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Depends Ain't So Damn Dependable

Lately, I've been getting pretty tired of having to change my pants constantly. It's no fun having to go put on a pair of fresh trousers every time a dog barks or a door slams too loud.

So, the other day, I was watching TV in the nursing home's rec room when one of those Depends commercials came on. You know, the ones with the happy-looking gray-haired couples riding bicycles. They seemed to really be enjoying the diapers, so, figuring it was worth a shot, I headed over to the local Walgreens and picked myself up a 12-pack.

When I got back to the senior center, I strapped a pair on, and, at first, it seemed pretty promising: Snug around the legs with plenty of room for cargo in the back, the Depends felt like they just might be the answer to my troubles.

But I quickly found out something—Depends ain't so damn dependable. I don't know what those confounded things are made of, but I didn't have them on more than 30 minutes before they fell halfway to my knees, sopping wet and stained the color of lemonade.

I was more than a little irate. After all, I could have spent that money on Brach's sourballs or a new TV Guide. My mind set on a full refund and no less, I headed straight back to the Walgreens.

After a barrage of questions that, I must say, were very personal, the lady at the photo-finishing counter determined that I had put on the Depends incorrectly. She said I was supposed to have the plastic side with the wetness-check strips on the outside, not the inside.

For the next few days, her advice seemed to do the trick: With my newfound understanding of how to properly put on the undergarment, I was able to successfully manipulate the various straps, buttons and sticky strips each morning and be worry-free until sometime in the middle of the day. At that point, I simply had to remove the diaper, its innards loaded down with waste materials but its outside dry and shiny, and heft it into the garbage. Then I simply replaced it with a fresh one from my late wife's macrame bag, and, presto, I was set through the start of the CBS prime-time line-up.

Unfortunately, the smooth sailing did not last: I started having major problems with the Depends on Friday, which is taco day at the nursing home. While they had worked fine on typical "light flow" days—three urinations at five-hour intervals and a small defecation in the evening—they were not equipped to handle a Friday load, which is almost always much heavier, what with my difficulties digesting meat.

An hour after a nice lunch consisting of a taco, fruit cup and scooter pie, the trouble began. I barely made it back to my room when I felt a warm, spongy feeling creeping down my leg. Sure enough, on my good dress slacks, there was a yellow line running from my privates to my slippers, with an enormous brown circle in the back. Apparently, the Depends' safety straps had collapsed under the weight of what I consider to be merely a medium-sized defecation.

Furious, I marched right back into the Walgreens and demanded my money back, placing the offensive article on the checkout counter, thoughtfully placed inside a Denny's doggie-bag I'd been saving under my bed. After some discussion, the store manager agreed to give me my refund, and I left with my $8.99 in hand.

I will shop at Walgreens again, because I feel they have a good return policy—within 14 days with receipt and your full money back—but I'll tell you this: You'll never catch me diaper-shopping in the "adult needs" section again. Me and Depends, we're through.

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