In this day and age, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about buying condoms, should you? I’m not sure – it can still be tricky. In my local supermarket, a lot of the staff know me. If you live in one area for five or more years, and you have kids, you can expect most of the local shopkeepers to at least know you (and your kids) by sight, if not by name.

Even if you manage to avoid the people you know in the supermarket, big companies are encouraging their staff to be more friendly to customers. So apart from the usual "Hi, how are you", there’s always the danger that the check-out chick/bloke won’t just robotically scan your items, but will actually notice what you’re buying. So it’s probably only a matter of time before we see conversations such as…

"How, how are you?"

"Good thanks"

"Ah, cooking up some pasta tonight eh?"


"And I see you’re also expecting to get laid?"

"Ummm… err…"

"Hey, have you seen the flavoured ones? I prefer them ribbed myself, though the girl on the next register likes the ultra-thin ones…"

Nothing like that for me at the supermarket yesterday thankfully. I did manage to avoid being served by anybody I know, but he seemed… well, a bit embarrassed at having to pick up the packet and scan it. Rather than the "How are you?" he had greeted the previous customer with, he stuck to a rather feeble "Hi." and avoided making eye contact throughout the transaction.

Perhaps next time I see he’s working I’ll go for some coloured flavoured condoms, half a dozen packets of KY Jelly, and a really big cucumber, just to see how he reacts.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.