More gratuitous, mean-spirited male-bashing from our eccentrically hilarious news-chronicler, Dave Ford.
It is nice to know that many men are using condoms in order to prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. It is alarming, however, to note the lengths to which some will go to procure them.
For example, one or more burglars pilfered a condom machine on March 22 from a bathroom in the Quarterback Pub, a shuttered bar in Bellingham, Washington (population roughly 80,000), the Bellingham Herald reported the next day.
The thief(s) also managed to pry open an automatic teller machine. (For the sake of efficiency, each of these now is colloquially known as “an ATM,” or, in popular parlance, “an ATM machine,” which really means “an automatic teller machine machine,” a perfectly winning redundancy.)
“It was not known,” the Herald reported, “if there was any money—or condoms—in the machines.”
If there were no condoms in the machine, it might be because the Quarterback Pub closed in Feb. 2010. If, on the other hand, there were, it is possible that the thief(s) wanted the prophylactics not for personal use but to sell on the black market.
If that’s the case, the burglar(s) are spiritual brothers with six Malaysian men who allegedly recently stole 700,000 condoms from a Malaysian company shipping them to Japan.
The chief of police of the state of Perak (population 2,258,428), who goes by the delightful name of Mohamad Shukri Dahlan, told the Associated Press, that authorities discovered hundreds of boxes of the filched condoms at a warehouse and a private residence.
According to the March 17 AP report, police arrested the six, some of who worked for the condom company, and charged them with “corruption,” a conviction for which brings 10 years in prison.
Authorities estimated the booty’s worth at $1.5 million. By our calculations, that’s roughly $2.14 per condom. At that price point, if the Bellingham burglar(s) made off with, say, 50 condoms from the Quarterback Pub machine, he/they’d be able to sell them for more than $100.
That would be enough to pay for a celebratory tumble with a prostitute. Alas, the burglar(s) would be out of condoms, thereby undercutting the joy of the anticipated event.
Where do condoms come from? Some come from Condom, in France.
Or no, actually, they don’t.
A French court recently banned a company from claiming the condoms they sell are from Condom. Some of the 7,200 residents there objected to their hometown being associated with, well, scumbags.
A March 16 report on the AFP newswire (“A World of News”) noted that the court, located in the nearby city of Bordeaux (population roughly 250,000), prohibited “the continued sale of condoms under the brand ‘The Original Condom from Condom, France.’”
For readers confused by this locution, it’s a little like saying, “The Original Detroit from Detroit, Michigan,” except for the fact that a “detroit” is not a product that shields the male penis from the consequences of what the male penis often idiotically does.
(The word “Detroit” does have a sort of French look and ring to it, however, n’est-ce pas?)
The condom company is co-owned by two men. One is a descendant of King Louis XIV; we can all be thankful that his forebears had the pleasing sense to christen him Charles-Emmanual de Bourbon Parme. The other is Count Gil de Bizemont, who is related neither to King Louis XIV nor to Count Chocula, who is involved with chocolates—or, as the French say, chocolates—and not condoms.
The headquarters for these men’s so-called “luxury condoms,” which they claim have “a certain je ne sais qois” (translation: “semen-trapping quality”), is in the town of Condom. Perhaps it is ironic, perhaps not, that the contraceptives are not sold in that town, or anywhere else in France. (They are distributed mostly in the U.S.)
In a curious tangent, the AFP pointed out that “the river Baise (French for sex) runs through the popular tourist town [of Condom]…”
For readers confused by this locution, it is a little like saying that “the river Fuck (American for sex) runs through the popular tourist town of Detroit, a place not to be confused with penis-sheathing products of any sort.”
The AFP reported one more telling detail. Though the luxury-condom-producing company is located in Condom, “the contraceptives themselves are manufactured in rubber-rich Malaysia.”
So you see, all roads (and court cases) lead to Malaysia (population 27.5 million), a country awash in rubber—and rubbers.
That Malaysia is a rubber-centric country may be important news for the police department in Yorkville, Ill. (population roughly 14,000), which may need to order replacement rubber toys right quick.
Appallingly, one or more nefarious souls stole upwards of 2,500 rubber ducks, intended for a fundraising event, from the department, according a March 26 story in the Aurora Beacon-News (“An edition of the Chicago Sun-Times”).
The teeny bright yellow ducks, taken from the 200 block of a thoroughfare charmingly named West Hydraulic Street, belonged to the Yorkville Citizens Police Academy, “which provides assistance and support to the police department,” the Beacon-News noted.
The paper added that the toy fowls were to be used for an annual event called the “Duck Pluck.” Don’t even think it.
Here’s how the event works. Participants buy a duck for a few bucks. (They money supports the Citizens Police Academy.)
The ducks, according to the Beacon-News, are “pulled out” (from what, the paper doesn’t indicate) and the duck “owner” wins a raffle prize.
Beacon-News reporter Matt Hanley wrote that “Duck races have been going on in Yorkville since 1991, although the race was recently discontinued in favor of the duck pluck.” This is an unbelievably interesting fact, and one wishes that Mr. Hanley, no doubt an outstanding correspondent, had expanded upon it.
The questions he could have asked, following the standard why-when-how-who-what-and-where journalistic model, might have included: Why discontinue a duck race when it’s obviously been a popular draw for nigh on 20 years? When, exactly, was it discontinued? And how does someone race rubber ducks, anyway? Who came up with the phrase “duck pluck,” and does he or she giggle uncontrollably every time it appears in print, as we certainly do? Finally, what is the meaning of life, and where?
Mr. Hanley, a feet-on-the-ground sort, obviously was way too busy amassing facts to address such ephemera. He wrote that since the time of the toys’ theft, “many of them have been found on the road between Yorkville and Sandwich, police said.”
This is fantastic news for toy-duck lovers in Illinois and the world over, yet one wonders: a.) Who would be injudicious enough to steal little rubber duckies from a police department; and b.) why would he, she, or they dump the ducks on the side of a road, even one leading to a town with the piercingly charming name of Sandwich (population roughly 7,400)?
As of this moment, we do not know. Yorkville Deputy Chief Larry “Playing it to the” Hilt told Mr. Hanley, of the Beacon-News, that police have some suspects in mind, but none have been charged.
“Our school resource officer has been busy,” the chief added, in what appears to be a massive, if impressive, non sequitur.
Dave Ford is a San Francisco writer whose work has appeared in Spin, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SF Weekly, The Advocate, and a host of other periodicals. He writes the blog First of All, and is a certified yoga instructor who teaches at various venues in his home city.
Illustration by Bion Harrigan. Bion Harrigan keeps his head firmly planted in the clouds and has done so since the earliest days of a youth misspent idly daydreaming, reading Mad magazine, and drawing scary monsters and super creeps. He continues to spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming and drawing at his home in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Other dudes, who, previously, have been “in the news”: