Readings — From the October 2016 issue

Town Criers

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From a village board meeting held in June in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Tykables, a company that serves adult-baby diaper lovers, opened a storefront in the village two months earlier. Arlene Juracek is the mayor of Mount Prospect. Michael Cassady is the village manager. Lance Malina is the village attorney.

arlene juracek: I want to thank everybody for attending tonight’s meeting. We know that there are many folks upset. What we have here is one of a mayor’s worst nightmares.

michael cassady: The business owner requested a license in February. In early March we got a description of the business, which would be office use for online and in-store sales of Tykable products, primarily for diapers, but we understand a clothing line is forthcoming. The offiace would also house oversize items, including an adult-size crib, a tricycle, a ball pit, a rocking horse. The post to YouTube that has gone viral throughout our community started to question if the business was operating outside the confines of our ordinances. Moving forward, we plan to investigate the business to ensure it doesn’t go off track.

lance malina: Diapers and toys that would normally be used by an infant but are constructed oversize so that an adult might use them are not illegal. There was an image of Justin Bieber walking with a pacifier the other day in the news. Tykables is an existing internet business of some significance. It has an international presence at this point, and the business owner was already selling these products, although this was the first brick-and-mortar store.

juracek: I’m going to let the audience have an opportunity to make a statement.

speaker 1: It’s hard for us to swallow. What if I go sell my house and someone says, “Hey, you live down the street from that baby-diaper place, I’m not interested in living there.” This is not the community that I moved to.

speaker 2: Before I came here I watched the video. It’s been on the internet for a few months, inviting people to come to Mount Prospect, to play in the store and so forth. I think the damage is done, in terms of inviting others who share that type of lifestyle. Is there a plan in place for the monitoring of Tykables?

malina: You can have a business that is a fruit stand, for example, that sells vegetables and fruit. Another business could sell certain vegetables because they become part of some sort of sexual fetish. They sell the same product, but you know that’s what they cater to. That’s not a basis to deny them a business license, unless the fetish itself is illegal, if it involves human trafficking. The fact that the product is tied to something unfamiliar and viewed as distasteful by the vast majority of people would not allow you to deny the seller.

speaker 3: I live in the neighborhood. If we can’t make them leave, my suggestion is to have a big, clear sign: must be 18 and over to get in. Because if you’ve looked on his website, on his Facebook page, he’s making posts saying, “Schedule a free photo shoot in the baby crib.” This business was allowed two blocks from an elementary school — young kids and foot traffic. They shouldn’t be able to see anything inside.

juracek: When I saw the blocks in the window clearly attracting kids to the business, my first reaction was to cover them up or something, because it just projects the wrong image.

speaker 3: As a parent, it is very creepy.

juracek: I have personally not viewed the video, because you can’t unview it. There’s no way I want to have those images in my brain. If you haven’t seen it then I’d encourage you not to.

speaker 4: There are people sitting in a high chair, being fed.

speaker 5: It’s like he played everybody here. He posted his video, he got his permit, he’s getting his party going over there, and we’re supposed to sit back and watch. A lot of us learned a whole lot about this fetish thing, which, you know, you don’t want to.

juracek: What we like and what we can legally do sometimes don’t go together.

malina: The wearing of these clothes is a type of expression. If it were obscene it could be banned. But actually the diapers are more modest than swimsuits.

speaker 6: I look at your faces and I can see that you wouldn’t want this. Would you feel comfortable having this vendor in your neighborhood? Next to your house? Next to the church, or the school? I don’t think you would. So I hope as a village board you will think of a way to have this vendor moved and make this the village that we used to know.

speaker 7: Everyone’s looked at the videos. How many kids have, too? How many seeds have we plopped into their minds? According to what I have read, whatever this condition is, whatever these people do, occurs between the ages of eleven and thirteen, and I have kids between those ages — or will. It worries me. It’s just evil. It’s a little seed that has been dropped in our village. I’m not saying that our kids are going to be wearing diapers. I’m just saying, now what?

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