After six years of digging, I’m starting to suspect the ancient Trojans never actually used condoms. Maybe it’s funny to these corporation fat cats to throw around connections like “condoms” and “Troy” that and trick people into wasting years of their life only to become the laughing stock of the archaeological community. Maybe I’m not up on “ironic humor.”
My twelve children and I have been digging at Troy since I got the prophylactic research bug in 2006 (a purely academic interest). But after years of research, I have to conclude that those ancient Trojans were going rawdog 24/7. Soil deposits contained not a lick of lubricant, spermicidal or otherwise. With each set of foundations we uncovered we were sure we had found one of Troy’s storied condom factories or sexual health clinics, but dig after dig revealed amphitheaters, houses, hordes of treasure—in short, nothing that could be useful for keeping semen out of a lady.
And I cannot tell you the number of times we were sure we had found evidence of some kind of primitive ribbing-for-her-pleasure, but it turned out to be something else—usually just ribs.
Now I had read The Iliad extremely carefully, and every description Homer gives of the Trojans makes them seem like exactly the kind of people who would wrap their penises in little rubber sheaths before having sex. But, now that I’m really looking for it, he never mentions it directly. He pretty much just calls them “breakers of horses.” Hell, I even re-watched the sex scenes in Troy (another purely academic interest) and the actors seem to be bareback.
I worried briefly that the mistake had been on my end. So I returned to the states, delved into some records, and found that the condoms are in fact Trojan brand and not, as a short-lived theory suggested, Trajan brand. So I had been digging in the ruins of the correct ancient society. But still, why in the world would the condoms be called “Trojans”?
I investigated a number of high school and college football programs also called “Trojans” to see if they could be the origin for the condom giant’s name, but there I found even less evidence of condom use.
So why did you do it, Trojan? Was it so important to you to put a little helmet on your wiener-sleeves that you invented a false origin and covered up the paper trail? Why not Jersey Condoms or Hoosier Condoms or Newspaperman Condoms? I guess I’ll never understand you, because I’m just a simple archaeologist.
Well, I have given up the hope of being the Heinrich Schlimmer of the contraceptive world. I guess I’ll turn my sights elsewhere and leave my failures behind. The closest thing I found there was a three thousand-year-old Lifestyles wrapper, but it was printed in hieroglyphics.
– EL ’15. Illustrated by JJW ’16.