99 Red Balloons

posted on March 13, 2009 in Stuff

The taxi pulled over for me to get out. I took out my wallet and reached in for a note. Unfortunately a note is not what came out. Instead, for reasons I can’t quite fathom I ended up with a condom right there in my outstretched hand. If it had just been me and my mates this scenario could’ve slipped by unnoticed, but somehow Kris and I had talked some girls into the taxi. Like a bunny in the headlights I froze; all eyes were on me and the shiny silver packet in my hand.


Had I been a sharper tool I could’ve diffused the situation with a quip, maybe turn to the driver and asked if he “accepted rubber?”, but the awkward silence lasted that moment too long. I had to say something. “Oh, that’s been in there since 2006”. The girl opposite, who wore an expression of surprise anyway widened her eyes, “Well that doesn’t make it any better!”. No she was right. I’d gone from being a pervert who takes condoms out in taxis, to a pervert who’s had the same condom in his wallet for two years. Either way it didn’t reflect well on me.

Let’s rewind to Summer 2006. It was about a month before we were due to go travelling. Lewis, Rosey and I (Mark was there too) were sat in the Pizza Hut on Ecclesall Road finalising the plans for the World tour. We had discussed insurance, money, footwear – all the importants. I then brought up a delicate but equally important matter. “Guys, are you uh, taking any um, y’know, … protection?”

Lewis and Rosey were vaguely non-commital.

I leaned in: “Do you reckon 200 will be enough?”

“What!” Rosey said choking on his all-you-can-eat pizza. Lewis just shook his head in a manner that has since become familiar.

Yes, I had discovered you can buy bags of 100 from the Interweb. I ordered two. I figured the foreign girls would pretty much be throwing themselves at us the instant we stepped off the plane. Unfortunately I overestimated my ability to score by approximately 600%. Thus where I started off with a gazillion condoms, several years on I still have a gazillion condoms, only now they’re extremely well travelled, out of date condoms.

So it begs the question, what on earth do you do with a bazillion out of date condoms?

Let’s find out…


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