Condom bingo bonanza

Photo by Blake Israel

Going to college for the first time is a beacon for unsolicited advice. 

One piece of such advice was to “stay open-minded and flexible” followed by a disclaimer that open-mindedness was not to be applied to imbibing. 

Regardless, I latched onto the wisdom of my elders and decided to attend any Week of Welcome events that sparked my curiosity or interest. 

It was this attitude that landed me in the Howey Physics building, sitting before two adults wearing condom costumes.

The name of the game was “Condom Bingo,” a Week of Welcome event that the Tech Guidebook described as, “a fun, educational game that will focus on sexual health.” I wandered the halls of the building for a bit before stumbling into a lecture hall full of students, eagerly discussing the specifics of the highly anticipated event.

“Will we use condoms as bingo chips?”

 “Does the winner get crowned ‘King Condom?’”

 “Why are they playing ‘Stir Fry’ by Migos?”

As the gloriously autotuned voice of Quavo echoed through the lecture hall like a gospel hymn through a chapel, I took a seat and basked the lyrical genius of the Atlanta-based trio: “In the kitchen, wrist twistin’ like a stir fry.”

From the front of the lecture hall, the woman dressed as a Magnum XL condom welcomed the assembled students.

I would later find out that Magnum XL condom was Richelle Fields, a health educator from Tech’s Health Initiatives department. 

She, alongside her Trojan counterpart, Jess Ponder, also a health educator, placed bingo cards featuring sexual wellness terms before us. 

They explained the rules and reminded us to remain mature in the face of words like “vagina” and “pubic lice” (they did not ride the Stinger wearing condom costumes just for us to giggle at biology). 

Magnum XL or Trojan read the definition of one of the terms on our bingo sheets, and we had to mark the correct word. 

The first person to get six in a row was eligible to win a variety of prizes, courtesy of the Georgia Tech Health Initiatives department. 

Armed with my raspberry Mr. Sketch scented marker and all the courage I could muster, the games commenced.

The next 50 minutes were a whirlwind of vocabulary, hygiene kits and markers squeaking across printer paper. 

We discussed the services Tech Health Initiatives provided and how to access these services (third floor of the Stamps Health building). 

The event came to its zenith when Mangum XL and Trojan announced that they had gift bags for all the attendees. 

Upon hearing the word “gifts,” students swarmed the fireproof lab table at the front of the hall, grasping at white bags in a clear Sterilite container. A boy sitting behind me successfully grabbed four condoms (three banana, one strawberry). 

By the time I reached Magnum XL and Trojan, they were condomless, but I did get a bumper sticker with an image of a condom and the words “JUST WEAR IT” in the style of the Nike slogan. 

Although I left the building more educated than when I entered, it felt anti-climactic to leave without any of the titular swag from the event.

This was easily remedied with the edu-ma-cation I received at Condom Bingo. After a quick trip to Stamps Health Services, next door to the CRC, I easily obtained my own tropical fruit condoms from a bowl guarded by a cardboard cutout of Buzz.