6 08 2008

There is perhaps no bigger pain in the ass than getting your hands on condoms once you get out of college.

When you’re in college, condoms are free and everywhere (kinda the way white dudes view asian chicks). At UMCP, they used to have a little woven basket filled with a couple hundred of them, and the resident assistants would occasionally tape them to the message boards next to inane “safe sex” billboards*.

Once you’re out of college, however, you’ve only got two options: you can order them online, or you can get them from a pharmacy. Ordering them online is a pain in the ass because it requires foresight, shipping charges, and waiting. Ordering online also rarely happens because, unless a guy is in a relationship, he tends to ‘Forrest Gump’ his way into sex without any real warning. As a result, he’s forced to go to the pharmacy.

The embarrassment** of buying condoms at a pharmacy, in addition to the annoying lack of sensation (which is self-evident and will not be discussed here), is the reason that condoms are annoying.

There are exactly two places to buy condoms – pharmacies in the hood, and pharmacies that are not in the hood. If at all possible, you must avoid buying condoms in the hood. Condoms in the hood are typically kept under lock and key somewhere near the front of the store where there are the greatest number of people.

Figure 1: Goddammit…

In order to get the condoms, you either have to a.) ask for assistance directly, or b.) push a fucking button near the condom cage that makes a obscenely loud fucking noise, saying to everyone present:


Buying condoms outside the hood is a little easier. The condoms are not kept under lock and key, but they are in a location that’s just as bad as the front of the store – namely, they’re at the back of the store where the pharmacy counter is, and there are usually just as many people here as there are in the cashier’s line. The best time to go get your condoms here is in the middle of the morning, around 9am – 10am. This puts you in the store after all the old people who show up at the butt-crack of dawn to get their psoriasis and diabeetus medication, and before the nine-to-fivers who rush in at lunch time to refill their Zoloft prescriptions so they can deal with their TPS Reports and eight different bosses for another couple of weeks.

Figure 2: 9 out of 10 black men would have sex with this Aryan cartoon model

Even if you get spotted, though, it’s not that big a deal. After all, you may be picking up condoms, but a person who’s there for prescription strength topical cream for her uncontrollable warts can’t exactly talk shit. As for the pharmacists themselves, they’re happy to see you buying condoms since you’re one less person who’ll be coming in trying to find a delicate way to say “I’d like the morning after pill, please.”

Regardless of where you buy condoms, you are bound to be spotted – so there are a number of ways to deflect the attention:

1.) Buy a shitload of condoms. Get a small basket and buy 20 fucking boxes (the big ones) so it looks like you’re stocking up for a health center, dorm, hospital, or porn shop. It may cost you hundreds of dollars, but no one will believe you’re buying all those for yourself, and it’ll be years before you have to buy condoms again.

Figure 3: Tell them you’re working on a collage, or sculpture

2.) Get on the phone. Call a good friend and chatter away the whole entire time. This may draw more attention to you, but at least you’ll be mostly oblivious to it since you’re engaged in conversation. It’ll also keep you from having to look the cashier in the eye when you finally make it to the register.

3.) Buy an equal number of similar items. Balloons and latex gloves are good choices. If you buy all these items together, it’ll look like you’re planning to use the condoms for something other than sex – like a huge (but decidedly bizarre) waterballoon fight. This strategy could easily backfire, though, as highly freaky people would have no problem finding sexual applications for balloons and latex gloves.

Good luck, and good hunting.

* I refused to ever take any of these condoms out of fear that some sick bastard was running around the dorms poking invisible holes in them with beading needles.

** I’m not really sure why I find this embarrassing, because I am not a prude in any sense of the term. In fact, until I was a teenager and received my ‘adult name’, my Algonquin name translated to ‘Naked Boy’ because of my predisposition to running around the house mostly or completely nude – a predisposition that persists to this day, much to the chagrin of those unfortunate souls that can see me through my balcony window.