Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Legend: Groom's indiscretion with a bachelor party stripper is revealed by his failure to remove the condom.
Example: [Playboy, 2001]
Origins: The "suspicious wife catches her husband at an adulterous affair through the discovery of some subtle piece of evidence the man has typically overlooked" plot device is a well-worn feature of our popular culture. Over and over again throughout the years — in books, movies, and television programs — hapless hubbies have neglected to check their collars for traces of lipstick, failed to remove telling stray hairs from their suit coats, remained oblivious to lingering traces of perfume about their bodies, and forgotten about those scraps of paper bearing scribbled phone numbers that they stuffed into their pockets.
Fortunately for us, urban legends change to suit the times. Plot devices may become old and tired, but in the world of urban legends when a tale becomes passé it generally gets updated to maintain its appeal to a modern audience. Our current tale concerning an unlucky groom-to-be is a fine case in point: three or four decades ago, a tale that used the word "condom" and depended upon a matter-of-fact acceptance of an engaged couple's living together before their wedding would not have gained much currency as it would today. But neither would an earlier tale have needed to include those details: the simple revelation of a married person's affair was once sufficiently shocking (or entertaining) to stand on its own. Now, of course, we require more than just the bare bones of the plot to be shocked or entertained we need versions with titillating details, like the one offered here. (In similar fashion, legends involving unsuspecting boyfriend/girlfriend pairs caught engaging in
How plausible is this as a "true story"? Certainly a woman (or a man, for that matter) can, with some practice, learn how to apply a condom with her mouth in such a way that the recipient remains unaware of the process. And the target of such a "service" (particularly one who had more than a few drinks) might, if he remained prone after the climax (and preferred briefs to boxers), manage to slip on his pants and keep the used prophylactic held in place. The chances that the condom would survive the undressing process (and that the partygoer wearing it would make it all the way home without once having to urinate) are rather slim, however.
Sightings: In a vein similar to this legend, the affairs of a philandering lawyer were revealed to his (initially disbelieving) wife in an episode of NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent (episode entitled "Jones", original air date
Last updated: 9 July 2005
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