Friday, February 29, 2008


In photography as in fishing, there is always The One That Got Away.

Today, it happened again.

Walking toward me on a crowded sunny sidewalk was a portly man wearing nothing but a diaper, a black diaper, with shoes and socks. It was not shorts, or a lava lava, it was a diaper. Where does one even buy a black diaper in size Enormous, yet?

It boggles the mind.

I had my camera with me, but was riveted mesmerized paralyzed with fascination. eyes glued to that immense diaper as it went by like an isle flotante. A mirage. Or perhaps an acid flashback.

"Now there's a conversation piece," I said aloud.

A woman who was hurrying around me said, "Nobody looks at anyone in San Francisco. He's counting on that."

Reluctantly, I left the scene of the crime ( crime obscene?) because I had things to do.

On my way back, I plotted our next encounter. My camera was set to shoot on sight, and I rehearsed various polite opening gambits to our conversation.

"Excuse me, could I photograph you in your exceptionally large diaper?"


"Would you mind if I took your picture? I've never seen anyone wearing... "

Scratch that.

I peered into all the restaurants and coffee shops, although I was sure he would be refused entry to any of them. Some body parts should not be allowed to dangle on chairs used by the general public.

"Pardon me, Sir. May I take your picture? You look so -- comfortable."

It wasn't much but it was the best I could come up with.

For some things, there are no second chances. I didn't see him again. All I have to remember him by is my seared eyeballs and the lingering melody of the Batman song, lyrics changed to "Diaper Man." Da da da da da da da da, Dia-per Man.

It made me ponder how many opportunities we miss in life because we are not prepared. I think, many.


furiousBall said...

you know originally Paint it Black by the stones was about diapers, but under pressure from the label, the changed it to be about other stuff

RED MOJO said...

That's something you just don't see everyday! Wow, I think I'm glad I read about it, instead of actually witnessing it for myself!

thailandchani said...

I'm curious about something. When you saw the guy, was the diaper kind of big and loose, looked like it was folded between his legs? When I was in Thailand, I saw some guy like that. The guy was huge - tall - and I couldn't keep from laughing out loud. It wasn't out of meanness but just that it did look like a big diaper. I wanted to give him a pacifier!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I did not know, but it figures. I hardly ever get the lyrics to rock songs right.


Gee, you think? I'm glad I could help.


Your guy sounds like a sumo wrestler who got off at the wrong stop.

WNG said...

We're going to have to work on your reflexes:)
Personally, I enjoy the stories more than I might the pictures. Question: was a missed opportunity for a picture or a great opportunity for description?

Craze said...

I'm convinced I should carry my camera around with me at all times, I know I miss a lot of photo opportunities.

A black diaper huh? Weird.

Nick said...

It would have been an amazing pic. But what I wonder is why? Why does he wear a diaper? Is it some kind of throwback to his childhood? Are they cheaper than standard underpants? Does he just want to cause a sensation? The mind boggles.

seventh sister said...

you did such a good job of describing it that I think we all get the picture anyway.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


They say one picture is worth 1,000 words. See? I spared you most of them.


Yup. He looked really pleased with himself so I'm sure I missed something.


It certainly was not about celebrating the human form.


Oh, sorry about that.

Open Grove Claudia said...

Yes, one never knows when one might meet an almost naked man wearing only a black diaper. Best to be prepared.


That's almost as weird as the crap that happens here... almost... not quite...

Molly said...

I wonder what he thought as he looked in his mirror one last time to adjust his enormous diaper, before sallying forth onto the streets to sear your eyeballs? Maybe he was thinking he looked particularly fine today.......Isn't it marvellous that there are people who unexpectedly do such bizarre things, thereby making life more entertaining for all of us!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


If you know how one prepares for such a thing, I'm listening.

So-o, you're saying he's a runaway from Denver?


It's difficult to gauge the thought processes of a person so sorely misguided, but yes, if there's a weirdo loose in the streets, I can usually be counted on to find him.

What does that say about me, you ask? Let's not go there.

Mariposa said...

I saw one like that years ago, but it was "crazy day" in our school and it was a white one! LOL

Now, if you could pls excuse while I google for black diapers...

Anonymous said...

I have a list as long as my arm of the photos I either didn't have my camera for or jsut somehow couldn't quite take. Sorry you missed out on Diaper Man.

Anonymous said...

by the way, the song that pops into my mind is a variant on Iron Man: "I am Dia-per Man!"

Slip said...

What color were his shoes and socks? Did he at least show some fashion sense ?

blooming desertpea said...

Yes, I believe we miss many opportunities but that's all they are. One door closes, the next opens ... who knows what you're going to encounter next! :)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Oh the LIST of opportunities... it's such a long one!

And the PHOTO opps... sigh. You're killin me sister.

Batman looks good in his black undies... but the diaper~man just sounds like something that's a once in a life time.

I'm only kind of sorry you missed it...
I need my eyes.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

PS ~ On the off chance that you weren't aware, Ghirardelli Square is having a chocolate festival for two days the 5th and 6th (whatever that weekend is, I don't have a calendar handy)... could you please go shoot some photos there, since I will miss it?

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Claudia and Hearts,

I would just like to point out, in defense of our fair metropolis here...

Denver is far too cold for diaper-only clad folk.

We have Boulder yuppies/hippies, Denver goths, and street people. That's about as exciting as it gets.

S & V

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I Googled for it, too, but could only find white diapers and one red one.


It was right up there with the guy in San Diego who rollerblades in outlandish costumes usually involving a thong, and whips by much too fast to catch on film. Most people call him "Flash," but to me, he will always be "Thong Man."


I really think that a black diaper cries out for black shoes and socks, perhaps a black manpurse, too. His formerly-white sneakers were grungy, as were his socks, which is not to say that he did not make a strong fashion statement,but in a language I don't understand.

Desert Pea,

I can hardly wait to see who's out there today. Even the regulars are pretty colorful.


The Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival is in September, the first weekend. That should give you time to get here.

The last time I was in Boulder, Front Street had mostly lost its street people and only the yuppies and Trustafarians remained.

And yes, Colorado is way too cold in winter for the scantily clad, no matter how exciting they are.

The CEO said...

I thought you were perfectly prepared. Your powers of observations are first rate. Your writing is superb. I call that being well prepared. If you were a professional news photographer, I might have expected a photo. But I do believe you get more out of living in San Francisco than the vast majority of the population there.

Maria said...

I always think about missed opportunities.

Last night in the grocery store, there was this guy in front of me with 26 boxes of instant oatmeal and nothing else. I was DYING to ask him if he really liked oatmeal, if he was supplying an orphanage or what but I didn't. The opportunity passed.

Now, I will never know.

Say It said...

I much prefer the idea of the image rather than an actual image. I'll leave the eyeball searing for your eyes thanks. :)

Franki said...

Oh I saw that guy too! But it was definitely an acid flashback.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well, to be fair, there is so much to get out of living here.

Thank you for letting me off the hook on the photo. It might have destroyed my camera, anyway.


The image of you counting his 26 boxes of instant oatmeal makes me giggle. Maybe he hates it but is a masochist.

Say it,

Oh, they're seared all right. If I ever see him again, I'll probably go blind.


But I never took acid. I'm not entitled to flashbacks.

Rachel said...

I....have no comment. The mental image of a grown man wearing grungy shoes and socks and a black diaper renders me utterly bereft of thought.

Franki said...

me neever, but i played one on tv.

Christy said...

That is so funny. Or maybe not, perhaps the man is truly disturbed. Hmmm.

No. Just funny. ROFL!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Sometimes that's not a bad thing, being rendered wordless.

Of course, that rarely happens to me.


You played an acid flashback? Are you moonlighting on one of those reality shows?


Glad you decided in my favor. I was holding my breath there.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

HA HA HA!!!! You know what a Trustafarian is! That's sooooo funny!

*giggling*... only someone who'd been here would know that. hee hee.

I'm not going to make it to SF for the first weekend in Sept because I am going to Portland, Seattle, Spokane and Vancouver (bc) two weeks after that.
Otherwise, if it was even KIND OF close in timing, I'd have made a whole coastal trip out of it, and not missed anything.
I'm VERY sad to miss it.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

MsLittlePea said...

I find myself idiotically laughing like Beavis and Butthead from the cartoon of my brainless teen years. 'Diapers...hehhehheh.'

I weep for the photo that could have been. Maybe you'll see him again. In red if he's feeling frisky.

Girl on the Run... said...

I could have used a good laugh! lol I can imagine! Here in NY we see quite a few wierd things... but I haven't seen a man in a diaper walking around yet! lol Naked Cowboy yes... he is even on the net! lol All the best! ~M

Ian Lidster said...

We do indeed miss out on many opportunities in life due to not being prepared. On the other hand, I'm kind of glad you didn't get a photo of the hefty dude in the black diaper. My mental imagery covers the ground, and it's not a pleasing sight -- or thought.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, I have been to Boulder. It's a beautiful city.

Your trip sounds glorious. Too bad you can't include this city, too. I think you'd love it.

Sweet Pea,

He looked more like Baby Huey, actually.

I think if I saw him in red, I'd go blind.


I've lived in Greenwich Village, so I'm familiar with the concept.


Today is another sunny, warmish day. I'm loaded for bear.

OC said...

Oh my...I am at a loss, but honestly I can totally imagine it. What neighborhood was he in?

Jocelyn said...

I'm so glad you actively enjoy and appreciate where you live. I would LOVE to see a man in any color of diaper on the streets of my town.

He must have been a wrestler?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


The Marina, where I live. What part of SF did you live in before you moved to Montana?


I doubt it. Don't wrestlers have to be really fit or something?

Anyone who went out dressed like that in a Minnesota winter would freeze to death in seconds. I used to live there, you know. I still dream of frostbite.

Anonymous said...

Now I have to google "black diapers". Can't help myself.

Good point about missing opportunity if unprepared.

Sven said...

My missed opportunity came on our honeymoon to Europe. My wife and I were in Rome when we spotted a very elegant, impeccably coifed, 50-something woman dressed to in a short business suit/skirt-type thing - complete with high heeled shoes - driving a Vespa. Altough I had my camera with me, by the time I got it ready to shoot she realized what I was doing, gave me a dismissive look and scooted loss.

OC said...

I lived in both the Sunset and the Excelsior. I also lived in Alameda the last 4 years I lived there. But I worked downtown on Market right by the Embarcadero Bart Station.

I miss it a ton!

jameil1922 said...

but perhaps they are not meant to be caught. I for one just want to thank Jesus you were not camera ready.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I already looked but couldn't find any. Which is jut as well. It's not as if I want to BUY them or anything.


It would have been a great shot! I used to see entire families on Vestas in France and Italy, Papa, Mama, two or three kids hanging on and a baby, along with the ubiquitous baguette.

I never got that shot either.


Life in Montana must be as different as possible in the same country.

You should come for a visit.


You've got a point. Maybe I should just wear horse blinders and leave my camera at home.

Anonymous said...

You have captured the moment, even if you did not get it on film. You have quite the talent for that.

Hmmmm, speaking of photography. The World Around Me has not been updated in quite a while. Will we get to see some more images soon?

Open Grove Claudia said...

heya - I just gave you an award - come on by! :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You are always so kind that my face lights up when I see that you have visited.

I've been terribly remiss about getting film processed. We have about ten rolls to be done, some of which are mine. Thanks for the reminder.


Thank you!! And such a nice one, too.


Melanie said...

DAMN!!! you should have at least used your phone!

I so would have made up lyrics too. I always find that the spiderman song works better for lyrics...

diaper man, diaper man,
does whatever a diaper man does... LOL.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I had my camera with me AND my phone. I didn't use either.


Nnairda's said...

Wow that would have been something to see!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It surely was!

Thank you for your visit.

Anonymous said...

I saw a man with a live Chicken on his head tied on like a bonnet and no pants in the Tenderloin a few years ago. No lie. For a minute I thought I was hallucinating until my husband and a bunch of fellow passers by all muttered What the fu*K? I took a picture but sadly it was too blurry.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


That poor chicken! I believe you.

Welcome back to these shores. You were so missed!

Odat said...

LOL.....Thanks for the laugh!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


:) !!!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

37 years later....

Yes, Hearts, it will be glorious fun, and it could only be improved by a visit to one of my favorite cities in the world, San Francisco.

I grew up near there, in Benicia. I am very familiar with SF; it is a pirates treasure chest with all it's nooks and crannies and spectacular little hidden trinkets.

I miss it so much that I can feel it sometimes.

But for this visit, it's just *this* much too far away from being on the itinerary, MUCH to my dismay.

So... you wanna snap a couple of chocolate pics for me?

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Of course. I'll be happy to take pictures for you, and I'll even eat some chocolate for you, too. Lots and lots of it - after all, if it's "yours," I can't gain weight, right?

Judith said...

I have a theory - a wild hunch tells me the guy had a dose of food poisoning . destroyed everything in its wake clothing wise and used a bed sheet as a last resort against further prevention when he went out to buy some tide. Thinking about it the only alternatvie scenario is that he lost his mom in a mall

heartinsanfrancisco said...


That's the only theory that makes sense! How could I have missed it?

And all this time I thought he was making a fashion statement.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Thank you!
I prefer dark chocolate Mayan style... with cayenne in it.

Spicy and Dark!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'll get right on it.

I just finished some Godiva candied orange peel in dark chocolate. I wish I had bought more, but now I have something to live for.