Diaper Man, Cotton Farmer


If you had told me a week ago that I would be flown to Bangkok for 3 days to play an American Farmer in a Chinese diaper commercial I wouldn’t have believed it. But indeed this is what has happened. The location for the three-day shoot is a rich man’s estate with hundreds of acres of lagoons and gardens with carefully landscaped Lombardi pines. It looks like Versailles transplanted to Thailand. I am hardly the most important person in this project, in fact I am almost inconsequential, but they saw something in me I guess they could not find among the expatriates living in Bangkok.

Or maybe I just had a lucky break and a good Agent. The woman who plays the mother of the cute baby who needs my diapers is an incredibly beautiful young woman. She is so beautiful in that Thai way that a billboard sized picture of her could stop traffic.

The man who owns this estate is probably long dead. There is a bust of him on the landing and a huge oil portrait of him on the second floor, with photos of him and the royal family, but no one in the crew seems to know who he is, or care. We’re just using his house as a location for a commercial shoot.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. You can be rich enough to own Versailles but your house will be used as a location for a diaper commercial and no one will know who you are.

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Lying for its own sake



He had been lying for so long that telling the truth seemed unreal. When asked “what have you been doing all day?” his first thought was to make up a bunch of nonsense that would make him seem to be ambitious, inspired, and diligent. When he responded “not much,” it was as if a heavy object had thudded to the floor nearby. The truth is clunky. Not sexy. Not very interesting.

If it weren’t for the necessity of keeping his lies straight in his own mind, he would have an easier time continuing in his chronic dishonesty, but as he got older, he found it harder to remember his own bullshit.

So now, at this advanced age, he was going to try the straight and narrow. He would give it a try. He could always go back to lying if it seemed the only path. As soon as he announced is intention, he began a flurry of lying and exaggerating. If the real answer was two, he would say three, or one, if someone asked if he’d seen a movie he’d say “yes” even though he hadn’t, and before the words left his lips he would worry how he would get out of this one.

This was habitual lying with no motive of gain. Pure compulsion.