Diapers and DNA

If I were to make a list of pet peeves, littering would be near the top.

As an amateur psychologist, I would argue that people who just throw their garbage anywhere they happen to be are suffering from personality deficiencies. My guess is they think the universe revolves around them and that social conventions are for other people.

So I sympathize when people get upset when dealing with chronic litterers. Even more so when said litter involved soiled diapers filled with feces.

As a father I have changed thousands of my children’s diapers. It isn’t a fun task. If you use cloth diapers rather than disposables, as we did, it is even more distasteful.

Therefor I understand why some rural Quebec residents are upset with whomever has been tossing their child’s diapers out of a car window and on to the side of the road. Supposedly there have been some adult diapers too. It isn’t pleasant for anyone who has to clean the stuff up. As well, there could be health issues.

I do find it strange that there are adult and child diapers mixed together – usually you don’t find both types in the same family. If you have young children you may be harried and frazzled but not likely incontinent.  I wonder if someone wasn’t paying attention and just bought the wrong diapers one day, and used them on their child.

The mayor of the rural municipality in question decided not to involve the police. I’m not quite sure why not. Littering may not be as high a priority as murder, but there are very few murders in rural Quebec. Tracking down a litterbug may become top priority for the police force on a slow day.

But I do question the methodology being used. I think the mayor has been watching too much television. A simple stakeout by the side of the road might be effective. Take the licence number of the car as the dirty diaper sails out the window. Case solved. Simple, but not flashy or high tech like on all the police procedural drams on television. I gather they’ve tried that, but the diapers are not a daily occurrence.

So the mayor has had the offending diapers scooped up and sent to the lab. Their theory is that the results of DNA testing will reveal the culprit.

I’ve been under the impression DNA testing was expensive, and therefore not likely to be used in a littering case‎, but it isn’t an area I have studied, so I really don’t know. I do already know the results though; I could tell you them even before the lab started testing.

When the mayor receives the lab report, he will be told that the DNA does not match that of any known criminal. He will be no further ahead in solving the crime.

After all, the diapers in question have presumably been removed from a young child. How likely is it that their DNA would be on record? We live in a democracy, not a police state. DNA is not recorded at birth. I suspect this entire exercise is pointless.

Unless the child grows up and embarks on a life of crime. I can see it now, in January 2037, as the charges are being read out in court: “Two counts of assault, one count of manslaughter, three counts of theft,” your honour. “And the accused has an outstanding charge from 2017 for littering.”

We live in a strange world. It could happen

If I were to make a list of pet peeves, littering would be near the top.

As an amateur psychologist, I would argue that people who just throw their garbage anywhere they happen to be are suffering from personality deficiencies. My guess is they think the universe revolves around them and that social conventions are for other people.

So I sympathize when people get upset when dealing with chronic litterers. Even more so when said litter involved soiled diapers filled with feces.

As a father I have changed thousands of my children’s diapers. It isn’t a fun task. If you use cloth diapers rather than disposables, as we did, it is even more distasteful.

Therefor I understand why some rural Quebec residents are upset with whomever has been tossing their child’s diapers out of a car window and on to the side of the road. Supposedly there have been some adult diapers too. It isn’t pleasant for anyone who has to clean the stuff up. As well, there could be health issues.

I do find it strange that there are adult and child diapers mixed together – usually you don’t find both types in the same family. If you have young children you may be harried and frazzled but not likely incontinent.  I wonder if someone wasn’t paying attention and just bought the wrong diapers one day, and used them on their child.

The mayor of the rural municipality in question decided not to involve the police. I’m not quite sure why not. Littering may not be as high a priority as murder, but there are very few murders in rural Quebec. Tracking down a litterbug may become top priority for the police force on a slow day.

But I do question the methodology being used. I think the mayor has been watching too much television. A simple stakeout by the side of the road might be effective. Take the licence number of the car as the dirty diaper sails out the window. Case solved. Simple, but not flashy or high tech like on all the police procedural drams on television. I gather they’ve tried that, but the diapers are not a daily occurrence.

So the mayor has had the offending diapers scooped up and sent to the lab. Their theory is that the results of DNA testing will reveal the culprit.

I’ve been under the impression DNA testing was expensive, and therefore not likely to be used in a littering case‎, but it isn’t an area I have studied, so I really don’t know. I do already know the results though; I could tell you them even before the lab started testing.

When the mayor receives the lab report, he will be told that the DNA does not match that of any known criminal. He will be no further ahead in solving the crime.

After all, the diapers in question have presumably been removed from a young child. How likely is it that their DNA would be on record? We live in a democracy, not a police state. DNA is not recorded at birth. I suspect this entire exercise is pointless.

Unless the child grows up and embarks on a life of crime. I can see it now, in January 2037, as the charges are being read out in court: “Two counts of assault, one count of manslaughter, three counts of theft,” your honour. “And the accused has an outstanding charge from 2017 for littering.”

We live in a strange world. It could happen

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