Let's face it: if I were a dominee and in dire need of a sex aid, I would also steal it, rather than paying for it in full public view, says Susan Erasmus.
And that's just what Stephanus Ferreira van Huyssteen, a retired Dutch Reformed Minister, did at a Pretoria Pharmacy.
The 60-year-old man, also known as Dr Fanie, was arrested after being spotted pocketing a packet of Maximor, a herbal sexual enhancer, at the Dischem Pharmacy in Wonderboom. He paid a R500 admission of guilt fine at the Sinoville police station before being released.
I don't usually advocate theft, but in this instance I fully understand it.
Put yourself in his position: for years you have been doing the fire and brimstone thingy from the pulpit and presumably had much to say about how other people conducted their lives. That's what you were being paid for.
And now suddenly real life has caught up with you: your nether regions are no longer co-operating fully and the woman in your life is looking increasingly dissatisfied and thin-lipped.
What are your options? You're probably not hugely internet-savvy, so ordering something on there is not an option. You can't go to your doctor for a prescription, as he was a member of your congregation before you retired. You also just can't send off for something, because your wife might spot the package when the postman delivers it. In fact, the postman was also a member of your congregation and he knows exactly what's in those thick brown envelopes.
You just can't cope with the idea of the story spreading and the resulting skinder and the furtive sidelong glances you're bound to get when you go to the supermarket or the Spur.
Opening a separate P.O. Box address so you can have your sex aid delivered in secret feels too much like cheating and has an awful air of premeditation about it. Also, you're not supposed to be good at subterfuge and lying. You've rammed down the 10 Commandments for decades and they come across rather unforgivingly about lust and theft. And from the pulpit, so have you.
So what now?
You see the stuff advertised on TV and it looks like the solution to all your problems. There it is. So near and yet so far. A solution for R200. And one glance at the thin-lipped Mevrou Dominee knitting ever more ferociously makes you realise it's time for action. But what?
And then it comes to you. The stuff's in the pharmacy – the large one close by. How difficult can it be to pocket if you're also buying stuff for your haemorrhoids, filling your antidepressant prescription, getting antacids and a can of hairspray for the wife? Most teenagers have got the shoplifting thing down to a T by the time they're 14. You may be a late developer, but hell, if they can do it, so can you.
That somewhat furtive-looking customer hovering near the sex-enhancer section is actually a shop employee. You are not the first one to want to spare yourself the embarrassment of having the cashier know what's not happening in your sex life and they know the drill. You slip the stuff in your pocket, pay for everything else – and freedom and happiness beckon.
Next thing you're in the back of a police van, your reputation in tatters.
Poor Dr Fanie. I actually feel sorry for him. It's such a human thing to do. And in the community in which he lives, and which he helped to create, there will be little sympathy forthcoming. His fall from grace will probably make many others feel so much better about their own myriad of shortcomings. He will, for the rest of his life, be the dominee who stole the sex aid.
I say give the guy a break: he is just human after all. I think he should move somewhere else, open a P.O. Box address and start a new life. Because without the herbal sex enhancer Mevrou Dominee might not want to go with him. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Bless him.
(Susan Erasmus, Health24, March 2012)