Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

My Hobby? Oh, I Collect Used Prophylactics

with 2 comments

My eldest son collects tea envelopes. He’ll sidle up to anyone and everyone making or serving tea, and request the wrapper from the bag. All well and good; it sure beats a collecting hobby that costs actual money. Such a hobby got me in serious trouble when I was a teenager – it was baseball cards in my case – but we’ll save that story for another time.

This afternoon the family took a walk to the open-air market, with an eye toward getting dinner at one of the local pasta places. Our oldest went slightly ahead of us, pushing the toddler in the stroller. He rounded a corner, and we followed just in time to see him chuck a piece of trash onto the roof of a nearby car.

He thought it was a tea wrapper, lying on the ground, he explained; when it turned out to be some other piece of garbage, he tried to toss it down again, only it landed elsewhere (it was windy). We repeated the oft-revisited admonition that garbage on the ground, once picked up, becomes the property of the person who picked it up; dropping it again is littering. So he went to retrieve the wrapper. And then we saw what it really was.

Our son was absolutely correct: it was not the wrapper from a tea bag. Tea bags, as far as I know, are never made of latex. Nor do tea bag envelopes have little latex items stuffed back into them after use. We watched with a mixture of horror and suppressed laughter as our son asked what it was. My wife demurred; I offered some vague pharmacy-related comment. In any case, the clearly used latex fell out of the wrapper again and flew away. And then, when our son dutifully tried to get the package into a nearby dumpster, the wind took it, depositing it once again on the ground, out of the boy’s view.

Part of me is wondering what the user was thinking. The rest of me wants to beat that part of me up for introducing the subject.


Written by Thag

April 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Your son is a hero.


    April 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    • Actually, he did once save a little girl’s life. She’d ridden her little riding toy far away from Mommy, so there was no one to stop her from continuing straight into the busy street – but there he was, holding onto the back of the little car to keep it from going farther.

      The little girl, of course, was miserable, because her car stopped moving.


      April 7, 2011 at 7:10 am

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