You read it here first.
Well, you read it in the Wall Street Journal first, about a week ago. But that is beside the point.
I find that every time I pick up the Wall Street Journal, it is trying to make me feel guilty about something like this. First it was that I was not marrying fast enough. Now it’s that I’m not making enough babies and poor Procter & Gamble has to switch into making adult diapers to make ends meet. The Journal is like having a grandmother that you can carry around in your purse with you and hold over your head if it starts to rain. It’s a guilt trip with stipple portraits.
Frankly, I think Procter & Gamble is overplaying its hand a little.
“No, no,” Procter & Gamble says, strolling into the living room with a big pile of diapers and a black permanent marker. “Don’t mind me.” It picks up each package of diapers and writes “ADULT” on it in block capitals.
“Hey,” you say, “P&G, what are you doing?”
“Welllll,” P&G drawls, “you clearly aren’t going to be using them any time soon, and a corporation needs to eat.”
If I needed proof that corporations were people, this kind of a passive-aggressive display would cinch it.
When I began reading the story, I was already a bit unnerved by the headline. “As Births Slow,” it ran, “P&G Turns to Adult Diapers.” But as the story went on, it got worse and worse. A dark cloud formed above me and I began chewing despondently on a table leg.
In brief: We need to have more babies. Last year we gave birth only to 3.96 million, which to the uninitiated appears to be a lot of babies, but, in fact, is nowhere near the number that we need. Not if we want to stay at replacement fertility and have nice things! Otherwise they will take all of our toys and give them to old people. Even toymaker Hasbro is trying to court the elderly now.
The article includes the ominous paragraph:
The answer isn’t always human. Energizer Holdings Inc., the maker of the Diaper Genie, in 2012 began selling a similar disposal product for cat owners called the Litter Genie, a plastic bin that seals soiled cat litter in airtight bags.
While the product wasn’t a direct response to the declining birth rate, executives at Energizer determined that cats presented a potentially bigger market opportunity.
Selling diaper genies for cats presented a potentially bigger market opportunity than babies. Diaper genies for cats! What’s next, Pampurrs?
Please, stop! I’ll do whatever you need, corporations! How many babies was it you said?
“To be sure,” the article admits, “the U.S. population is still expanding, thanks in part to immigration.”
Thank heavens for immigrants. They are all that is standing between us and an America overrun by cats with diaper genies and boomers in adult incontinence-gear. I hope border officials keep this in mind, somewhere behind more pressing concerns, which is to say, at the very, very back.