Me and Chairman Mao
  I.P. Freely.
And no, I'm not referring to Intellectual Property, which, while obviously available very cheaply, is not quite free. (I mean, 75 cents for a reasonably good copy of a $100 million dollar blockbuster is something at least. Not much, but something, which is--confusingly--in itself something. Or something ...)

Anyway, I speak not of intellectual property, but of the more traditional association of the phrase "IP Freely." And in case, um, you're in (ding!) any doubt, I speak, to speak frankly, of pee. Yes, pee, without the "wee" or the "Herman." As I have mentioned before, that particular substance does tend to flow somewhat freely around here, given the peculiarities of children's fashion. And, in case there was any doubt of this--although, really, there wasn't--it has been illustrated to us not once but twice in the past week ...




We are outside the Oriental Manhattan apartment complex in Shanghai, China. A man walks by a circular fountain, which is connected to a series of rectangular pools, on his way back to his apartment. This is JASON. While he walks, he notices a WOMAN with a BABY moving toward the opposite side of the fountain. He continues to watch as the WOMAN reaches the edge of the fountain and proceeds to step onto the ledge, holding the BABY out over the water in a manner that would make Michael Jackson, the most famous of the baby-danglers, scream in girlish delight, which is likely the only way he is capable of screaming. JASON stops. As he watches, the WOMAN maneuvers the BABY so she is holding the BABY by both legs, using her underarms to support the child. It is at this moment that JASON realizes the baby has on split pants, which is undoubtedly the point of this entire exercise. Moments later this is confirmed as the BABY pees into the fountain. JASON looks away, shakes his head, and sighs.





We are inside the gym on the grounds of the Oriental Manhattan apartment complex in Shanghai. A woman is running on a treadmill on the building's second floor, looking out a bank of interior windows that overlook the indoor swimming pool. This is HOLLY. As she runs, she watches a SMALL BOY get out of the children's section of the pool accompanied by a woman, presumably the boy's MOTHER. The SMALL BOY proceeds to walk to the corner, where he drops his swimsuit and pees against the wall, at which point the MOTHER scoops up a handful of water from the pool and splashes it against the urine-soaked wall, washing said urine back into the pool. The MOTHER proceeds to do this several times before returning to the now urine-contaminated pool with the SMALL BOY. HOLLY looks away, shakes her head, and sighs.


The moral? The drinking water's not the only thing around here that's bad, obviously.
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