdirected self-hatred. Snacks went sailing through the air. Blocks created a minefield along the floor. Tables became barricades as more of the forever babies joined in, though much more jovial than the three who started it. It had been half food fight, half toddler temper tantrum, and half-prison riot. Some part of Susie’s brain told her that there was something wrong about that, the math didn’t work out or something; but she couldn’t quite put her finger on the “why” as she had sent coloring pages ripped free from their books and crumpled into little balls hurtling ceiling word. The great Big Little Daycare Riot didn’t last long, though. From Susie’s vantage point, she’d been stuck as a twenty something toddler for a little over a day. She and her fellow hell-pavers still retained memories of being a big girls, almost grown-ups themselves. To the rest of the world though, they’d never gotten as far as pre-school before their condition of being “forever babies” had been diagnosed. That meant that the workers of the Big Little Daycare had existed in a world for sometime where their occupation was half nanny, half psychologist, and half insane asylum orderly. Susie, Dakota, and Kelsey trashing the room was just another day at the office for them. The other children were shuffled outside to the playground and in short order the three were cornered and contained, with adults pinning them to the floor as they uselessly thrashed and screamed. The fight hadn’t lasted long after that. The cleanup had. The good news was that the Daycare had a strict “no spanking” policy. The bad news is that that didn’t exempt Susie from punishment of any sort. So while the rest of their class stuck in arrested development was having an impromptu play session outside, the three girls were stuck cleaning up their mess under adult supervision. This was difficult, Susie found, because not only did she not remember how the playroom was supposed to look; her first visit being only a few hours ago, but she was having trouble with even more basic skills. “Hey Dakota? Do you remember where the coloring books are s’posed to go?” Dakota looked up from the pile of blocks she’d swept together with her hands. She rolled her eyes. “With the other coloring books.” “But what table?” Kelsey was still picking crumbs out of the carpet. “The circle one…I think. We were there a second before…this-“she gestured to the wrecked playroom. Biting her lip, Susie nervously asked, “Which one is the circle again?” She must have been quieter than she thought, whispering when she had meant to speak. Neither of her friends replied or even looked up from their own cleaning. If the grown-ups had heard her, they made no move to help. They stuck to the peripheries, mumbling to themselves and each other about the three naughty girls’ behavior as of late, constantly asking themselves “What got into them?” If they knew the truth, Susie imagined, their skulls would cave in. On her end, the work was going infinitely slower than it should have been. It was difficult to clean with only one hand, but something inside Susie couldn’t bear to let go of Flopsy. “Coloring is at the circle table,” Flopsy told her. “The one that is shaped like a door.” Oh yeah. She gave her old companion a quick, sneaky smile as she waddled and put the coloring books down on the circle table. Waddling? Frowning a little, Susan felt the swelling diaper gently nudging her legs apart and widened her gait to compensate. Her faux underwear was still holding the diaper up, but even now she was aware of a certain droopiness. With her free index finger, she poked between her legs, and felt the distinct squish beneath her prodding. Gone was the signature crisp crinkle of even a mostly dry diaper. She was wet. Really wet. Not uncomfortable. Not dripping. But still. Wet. When had that happened? She’d remembered peeing a little bit when she was passing out snacks, but she shouldn’t be this wet, should she? When had she gotten so squishy and why hadn’t she noticed? “Teacher?” A grown-up came over to Susie, and even though they were about the same height, it felt like she was looking down on her. “Yes, Susan?” Susie’s voice caught in her throat, and her face glowed to match puffy sleeves of her dress. Needed or not, it was still embarrassing for her to ask to be stripped and wiped just so she could piss herself all over again. Instead of speaking to her deed, Susie pointed between her legs and gave her diaper a quick squish. The adult’s probing hand copied followed suit and squeezed the front of Susie’s crotch. “You’re wet alright.” Two foreign fingers slipped past her panties and into the leg hole of Susie’s diaper. “But not too wet. Finish cleaning up the room, and then maybe I’ll change you.” A kind of dread overcame Susie. The rule! What about the rule! “But I gotta go potty!” Susie almost dropped Flopsy, grasping at the air where the grown-up used to be. She hadn’t meant to say that, of course. The words had just slipped out. It’s just that, as per the rules they had made up this morning, she shouldn’t be doing anything in a wet diaper except trying to get changed; it was the closest thing to toilet autonomy that was available to her at the moment. “I gotta go potty…” The daycare worker stopped and turned around. “Honey, you’re not potty trained, you’re a forever baby.” The words dripped with equal parts maternal love and condescension. “Now back to work, and then you can go play.” Susie sulked and started gathering up the crayons off the floor. Dang things had rolled everywhere. They had all been in one location, but all it took was one tantrum to scatter them to the four corners of the room. Each step across the floor made another squish as the big baby became increasingly aware of her diaper. The darn thing was like a mosquito bite. She hadn’t noticed it before, but now that she did, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Step. Squish. Step. Squish. Step. Step. Squish. Squish. She’d already tuned out the crinkling sound every time she shifted her weight, but now it felt like it was no crinkle and all sopping wet squish. How she missed the crinkle! How sad was it that she was starting to look forward to getting her diaper changed? A slight aching in the soles of her feet was starting to take her mind off her diaper. Were her feet already getting sore? Was it really taking her and her friends that long to clean up the mess they’d made, or had Susie just lost the ability to accurately keep track of time? Considering her bad luck with the coloring and her good luck with the circle table, Susie estimated that her odds were fifty-fifty-fifty. One thing was for certain, it was a lot easier to make a mess than it was to clean it up. That last admission left a nasty taste in Susie’s mouth. It was easier to mess things up than to clean them up; that was the story of her life right now. And yet her most immediate concern was still how wet her diaper was. Maybe Mommy was right. Maybe she was just a baby. “You’re not a baby,” Flopsy told her. “You’re totally a big girl!” Kelsey came up to her, her hands flecked with the corpses of animal crackers. Bits of stepped on Oreos had somehow made it into her hair. “Don’t worry about the whole clean diaper rule,” she said. “It’s not something we could’ve really controlled anyways.” She stole a look at Dakota busily trying to fit peg blocks into their proper holes (and having a Devil of a time with it). “I think it was just a power play by Dakota anyways.” Her tears finally starting to dry, Susie looked at her two friends- the one in front of her, and the one in the crook of her arm-and smiled. “Thanks,” she sniffed. A quick drag of her nose across her forearm got most of the green slime dangling from her nose. “Ew.” Kelsey looked like she wanted to back away, and her torso was a few steps ahead of her legs. Her brain caught up to her nose in that instant. Wet diaper. Okay. Mucus on the arm. Not good. Wet and sticky stuff was okay, but only if other people couldn’t see it. She should have known that. She was a big girl. “Sorry.” She grabbed a stray piece of coloring book and swabbed her arm with it. “Sorry.” “It’s alright.” “Hey!” Dakota called out from across the room.. “So you bit….you b-words all had the same flashback as me, right?” Across the room joints locked and hair stood on the back of their legs. Susie and Kelsey’s mouths slammed shut, but their eyes were screaming at Dakota: WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS NOW?! WE’RE NOT ALONE. DO YOU WANT TO GET CAUGHT? “Dakota, what are you talking about?” one of the supervising grown-ups called out, giving voice to the others’ eyes. Dakota rocked back and forth on her feet, averting her gaze while keeping her hands behind her back. “Sorry Miss grown-up ma’am. I’m just playin’ a pretend game to make the work go faster. Is that okay?” “What are you playing?” “I’m pretendin’ that me and Kelsey and Susan are all grown-ups insteada Forbies, and that we’re bein’ made to do this work because of magic that turned us into Forbies insteada cuz we was naughty.” Susie looked over at the grown-ups leaning against the wall. “But you were naughty, baby.” “I know. I’m just pretendin’ so I don’t cry so much and can get the work done.” “As long as you finish cleaning up.” “Yes ma’am.” Dakota’s eyes twinkled back at Susie: OH HELL YEAH! With a clicker clack the leftover crayons tumbled from Susie’s grasp. Of course they could talk openly about this! Everyone thought they were babies! Who cared about what babies talked to each other about? Picking up the crayons, Susie waddled over to Dakota. “What happened to you? You were so nice.” Haphazardly, Dakota threw more shapes in a circle shaped bucket. “I grew up.” From the crook of Susie’s arm, Flopsy snickered, “You sure about that?” Bested by a stuffed animal, Dakota could only frown in confusion as Susie snickered at her bunny’s comeback, and waddled off to get more crayons. Kelsey tilted a bookshelf up off the floor. “This is like the weirdest high school reunion ever.” “I don’t know,” Dakota mused. “Seems pretty standard to me. A bunch of people hanging out, catching up, and realizing they haven’t accomplished much.” Susie was almost done cleaning up all the crayons. “Yeah, but instead of being like ‘So you don’t have a job, either?’,” she added, “It’s more like ‘So you don’t go potty no more, either, huh?” All of them had a good, bitter laugh at that. Susie’s voice rang out the loudest, and before too long, she realized that her friends were staring at her, and they looked a little uncomfortable. Were they wet, too? “Are you feeling alright?” Kelsey asked. Susie shrugged. “I mean. Not really. This whole thing sucks. But at least we know why it sucks.” Kelsey finally noticed the crumbs in her hair and brushed them out over a wastebasket. “We’ve got a diagnosis. What’s the prescription?” They continued cleaning up. “Make another wish?” Susie offered. Dakota rolled her eyes, and pointed suggestively to the padded bulge covered by her onesie. “Yeah, and meanwhile have another twenty years of this.” “Better late than never…?” Flopsy offered. No one thought it was particularly funny. Feeling an urge to bail her stuffie out, Susie scrambled to keep things on track. “Maybe we can get potty trained again?” More staring. “Hear me out. We’re babies, yeah?” “Yeeeeeah….” Dakota allowed. Her eyes narrowed, as if wondering where Susie was going with this. Wet diaper squishing between her legs, Susie took a deep breath. Concentrate. Concentrate. “If we can’t change back, maybe we can work around the rules of this world.” “What are you getting at?” Susie held her hand out to ward off any stinging rebuke from Dakota. “Hear me out. There are genius babies, right? Like cases of super smart babies that can go to college…?” “Not quite,” Kelsey said. “But I think I see what you’re getting at…” Finally! Someone was getting her. “Maybe we stop trying to be grown-up? I mean we’ll still BE grown-ups…but since we can’t convince anybody…maybe we settle for being really smart Forbies?” “One problem with that,” Kelsey said. “I don’t think we’re smart anymore.” A sad frown spread over her face, like it was painful just to make that admission out loud. “WE ARE TOO SMART!” Flopsy protested. “Yeah!” Susie agreed. Dakota was turning her pacifier back over in her hands again; an addict with a pipe. “Why are you so excited to admit that we’re turning into idiots?” “We’re not losing stuff!” Lips curled in disgust, Dakota retorted. “Really? I’m pretty sure we had an argument over colors and we were all wrong. F-ing colors! We’re losing more than our potty training. We’re losing Kindergarten shhhh---shtuff. So dumb!” From behind her glasses, Susie blinked in surprise. “But we didn’t wish to be dumb. Just babies.” A foot stomp on the floor, punctuated Dakota’s impending tantrum. “What’s the difference?! Dumb and babies are practically the same thing!” Susies lip started to tremble. She wasn’t dumb! She was smart; super smart! She’d figure this whole thing out and they’d be back to normal in no time. But why was Dakota being so mean? She used to be so nice. Then they all went away and started to grow up and they forgot all about each other and now everything was wrong. She had her best friends back with her, but now they were all miserable. An innocent wish had finally come true, and now it was the opposite of a wish. Kelsey stepped between the two taller girls. “I think this um…game…is getting a little too intense, guys. Don’t you think?” She looked at Susie. “Are you okay, Susan?” “Yeah,” Flopsy echoed from the crook of Susie’s arm. “Are you okay?” “Of course I’m okay,” Susie scoffed. “Why is everybody asking me that right now?” “It’s okay if you’re kinda frazzled,” Kelsey said. She put a hand on Susie’s shoulder. “I think I’d be the same in your shoes.” Susie stepped back, aghast. She didn’t have time to ask what Kelsey meant by that. Dakota filled in the blanks for her. “Ip wush yer iyea.” She’d gone back to the pacifier, but every garbled word was clear enough. “Vaf how I ‘memur ip.” In an instant, Flopsy was clutched to Susie’s chest, a shield against the terrible accusations being hurled towards her. “It was not!” Susie insisted. “Wuf too,” “Was not” “Wuf too!” “WAS N-“ “Okay girls!”, one of the grown-ups said. “I think you’ve had enough, punishment. Go out and play.” The three were ripped from their sphere of self-involvement. It was Kelsey who spoke up. “But we’re not done, yet.” “You’ve done enough. Go play.” Another grown-up was wheeling out a vacuum cleaner as the first bent over and picked up a crayon that Susie had missed. “We’ve gotta get ready for lunch,” they’d said to each other. Kelsey shuddered…or peed a little…Susie couldn’t tell…and said, “They’ve given up on us. We can’t even clean up a mess properly.” “Vey fink weah bay-bees.” “Babies don’t clean up messes,” Flopsy added. “At least there’s one good thing about bein’ a forever baby,” Susie admitted. Shaking her head, Kelsey huffed, “Let’s just talk about this outside, okay?” Wordlessly, they agreed and waddle-trudged outside. Before she crossed the threshold out into the playground, the grown-up that Susie had begged to change her caught her attention. “You did a good job cleaning up, Susan.” Susie looked at the still half-done job. Bits of what were now confetti still littered the ground and there were toys that were clearly on the wrong shelf. Obvious lie is obvious. “Do you want me to change you now?” Her friends were already a few steps ahead of her onto the playground, making a bee-line for the safety of the old rusty slide and not looking back. She shook her head. “No, I’m okay. Gotta catch up.” A firm hand on her shoulder stopped her from taking another step. “Just a second, sweetie.” Great; another grown-up who was asking a question where the only answer was ‘yes’; just like Mommy. Susie felt two fingers brush against the small of her back as the back of her diaper was pulled back and looked inside. “Okay. Not poopy. You’re good for a little while yet.” Susie startled a bit and squeezed Flopsy as the elastic on her faux panties snapped the diaper back in place. That was going to take some getting used to. Kelsey and Dakota were waiting for her on the playground a few seconds later. “I thought you were getting cleaned up?” Kelsey half-asked as Susie waddled up into earshot. The little girl shrugged. “I passed. I wasn’t poopy or nothin’.” The pacifier dropped back out of Dakota’s mouth, dangling from the ribbon on her onesie once more. Kelsey was equally slack jawed. “What?” Susie asked. “I thought we said that clean diaper rule was dumb.” “Yeah,” Dakota said. “When the adult won’t LET you get changed!” “It’s not like I’m poopy.” The other girls looked away, clearly embarrassed. Too late, Susie realized what she’d said might have come across as hurtful. “Oh no,” she said. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just…I just…” An accusatory finger cut Susie off. “You’re losing it, girl! Do you wanna turn into...into...that?!” Susie followed the line of Dakota’s digit. It wasn’t pointing to her after all. Instead, just over her left shoulder, was Alice. The dark haired girl was toddling around the playground, heading from the sandbox to a set of nautical themed spring riders, all sized for full grown adults, of course. There was a shark, a whale, a dolphin, and of course, a seahorse. Back over at the sandbox, a forever baby girl was whimpering and scratching at her crotch; sand pouring out of the leg holes of her diaper. Susie didn’t know Alice from her past life, but she suspected this behavior was typical. Susie shrugged. “What’s your point? You’re not much better.” “Wanna bet?” Just then, the annoying Forbie stopped in her tracks and began rubbing her tummy a bit as she widened her stance. The girl looked thoughtful for a second, like she was on the verge of a life altering revelation. Faintly, Susie wondered if maybe there were more than just the three of them that really knew how screwed up the world now was. Alice disabused her of that notion a second later when she popped her thumb into her mouth. Knees slightly bent, her free hand on her left knee; Alice leaned forward and stuck her backside out. In another lifetime, Susie might have assumed that Alice was doing some kind of impromptu dance move; like a slow motion twerk, only with less rhythm and far less sex appeal. The dopey grin on the girl’s face and the expanding backside of her pants indicated otherwise. As if reading her thoughts, Flopsy said, “You don’t think you’re going to end up like THAT, do you?” A new round of revulsion gnawed at the base of Susie’s skull, as she stared at Alice. Her load deposited firmly in the back seat of her disposable panties, Alice calmly stood up and finished her journey towards the spring riders. Easily, and without hesitation, she threw her leg over the shark, and sat down on it, not even flinching as the lump in her diaper was spread and smeared into obfuscation. “God, I hope not,” Susie whispered. “Yeah,” Dakota called out, regaining Susie’s attention. “My point exactly. I might be a b-word, but everything else about Alice...that’s you.” “You’re the one who was suckin’ on her binkie.” Kelsey smirked, despite herself. “She’s got you there.” “You can barely color, b-word! You don’t even know what colors are!” Dakota snarled. For all they’d learned, they were back to bickering at each other. Some friends they were turning out to be. The shorter girl flexed her fingers like a cat testing her claws. “It’s like I’ve been TRYING to say. We’re losing stuff! Whatever magic or whatever it was from that star is doing this to us!” Again, their gaze came back to Susie. “It’s not my fault!” Susie objected. “It’s all of our fault. If you weren’t a part of this, we wouldn’t be talking to each other. It’d just be me and Flopsy, and you too would be dumb happy forever babies. So can we please try to be grown-up about this?” “Would you listen to yourself?!” Dakota screamed. “Grown-up? I haven’t heard you say the word ‘adult’ lately.” “I can say…’adult’.” It didn’t sound right though. It was like speaking a foreign language, all of the syllables were there but something in the pronunciation or tone was off. All the components without the understanding. “I thought something was wrong,” Kelsey said. “I think we’re regressing, and it’s only gotten worse since we’ve remembered what happened. We’re losing parts of ourselves. We’re catching up to the rest of the world, including calling the adults ‘grown-ups’.” Dakota looked down at Kelsey condescendingly. “Yeah, cuz talking about ‘the adults’ like we’re not is so much better.” Kelsey looked to Dakota. “You haven’t been cursing as much since snack time.” “What are you talking about you little c-word?” The smug look from Kelsey was enough to send her fumbling for her pacifier again. “Heh,” Kelsey giggled, “thought so. I bet you can’t even say va…vaj…” she stumbled. “Hoo-hoo? Oh crud.” “They ARE getting littler,” Flopsy noticed. “They’re too busy getting angry with you to notice it in themselves.” “Yeah,” Susan replied, “but to be fair, how would you know if you were getting dumber and littler?” “You wouldn’t,” Flopsy said. “I guess not.” “Uh…Susan?” Kelsey asked. “Who are you talking to?” “I’m talking to…” Susie stopped. “Oh….” She dropped the rabbit to the ground. (Kelsey) Another spoonful of yogurt came tilting towards Kelsey’s mouth. For the sixth or seventh time, she’d stopped counting, she opened wide and accepted the goopy stuff. There might be one more spoonful of yogurt left until she’d have to wait for the cinnamon applesauce. To her left and right respectively, were Susan and Dakota, each of them taking turns being spoon fed by daycare workers. There were probably close to a dozen forever babies in the kitchen area, all having their turn being spoon fed in unnecessary highchairs. At the foot of each humongous plastic and steel restraint device, little bits of spilled goop littered the ground: Spaghetti-O’s. Apple Sauce. Macaroni. Pureed mush. Anything and everything that could be scooped up and spoon fed into a human mouth. What must have once been a pristine shiny white tile floor, was now dulled and stained with the multitude of a thousand little spills over the course of the last two decades. This stood out to Kelsey, but likely no one else; certainly not the Forbies, or their caregivers. The strange shift in reality brought on by their decades old child wish bearing fruit was sudden only to the three girls who had made it. To everyone else, this was how things had always been, a slow creep and crawl of perpetual infancy. And though this was yet another degrading and humiliating limitation placed on her adulthood; and a bizarre distortion of her proclivities, (former proclivities, she promised herself; she wouldn’t so much as look at a cartoon if she got out of this mess) to everyone else, it was just lunch. Outside the kitchen where forever babies were being fed in highchairs, other twenty-something babies sat on adult laps and nursed from bottles, greedily glugging down formula as their lips pulled on rubber nipples. A few were being led over to cubbies and taking out blankets for an after-meal nap. “I don’t get it,” Kelsey said while the adult went to spoon some kind of glop into Dakota’s waiting mouth. “None of this makes sense.” Susan hungrily eyed the half-empty jar of strained peas in front of her, waiting for the daycare worker to circle back to her. “It’s magic. It doesn’t hafta make sense.” “Not what I mean,” Kelsey said. “The baby parts don’t make any sense to me.” A bit of orange mush- likely sweet potato- squirted out of Dakota’s mouth and onto her waiting bib. “Ha! Really? You’re the second biggest baby here.” “Dakota…” Susan shot the blonde so-and-so a warning look. “It’s not too late for us ta leave you alone.” Then just as quickly, the girl opened her mouth wide, like a hatchling, so that semi-solid food could be spooned into her mouth. Kelsey shrunk down in her seat out of embarrassment for her (till now forgotten) friend. Clearly, Dakota’s crack about “second biggest baby” had gone over Susan’s head…or maybe it hadn’t. It was hard to tell. Kelsey was losing things; they all were. Rationally, she knew this, even if she couldn’t put her finger on what was being lost; but she was gaining other things as well. Specifically, old, happy memories from long ago were resurfacing with each spoonful of baby food forced into her. Little Susie had always been the leader of their little toddler clique back in the daycare days. She wasn’t necessarily the queen-bee type whom the other girls hung on her every word, but she had typically been the one to take the first step in anything. Vaguely, she recalled a half-remembered incident a few weeks after that fateful wish. Susie had been the first to go into Pull-Ups, too. She’d started potty training before their little group broke up. Even now that they were all together, flashes of good old Susie were showing in Susan’s personality. She’d been the one to recognize that the three of them had this awareness of their current plight in common and had brought them back together; she’d kept the peace between the three of them; she’d led the room trashing, and now she was leading the charge backwards into perpetual infancy. That shouldn’t be particularly surprising, though, Kelsey thought as a spoonful of cinnamon applesauce, the flavors dancing on her tongue, made its way to the back of her throat. People changed as they grew up, but the years added to the definition of a person, not took away from them. So maybe Susan had always been Susie. Maybe Susan at twenty-two wasn’t that different from Susie at two…not where it really mattered. She swallowed. “The problem isn’t that we’re being treated like babies, it’s that we’re being treated like different kinds of babies, all at once.” Dakota accepted another spoonful of mush and swallowed. “That sounds racist.” “Dakota….” The ex-psych major piped in so she could make her point. “The levels of development are all over the place. We were two when this wish happened. Two-year-olds don’t need to be spoon fed mush.” “Babies do,” Susie offered. “We wished to be babies, not two-year-olds.” “Are you three still playing that silly grown-up game?” The adult feeding them asked. Dakota pouted out her lip and made big puppy dog eyes. “Yes ma’am. We were just having oh so much fun, we didn’t want to stop. It’s fun pretendin’ to be grown-ups in diapers.” Their jailer chuckled. “Okay okay. Just make sure you grown-ups in diapers all go down for your naps after lunch, okay?” The ex-gold digger flashed a smile that would have made Shirley temple gag at the cuteness. “Okie dokie.” Dakota took another spoonful and then flashed a knowing wink and a devious grin at the others. The thing of it was, it wasn’t that odd that they were talking so openly, Kelsey noticed. Across the kitchen a couple of boys in onesies were discussing how they were dinosaur spacemen between gobs of mashed potatoes. They were talking with the same gravity that Kelsey and her friends were discussing being trapped as they were. Alice walked by the kitchen, nap blanket in tow, yammering on about cartoons to an attentive adult who wasn’t listening as much as she was saying “Mmmhmm,” every time Alice paused for breath. That’s how this new reality was: Everyone thought of them as babies. Babies said silly stuff. Ergo, their captors wouldn’t give much credence or import to anything that the three (hopefully not) forever babies said to each other. Dakota had been the one to pick up on that and use it to their advantage. She might be a manipulative, emotionally stunted witch, but her natural aptitudes were certainly coming in handy. The thought about Dakota; how she’d wanted to claw her eyes out when they’d first met; made Kelsey sad. What the heck had happened to her over the last twenty years? The first time the three of them were all in daycare, she was easily the nicest girl you’d ever met: Thoughtful, sweet, empathetic, compassionate. As close as the adult Susan was to her child-self, Dakota was miles away from who she used to be. She was angry, snarky, a complete b-word and c-word and all the nasty words rolled up into one. Still…whenever the girls had wanted something from their caregivers, they had always nominated sweet little Dakota to be their spokeswoman. Dakota always had a way with people. Some things never changed. A series of muffled farts caused Kelsey to whip her head around the other direction. Susan was leaning forward in her highchair, her bum lifted ever so slightly. The girl’s face was warped silly putty; her eyes scrunched shut while her cheeks puffed out; her lips buzzed like an open balloon as far too similar noises came out the back of her. Her hands gripped the light beige tray of her highchair. “What’s the matter Susan?” The daycare worker asked. The unofficial leader of their little group shuddered noticeably and her lips curled back. “Makin’...poopy.” The farting sounds stopped, and Susan’s face slackened a bit, but her behind remained lifted in the air; her eyes still closed. “Fight it,” Kelsey heard herself whispering. “Fight it.” But the fight was over. As quickly as it began, it ended. Kelsey watched as the back of Susan’s panties puffed out a bit as the grunting stopped. Then the other girl opened her eyes, sighed audibly, and then plopped her butt back down into the seat of her oversized highchair. Breathlessly she mouthed a single word. “Done.” “Did you just make some room in your tummy?” The adult cooed at Susie. “Did you?” Susie nodded sheepishly, not like a mortified young woman who had just publicly soiled herself, but like a baby girl who was just soaking in all the extra attention. She was even smiling, Kelsey noticed. Then, without even being prompted, Susie opened her mouth and hungrily accepted yet another spoonful of baby food. Just the thought of still having an appetite after messing herself threatened to destroy what remained of Kelsey’s appetite. How could Susie so easily debase herself and still eat? How could she smile? More importantly, was that going to happen to Kelsey? How far off was she from doing her business in her pants and then going back to playtime as if it didn’t happen. How much longer before she was not only proudly announcing it, but also talking about it like it was nothing? How much more time did she have before she ended up like Susie? The yogurt in Kelsey’s stomach felt like it soured instantly, and the girl who would be a psychologist felt nauseous. A sour burp stuck in her throat, threatening to be the first wave of projectile vomit…though in this case it might just be written off as spit-up. “Susan…Susie…” “What’s going on?” Dakota asked. The blonde girl was fidgeting in her seat, straining to see what was going on, with Kelsey acting as a barrier. “Susan…Susie just…” Kelsey’s words were cut off as she had to twist and turn her head to avoid the next spoonful coming for her mouth; applesauce smearing on her cheek. She had lost her appetite. Susie interrupted. “You’re overthinking it. Ya got too much smartness in ya.” Baffled, Kelsey stopped to stare just long enough for a heaping spoonful of mashed apples and cinnamon to be whirled around and shoved into her mouth. Forced to breathe through her nose as she swallowed, Kelsey inhaled through her nose, picking up the smell of the hot mess now resting in the back of her oldest friend’s diaper. Involuntarily, Kelsey’s eyes drifted downward towards Susie’s bottom. How was she not even squirming? The gunk felt like a rock sliding down her throat. “Whaddya mean?” For an instant, the pure thoughtful adult clarity that had been uniquely Susan’s flashed behind her thick glasses. “We made that wish when we was babies, not grownups. We weren’t thinkin’ about newborns an’ crawlers and toddlers. So it all got mixed up.” Susan started ticking items off on her fingers. “Babies drink from ba-bas, suck on pacis, eat in highchairs, sleep in cribs, and wear diapees.” She dipped those same fingers into the jar of baby food on her tray and started to greedily lick and suck on her digits. Welcome back Susie. “So we’re stuck in a two year old’s version of babyhood.” Dakota said while the teacher circled back around to Susie. “Makes sense to me. As much sense as anything else.” There was a brief pause as Kelsey’s diaper became a little warmer and a little bulkier. Thankfully no one seemed to notice. “Explains why I haven’t seen any breastfeeding,” Dakota went on, oblivious. “I didn’t know about that till my little sister was born.” Then she sniffed. “What’s that smell?” A green mush stained hand shot up in the air. “I poopied,” Susie volunteered. Her hand was immediately snatched as a caretaker started wiping the flecks of strained pea off her palm with a moist towelette. “Steve walks warily down the street with the brim pulled way down low.” Dakota intoned. Unphased by the poop in her pants, the stranger wordlessly wiping down her hands and face, or the blonde girl’s sarcastic remarks, Susie looked Kelsey straight in the eye. “How come you’re still so smart?” “Because she’s not a total baby…yet.” The former psych major ignored the ex-gold digger’s comment. “I’m not that smart. I don’t even know colors anymore.” “But you know diff’rent…diff’rent…baby stuff. I wouldn’ta thought of that.” “See previous comment,” Dakota chimed in. Susie either ignored Dakota or didn’t get the insult as she was handed a bottle of something white and milky. She held it with both hands and tilted her head back, chugging the stuff down. The smell from her diaper was getting worse, but she didn’t seem to mind. Next it was Kelsey’s turn to have her face and hands wiped, whether she needed it or not. She squeaked as two fingers slid under the tray and into her diaper. “You’re due for a change before naptime, too,” the adult said. “But first have your bottle.” Kelsey gingerly sucked on the rubber nipple, afraid- perhaps irrationally so- that whatever was inside the bottle might speed along her backward progress. “She’s got a point, though,” Dakota said, completely unfazed when it was her turn to be scrubbed down in her plastic prison chair. “You don’t know colors, but you know a lot of stuff about babies.” “Maybe I was the smar…” Kelsey saw the challenge in Dakota’s eyes and thought better for the sake of diplomacy. “Maybe I learned more stuff and it’s taking longer to leak out.” Dakota must have been dizzy from how much she was rolling her eyes, Kelsey thought. “Or maybe we’re just keeping the stuff that was…I dunno…a big part of us from back in the day.” “I didn’t want to be a psycho-doctor back then.” Kelsey bit her tongue. Psycho-doctor? That wasn’t right, was it? It couldn’t be. It didn’t sound grown-up enough. The last bottle was handed out, and Dakota took a swig from it like it was full of beer instead of formula. “But you were always kind of a know-it-all. And you always had a thing about kid and grown-up stuff.” The blonde so-and-so set down her bottle. “I remember you bawling your eyes out when Susie got into Pull-Ups, first.” She bawled up her fists and began rubbing her eyes in a mock pantomime of crying. “You kept saying ‘It’s over, it’s oooover’. We’re gettin’ tooooo biiiiig.” She put her hands down and took another swig. “No judgement, but as ‘smart’ as you are, you’ve always had issues. Knowing what I know now, I’m surprised you weren’t the first.” The hiss of a rubber nipple gasping from air as it’s owner stopped sucking on it. “First what?” “Nothin’ Susie. You just keep on drinking, sweetie.” Another sour burp caught in Kelsey’s throat. “I am too smart. I was going to be a psycho-doctor one day.” Dakota kept twiddling with her pacifier, nervously, as she all but inhaled the milky stuff in front of her. “How many doctor Seuss books are there?” The curls in Kelsey’s head bobbled with excitement. “Forty-five,” she said, confidently. “More if you count the books that were published after his death or under a different name.” She sucked on the bottle confidently and took a breath. “ And I can tell you about them all.” “Can you count them?” It was Susie who asked this, her face curious and awestruck instead of challenging. “Can you count that tall?” “Um…” Kelsey thought out loud. “One…? Two…? Kay…? Eeee…? Elll…?” Once again, the adult who’d been feeding them burst into the conversation. “Honey, those last few were letters, not numbers. But I think you were starting to spell your name.” A bit of milk dribbled out of the smallest girl’s mouth as her teacher went to pinch her cheek just as she was having another sip from her bottle. “Such a clever baby.” Yet again, another revolting bubble made itself known. There was no more room in the back of her throat, so this one was lodged firmly and uncomfortably in her stomach. “Hey poopy pants,” Dakota called out. “What’s two plus two?” Susie finished her bottle and dropped it off the side of her tray. “Um…two plus two is…two two? Like the pretty frills ballerina’s wear?” Then, as a kind of spoken punctuation, Susie let out a belch that rattled up from the back of her throat. Wordlessly, their caretaker bent over and picked up the bottle, laughing under her breath. “Now what do you call two eggs on toast?” “Adam and Eve on a raft,” Susie said without hesitation. “Why?” Dakota put her bottle down and quietly burped into her hand. “I think my point is proven.” The brat was right. Kelsey hated to admit it, but she was right. “What I can’t figure out is why isn’t my little sister here with us.” Their caregiver intervened. “Your little sister? You mean Virginia?” “Uh-huh.” “That’s because she was too young…” the daycare lady paused. “She wasn’t the right age. Only people in a certain age group are forever babies.” Then cheerily she added. “Everybody else; older or younger; has to grow up.” “You mean gets to grow up,” Kelsey sulked. She clutched her tummy, feeling more pain rise up in her. Something wasn’t agreeing with her, and it wasn’t just the rank smell coming from Susie’s padded bottom. “I didn’t know you had a little sister,” Susie said, leaning far over in her chair so she could look at Dakota. It did not help the stench. “She wasn’t born ‘til after we split up.” Dakota replied. Susie leaned back again, undoubtedly sending the mess everywhere, likely even towards her front. The thought made Kelsey want to wretch a little bit. The tray slid out from in front of Kelsey. “I know that look,” the teacher said. A worn white towel was draped carefully over one of the woman’s shoulders. “Somebody needs burpies.” At the word ‘burpies’, as if on autopilot, Kelsey’s body lurched forward into the arms of the grown-up…the adult…teacher…whatever. Her legs wrapped around the woman’s waist as an open hand started pounding her back. “BLUUUURP!” “Good girl!” A bit of pressure left her gut. There was still more, however. “UUUUUURH” “Good girl!” Out of a sense of misguided courtesy, or maybe it was just habit, Kelsey found herself turned around as the woman burping her pivoted one hundred and eighty degrees. Now she could look both of her friends in the eye as she belched. Wonderful. Her weight was shifted forward briefly, and she felt a hand pat her backside. “Good thing you’re wearing those plastic panties today, Kelsey. Otherwise you’d have leaked by now.” Kelsey’s face was pink enough to contrast nicely with the light blue Cinderella diaper cover she’d been dressed in this morning. The other two didn’t remark on this. Dakota looked like she was going to say something, but then shifted around in her seat and looked distinctly uncomfortable. None of them were dry, it appeared. Kelsey did her best to escape her own humiliation by burying her head in the bigger woman’s shoulder. “UUUUUURP!” “Good girl! Just a couple more.” The obviously more regressed of the three picked up the conversation, not at all disturbed by Kelsey’s current plight. “That’s why your sister’s not a Forbie like the rest of uuuu….” Susie stopped and a flash of Susan came back. “Like them. Wish didn’t work on them cuz they didn’t exist yet.” “Then how come the oldest babies here are only a little bit older than us?” Dakota demanded to know. Kelsey couldn’t help herself. “We were two. Did we really think anybody old enough to be in kindergarten as being ‘like us’?” She followed with a large “ERRRRRRRP!” “Good girl!” The world whirled around for a second, and Kelsey was plopped back into her highchair, a sodden squish punctuating the act as the tray was clicked back into place. “You wait here, while I get everyone ready for naps.” The handful of daycare workers in the kitchen turned their backs on the three as they started to escort and carry other Forbies out of the kitchen. Finally, they were alone. The petit little girl rested her hands in her chin. “We’re stuck here because of a two-year-old’s wish.” “Our two-year-old’s wish,” Susie corrected. She wriggled around in her seat a little bit, a hint of a smile creeping to her lips. “Is anybody else starting to think this is kinda comfy?” “No.” “No.” “Oh…me neither. Just checkin’.” A tired, defeated huff puffed itself out of Kelsey’s throat. “I never would’ve thought magic was real.” “We did, though,” Susie said. “Back then.” “I sure as heck believe it now,” Dakota said, though it was anything but triumphant. “Too bad we can’t wish again. I don’t want to spend another twenty years like this.” Poor innocent Susie cocked her head to the side. “Why don’t we just wish on somethin’ else?” Dakota scoffed. “Oh yeah? Like what? What else could we possibly wish on? You wish on stars. Everybody knows that. Even two-year-olds know that. What; you wanna wish on a tree or something?” Wish on something else? The gears started turning in Kelsey’s head. Why not? Wishing trees might not be a thing…but what about…what about…? “THAT’S IT!” Kelsey shook with joy in her highchair. “I know how to fix this! I know where we can make a wish!”
  12. “So, what’s so special about today?” I tried once more. We stood in line, my hand still in hers. “Oh, you know, one of their theme days.” Skye carelessly shrugged her bare shoulders, an elegant glide of bones under smooth skin. She gently drummed her fingers on the back of my hand while we took a small step forward, moving up in line. Flippant. I would’ve been suspicious she was blowing me off or intentionally avoiding the question if that wasn’t so Skye. She was even laissez faire with her finals. While I would be holed up in the library or in my dorm, panicking, stressing and studying all night, Skye would be out clubbing or getting stoned. By some miracle she managed to pass her classes. She was more fond of saying she was a “student of life”. If she didn’t consider it important, she simply was not going to remember or pay it much attention, no matter what the rest of the world thought. “You had this planned, but you don’t remember the theme?” I wasn’t going to let this go so easily. “Yah.” Skye glanced sideways at me. “Relax, Gavi-poo. We’re here to have fun. You’re too tense. Just let go and roll with the flow. “ She shook my arm playfully. “We’ll find out what’s going down when we get inside. You dig?” “Yeah, I guess.” She had a point. Did it really matter what the theme was? I relaxed and she rewarded me with a lopsided half smile. I glowed with pleasure, feeling both pride at making her smile and feeling foolish for making such a big deal about a silly theme. The line moved again. I looked around at the couples everywhere. “I thought there’d be more kids. This being a family place and all.” I mused out loud. Skye shrugged nonchalantly again. “It’s still early. The kids will probably come later.” She also had a point there. Getting small children ready for a full day out probably took time, so families probably wouldn’t arrive until later. We were almost at the ticket booth now. The curvy woman with tight, frizzy blonde curls and obvious boob job in front of us dug through her purse to pay while chatting with the clerk. The man with her was a stereotypical lunk. All muscle, no brains with a huge helping of inflated ego. A walking wall of muscle topped by a handsome, chiseled face, dark brown eyes and dark brown hair with blonde highlights gelled up into crispy spikes. He probably lived at the gym and guzzled protein shakes. And he was looking right at Skye with a confident, roguish twinkle in his eyes. He glanced at me once with an expression like I was something smelly he’d stepped in. I hated meat heads like him. My old insecurities rushed up to pick and peck at my self confidence. I gazed down at my sandals. My childhood had been spent as a magnet for red rubber dodgeballs hurled by knuckledraggers like him. Was this the kind of guy Skye cheated on me with? She wouldn’t be interested in him- I told myself- she was here with me. This was our special day. Right? Despite the shaky self-pep talk, my fingers tightened around Skye’s as if by holding on I could keep her at my side. She was like a beautiful, exotic bird that could fly away at any moment. I curled in on myself, instinctively shrinking back from the hunky lunk. Did he cheat on his woman the way Skye had cheated on me? No, she promised me. I believed her. I had to. A gentle but firm tug on my hand pulled my stiff body to her side. I watched her sky blue eyes skim dismissively over the lunk then she leaned in, bending down in those high platform shoes to press a kiss to my cheek. I wouldn’t look at the muscled meat sack, but I smiled with relief. Yes, Skye was here just for me. For us. She tugged gently again, pulling me forward this time. Lunky had lumbered away, led off by his girlfriend. As she paid for our tickets and guided me into the zoo, my nerves slowly calmed down. Skye seemed to sense this; her thumb rubbed soothing circles on the back of my hand. She kept me closer than normal, our bodies almost touching. “Hey babe, chill. It’s just you and me today.” Skye cajoled gently. She pointed up with her free hand. My eyes followed her arm up to a huge map. “Where should we go first? Monkeys, big cats, bears…..oh, here we go! A mini safari!” She talked more to herself than to me, like it was up to her to make all the decisions. It made me feel small, almost childlike inside. “A Safari? Like an African Safari? Is it safe?” My mind filled with National Geographic images of lions and angry elephants attacking jeeps. “Worry wart.” Skye just smiled in amusement. “Of course it’s safe. The animals are in pens here. It’s not like we’re going out into the wild savannah.” She paused for a heartbeat. “That might be fun, too. Oh, Gavin, look! How cute!” She cried excitedly, taking off and sweeping me up in her enthusiastic whirlwind as if I were a fluttering leaf. I stumbled behind her, caught off guard and kept off balance by her constant tugging on my hand. She stopped as suddenly as she had started. My unsteady momentum kept going while she stood still. I tripped, but her arms wrapped around my waist, steadying me. One hand briefly brushed over my butt, the touch so light it was probably an accident. Or a very, very sneaky grope disguised as an accident. Either way, I blushed, my cheeks bright pink at the contact. I nervously looked around at the crowd; no one seemed to have notice Skye’s hand on my butt. That’s when I saw what had Skye so enraptured. We had joined a small throng of zoo visitors gathered around some employees promoting today’s special theme. I stared in shock, rubbing my eyes. A young woman in typical khaki zoo uniform and shiny name badge stood in front of a small cart on wheels. A huge sign hung from the cart’s side. It read “Mother and Cub Day” in bright, multi-colored letters. Happy cartoon animals in diapers had been painted around the letters. Balloons in a rainbow of colors were tied to each end of the cart. The most ridiculous part of all were the two tall men flanking the short woman. Clowns. They had bright red, round rubber noses and happy, smiley face paint. The clown on the left wore a curly blue fright wig, and the one on the right a matching neon green. Both wore the typical khaki uniform top and shiny name badge with typical zoo employee shoes. The typical khaki shorts had been replaced by diapers. I rubbed my eyes. Was I seeing that? Yes, they were diapered. Adult clowns in diapers, what could be funnier? And not just any diaper. A Safari diaper with happy cartoon zoo animals plastered all over it. That print looked so familiar…. Only an Adult Baby would know about something like that. If this was done as a stray gag, any diaper off the grocery store shelf would do. To a normal adult, a diaper was a diaper. To an Adult Baby, the diaper details were everything. Not that I’m an AB, mind you. I only knew from ….my occasional curious googling. That was it. Yet a pit opened up in my stomach. My nerves jangled. I wanted to puke. I tugged on Skye’s hand. “Let’s go. I don’t feel good. We’ll come back another day.” I tried to sound mellow and cool, but my voice shook, betraying how I truly felt. “You felt fine this morning. It’s probably just nerves; the zoo is a little crowded today. We’ll walk around and the crowd will thin out. It’s a big park. It’ll be okay.” She squeezed my fingers reassuringly and pressed her lips to my forehead. I could smell the minty gum she’d chewed earlier. “But, the clowns-” She pressed a finger gently to my lips, cutting me off. “Shh. You don’t have a fever; you’re just nervous, baby. Just relax and let me take care of everything. You always worry so much. Today is our day, I got it all planned out. I just wanna see you relax and enjoy yourself, babe. Just chillax and go with the flow.” Skye planning was one hell of an oxymoron. But she was doing all this for me. This had been a particularly rough semester with intense classes for me; I had spent the months tense, worried and wound up; towards finals I was practically a neurotic nutcase. Skye had noticed- hell, she had even planned all this- just to help me. Touched, my heart softened and I looked into her eyes. The warm, tender expression in that concerned blue gaze melted my anxiety away. “Well….I guess it ...couldn’t hurt to just walk around a little.” I mumbled. “But those clowns are ridiculous. Those diapers.” I shuddered and took a step away from the balloons and diapered clowns, trying to pull Skye along with me. She just tugged me back to her side. “It’s cute, just a promotional gag. Mom and Cub day with silly baby clowns giving away balloons. Ooh, and the girl’s giving out freebies! It looks like a big bag, too! The zoo’s really going all out today. I knew I had good vibes about this!” She squealed happily. She loved samples and freebies- it was a great way to discover new products. I couldn’t argue with that logic. “It’s ridiculous. They’re obviously going for a family theme here, but there’s no families. It’s all just couples like us.” I pointed out, glancing around. Nope, not one kid yet. I just wanted to get away from those horrible diapers. Clowns. Get away from the clowns. My eyes darted around the crowd, but they kept straying unwillingly back to the colorful happy diapers. With the face paint, it was hard to read the clowns’ expressions. Poor bastards; they had my sympathies. Walking around in a diaper all day. A tiny part of me wondered what that would feel like? That was the same part of me that had probed me into googling all that Adult Baby stuff. I ruthlessly squashed the stray thoughts. Skye smiled like she thought I was being silly. “It’s still early. The babies will come later. It takes time to get them ready.” Okay, I could see that…..”But then why are all these couples here for a family themed day?” She giggled. “Because the weather is perfect. Like I knew it would be; I told you I had a good feeling about today. Women’s intuition.” She pushed forward, taking her turn at the front of the crowd and dragging me with her. The smiling woman in khaki uniform handed Skye a big plastic bag plastered with smiling cartoon giraffes, monkeys, zebras, and lions. Just like the Safari diapers the clowns wore. What use would kiddie crap be to us? Still, a small part of me wondered what was in the bag… Next to us, the clown in curly neon green wig and huge, eye-catching diaper handed an orange balloon to the spiky haired lunk from the ticket booth. Lunky took it with a “what the hell” expression on his face. His frizzy haired girlfriend with the manufactured, oversized hooters held the gift bag. Before he could notice us, she was already leading the confused-looking jackoff away. I quickly ducked behind Skye; for once I was glad she had worn her heels. I worried the muscled moron would look back and see us, or even worse, one of those damn diapered clowns would try to hand me a balloon. My cheeks burned with just the thought. Maybe they were trying their spiel out on couples as a practice run for when the families with babies arrived later on? The female employee handed out gift bags to all the females, while the diapered clowns attempted to hand out balloons to the hapless guys. Quite a few feminine retorts of “Take it, don’t be rude!” and “Say thank you!” were heard amongst the small crowd. Typical women forcing their men to mind their manners. I guess women saw us men as nothing but brutes in need of civilizing. Luckily, I avoided the balloons and diapers. Clowns. Not soon enough for my taste, we walked away from the crowd with Skye happily digging through the gift bag. I pointedly looked away, keeping my gaze focused on the surrounding, landscaped trees and bushes or on the cement path beneath our feet. Temptation nagged and I sneaked a few sideways glances. Just what all was in that bag? Normally a promotional give away was just a few things- poster, stickers, t-shirts, water bottles. Small, cheap crap like that. Nothing to write home about. I could tell just from the size of the bag and the way it bulged out like a toddler’s puffy, diapered bottom that this was the motherload. It was like several promotions all rolled into one. The size of the bag had me curious; that was it. Skye pawed through the bag like a curious raccoon. She “oohed” and “awwed” in excitement over the freebies. I didn’t see what was so great about it. Not like we’d be able to use any of that crap. She caught me looking several times; each time I quickly looked away. “Wanna see? There’s some really great stuff in here.” She offered, holding the open bag out to me. Happy sappy baby lions and giraffes smiled up at me. I immediately jerked my head away, nose up in the air. “No, thank you. I don’t see how any of that stuff would be useful for us. It’s just for kids and families, right?” “Oh, Gavi-poo, you’re thinking inside the box. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Oooh! Coupons! Yay!” As carefree and careless as a lucrative stripper could be, Skye had also been raised by a family on a tight budget. She knew to appreciate a good coupon when she saw one. “Free drinks!” She elbowed me with a good-natured grin. “And you thought there’d be nothing in here for us.” “Well...maybe it’s not that useless after all.” I half-heartedly grumbled. Her smiles and cheer were infectious; this was how she’d gotten me to agree to come here in the first place. “That’s the spirit, my Gavi-poo.” Skye said in a perky sing-song. “So,” I shuffled my feet, looking at the ground, “where do we go from here?” “HURR-EEE, HURR-EEE!” Another diapered clown- this one with a curly yellow wig and a beer gut hanging out over his diaper- blared into a megaphone. “Ladies and gentle-boys,” he hollered among the throngs of couples only now just beginning to spread out after the ticket counter and gift bag handout, “step right up!” “Look Gavi!” Skye pointed him out as if I couldn’t see him not even fifty feet away. It seems my question was being answered. “Step right up, folks!” he bellowed, “Take the safari tram ride. Why walk, when you can take a whirlwind tour of the zoo and see the sights before you experience them?” “Oh, Gavi,” Skye nudged me towards the clown. “Let’s do it. It’ll be fun!” I looked at the clown, his ridiculous ensemble beckoning all to stare at him, and my feet became leaden. Skye must have felt my resistance. “Oh come on, Gavi-poo, don’t be like that.” She teased. “If it’s the mean old clown that’s bothering you, I can always cover your eyes while we walk past. On the periphery of my vision, I caught site of the guy in front of the line, with his tank-top, and denim shorts, and pierced ears; a grizzled five o’clock shadow highlighting his stupid cocky grin while his eyes wandered over every girl in the park but the one he was with. His girlfriend finally seemed to notice, giving him a sharp elbow in the side, making him recoil. A look of pure petulance came across his smug face. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the gist of their body language seemed to communicate her annoyance and his lack of care towards her feelings. Like, “So what? Why are you gettin’ mad?” I saw her frizzy hair turn towards and gesture towards the clown and his announcement about the tram ride. The crowd was beginning to split now. Part going for the ride, the others deciding to start walking and observing the animals right away. He shook his head and crinkled his nose before pointing towards the section of people who didn’t want to ride the tram before giving his lady friend a quick slap on the ass and a grope for good measure. “On second thought,” I leaned over to Skye, “tram’s fine. We’re gonna be here all day, so let’s get the most out of it. Get the full experience.” Anything to get away from that douche nozzle. Prick hadn’t said one word to me yet, and already I hated him. “Okie dokie!” Skye agreed as she practically began to skip along into the crowd going on the tram ride. I had to to break out in a half-jog just to keep up. On the bright side, as annoying as it was to play catch-up with Skye, it was very gratifying to watch her walk away. As we got closer to the clown in the yellow fright wig, Skye stopped abruptly and pivoted around to face me. “Don’t worry, Gavi-poo, I’ll save you!” She through her hands over my face, covering my eyes. “Now, the big bad clown won’t hurt you.,” she teased in a rather convincing baby-talk voice. “Skye…” I groaned in exasperation. “Come on. Can’t we just be normal this one time?” “Normal’s overrated,” I could feel Skye grinning, even with her hands cupped over my eyes. “Tell ya what, Gavi-kins,” she offered. “Every ten steps you take, I’ll give you a little kiss. Deal?” I “Deal,” I smiled. I took a deep breath and strode forward blindly, taking awkward, lumbering steps; torn between getting this ridiculous exercise in flirting over with and seeing just how many kisses I could get out of this bit. “Wheeeeeere’s Gavin?” Skye cooed on the tenth step. Her hands fluttered open like window shutters, revealing her radiant face and beautiful eyes. “There he is!” she cried out before giving me a playful peck on the lips. Then, like a cuckoo clock, my pretty little bird drew back, and her hands slammed shut over my eyes again. Once again, I continued walking. More confident with each step. People must have been aware of our shenanigans and were giving us plenty of room to perform. Normally, I might be averse to such public displays, but Skye always did manage to coax me out of my shell. Besides, my eyes were covered. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. “Eight...nine...ten!” Skye counted. “Wheeeeere’s Gavin?” Once again she flashed into my sight. “There he iiiiiis! I couldn’t help but chuckle a little this second time as she rewarded me with a second peck on the lips. “Three...four...five…” Skye counted, but then I felt her push up against me. “Hold on baby, we’re out of room. Line is forming up.” She removed her hands from my eyes, and I slumped a little bit in disappointment. That third kiss would have been nice. “Oh, what the hell,” she remarked before covering my eyes again. “Wheeeeeeere’s Gavin?” I grinned like an idiot in anticipation. “There he iiiis!” Skye sang out before leaning forward and giving me one last peck. As we continued to shuffle along with the rest of the huddled masses, and proper lines began to form around security railings; we came to a canopied area that gave us a little break in some shade. Within the canopy there were big and tall aquariums filled with all sorts of little animals. It was actually pretty smart, really. While a bunch of people were waiting to get on a tram to go see the big animals in reasonable facsimiles of their natural habitats, we could casually view smaller critters in their controlled underground and underwater habitats. It was nothing spectacular mind you, but it was more interesting to look at and mentally digest than the back of some guy’s head or the guard railing making us shuffle up and down like rats in a maze or something. The first thing I could see was a decent sized aquarium. Little tropical fish swam around in it, oblivious to everything outside of the water. On the tank were the names of the different fish and a little plaque about what region they were originally from. It was a little weak, honestly. I’d seen similar tanks and nearly identical fish in restaurants and pet stores. Look. Yawn. Move on. Next, as the line shuffled along was a rather impressive ant farm. It started at my feet and went up over my head. Hey, if you’re gonna do stuff with small animals, go big. Once again, there little placards and stickers all over the glass. Blah-blah-blah, live in colonies, blah-blah-blah this batch from South America, blah-blah-blah, queen lays a whole bunch of eggs. They were almost like your typical picnic-invading ant. Except for their jumbo size- larger than my thumbnail- and nasty tendency to swarm and attack anything near their extensive nests. Worker-ants, guard ants, male drones for reproduction and nothing else, larvae, nurse ants, yadda-yadda-yadda. The line lingered a bit in a spot, giving me time to fully take in the spectacle of tiny little creatures living out their tiny little lives on display; and like one of those old magic-eye pictures, the random scurrying and chaos of the giant ant colony came into focus for me. All around, ants were scurrying with purpose and activity. Something had taken place that was making it an all hands on deck situation in ant land. I leaned over the railing a bit to get a closer look. All over the colony there were tiny little, wriggling grubs. At first I suspected these were mealworms or something put in by the staff. It was feeding time. But I immediately decided against that when I saw that the ants weren’t eating the little wriggling things. Instead, I saw the ants carry the writhing and frankly creepy little blops through the tunnel to a single compartment. Were those larvae? Baby ants? Why were they all separated and only now being moved? Had some asshole shaken up the tank causing the nurse ants to move the larvae all around and only now they were getting reorganized? But it was just ants. What did I know? I’m not an entomologist. “Look, Gavin!” Skye nudged me as the line for the tram kept inching along. She pointed to yet another aquarium filled with tunnel and dirt; only these tunnels didn’t have ants scurrying around them. Tiny little bald, wrinkled, pink rodents with yellowed teeth too big for their mouths dug and squirmed through the tunnels. “Awwwwwww,” Skye cooed at the tank. “Naked mole-rats! Aren’t they cute, Gavi?” Cute? Not really. Maybe cute in a so-ugly-they’re-cute sort of way. Kind of like those troll dolls that my big sister used to collect before I was born and kept on her dresser growing up. Nah...troll dolls at least had hair. “Kind of,” I lied. It was a harmless lie, and it kept the conversation going. I had never seen a real naked mole rat. Closest I had ever seen was a cartoon one on that o ne Disney show about the kickass cheerleader spy and her doofus friend who was way below her league. Didn’t they hook up in the end? Was I the doofus friend with the naked mole rat in this relationship? “I didn’t know they lived in colonies,” I said blandly. “Well, obviously,” Skye smirked at me. “I mean, the evidence is right there in front of our eyes.” “Yup,” I sighed, boredly, “those are naked mole rats alright. And they’re living in colonies.” “And if it looks like a naked mole rat,” Skye grinned mischievously at me. “And it scurries like naked mole rat.” “Seriously?” I smirked back at her. “You’re stretching the phrase that much?” “What?!” Skye brought her hands up to her chest in a coy little who-me pose, her playful smile trying to be concealed by mock confusion...and failing. “There aren’t any ducks around here.” She giggled playfully. “I’m just saying, those look like naked mole rats, and they’re living in a colony, so clearly…” she let the thought drop off. “Naked mole rats live in a colony,” I finished the sentence for her. Skye was being so weird, today. But then again that wasn’t much different from any other day. I liked her weird. Once again, my eye caught a little scene of drama in the tank. A tiny little mole rat, it’s eyes barely open, stumbled alone through one of the dirt chambers. It’s whiskers twitched and probed as it’s head swayed slightly in the cramped corridor, like it was looking for something. From behind, a bigger, adult mole rat came and grabbed the little one by the scruff of the neck and began dragging it around. The little one started thrashing about trying to escape the big one’s grasp while it was being dragged through a tunnel. “Oh shit!” I whispered to Skye, pointing out what I was seeing. “I think the big one is an angry male and it’s about to eat that baby!” I told her. “A friend of mine with hamsters growing up saw this happen.” Skye took in the sight, and then shook her head slightly. “Uh-uh,” she said. “That’s not what’s happening. I’m betting that’s a mama rat. Look.” The big mole rat dragged the kicking and flailing baby one into a more spacious chamber and then released it. Then it gave the little thing a nudge and a lick. After a few seconds, the little one started peeing out little squirts into the chamber. When it was done, the big rat started dragging the little rat back out. This time, the little rat didn’t resist. “How’d you know?” I turned to Skye. “Because I can read, silly.” Skye indicated a sign on the tank right above the chamber the rat just urinated into. It Read: NAKED MOLE RATS DESIGNATE A SPECIFIC CHAMBER IN THEIR COLONIES FOR URINATION AND DEFECATION. ADULTS DRAG THE PUPS TO THE CHAMBER TO RELIEVE THEMSELVES SO THAT THEY’LL KNOW WHERE TO GO WHEN THEY’RE GROWN “It’s rat potty training!” Skye gushed, and brought her hand up to her mouth, suppressing another smile. “Huh,” I shrugged. “Guess so.” Then I saw the baby rat deposited by the adult into another chamber filled with more pups, all squirming and feeding on their mothers. Then the adult rat picked another pup and began to drag it back to the rat latrine. “That’s weird,” I mentioned to Skye. “What’s weird?” Skye responded, her eyebrow arched. “That little rat we just saw made it an awful long way away from the other baby rats. I can’t tell. Do you think that one’s older than the others?” “I dunno,” Skye shrugged. “Maybe that rat was just a little too big for it’s britches.” “Yeah, but it was almost there, too, before it got snatched up and dragged the rest of the way,” I offered. “Maybe baby rat just needed a little help getting to the potty,” Skye offered. “It’s cute.” “Yeah, I guess so,” I conceded. “Animals are just weird, sometimes.” “Yeah,” Skye agreed. “I try not to think about it too much. Come on, Gavi-kins. The line is moving. It’s almost our turn.” The procession inched along; more the crowd getting restless than there being anywhere to go. Then, the rumbling, squeaking and clanking of a giant machine bore into our collective ears as a jeep pulling along a nearly leviathan trail of carts. The carts were mostly open sides; bench style seats with metal siding and metal canopy to provide shade. It was painted a dull brown and green with the Zoo’s logo on it, giving the impression it was ready to blend into the wild African savannah. A woman who appeared to be in her mid thirties hopped out of a middle section of the carts. She wore a khaki button up shirt with the zoo’s logo on it, with matching shorts, and a pith helmet to complete the ensemble. She looked every part the cheesy theme park’s idea of “jungle explorer.” “WHOOOOOOO’S READY FOR A SAFARI RIDE?!” She screamed out into a megaphone of her own. The crowd, including myself, hooted and hollered with the cheap pop she was clearly expecting. I had decided that I really was here to have fun, so I might as well let myself get caught up in all this cheesiness. “Then ladies and gentlemen, hop on in! We’ve got some exploring to do!”, our tour guide announced. Excitedly, we all bounded for the tram and crammed ourselves in, four to a cart, two on each side. Across from us, another couple sat, a man with long, almost hippie like hair, kept back in a ponytail, and what I assumed was his short, pixie cut girlfriend. Both of their skins were bronzed from hours of prior sun exposure. Their mutually laid back demeanor made me think they were both surfers or skaters. The type of people that did “extreme” sports but were otherwise laid back. The kind of people I honestly pictured Skye hanging with...and dating...before we met. They could have been related, honestly. As a couple they were nearly identical in attitude, while Skye and I felt...complimentary? The dude-bro smiled lazily at me and gave me a polite nod. “You two hear for the special event, too?”, the short little chick with the shorter hair asked Skye. “You know it,” Skye beamed, as she wrapped an arm around my shoulder, pulling me closer to her and giving me a quick squeeze. The other woman reciprocated, and did the same to her boyfriend, adding in a quick little peck on the cheek. “This is gonna be so fun, today!” she said, grinning giddily to Skye. “I know, right?” Skye agreed. I shot surfer-dude a questioning look. What was so cool about “Mother and Cub Day”? What did that even me? Was I the only one not in on the joke? He just gave me a slight shrug, moved his eyes towards his own girl, and then smiled as if to say “Who cares, she’s happy, I’m happy. Why not just go with it?” Damnit...surfer-dude was right! Who cared what was going on as long as Skye and me were happy? “Everyone loaded up?” The tour guide’s voice boomed out of speakers connected to the carts. “Okay, good. Here we go. Thank you folks,” the tour guide began what sounded like a prepared spiel, “for coming to our very special Mother and Cub Day. I’m your tour guide for this ride, Rhonda. Can everybody say ‘Hi Rhonda!’ ?” “HI RHONDA!” We all yelled in chorus. “Good,” Rhonda said in a nasally and stilted accent reminiscent of Mr. Rogers. “I knew you could.” We all chuckled at the terrible impression, probably first written back when more people knew who Mr. Rogers was. The tram started to move and wind it’s way on the zoo pavement, doing a long U-turn like a snake coiling around it’s prey. I shuddered just thinking about that. “Now,” Rhonda went on, twirling her pith helmet on her finger. “I bet that at least half of you are probably wondering: “Why Mother and Cub Day?” I saw plenty of heads attentively nod in the carts in front of me. “Well, the answer is very simple,” Rhonda continued, still sounding like a spiel. “We’ve actually had what could be a breakthrough recently.” “Dinosaurs?” I snarked to Skye. “Is this the part where they show us the dinosaurs?” “Hush, Gavi-poo,” Skye ordered. “I wanna hear this.” “As you may be aware,” Rhonda kept doing her prepared speech while the tram slowly chugged along, “it’s actually very difficult to get some animals to breed in captivity. But now, thanks to the magic of modern medicine, fortuitous timing, and some generous contributions by various corporations and philanthropic groups, we have made it so that there are new baby animals popping up in the zoo.” A collective “Awwwwwwww” came from what seemed like every girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother and sister, on the tram. “That’s right. Thanks to some new medical breakthroughs including a combination of experimental immune boosters, fertility enhancements, and natural aphrodisiacs, we have a whole heap of proud new mamas in the zoo today and they are ready to show off their little ones to you all today!” The applause was almost deafening as over half the train-mostly the women exploded into cheering and squees of joy. About half a second later, a lot of their dates were smart enough to clap along and hoot and holler with their spouses, but it was definitely the female half of the population that started the cheering. Oh shit. A tiny neurotic thought burrowed out of nowhere deep into my brain. Was Skye pregnant? Was that why we were moving in together? Was that why I was being taken to “Mother and Cub Day” at the zoo? Was this how I found out. “Hey,” I leaned in and whispered to Skye when there was a break in the applause. “Are you pregnant?” Skye snorted derisively. “No,” she whispered back. “Do you know what pregnancy would do to my figure?” That’s true. Pregnant strippers weren’t exactly a commonly sought after commodity. “‘Sides, Gavi,” she whispered lovingly in my ear, “you’re all I need to take care of.” I shouldn’t have smiled a that. It was a little condescending. But I was all she needed. I liked that. “But wait,” Rhonda the tour guide kept talking, “it get’s better! As a part of our marketing synergy, we’re going to pass on some of the magic to you!” Once again, more cheering broke out. This time though, not nearly as many guys cheered along. They all heard the bit about the fertility drugs, too. “Don’t worry, boys,” Rhonda broke in through the cheering. “Don’t worry, we’re not including the fertility drugs. The FDA would have a field day with us if we did that. No one’s gonna be a daddy because of us.” Laughter greeted that pronouncement, this time more guys than girls. Girls laughed too, though. Skye looked like milk would have squirted out of her nose had she been drinking some. “BUT…” Rhonda clarified once the laughter had died down, “we will be selling our very own energy drinks with nutritional and immune system boosting properties for men and women. Energy supplements and what not. Nothing you wouldn’t add to an after workout smoothie or chug after a game of basketball. We’re gonna give the gatorade and powerade a run for their money!” There was some appreciative clapping, but it was clear we were losing enthusiasm for this sales pitch. “Well enough about that though,” Rhonda finished. “Let’s go see what we really all came here to see. We’re approaching the animal habitats.” There was another around of genuine, but less enthusiastic clapping. The kind of clapping that announced “about time.” The tram went off the pavement and onto a dirty path through some bushes. The path was wide and rutted, well worn from the tram tires. The ride went from smooth to jostling as the carts rumbled onto the uneven dirt trail. The bushes were thick and lush, their branches allowed to grow untrimmed and tangled to enhance the illusion of wilderness. As we drew closer to the animal enclosures, the musky, sweaty smell of animals and dung filled my nostrils. “Let me begin by telling everyone,” Rhonda’s voice echoed through the tram speakers, “that we will effectively be taking the backroads around and through the different animal habitats we have here today. If you see or hear about anything that catches your eye on our little trip, feel free to hoof it on back through the zoo and take a closer gander for yourself.” Landscaped fauna brushed by us and we went on a slight incline up a hill. “Over to my right,” Rhonda gestured, “we have our giraffe enclosure. We sell treats to feed the giraffes up close and personal. The giraffe habitat is home to George, Georgina, and most recently little George junior.” I looked over and saw two giraffes, an adult and a baby. The giraffe enclosure was mostly sandy dirt and grass sprinkled with a few tall trees for shade. Mixed in with the giraffes were a few zebras in an attempt to recreate what the herbivores would look like on an actual safari. On the other side of the huge pen was a big, raised wooden deck with roof for shade; people stood on the deck to feed the giraffes. “Now some of you may be wondering where George is,” Rhonda spoke up. “Fun fact, baby giraffes are capable of walking within an hour after their birth. Adult giraffes, meanwhile are very cautious and fear intrusion, even by other, unfamiliar giraffes. So when little George was born three days ago, Daddy George ran and hid in his barn and hasn’t come back out yet.” The little fact was met with quiet chuckles, mostly from the women, likely imagining their dates doing the same thing at seeing a baby. The tram went down the incline and slithered a bit to the left. “Next to the giraffes we have our elephants, with proud new mama, Jumbo and baby Gumbo.” Sure enough, among all of the elephants there was a large baby elephant floundering about in the dust of the elephant habitat while it’s mother. Their size and huge flapping ears distinguished them as African savannah elephants, different from their short-eared Indian cousins. The only difference from the giraffe enclosure was a watering hole for the elephants to play in. “Baby elephants can spend hours flailing about as they figure out what to do with their trunks, and elephant mothers have the longest gestation period of any animal pregnancy of roughly two years.” There was a lot of “ewwwing” and wincing as the women on the tram collectively imagined being pregnant for that long. I even caught Skye rubbing her tummy and flinching in pain. Then another strange, intrusive thought occurred to me: How did the zoo manage to have all of these baby animals and new mothers with the different pregnancy terms? Did they start this project two years ago with an elephant, or did they just get lucky and happen to come across one that was already pregnant? The tram rumbled back onto pavement, and horns honked warning pedestrians. “Up here to either side of us are our wolf and lion enclosures,” Rhonda explained, “or as we call them the Starks and Lannisters.” More polite chuckle for an HBO reference. At least it wasn’t Mr. Rogers. “And coincidentally, each pack and pride has a new little addition that we lovingly refer to as Bran and Tyrion.” Almost on cue, a wolf cub could be heard howling in mock ferocity. I turned my head just in time to watch an adorable little pup, its paws too big for its body, baying as it’s mother came up to start giving it a tongue bath. Everyone who saw it, pointed and “awwed” at the sight. That was Bran, no doubt. I couldn’t see little Tyrion among the lions on the other side. The tram went back onto a dirt path. “Sadly, there isn’t much to see right now in the gorilla habitat,” the tour guide droned on, “the gorillas seem to be shy this morning. But be sure to stop by later if you want to see Queen Konga and her new bundle of joy Prince Darwin.” “You can’t see it from here,” the lady with the mic kept talking, “but a ways beyond the gorilla habitat, we have our play area for the young...and the young at heart, complete with petting zoo, and pony rides.” “Oooooh,” Skye eyed me, hopefully. “We are totally checking that out.” “Seriously,” I asked her. “What?” Skye shrugged innocently enough. “She said for the young at heart. I’m young at heart. Aren’t you?” “Yeah,” I agreed, not sounding at all convincing but wanting to make my girlfriend happy. “Sure. Totally young at heart. Love petting zoos. Love ‘em.” “And, throughout the day,” Rhonda perked up for one last sales pitch, “we have all sorts of shows going on for your entertainment at our Animal Amphitheatre.” The tram began to slow down. We were coming to the end of the ride. “Now most places would dump you off where you started,” Rhonda went back into prepared speech mode, it seemed, “or drop you off at some gift shop. But not us. We’re in the very back of the park now, and all there’s left to do is wander around and enjoy your day. Do whatever you wish, but if I may suggest, why don’t you all take a nice leisurely stroll through our synthetic rainforest over yonder?” she pointed to a large building on the horizon surrounded by trees and painted up with pictures of monkeys and parrots and tropical frogs, and butterflies. “I’ve been Rhonda,” she concluded, “unless you didn’t like me, in which case, I’ve been Wilma. Now have a great day at the zoo!” Skye and I piled out of the the tram. Almost instinctively, I stopped and stretched my back and legs, feeling cramped from the ride. Skye walked right by me, as if I wasn’t there, expecting me to catch up.
  13. Personalias

    Which is the best AB/DL disposable diaper for pooping?

    How do any of these factors affect pooping?
  14. Personalias

    Little Munch in Gainesville

    I don't know. There's a lot of littles in the Gainesville area, believe it or not. But none of them ever show up anywhere. I'm tired of putting myself out there and only one person at most showing up at a time (with apologies to the one person in each instance). And it's a vicious cycle, too. Only one person shows up at a time...and so they rarely show up again...because nobody showed up. Ya'll G-villers gotta figure out how to come out of your own damn shells.