It was time to protest. Jeannie had been dragged around the modern art museum just a week ago, a first date that she’d hated. Bored by her date but that’s why you went to museums for dates, so you could admire the exhibits.
It was a modern art museum and Jeannie had been bemused throughout. Her date was enthusing about the brave juxtaposition of feminist cis heterodoxity against the toxic manipulation of a capitalist society and all Jeannie could see was the crumpled wing of a car poised precariously above a broken wheel.
Worse, she’d taken a break from the pretentious witterings of her date over pretentious displays of pretention by pretentious people claiming they were creating art and gone to find somewhere to change her diaper. The stalls were too small, the changing table unsurprisingly sized for small people and the disabled facilities were far too dirty for comfort. She’d kept her diaper unchanged and was squelching before she got home.
No leak, but it had annoyed her. So today it was time to protest.
There was a nice cafe near the art museum, so she stopped there, enjoyed a large coffee. Enjoyed knowing what that would lead to.
Making her way into the museum she paid at the front desk and made her way through. She wasn’t sure where the best spot would be so kept hunting until she found it: a clear wall, open space before it, clearly waiting for the next exhibit. Her hunt had given the coffee time to get through her, join the juice she had for breakfast in filling her bladder, which she gleefully released.
The diaper did its job. She could feel it swelling between her thighs, heat against her skin, the leak guards and elasticated leg openings holding the flood until it could be wicked away. She wriggled a little, made sure she was done, and looked around mischievously.
Nobody had seen. Only a few people were even there, a week day morning, too early for the pretentious crowd, no opportunity for overpriced sparkling wine as they pontificated on the artists whose work they didn’t understand.
Those people saw what Jeannie did next. Pulling her loose skirt up to her waist she reached down between her legs and found the poppers on her diaper shirt, released them one by one. As the final popper snapped free the flaps at her crotch sprung apart, bouncing almost up to her skirt before falling to hang loosely in front and behind her.
A few second more and tapes were undone, the sodden diaper no longer compressed against her, its weight making it unwieldy to hold in place. Jeannie didn’t try, let it fall to the ground, a splodge as it landed revealing its well used state.
People passing heard the sound, looked across. Jeannie heard gasps, didn’t care, ignored them. She reached into her bag and took out the wipes, moistened but scentless, and wiped herself clean. The used wipes went into a small plastic bag which she put away, pulling out in its place a new diaper, pristine and clean.
Even as a small audience gathered she pulled it between her legs and drew it up to her waist, well practiced in changing while stood up. The top tapes went in place, nipping it tight above her hips, then the lower ones, assuring a secure seal around her legs. The next part was the tricky one, reaching between her legs to find the rear flap of her diaper shirt, drawing it through and up far enough that she could fasten the poppers again, let the shirt do its job of safely holding the diaper in place.
That done she shook her skirt, let it fall into position and hide her diaper shirt, hide the diaper it held. Looking up she glared at the people watching and spoke for the first time, cutting through their muttered displeasure. “Haven’t you seen a diaper change before? Fucking perverts.”
“The cheek!” exclaimed one woman, before her partner shushed her.
A different man just grinned at Jeannie and addressed her directly. “You mean that wasn’t a piece of performance art?” he said.
“Funny you should ask,” said Jeannie. She squatted down, picked up the diaper that was still between her feet and picked it up by one end. The expensive diaper hadn’t lost its integrity, the stuffing inside still uniformly spread, even with its whole wet weight hanging from the front waistband. Jeannie walked up to the wall and used her forearm to hold that waistband against it.
Reaching into her bag once more with her other hand Jeannie pulled out two nails. With her arm against the wall she held one of them to the corner of the diaper and her spare hand delved into her bag once more. A small hammer came out which she used to nail the diaper to the wall. A second nail at the top, then two more at the rear waistband of the diaper, leaving it flat against the wall, a vertical hourglass shape with the clearly wet padding facing the people watching.
The culmination of her protest was a small stencilled placard, double-sided sticky tape already on the back. She peeled off the protective layer and stuck it on the wall beside her used diaper. As she walked away, tucking her hammer back into her bag she heard the man reading it out.
“Flooding; a Climate Change Catastrophe in Action”
A murmur from within the crowd but she had someone else demanding her attention. A security guard, taking her arm firmly and drawing her forward.
“Sorry Ma’am, I need to escort you to the security office.”
Jeannie said nothing, let them lead her to a large room behind a strong door, a wall full of monitors showing different parts of the museum. In amusement she realised a camera must have caught her entire change, and was even now showing a crowd of people gathered around her used diaper.
The door opened and a police officer entered. She spoke to the security guard, “Is this the lady?”
“Yes,” said the security guard, “She’s been no trouble since the indecency and vandalism, but we have a zero tolerance policy so we’ll be pressing charges.”
Jeannie shrugged. She’d expected that, would use the court appearance to share her views on modern art, on museums with inadequate changing facilities. She could probably get media appearances from this, earn more than her dead end job. Her only regret was that man who’d spoken to her; she should have got his number.
As the police officer led Jeannie from the office an elderly lady came scurrying up to them.
“Stop,” said the lady, “There’s been a terrible mistake.”
“Oh?” asked the police officer, “I’m sorry, who are you?”
The lady introduced herself, “I’m Gerty Kowalciz, I’m the museum’s Art Director.” She showed an ID badge hanging on the lanyard around her neck to the police officer.
“I see, Ms Kowalciz, and what’s the mistake here?”
“Our security team weren’t aware of our new artist in residence, and apprehended her while she was creating our latest exhibit,” gushed Gerty, slightly breathless and clearly anxious, “I’m so sorry for the false alarm, and hope it hasn’t caused you too much inconvenience.”
‘Artist in residence?’ thought Jeannie.
“Artist in residence?” asked the police officer.
“Yes,” said Gerty, “Now if you pop into our cafe on your way out, I’ll call ahead and let them know you’ve been so helpful. They’ll be happy to make you a nice coffee, and I do recommend our in-house scones.” Turning away from the police officer she turned to Jeannie and took her arm. “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, let’s go and discuss your superb work.”
Jeannie shrugged in amusement at the police officer and let herself be led through the museum again. Ushered into a small office she sat down and looked up at Gerty, who paced nervously by the window.
“So?” asked Jeannie, “What was that all about?”
Gerty stopped pacing and looked at her. “I have a favour to ask,” she eventually said, “Umm. This is quite embarrassing.”
Jeannie waited patiently.
“We’ve sold your exhibit,” said Gerty, “Would you be willing to sell that used diaper you nailed to our wall to us?”
“Sell?” asked Jeannie in astonishment, “How much are we talking?”
“Well,” said Gerty, “Our standard commission is 15% but since we’ve agreed a sale without your permission we’ll waive that so after tax, you’d receive…” She thought for a few moments then continued, “Just over two hundred thousand dollars. One of the patrons was very taken by it.”
Jeannie didn’t speak, just looked at her in shock. “Two hundred thousand dollars?” she asked.
Gerty nodded, but seemed distracted. “There’s another thing,” she said, “the patron that made the offer wants to know if you have any other works available. He’s willing to pay the same again, and if they’re matching works add some extra too. You could make half a million here.”
Jeannie thought fast. Media appearances wouldn’t pay this much, and after selling a used diaper for $200k she’d be able to do the circuit anyway.
“I could create a matching piece,” she suggested, “Find me spicy tacos for lunch and I’ll have something for you before you close tonight.”
“You can produce your art that quickly?” asked Gerty, “I’m not sure another wet diaper would be sufficiently unique to attract him. What will the new piece be called?”
Jeannie grinned. “Oh, it’ll be different, I promise,” she said, “Might need to leave it to settle a few days before taking it home though. As for a name…”
She reached across the desk in front of her, pulled a piece of paper towards her and wrote on it.
“Landslide; a Climate Change Catastrophe in Action”