Source: The Independent

Buying Condoms 2010-Wearin o' the Green
January 22, 2014 | 01:40 PM

After a grueling late flight into Ft. Lauderdale escaping last winter in the Hamptons, my sense of direction escaped me while trying to find the road to our apartment. Surely, I did not need that navigation system offered with my rental car! Disoriented, was I going North or South? I was humbled realizing I had to stop and ask for directions in a questionable neighborhood not having the appetite for eating any more crow from my partner. Finally, a gas station with a 24 hour quickie mart!
Being a fan of CSI Miami, I parked directly in front of the store, kept the motor running instructing my partner to play "chickie." What's that she asked? Not wanting to take the time to explain, it was clear the night was not going as planned.
Upon casing the store, the counter was an impenetrable fortress of plexi-glass, mirrors, high tech equipment and cameras pointed in every direction. An opening of barely six inches round, good for mice was the only way to make your transaction at the counter.
One could hardly make out the clerk behind the counter given the scratches and apparent clawing on the plexi. This is what it must me like to have cataracts I thought as I got in line behind a young man with a hoodie and blond hooker at his side. Unlike myself, at least they knew which direction they were going.
I already ate one portion of humble pie, now do I go back into the car this late at night to find another source of direction? No, I maintained my position. "What you want?" The clerk yelled at the young man in front of me for lack of a microphone. All the surrounding technical equipment and no microphone? "Uh condoms." How many? "Whatcha got?" I got box of 6 or 12, three pack or singles, the clerk yelled back.
I looked up in the mirror to see the line behind me growing impatient and restless. After all, this was supposed to be a quickie.
The young man looked at his lady-in-waiting who raised one finger. "Just one, one," he yelled back to the clerk who yelled back at him "What size?" I could sense the line behind me starting to move in frustration. Bodies shifting left to right, right to left. Next would we will all be doing the conga. Then silence as we waited for the reply which was mumbled, except for his blond cohort who let out a loud "harrumph."
Being the next in line I thought the grilling was over and my turn had finally come, yet there was one more question. "What color?" "Whatcha got?" The clerk proceeded to rattle off a rainbow of colors. "Green" was the choice. My imagination let loose for a moment and did not want to go there, instead I thought it must be St. Patrick's Day.

Tricia Rother