If you’ve ever used a product called “The Original Condom from Condom, France,” you may be disappointed to discover that the condom did not really come from Condom. It came from Malaysia, a country that produces a large portion of the world’s rubber and, apparently, a large portion of the world’s rubbers.
Though the company that makes “The Original Condom” is headquartered in the southwestern French town of Condom, the townspeople wanted to cut themselves off from any connection to condoms. And so they got together, had a vote and changed the town’s name to Vasectomy.
Actually, they didn’t change the town’s name, but put the town’s lawyer to work instead. She convinced a nearby court to ban use of the brand “The Original Condom from Condom, France.” According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the judge stated in his ruling that "it is clear that the use of the name, the image and the renown of the town of Condom, without its knowledge, for entirely commercial ends (is) manifestly illicit.”
It would be like making a jam in China and selling it under the brand “The Original Jam from Jamshedpur, India.” Or selling water from Jamshedpur under the brand “The Original Water from Watertown, Massachusetts.” Very deceptive indeed.
I wanted to go a little deeper and find out more about Condom, so I made a call to Bernard Gallard, the mayor of Condom.
Me: “I hope you won’t mind some of the questions I’m going to ask, Mr. Gallard. Many of my readers have never been in Condom and are eager to know what it’s like down there. But let me start by asking you about your job. What’s it like to be mayor of Condom?”
Gallard: “No different from other mayors, I suppose. I have my ups and downs.”
Me: “Did you always want to be the head of Condom?”
Gallard: “Not always, but for a few years now. It’s a very demanding job. The people have put their trust in me. I have to make many important decisions that determine the success or failure of Condom.”
Me: “Trust me, Mr. Gallard, you’re not the only one who worries about Condom failure. But I’m sure you’re more knowledgeable than most men. I’m sure you don’t need any instructions on Condom management.”
Gallard: “Thank you for saying so. I’m proud of my record. I feel that I’ve left my mark on Condom. I’ve taken Condom to places it’s never been before.”
Me: “What’s the weather like in Condom?”
Gallard: “Sometimes it gets a little hot in Condom. But then we get some rain and we all feel better.”
Me: “Do you have many tourists entering Condom?”
Gallard: “Of course. We have new people entering Condom every day. They come to see the Condom Cathedral, the Condom Museum and the Condom Machine.”
Me: “Condom Machine? What does the machine do?”
Gallard: “Well, if you put five euro in the machine, it gives you a miniature replica of the town. A mini-Condom, you could say. The town’s craftsmen and craftswomen make it.”
Me: “Does Condom produce a lot of things? I imagine you’re quite proud of the ‘Made in Condom’ label.”
Gallard: “Yes, we are very proud of our products. You could say that we’re bursting with Condom pride. In fact, we have a very successful ‘Buy Condom, Grow Condom’ campaign.”
Me: “Do you have other slogans that show your Condom pride?”
Gallard: “Yes, we have many slogans on T-shirts and bumper stickers, such as ‘I Love Condom’, ‘Beautiful Condom’, and ‘This is not your father’s Condom.’”
Me: “You must be excited about the judge’s ruling. How did you celebrate?”
Gallard: "We had a Condom parade. Many of our youths walked in the parade, as did our dignitaries and, of course, our most beautiful citizen, Miss Condom herself.”
Me: “Do you have any regrets that you couldn’t work out a deal with the condom company? You could have made some money for Condom.”
Gallard: “Yes, but then our town would forever be associated with condoms. When people think of Condom, we don’t want them to think of condoms.”
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