To try to combat the spread of HIV, the District government has been passing out free condoms. It's a nice gesture, but the Chinese-manufactured, paper-wrapped rubbers haven't been getting a thumbs-up (or, uh, anything up, for that matter) from potential users. People are concerned about the easily ripped paper packets rendering the goods useless. You really want to rely on a prophylactic that came out of a crappy, torn paper package? No, thanks! (I'd put more trust in those crazy Polish monster finger puppet rubbers I found in a kiosk in Moscow once.) I'd love to know who the brainchild was on this paper wrapping job -- being environmentally friendly is one thing, but this is pretty dumb. Foil is your friend.
According to this article on WTOP.com, more than 100,000 of the freebie condoms have been returned for a variety of reasons - the paper wrapper, the hard-to-read expiration date, and the fact that these guys aren't exactly locally manufactured. Let's face it, this year in particular I'd pass on Chinese-made condoms. I mean, if they've got factories coating toys with the date-rape drug, can you imagine what could serving as lube on these guys? Yeesh.
But my favorite reason for people being suspicious of the free willy warmers? The tacky design work and slogan!
Yes, it may be that some people are returning free condoms because the graphic design work is cheesy and the slogan is... well... you make the call:
If you're going to come together, might as well be here...
I understand the importance of the District's efforts to curb the growth of new HIV infections. It's a serious crisis for an already troubled city. But I have to appreciate that some people, no matter how desperately poor - or how desperately horny - are willing to say no to free love gloves because they have a better sense of visual style and marketing language than the dorks who came up with the packaging.
Free Condoms: Zero
Good Taste: One