The Three Musketeers
© 2016 Peter Revelman
Sydney, early Saturday evening the week following Narrabeen camp (1961). The Three Musketeers, namely, Keith Masnick, Peter Cohen and me, Peter Revelman, were preparing for a big night out on the town. I don't recall how the conversation began but it soon came to light that none of us had any of those supplies which would be desirable to have should we get lucky. Given the bravado and testosterone flying about we felt certain that a serious supply would be required. So there we were driving round and round Rushcutters Bay, looking for a chemist shop that was open. Eventually, one was located and as luck would have it a parking spot right outside served us well.
Without getting out of the car we were able to see inside the shop, so we watched and waited until the young sales lady we observed through the window disappeared from our sight into the back of the shop. In we went quick smart but just as quickly the young lady returned. There was nothing for it but to wander round and round looking at all the fascinating products that can be found in a pharmacy. Eventually, the sales lass again retreated to the back of the shop and haste was made presenting to the male salesman. In a somewhat whispered, mumbled tone and with a timid voice the big request was made for the item in question.
Perhaps this guy was Jewish because, to our alarm, he responded to our question with a question, “Small, Medium or Large?”
There was no way that we could know the answer to that question. Certainly not while in the pharmacy. So, not being braggarts, we answered, “Medium.”
This chemist seemed to enjoy seeing us squirm, or perhaps he was just being mean. He asked, “What size?” Hadn't we just answered that question?
“A packet of 2, 4 or 6? Or three packets of …”
“Just one packet of 6!”
“Lubricated or plain?”
The tension was almost too much, “Whatever you use.”
A packet with the words, “Medium,” “6,” and “Lubricated,” was produced from under the counter. Money changed hands and, without waiting for change, we just left as quickly as decorum would allow.
So there we were, fully stocked, Saturday night and on the prowl in the ‘Cross. In those days a safe place even for the likes of us.
As best I can recall I feel certain that we had a great time but, come Sunday morning, the seal on the packet was still unbroken.