Sunday, December 11, 2005

"My Condoms Just Wanted to Say Hello."

"Hellooo There!!"

(Now, now, people, don't get your undies all up in a tizzy thinking that I'm going to get into some completely perverted topic. Trust me, this is a completely PG-13-rated blog entry)

This past Wednesday, I had to come up with a presentation for my Rhetoric of Text and Power class. My professor had decided to make this presentation assignment into what he called, the "Show and Tell" demonstration, where each of us would have to bring in some kind of cultural artifact that somehow demonstrated Power. (or, at least the illusion of it). We were then asked to explain this artifact's rhetorical power according to either the Traditional, Interpretive, or Postmodern Power paradigms and incorporate our answers into a 5-minute presentation that could be utilized to teach non-C.R.S. majors about Power.

Now, for me, this was a piece of cake assignment. Coming from having over four years experience making 2-hour presentations, a five-minute "show and tell" wasn't really going to test my rhetorical skill. Still, however, I felt the need to come up with an artifact that most people really wouldn't think of as a "powerful" object. Most people in the class brought in artifacts like the Bible, the New York Times, a picture of Dubya, currency, or an issue of US Weekly or some other supermarket celebrity tabloid, and proceeded to explain their artifacts in light of their respective Power paradigms.

Always the different one, I decided to stand in front of class and whip out a stack of condoms.

Now, as expected, the "power" of my objects weren't readily apparent to everyone in the class at first, but as I explained and talked about my ability to hold those condoms in front of everyone without suffering serious social consequences, it became clearer. Basically, as a male, I have the "power" to be able to stand in front of a room, or be able to accidently drop condoms, and not be judged in the same way that a female would certainly be judged. Men, overall, are not held to the same sexual standards that women are, and because of the sexual hegemony that dictates what a woman can or cannot do, women are labeled as "promiscuous" and "loose" if they are seen in public with condoms, whereas men are patted on the back and are encouraged to "get lucky" someday. Makes sense, right? I mean, it's nothing that I'm sure any of us haven't thought or heard before.

After the presentation was over, I sat down and put the stack of condoms away in my bookbag as other people stood up to present their own artifacts. After about 5 minutes, I completely forgot that I put the condoms in there in the first place...

...Fast forward to four days later. I'm sitting at a Barnes and Noble, looking through some books that I REFUSED to spend 15 bucks on, when I see a decent quote that I could use for one of my final papers. So, I dig through my napsack looking for my notebook, find it, whip it out, and much to my horror, see three condoms fly out of my bag, soar across 10 feet, and smack a mid-40's woman in the face. Before the woman could even look up from her "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book, I quickly apologized for the condom malfunction that had just occurred. She looked down at the "Trojans" that were now lying on the floor harmlessly right in front of her, and then looked right at me, her mouth agape in disbelief. To be honest with you, I don't know who was more shocked, her or me. It took her about a minute to recover from the shock of it all. At least I think that's how long it took. I had picked up those condoms and walked outta there so fast, I don't think I've walked faster all year long. I didn't even wait to see her response before I had migrated to another section some 400 feet away.

What the hell do you say to someone who's just been smacked by a rack of condoms? "Hellooo there?"

All I know is that was one of most awkward moments I've had this year. Cross THAT "to do" off my list!


Blogger Freebird said...

That's funny. What she really reading Chicken Soup for the Soul? LOL

7:44 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

That is funny. One minute the condom was a symbol of your power and the next it was a symbol that left you powerless; context being the only difference.

I was thinking as you told it, what if you whipped them out in church.

11:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker