Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hasa Diga Eebowai

So, I'm not 100% yet and I'm finding myself super annoying in the role of "person who can't just shake off the cold" so I decided to head in to work and annoy other people today.

I took a sick day yesterday and tried to give myself time to repair but by about one in the afternoon, I was pretty stir-crazy and thought going grocery shopping would help since we were out of a lot of meal builders. (Turns out Under-the-Weather-Me thinks meals are made of ice cream.)

When I was waiting to cross the street, I heard someone say,"Hello, how are you today?" but didn't think anything of it. There were a lot of people waiting to cross and no one had called me by name. The question was repeated, a little louder this time, and I looked up to realize I was being addressed by a tall, pale, red-headed Mormon Elder. Elder Funk, to be precise. His buddy (because they always travel in twos) looked a bit like a South Pacific Islander Harry Potter/Buddy Holly cross. Elder Funk did most of the talking. I got the feeling that they'd just started their mission here in Vancouver and I did my best to be pleasant but since most of what I know about the Church of Latter Day Saints is from the musical and Bill Maher's diatribes about magic underwear, it gave us very little common ground to stand on.
When Elder Funk suggested we sit down to discuss stuff, I explained that the last time I'd done that it had been a Scientology thing and had been weird in that I ended up sort of converting my recruiter. They thanked me for my time, handed me a book and asked me to read and pray over it.

Today's shirt was an obvious choice after that.

Two years ago, I made a point to travel out to New York City, a major stop on my bucket travel list (New Orleans and Quebec City remain on the North American list still) during Spring Break. It was an incredible experience, despite being on my own, and I definitely intend to visit again.

Broadway was as impressive as I expected and yet, because of budgetary restrictions (NYC was the first trip EVER where I managed to spend within my means) and limited time, I had to pick my shows carefully. I made friends with a couple of guys, Nick and Sasha, from Toronto while in line for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (we saw the episode with Canadian Norm MacDonald, btw) and, after the filming, they invited me along to a show called Fuerza Bruta which was a stunning, interactive and immersive show of performance art. I took photos (which we were encouraged to do) but they really don't do the show justice. The show's run, originally scheduled to close in New York on November 11th, has been extended through to January 6th at the Daryl Roth Theatre.

Sasha had a wedding to attend that weekend but since Nick was at loose ends and I had an extra ticket for the NYC TV & Movie Sites Bus Tour, we met up and got the comprehensive tour of Manhattan filming locations. 
That's me in front of the COSBY House!
 Following the tour, we headed to Broadway and queued up for THREE HOURS to see if we could get tickets for the sold-out-until-July run of The Book of Mormon, a product of the triptych of genius that is Trey Parker, Matt Stone (the dynamic duo behind South Park) and Robert Lopez (co-wrote and co-composed Avenue Q)

The show is phenomenal. And a phenomenon. And catchy, to boot... although not really something you want to break into song with on public transit or within earshot of small children or fundamentalist Christians... or a lot of Mormons.

Nick and I waited at the stage door after the show. It was incredibly fitting, after all, since we had met in line for The Daily Show (where interaction with the talent was tightly controlled) that we get autographs and pictures from sometimes Daily Show correspondent, Josh Gad, who played Elder Cunningham in the original Broadway cast.

Josh Gad and me
The Super Mormon in the show, Elder Price, was originally played by Andrew Rannells who now stars in the new comedy on Fox, The New Normal. (And this is another instance of how much I love writing this blog: Last night's episode of The New Normal was SO good. Especially the confessional scenes. Who WOULDN'T want to confess to a priest who plays Angry Birds and describes Jesus as "the Chuck Norris of his day"?)

Andrew Rannells and me
So, to tie this all back to the title of the post (and, man, aren't the labels on this one going to be interesting?), the musical has this number that parodies "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King when the Elders Price and Cunningham arrive for their mission in the Ugandan village (which is "NOTHING like The Lion King!"). The phrase that the villagers chant to make the tragedies of their life (AIDS, famine, mutilation, war, etc) feel like less of a burden is "Hasa Diga Eebowai". My recent challenges have very much been #FirstWorldProblems but there are no restrictions on the application of the phrase. I've embedded a video but I'll warn my more sensitive readers that it may not be to their liking. (Tristy, send the boys out of the room)

Damned catchy, though.