It's Not A Competition

by: Personalias | Complete Story | Last updated Jun 26, 2021 Three best buds take a shortcut to buying baby gifts and each get a pack of diapers. Imagine their confusion when they end up wearing those diapers.

Chapter 1
Part 1

It’s Not a Competition

Jim wandered down the baby supplies aisle, past the diapers, wipes, food, and formula. Where were the toys? True, he had seen some stuff in the toy section of the store, but he wasn’t about to spend that kind of money on something some kid would forget about in a month and never remember.

He briefly thought about the pet aisle and wondered if a two year old would know the difference between a dog toy and a kid’s toy. More importantly, would the kid’s mom know?

“Jim?” a familiar voice called out. Jim turned his head and at the other end of the aisle was a short and spindly man with scraggly hair and tuft of chin hair that belonged on a mystery solving stoner with a talking dog.

“Dale?” Jim called back.

“Jim!” Dale called back.



The two ran and hugged each other, as if they were long lost war buddies who thought the other hadn’t made it home. It hadn’t even been a week since they’d last seen each other. Their hug broke down into raucous laughter as they slapped each other on the back. Their own “bromance” had become a self-sustaining joke long ago.

“One day I hope you love me like that,” Lisa would often quip to Jim when he went out for a night on the town with his friends.”

“Dude,” Jim said, “fancy seeing you here.”

“I know, right?” Dale agreed. “What are you up –?”

“Dale? Jim?” A third voice rang out. Dale and Jim looked and saw him. He was half a head taller than either of them, but weighed almost as much as the two of them combined. He had the gut to prove it and the complete lack of facial hair to hide his multiple chins didn’t have a slimming effect either.

“STEEEEEEVE!” Jim and Dale shouted out in unison. And once again, the ritual repeated itself, this time in a massive group hug with Steve purposefully trying to bear hug and squeeze the air out of his friends.

This is how it had always been for the three of them, or at least that’s how it felt. They had met years ago in middle school, bonded, and had never really looked back. They had managed to be roommates back in college, traveled the world a bit in their mid-twenties, and were even each other’s best men (yes, plural), at their respective weddings. Even now with jobs and wives and responsibilities, they managed to meet for drinks at least once a week.

“So, no joke, what are you guys doing here?” Jim asked.

“Mindy sent me to get some diapers,” Steve shrugged. Jim and Dale exchanged looks.

“Dude…” Dale said. “Like, are you…?” he let the question hang in the air.

“What?!” Steve frowned, “No! God no! We’re not pregnant…”

“Pregnant?” Jim smirked. “I was gonna ask if you were pissing yourself or something. But if that’s the case,” he gave Steve’s belly a playful poke, “you might want to go down an aisle or two. I don’t think any of this stuff will fit you.” Jim was rewarded for his sophomoric humor with Steven’s big meaty hand smacking him on the head just hard enough to remind him that Steve could hit like a truck when he wanted to. It had been well over a decade since Steve had been a linebacker for the high school football team, but that didn’t mean he didn’t remember how to ring someone’s bell.

“Worth it,” Jim said as he instinctively rubbed the back of his head.

“But yeah,” Steve ignored Jim, “Mindy’s dragging me to a baby shower this afternoon. Figured diapers were a safe bet for a present.”

“Heh,” Dale said, “thought you’d already won the dad race or something.”

“Nah,” Steve shook his head. “Nothing like that.”

“You sure?” Jim asked. “You know the lady? What if this baby shower is how you find out that you’ve won?”

“If you can call that winning,” Dale added. “Congratulations, dude, you win eighteen years of responsibility!”

This was another curious quirk of their relationship; most everything was framed as a competition of some sort. Who could drink more, who could eat more, who could stay up watching bad movies longer, who had the highest paying job, who had the nicest house; they were always friendly competitions, but they were competitions all the same.
“No, I’m pretty sure this isn’t how I find out,” Steve replied. “Pregnant women don’t go buying more tampons three days ago.” That elicited an immature shudder of revulsion from all three of them. “’Sides,” Steve added, “I don’t need to win the Dad race. I already beat you guys in the marriage race.”

“Which is bullshit,” Jim countered, still grinning, “because I beat you in the getting engaged race.”

“By a week,” Steve replied. “It’s not my fault that Mindy and I got our wedding planned and booked before you and Lisa.”

“Pffft,” Jim scoffed, “As if you had anything to do with the planning.”

“Hey, I helped!” Steve said, seeming somewhat offended. Jim crossed his arms and cocked his head to the side in a smug expression.

“Uh-huh,” Jim said. “and when I was a kid I used to ‘help’ my mom lick the cake batter out of the bowl. I was a real helper, same as you.” Steve’s nose started to crinkle up into a snarl, one of the few signs that he was getting truly angry.

“Guys, guys, guys,” Dale interjected. “I think you’re both missing the point. I won the competition for hottest wife.” Dale smiled wide and toothy. Both Jim and Steve’s demeanor’s instantly softened. They looked at each other, then at Dale, then back to each other.

“Really, dude?” Jim snorted derisively. “You think Heather is hotter than either Lisa or Mindy?”

“Uh…yeah?” Dale said. Now it was his turn to get defensive.

“I mean, she’s okay…I guess…” Steve shrugged. “If you’re into that sort of thing.”

“What do you mean ‘that sort of thing’?!” Dale huffed.

“No, no, no, no,” Jim bit his lower lip in an attempt to hide a shit eating grin. Dale’s buttons were so easy to push sometimes. “Heather is a really nice, cool person….” And he let the phrase just hang in the air.

“But…?” Dale pressed, his toes curling in his sandals.
“Huh?” Jim pretended to not understand. “Nothing. She’s just a really nice and cool person.”

“Hey, little buddy,” Steve placed his hand condescendingly on Dale’s shoulder, “the important thing is that she’s attractive to you.”

“Oh you sons of…!” Dale puffed. He swatted away Steve’s hand. He wasn’t truly angry; not really, he knew a rib when he heard one, but it was still frustrating when you couldn’t think of a good comeback.

“Heeeeeeey!” Jim exaggerated, “That’s too far, Steve. Way too far! All of our wives are attractive.” He turned to Dale. “Dale, I swear to you that if Lisa ever dies before me, I’ll have sex with Heather; right in front of you if you want, just so you know I’m telling the truth.”

There was an intense silence as the three stared each other down. Then, they all burst into raucous laughter and the tension evaporated from the baby aisle in an instant.

“There is no good way out of this, guys,” Jim laughed into his hand, “so let’s just awkwardly change the subject.”

“Yeah, there was no way to win that,” Dale agreed. “It’s not a competition.”

“So yeah,” Steve chuckled into a sigh, “last minute baby shower gift. What are you jackasses doing here?”

“Two year old birthday party,” Jim answered. “One of Lisa’s work friends got invited and I’m being dragged along. Looking for a toy,” he added.

“Weeeeeird…!” Dale said. “Heather talked me into going to this christening for some work friend of hers. We’re not even religious.”

“Why is that weird?” Steve asked.

“All three of our wives are having us do baby stuff today,” Dale said. “That’s kind of a weird coincidence, don’tcha think?”

“Dude,” Steve said, “Our wives are getting the fever…”

“Ugh,” Dale groaned, “we might all win that ‘Who’s a dad’ competition at the same time.”

“Dude, it’s not a competition,” Jim said. “Besides, Lisa’s not getting the fever today. I practically guarantee it.”

“Why not?” his friends asked.

“You want a woman to get baby fever,” Jim explained, “you take them to a baby shower, or a christening, or something like that. When the kid is still crawling and cute and cuddly or not born, it seems so romantic.”

“Uh-huh,” Dale and Steve nodded, thinking about their own not so distant futures.

“But if you want to turn a lady off of having kids,” Jim continued, “have them hang around a bunch of toddlers. The whining, the crying, the snot, they can’t make up their damn minds; complete turn off.”

“Okay then,” Dale said. “Then you mean you’re not getting laid tonight.”

“What?!” Jim said.

“They get the baby fever,” Dale said, “they want to make babies. You know where babies come from, right Jim?”

“Do you want me to tell him?” Steve nudged Dale.

“No,” Dale joked, “that’s not our place. But you and Lisa need to have a long talk when you get home. Talk. But no sex.”

“Whoa,” Jim said. “I’m totally getting laid tonight. I’m so smooth, Lisa won’t be able to resist, AND she won’t want kids yet. Just you guys watch.”

“What is it with him and watching today?” Steve said.

“Ha-ha.” Jim shook his head. “Well I got a party to get to,” he reached for a pack of Huggies, size 5. “See you guys later.”

“Whoah!” Dale said. “What are you doing, man?”

“I’m getting my present for the party,” Jim cocked an eyebrow. “Why?”

“Dude,” Steve said, “that works for a baby shower, but that kid already has diapers.”

“Besides,” Dale added, “don’t kids start potty training at two? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to get a potty or something? At least some Pull-Ups?”

“Well he’s gonna need more,” Jim defended his decision. “And it’s not like they’re gonna start potty training right at the birthday party. Most kids are closer to three when they start training.”

“Fair,” Steve shrugged, grabbing his own package of Huggies, size 1, for the baby shower.

“And isn’t giving a two year old a potty a little bit like giving the kid homework or like giving your wife a vacuum cleaner?” Jim didn’t really care or believe what he was saying, he just liked arguing and wanted to win. Sometimes it was a competition. “Happy Birthday, kid!” Jim mocked, “Now here’s a chore for you.”

“Point taken,” Dale said reaching for his own gift package of Huggies, size 3. He looked at the duo of his friends, now staring at him like he was the biggest hypocrite on earth.

“Really?” Steve and Jim both asked.

“Hey,” Dale said, “it’s not like I know what to get a kid for a christening, either. Might as well go for the safe bet.”

And so each one took their package of Huggies and went home, diapers in tow to their waiting wives. But as each man stepped across the threshold of their home, their world went black…



End Chapter 1

It's Not A Competition

by: Personalias | Complete Story | Last updated Jun 26, 2021


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