Suicide was ruled out, even though it is well known that going to too many children’s birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese brings on a sense of existential despair and a profound feeling of loss of self. “Life has to be more than watching a giant dancing rat cavort on a big flat screen TV,” the more sensitive Chuck E. Cheese patrons have been known to say, before falling into a deep well of depression at wasting two hours of their brief existences there.
Fortunately, the place serves beer, or at least all the Chuck E. Cheese’s I went to in my early dadding days did. I’m not sure about one in Alabama, but it raises the possibility that the victim in this case had been drinking.
Being even mildly buzzed while changing a diaper can be dangerous, even without having a loaded chiller in your diaper bag. The process requires a strong stomach and a passable grasp of fluid dynamics, or you end up wearing a little poopie yourself. The changee often kicks and gurgles, presenting different angles that the changer is forced to stab at with his or her baby wipe. Before wrapping another diaper on the child, it is necessary to apply some sort of baby butt grease, or at least some powder, to the target area. It is possibly that tube of lubricant the victim was reaching for when he accidentally grabbed his loaded gat instead.
There are concealed carry diaper bags available, because this is America and there just had to be, but there is no report that the victim in this case was using one. It was a regular old diaper bag, covered with images of Heffalumps or Teletubbies, like the one I hauled after my entry into dadhood. I packed it many a time—diapers, wipies, baby ass lotion. I never added a loaded heater, because I never fantasized about saving everyone at a Chuck E. Cheese’s from a mass murderer, possibly because I thought they all deserved to die for making me go there. I fantasized about potty-training my kid instead, which I eventually did. I am slightly ashamed to say that the realization that I had bought my last pack of Pampers was the proudest moment of fatherhood for me. Changing a baby is not a natural act for a man. Women will actually volunteer to diaper an infant not their own, just to get their hands on that adorable baby flesh. A man’s natural reaction to the opportunity to change a child’s bottom is to run away and hide, possibly in the woods.
But this Alabama man was at least woke enough to change his kid’s diaper. He wasn’t quite brainy enough to figure out that his home town was not as full of lurking murderers as Fox News and the NRA would have him believe, though, so he took his piece everywhere he took his daughter. He had a couple beers, his child had a slice of pizza and pooped before the show was over. They’ll do that. He took the child outside. When he started changing the little girl he panicked somehow, maybe because he got a little poo under his fingernails—that happens, especially if alcohol is involved. He reached into his diaper bag quickly, for an emergency baby wipe, grabbed his loaded weapon instead, and now there’s nothing left of him except a diaper bag with a bullet hole right through Tigger's ears in it.
The local cops said it was “a tragic accident.” That’s because they’re not allowed to say, “This was Darwin at work.”
But that’s what they’re thinking,