It's such an old story. The bad guys break the rules, forcing the adoption of tougher rules that do nothing but hurt everybody else. Today's version results in a step back in Milwaukee, to the probable dismay of thousands of teenagers:
If you wanted to buy condoms 30 years ago, you had to bear the embarrassment of asking a pharmacist to fetch them from beneath the counter.
Now with thieves wiping out the entire stock of prophylactics in some stores, more retailers are putting them back out of reach - and, in some cases, are even locking them up.
Many convenience stores in Milwaukee have again placed condoms behind the counter to keep shoplifters from pocketing them, and some major pharmacy chains have placed them in locked glass cases along with other frequently stolen goods such as costly replacement razor blades.
At least those teens will get back a rite of passage so many of their fathers had -- going to the counter nervously, egged on by friends, hoping the clerk is a man instead of the woman who reminds you of your aunt, putting one in the wallet so that, five years later, you can see the impression of it on the outside.
True story: I was with a friend in the drugstore, and he was apparently under the impression that "condom" was an abbreviation, because he asked the clerk for a package of condominiums. He is now the father of three, so he probably never did figure it out.