Saturday, August 4, 2007

Hovering In Condom & Gomorrah*

(* Recycled from my other blog as triggered by similar incident.)

Little did I remember that buying condoms in this town has the same ease as soliciting a hand job from a cloistered Orthodox nun.

Personally my issue is this: Why is the very mention of rubber makes people recoil with awkward embarrassment? (Or an unsuppressed burst of the giggles?)

Here’s the scenario: a few blinks from being three in the morning. You’re a routine insomniac. So you stroll into your neighborhood inconvenience store. (No, that isn’t a typo. It’s apt: there is always a very high probability of them being efficiently out of something you need badly.) While you survey the racks for junk to gorge on, you realize your hygiene cabinet is running out of Q tips. Instantly it also crosses your mind that you could use a box of latex. You don’t really need it tonight, but it gives you a certain comfort that there’s spare stock if the need arises. Besides it wouldn't hurt to sustain the paranoia of being directly responsible for earth’s alarming overpopulation escalation. You rummage through the aisles for the love globe in the same fervent mania of a bingo player who has too many cards to blot. Nada. You oscillate your head, crane your neck and dart your eyes from side to side like a crazed, rabid lizard.

Then you spot it.

Securely ensconced in the topmost shelf behind the checkout counter. The blasted rubber is almost overhead of the fundamentalist, deeply devout religious salesclerk.

Is there a rampant condom larceny going on? Why would you store condoms in the same protective measure as prescriptive heroin? The concept is quite far out—bordering towards the bizarre alien trajectory as Boy Abunda auditioning for the role of a human being.

You don’t see anything wrong with buying or using condoms. Hey, you once worked in advertising and prudishness isn’t your most sterling virtue. If at all you totally uphold what hip London-based agency, Mother, so gleefully shrieked in the cover of a paid off guest editorial in Creative Review: "I sold my soul and I like it!"

But let’s waltz back towards the tirade about buying latex.

With beaming, confident resolve you approach the counter. In very un-malicious flippancy you announce (albeit not too loud) while pointing at the boxes of condom that you want some.

Now here’s the cosmic split. While you go about unblinking at the request, in the salesclerk's parallel dimension, everything, including her synapses, screech into a stunned, silenced halt.

She gives you a mildly shocked (peppered with deeply amused) look of incomprehension. It’s as if she’s trying to gauge if indeed you’re actually, seriously, buying one. Judging from her blushing embarrassment you can fill out her floating thought balloon: “You’re haplessly purchasing a one-way ticket to Satan’s basement!”

She looks at you, looks at the condom, looks back at you, and then avoids looking at you, whilst visibly suppressing the outbreak of the giggles.

Lucky her you’re one person who has the appetite for absurdity. You don’t flinch, you don’t blink; you stare at her in the same vacuous steadiness perfectly manifested in Mark Herras’ acting.

She still avoids looking at you while stammering something that strikes you as hurried mumbles of The Apostle Creed. To ignite your growing exasperation she asks you again what is it that you want. Which starts to annoy you, because you distinctly declared your intent to buy a pack of condoms in decibels equal to what drunken Japanese executives emit when howling My Way in Karaoke Bars.

Again you say you want to buy a pack of condoms. She approximately hesitates reaching for the stacks of rubber in the manner like as if you bluntly asked her to dip her fingers in a vat of industrial-grade uranium/thorium compound. You also detect a hint of resentment that can only be explained if you insensitively suggested she fondle herself with a cracking livewire. At this point your annoyance becomes visible. Why would a dimwit stack sex-related consumables beyond customers’ reach if you deem it radioactive?

To make things more awkward the line behind you starts to build up. Then her colleague who was probably violating the broomstick in the backroom joins in the counter, and they trade nervous, amused and uncontainable half-smiles. One bites her lips, while the other stares at her feet. You cannot hear a single word but, thanks to your gift of combustible paranoia, you are convinced that telepathically they are swapping judgmental declarations about you. You happen to have a hyperactive imagination so to cancel your mounting irritation you try and imagine what their clairvoyant conversations would be. It might go along these lines:

Salesclerk 1: Oh My God! He’s buying a box of condoms!
Salesclerk 2: Indeed! Degenerate Sex Maniac! He probably hosts sixth generation Herpes!
Salesclerk 1: Horny toad!
Salesclerk 2: And a boxful at that! Haha!
Salesclerk 1: Probably having a drug-marinated orgy!
Salesclerk 2: Hmmmm. You think he’s hung?
Salesclerk 1: Stop You’re making me blush!
Salesclerk 2: YOU stop. I’d do him in a heartbeat.
Salesclerk 1: Hey! I saw him first!
Salesclerk 2: Slut.
Salesclerk 1: Bitch.


Though this fictional exchange is insane and hysterical you switch back to the realization that you’re getting more cross than you were thirteen minutes ago. Thirteen minutes! To buy a freaking condom! And you still don’t have it in your hands!

She fumbles among piled boxes, scrabbling between brands until she finally holds in her wobbly hands the very plastic fabric that draws the line between singlehood and alimony. Or, if you are of the alternative persuasion, the tacky souvenir disease. She tries to get a grip of her shaky reflexes and after mistakenly punching the purchase, twice, she avoids your eyes while demanding the payment.

You maintain your steady, now warpedly amused gaze. At that moment you decide to torment her more by flashing your most boyish, mischief-laced grin. The kind of thing that is part choir boy, part Hannibal Lecter, part Tommy Lee while pounding Pamela Anderson.

A few people behind you shift uneasily, some clamping their lips inward, amused, and—also—judging you with the same conviction of a pious snoot who is certain that you’re residency in Hell is now confirmed.

You grab your C2 iced tea, leisurely accept the plastic containing your condoms, wink at the now crimson-faced clerk, turn and grin diabolically at the folks behind you, clamp on your iPod in your ears, and with the composure of King Louis XIV steadily walk out.

Nonchalantly whistling a happy tune.

15 comments:

Datu said...

the conversation (the last two lines in particular) reminded me of my bestie. i miss that bitch.

and i thought buying estrogen pills in tran attire was stressful enough.

loudcloud said...

datu - you are a courageous man! you got my eternal respect! hahaha.

Q The Conqueror said...

datu, a man?! really... hmm...

Anyway, I bet that salesclerk was just jealous coz shes not getting laid, and seeing that box of condoms made her even wetter thinking of all those condoms being used (just not on her). Heh. :))

loudcloud said...

q! - you're opening that subject for debate? hahaha. i may have to agree you regarding the salesclerk's jealousy. sexual sourgraping is what i'd call it. not! lol

loudcloud said...

errr i may have to agree WITH you. my typing skill is nonexistent. :P

Q The Conqueror said...

@loudcloud- Well... datu is taking estrogen pills. :)) But only Datu can really answer the question :))

loudcloud said...

q - wow. blind item or true detail? i await datu's corroboration ;-)

Datu said...

goodness, there are more exciting basketball games and cock fights (NO pun intended ;p) to bet on than my transexuality. -_-' haha!

Boyd said...

i love buying condoms in convenience store and announce in sevenelevenlandia that i am getting laid!

"miss pabili ng yosi, yung lights. tsaka condom, yung banana."

emphasis on the "banana."

loudcloud said...

datu - as a pablo neruda poem would have it:

...everyone pries under your sheets, everyone interferes with your loving; they say terrible things about a man and a woman
who after much milling about,
all sort of compunctions,
do something unique,
they both lie with each other in one bed...


don't glare at me; hurl porcupines upon Q's retinas for bringing teh subject up! haha

loudcloud said...

boyd - hahaha. you are a terribly mad, mad man! i can imagine the priceless look on teh faces of sevenelevenlandia folks when you do it!

Q The Conqueror said...

@loudcloud - tanggap na yan ni Datu. I still have pics in my computer of him in a dress during our Grad ball. May tall guy pa na parang escort niya. *snicker* :P

loudcloud said...

Q! what a priceless picture. so ripe for exploitation and blackmail! bwahaha

datu, the wilted prune. said...

eghad--not THAT picture! those...those...PIMPLES!!! :,((

Q The Conqueror said...

@loudcloud/Datu - oh yes... Datu with long hair and a purple dress.... Di naman gaanong klaro ung pimples...

Unless I enlarge it. Hahahaha. (Nga pala Datu, kupalin ko kaya ung kamukha mo by transposing his face on yours... On second thought, baka maban ako sa bahay/koche niya) :P