If we are serving the truth, then it is acceptable to lie.
Germs are from Satan; that’s why they have six legs.
There was a mix-up in the labelling of a new raw material at the factory, which meant that the PP microfilaments ended up being blended with the latex rubber emulsion. We tried to clean the vessel out, ready for the next batch to be prepared; but the rubber material had now become unusually tough and difficult to break. One of the lads remarked that it’s a shame you can’t use this stuff to make condoms, cos they would be a lot stronger and lighter than at present.
We have a series of pictures – a grey amorphous wash upon which hover a series of circular voids, gleaming as though made of glass and lit from below. The pictures have titles: ‘Holy Holes µ’, ‘Holy Holes Q’, ‘Holy Holes X’ and ‘Holy Holes π’.
The artist explained in her brochure notes that these images are electron microscope pictures taken from used latex condoms. The circles are holes which have been etched in the rubber film by sperm cells, which carry a high-tension aura of estimated frequency 144 kHz; this is the energy that allows them to break through the protective membrane and fertilise the ovum.
A local theology student is very impressed with these pictures, and arranges for copies of them to be sent to a Catholic newsletter. The pictures prove (or so he claims) that condoms cannot give protection against pregnancy or infection and so there is no justification for their use.
In the newsletter a brief article reproduces one of the pictures, explaining that the latex film has been damaged by sperm cells, so that all the supposed quality testing is in vain. There are numerous examples of women becoming pregnant due to condom failure, says the article, and the latest scientific research explains how this failure occurs.
In the hairdresser’s salon, young Maureen is helping to cut-and-colour; she overhears two customers discussing this news item. One of them gives a dry laugh and remarks that she always used a pin to stab her husband’s johnnies while still in the packet.
At the same time, Trevor is collecting flowers for his wife, who comes home from hospital the following day with their new baby girl. His workmates tease him about having a new mouth to feed, and why didn’t he take precautions? I might try that next time, says he; not letting on that he always uses condoms.
In six months’ time, his wife will be angry and annoyed because she has a crying baby and she is no longer able to go out with her friends and they cannot afford to take a holiday. And he will pull on his jacket and say ‘Well, you should have thought of that before you decided to stick a pin through my rubbers!’
Later, in the hair salon, Martin calls in to meet his wife, who is the last customer. He waits in a narrow, uncomfortable chair and begins leafing through the glossy magazines by the window. One of these has a feature called ‘Controversy’, and the latest episode concerns a senior Catholic clergyman who has been advising his flock that condoms are useless because they contain innumerable tiny holes. Martin grins at the fatuous distorted reasoning of this item; but then, on turning the page, he finds a picture showing the latex voids as white dots on a grey background.
This picture looks very similar to – no, exactly like – the photograph he had produced about fourteen years earlier, showing the glass beads embedded in a sheet of plastic after the adhesion tests had been carried out. He remembers that his daughter had asked to borrow the image for one of her art projects, but he never heard any more about it afterwards.
Occasionally he would see copies of this picture alongside pictures showing spots of rust on a painted metal casting, or constellations taken from a journal of Astronomy, or dark red lesions observed on the skin of a disease patient somewhere in Portugal. He once tried to look up the various forms of medication that his daughter took every day to hold her personalities in check; but all he found was a swarm of angled lines and letters with ornate subscripts. And now, here it was, telling a fake story to serve the mistaken idea of a greater good.
Germs are from Satan; that’s why they have six legs…