Thursday, February 18, 2010

I've Lent my bad judgment out for 40 days

I attended Detroit Catholic Central High School some umpteen years ago. The Royal Blue and White Shamrocks have been educating young men and having the priests provide a swift kick in the ass for corrective action for 80 odd years now and I was one of the educated. Driving in each day from little nowheresville into Detroit soon became old hat and my 3 hours of commuting each day didn't even phase me after a while. That's just the way it was. We all do remember high school of course with the minutia that seemed to matter so much then ultimately didn't matter at all: the girls on the bus from the sister school down the street that wouldn't talk to you; the math test that you bombed; being one of a dozen non-Catholics in a sea of a thousand or so; the fact that you couldn't eat meat on Fridays during Lent.

Wait. What? No meat? You guys know my stance on vegetarianism, right? I'm against it. Obviously. I think that the best way that someone explained the 'no meat on Friday's thing' (what else am I going to call it, really?) to me was that it, like anything given up during Lent, was a sign of sacrifice, humility, tradition, and rememberance. I'm okay with all of those things. I've got no moral qualms against any of them. I'm not really that good at any of them but that's neither here nor there. So, I went with it. Sort of. I still brought pepperoni pizza with me from my job at Gus' Carryout in Howell for lunch on Fridays. I still had to explain to my lunchmates that I wasn't Catholic.

In all honesty, I have never given up anything for Lent. I think that the idea of giving up something just because a religious tradition [hang on] tells you to is ridiculous. I am for traditions. I am against traditions that have no doctrinal basis. I know... Jesus went and hung out in the desert for 40 days without something or other and prayed and fasted. That's not to make light of the situation but I have failed to read any part of the Bible where it says "Go without cheeseburgers on Fridays for a month and a half." It might be in there, though... Somewhere in the back, maybe?

I was sitting at my desk at job #1 on Tuesday when the woman who sits across from me popped her head up over our shared wall and asked me what I was giving up for Lent. This is strange because I never talk about religion at job #1. Before we knew what had happened, our entire department was standing up and talking about what they were going to give up for Lent. Guess what card I drew:

Alcohol. All of it. And all of it because I let slip that I write questions and occasionally host shows for Better Trivia of Nashville which are hosted in bars across our fair city (Sam's, Monday, 7:30; 3Stones, Thursday, 7:30). And I'm doing it. Not because I think Lent is a nice tradition (it is) but because I want to lovingly spite my co-workers who don't think I can do it.

So how do I fill this void the void that is now in my life with the lack of delcious pints of Guinness and Speyside on the rocks for the next 39 days? I've got to fill it with something. That something for today and probably the rest of the week is candy which the man who sits next to me had given up. It just so happened that he had a large bag of bite size York Peppermint pieces that he gave to me. I was insulted upon reading the back of the bag of candy. Listen here, Hershey Company, if I am trading one vice for another, I have no intentions whatsoever of sharing them "...with family & friends!" as your clever marketing indicates that I should. I know my photography skills aren't rivaling Josh Marx [hire him!] or Eden Frangipane [hire her, too!] but I swear that's what the back of the bag reads. And if I have a hard time doing what the Bible says I should do, what chance do you, bag of candy, really have? Not much.

I delved into the bag this morning. Wonder of wonders, the candy pieces come in two colors: Royal Blue and White. It's almost hard to believe this circle, isn't it?

Lent, you are a clever tradition. You've managed to circle around after all those years from high school and give me a swift kick in the ass for not observing you since I am, as Father Donoher put it on more than one occassion, "The perfect example of a fine Catholic young man." All these years later Catholic Central is still kicking my ass. Touche', my Basillian priest friends. Touche'.

1 comment:

pull the mctrigger