The Curious Incident of the JLS Condom

In light of the recent announcement that the musical phenomenon that is JLS will soon cease to be, I thought I would share a story with you.

Now, some of you are probably slightly worried about the title, but I can assure you that the following words, sentences and paragraphs are all entirely above board. I would give it a rating of PG-13, owing to multiple scenes including Ben Amos.

Those of you hoping for some sort of sick erotic comedy will be sorely disappointed.

At Uni my three male housemates and I developed a tradition of buying ridiculous birthday presents for each other and the girls who had lived next door in first year. I think it all started with a live Tom Jones album and escalated wildly from there. My personal favourites were a broken parrot toy that was meant to talk and some sort of motorised penguin thing.

Anyway, this story takes place in third year. It was Clare’s birthday and, according to tradition, we had to decide upon a suitably ludicrous gift to mark the occasion. Now we knew that she was a big fan of JLS, particularly Marvin, so someone – I assume it was Richard Collins – suggested that we buy her some JLS condoms.

Somewhere along the line the decision-making process went horribly awry and this ended up actually being the choice that we made. And apparently Ben Amos and I, the two innocent Christians – well, the two Christians – were to go and purchase said contraception.

So Mr Amos and I set off towards the hive of scum and villainy that is Portswood in search of JLS condoms.

At this point I will break briefly to point out how ridiculous the concept of a JLS condom is. Surely the two inherent target markets just don’t combine well?

Passing a number of questionable hair salons and Eastern European stores on our way, we eventually reached Superdrug. We found the condom section pretty quickly (it was a small store) and fortunately they had the JLS kind in stock.

It was at this point that we found out that they sell four different condoms – one for each member of the band. Great, we thought, Marvin is the one we want.

This presented a new problem though. We had no idea which one was which. Genuinely not a clue.

I refused point-blank to ask the young shop assistant for her advice on differentiating between members of JLS, so we rang Tom, one of our other housemates, to ask him. After a few minutes of loud, very obvious but ultimately fruitless debate about the appearance of Marvin, Tom discerned from John Google that each JLS member has his own colour. So we picked the green packet and headed quickly to the checkout.

“This is Marvin, right?” we asked the girl at the counter. Just to be certain.

“Yes,” she smiled, clearly having heard the whole palaver.

At this point we hurriedly paid, very aware that we were two 20-something males in a small Superdrug store in the backwaters of Southampton being incredibly specific about the type of JLS condoms we were buying together.

“Have fun!” she called after us as we left.

I don’t think I ever returned to Portswood Superdrug.

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