We know the visual clich? from film and small screen…
YOUNG BOY _ walks up to the check-out stand and, nervously, gets 4 packs of gum, a Woman’s Journal, and a Coke so as to cover up that he’s got 1 package of condoms on the conveyor belt_
This generally gets played out in that the cashier is a relative of the girl upon whom our YOUNG BOY has designs, or the condom needs a price check, etc.
Even my Dad knows a funny joke keyed off this cliche:
In the 50s we used to walk up to the druggist and say: “Can I have a pack of smokes whispers and some condoms?”
In the modern times we walk up to the druggist and say: “Can I have a pack of condoms whispers and some cigarettes?”
Now that we accept this as a cliche, the inevitable discussion turns to this modern mantra.
“Sex is natural and sex is lethal without protection. Ask for condoms sans shame, ask potential partners for their blood screening, etc.”
So now, here, in the 00s, one need have no shame of asking proudly and loudly for protection. Heck, on campus lawn at UT it was impossible not to pick up a free basketful every third week of the month. Nurtured in such a milieu, I haven’t the least shred of angst about asking for such pharmaceuticals.
What do I actually have a problem with? Asking for books at the bookstore.
Me: Do you have a copy of “I hate my job and my friends, what the hell is wrong with my life?
Guy: Let me check….
Now obviously this guy doesn’t know me except that i sound like a slightly depressed adult. I’m agonizing that he thinks I’m a serial killer instead of some sex-pervert who simply wanted those all-to-pedestrian prophos.
Or what about…
Me: Do you have a copy of “Channeling Learned Masters for your Cat?
Guy: Hang on puts hold on Hey Bob, some whack job wants to channel learned masters for his cat. Can you believe these whack jobs?
Imagine what kind of geek loser I am asking for a 50 year retrospective on Dr. Who (which I hate, whew, dodged that one).
Unlike a package of hats, asking for a book says something about my essential being as a person. It says I’m into tantra, or the history of cross-dressing.
Condoms, those sheaths of pedestrian laytex, simply say that I’m aware of the lethal risks of a biological drive that everyone has (ho-freaking-hum).
But don’t worry, I’m not really that angsty about the whole thing (who am I, Woody Allen?) - I just think that the parallel is amusing.