Funny how two letters can make a big difference.
Please insert the letter "l" where the asterisk is located in this word:
Now insert the letter "r".
I'll wait for you.
Have you giggled?
One word means, according to Merriam-Webster, "the right, power, or privilege of making a choice" while the other means "the state marked by firm turgid form and erect position of a previously flaccid bodily part containing cavernous tissue when that tissue becomes dilated with blood". When choice and freedom are involved, both feel really good.
One was, for the majority, illegal in South Africa until 1994 when the first multi-racial elections were held and the other was rarely discussed until a constitution was ratified that ensured the rights of all, regardless of who inspired their erections. Or elections.
Sunday night Amazing Guy and I attended Pieter-Dirk Uys' performance of Elections and Erections. We had seen his show Foreign AIDS three years ago. I became aware of him and his character Evita Bezuidenhout in 1999 while traveling in South Africa. I was floored to see on the newsstands this lovely lady of royalty (read drag queen) on the cover of their Time magazine equivalent. She had rented a decrepit bus and was traveling from black township to township promoting elections.
Evita Bezuidenhout is "the most famous white woman in South Africa" and was quoted as saying during her bus tour that voting is incredibly important, that is why the whites kept it away from the blacks.
Now Evita performs a cabaret show in a renovated train station in Darling, South Africa. She also travels from school to school in those same black townships talking about erections. Pieter is on a one man/woman campaign to honestly talk to children about sex and AIDS. His theater show three years ago, Foreign AIDS, reduced me to tears as he talked about the fears, dreams and misunderstandings of children and their teachers and parents.
I had the opportunity to meet Pieter after the performance. It was a fundraiser for the wonderful group that brings books to South African school libraries, among the other wonderful things they do.
I was marginally articulate (unlike if I ever get the chance to meet Vince Clark then I will be a blubbering, incoherent mess) and actually told him I liked the show three years ago better (maybe I wasn't so articulate). He graciously explained to me that he didn't want to spend the rest of his days telling stories about the children, which he could easily do. Amazing Guy later said he felt Pieter's more personal in this more recent production.
And as we parted, Pieter said to me, "I'll see you in Darling, darling".
He called me darling.