Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Bent Lent

Happy Mardi Gras!

Take as many as you want.
I don't need to see your tits, sir.
Tomorrow begins the holy season of Lent, when we remember the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert and telling Satan to step off, punk. We do this - and by "we" I mean Catholics who will do any crazy shit the Pope tells us - by giving up something we enjoy between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Like chocolate, or alcohol, or reality TV, or masturbating. What? (whispering from my religious adviser) Oh, not masturbating. We don't give that up. What? (whispering, more urgently) Oh. Never mind.

Anyway, our Lenten sacrifice symbolizes the hardships Jesus endured in the desert. And on Easter Sunday, we binge on whatever it was we just spent 40 days and nights denying ourselves (note: not masturbating). Because that's what He did.

Where dem girls at?
(See, that's just wrong.)
For myself, I'm not sure that staying sober for 40 days really captures the essence of what the Son of God had to put up with.

I mean, he was tempted by a freaking alien.
And forced to wear an orange robe, apparently.
While wandering the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
More to the point, scholars don't agree on whether Jesus literally fasted or simply ate a sparse diet of whatever he could find in the desert.
Mostly sandwiches.
'Cause he was in the desert...sand...get it?
Hey, they can't all be masturbation jokes.
It's not even clear that the temptations presented by the devil were real or just a parable or an allegory or delusions brought on by subsisting on hallucinogenic cactus for six weeks.

There is greater theological agreement that He did not actually
lick the bufo alvarius toad to obtain visions.
So the idea of giving up something I like for 40 days, while possibly an effective dietary aid, is maybe less justifiable on religious grounds. Therefore I suggest a compromise. Instead of giving up one thing for 40 days, this Lenten season I'm going to give up 40 different things for one day each. After all, Jesus probably had to deal with some new shit every day while he was in the desert. I'm going to emulate his struggles by taking up twoscore burdens on a rotating daily basis.

Now, I'm serious here. These are all things I enjoy - I'm not going to sacrifice something like onions just to pad out the list.
Holy crap, I hate onions.
Based on my understanding of Christianity, I say God doesn't want us to suffer profound hardships - He much prefers that we suffer a little bit on an ongoing basis. In that spirit, here is my list of 40 things I plan to give up for Lent.

  1. Chocolate chips straight out of the bag
  2. Mike's Hard Lemonade (all flavors)
  3. Snicker's Peanut Butter Squared
  4. Googling pictures of cats doing adorable things
  5. Googling myself
  6. Hitting the snooze alarm
  7. Ketchup
  8. "The Colbert Report"
  9. Pretzels
  10. Sticking the Q-Tip way, way far into my ear to scratch an itch
  11. Farkle
  12. Salted chocolate
  13. Bob Dylan songs
  14. Headphones
  15. Coconut Lime Verbena body lotion
  16. My really cute earrings shaped like turtles
  17. Lipstick
  18. The rhythm method
  19. The really fuzzy blanket I like to sleep with
  20. The other really fuzzy blanket I like to sleep with
  21. Watching "House Hunters"
  22. TMZ
  23. High heels
  24. Coke Zero
  25. Checking oil prices online (yeah, that's a thing)
  26. Borrowing Precocious Daughter's iPod
  27. Microwaving
  28. Pretending to talk for my cats
  29. Bad puns
  30. Rhapsody
  31. Biting my lips
  32. Biting my fingernails
  33. Biting anybody
  34. Coffee (got the shakes just typing that one)
  35. Gossip
  36. Singing
  37. Makeup (note to self: stay indoors)
  38. Impulse purchases
  39. Checking Facebook on my phone
  40. "Adventure Time"
Wish me luck. I'm going to plow through this list in the Christian spirit of pretending it makes any damn difference to God what we do. However, I would like to point out that I am not giving up masturbating. Just wanted to make that point clear. Thy will be done, Amen.

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