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I hate the phrase “that time of the month”. But maybe some day women and men will feel comfortable saying, “She has her period,” or “She’s menstruating,” or “She’s bleeding.” I don’t know.

But I am not going to rant about society’s discomfort with regard to all things women – not today. Instead I am going to draw your attention to the disappearance of Lil-lets mini tampons from supermarket shelves. On their web site they claim that their non-applicator tampons come in boxes of 10, 16 and 32. My box of frequent usage is the purple mini tampon box of which I usually buy the 16 pack. For the past 3 months, however, I have not been able to find these in any supermarket. I have had to buy the box of ten, which makes neither practical nor financial sense to me.

Tampon Shelf at the new and improved Pick 'n' Pay in Claremont, Cape Town

Tampon Shelf at Pick 'n' Pay Claremont

You don’t see any purple in the photo above. What does that mean? That the purple ones are really popular? Then wouldn’t you expect supermarkets and other suppliers to stock up on more of the purple boxes than on the other colours?

My guess is that Lil-lets is trying to make some extra money out of consumers and by no longer making the boxes of 16 available, people (okay, women) are forced to buy either two boxes of 10 or … well at Pick ‘n’ Pay in Claremont, you’d have to buy another brand if you were after the mini tampons.

Never fear! I have found the solution to the problem and have just ordered my own Mia Cup. Once that arrives, I will no longer be purchasing any of the cotton tampons and I may just have to blog about the efficacy and environmentally friendly nature of said cup.

Until my Mia Cup arrives, I will be using these Kotex mini tampons. I have not worked out what Kotex is supposed to mean, but the box has an appealing clean design – white with bright red. I haven’t worked out the significance of the strawberry, either … wait, I think it signifies these are the mini tampons. Aaah …

The interim brand

The interim brand

Thanks for reading things about bleeding!


I believe – that is, there is no medical proof – that the sciatic nerve in my right leg is slightly afflicted and so causes me to lean towards the left. It has done so – unproven – for years and may even explain my gangster like gait. But it may also explain some of the quotes I will post:

“Such a perfect democracy constructs its own inconceivable foe, terrorism. Its wish is to be judged by its enemies rather than by its results. The story of terrorism is written by the state and it is therefore highly instructive. The spectators must certainly never know everything about terrorism, but they must always know enough to convince them that, compared with terrorism, everything else must be acceptable, or in any case more rational and democratic.” Guy Debord in COMMENTS ON THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE

As the US drives the global war on terror, this quote may seem a bit out of place amidst all the electioneering at the moment. You know as well as I do, though, that it will return, as it always does and there will always be someone providing a thoughtful analysis on the phenomenon of terrorism. James Baldwin did it in the 70s – and I may post the quote at some time – , Noam Chomsky did it again after 9/11 – although, I can’t for the life of me find where I wrote it down – , and I’m sure many others (whom some of you better read than myself will be able to refer us to) have provided equally thought provoking words.

November 2008
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