Stephenson Tales

Sheriff Hanes and the Diapers

We were not blessed with Pampers and so we had to rely on cloth and safety pins. I think there is a congenital defect in our family genes, for one of my earliest memories is of having diapers hobbling my ankles as I tried to run. Our own children suffered the same indignities as the (also congenital) lack of hips offered no obstacle for the diapers to slide gradually earthward until they were either tripping up the child or he had enough presence of mind to step out of them.
Behind our house lived an elderly couple named Corby and just to the left of them in an ancient green house trailer lived a similar couple named Storey. Both couples were well into their eighties when our youngest two kids were born.

At the end of the road lived a deputy sheriff--who had some kind of menial job during the day. On weekends and in the evenings he would rush home from work and don his blue and gold uniform and inspect the neighborhood. He would stroll along, his gun swinging from his hip, looking from right to left in his zealous search for crime.

diapers falling downI was getting supper one evening when The Sheriff came to the back door. I was a bit startled to see a uniform, until I recognized who it was. I dried my hands on a dish towel and went to the door and asked him, through the screen, "What is it?" I don't know what I expected, but what I got almost made me fall on the floor in wild hysteria, "All this nudity going on around here!" I just looked at him, not knowing what on earth he was talking about. "Nudity???" "Yes, NUDITY! These kids running around here with no pants on..." Then it crossed my mind that the youngest of our brood was outside--and the diapers had probably fallen off as usual. "Oh, you mean the children?" "Of course I mean the children--going around with no pants on. Can't have that around this neighborhood!" Unfortunately my smart mouth took over and I replied, "Sheriff, I would never forgive myself if the sight of my children's lower bodies corrupted the morals of Mr. Corby and Mr. Storey. I'll make every attempt to keep them clothed." He blushed and spluttered for a moment. "Well, you'd better!" He turned and went on his way to find other violators of the public peace. I went back into the kitchen and fell on the floor.

© Jim Bob Stephenson 1992

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