Wednesday, February 09, 2005
I Think A Better Name For It Would Be 'Really Really Slow'
People ask me why I participate in organized religion. Is it the sense of belonging? The basic human desire for metaphysical surety? The unbearable weight of paralyzing guilt? The constant drumbeat of failure against an impossible moral standard? The outside chance that I may be molested before, during or after a service?

Really it's none of those things. The main reason is the fasting.

Perhaps I should explain.

In the normal course of my day, if something remotely edible wanders into my field of vision, I will eat it. I don't necessarily want to, but if it was made to be consumed, I feel it is my duty to help said item fulfill its destiny. For instance, there is one single solitary Goldfish pretzel on the floor right now. One of my kids dropped it, who knows how long ago. On a normal day, the length of its stay wouldn't give me even half a second's pause, nor would the fact that it's lying under a pile of dusty toys on a floor where my year-round-shedding dog sleeps. I would eat that mini pretzel.

So I think God for days like today, Ash Wednesday. Today is a day of fasting and reflection when I'm supposed to remind myself what a miserable sinner I am. Sure, not eating all day tends to make on hyper-aware of every passing second (less about reflection and atonement, though, than counting the minutes until I can eat my one meal today at dinner time), interrupting the routine just enough to put a person all inside his/her own head.

Mostly I like it because I have a Jesus-approved excuse to diet. I would never have the will power on my own. Today and six weeks from now on Good Friday, I will have the incentive to fast because I know that ingesting solid food will condemn me forever to the pit of eternal fire and torment after I die.

Don't get the wrong impression, I already know I'm going to hell. The record I have with the campus police from back in my college days is all by itself enough to ensure that (I still maintain that I thought she was sleeping at the time, officer). I just want to be sure that if I'm going to burn, it's going to be for something really great and not because I had some crackers on a day when crackers are verboten.

The main reason I'm happy about it is that now (and the subsequent season of Lent) I will be able to start the long road toward preparing for Holiday Season 2005. Lent is when I diet (all for you, Lord!) to lose the weight I picked up last holiday season in preparation for gaining the weight back on the Halloween-New Years run at the end of this year. I have to be mindful of the religious aspect though because with the constant weight fluctuation, I'm sure I'll be booking my trip to Jesus very very soon. The human heart can only bear so much.

So today I will have willpower. Externally mandated, divinely extorted willpower. Thank you, lord.

Thus far I've not yet reached the time of day when I usually eat breakfast, so everything is all sunshine and roses. Check back around lunchtime and I'm sure I'll be cursing God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah and any other deity who happens to cross me when I'm jonesing for a peanut butter sandwich.

Must go. Weak with the thought of what soon will be hunger.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.7


PS: Now for something completely inappropriate. The morning radio show I listen to on the way to drop my kid off at school was talking about a guest they were going to have later in the day. She was an author of a book about pleasuring your man that they (slightly) mistakenly identified as Tickle My Pickle (we can debate my parenting regarding listening choices at a later date). First of all--and I hate to disabuse anyone who longs for made-up sexual mystery--but there's no secret to operating a dude's junk. It practically does it all by itself. So I don't really get the book. Second, my three year old picked up on the rhyme immediately and shouted non-stop all the way to dropping his brother off through the Catholic school parking lot "tickle my pickle, tickle my pickle". Never been more proud, me.

Pops are you fasting or dieting man?
If you're dieting eat a pickle or a rice cake to stop your hunger.
If your fasting just tickle your pickle and you'll forget about hunger...bwaahahahaha
You spurred me to write my own Lentish story. But I can't decide what to give up. Maybe I need to give up indecisiveness?
Well, I'm expecting some interesting posts from you later on today, after the hunger pangs start giving you "visions."
When I grew up in the Catholic Church, we had to wear hair shirts. Man, did that chafe my nipples! Self flagellation was optional, but a lot of us did it, because that's what God wanted. And for Lent -- no food at all. It was during one of those fasts that we came up with the idea of mutually assured destruction. We were really cranky.
I've never been more happy not to be Catholic. And I'm pretty sure my father is taking a huge, gulping sigh of relief that he was excommunicated for marrying a divorced woman.

Then again, I think all my aunts are starving. Who need Atkins when you have the God diet, right?
Cheese burger
Chicken strips
Ice cream
Damn, now I've got to go have a sandwich.
I am convinced now of the power of Jesus. Mention religion and you get a flood of comments, which I will now--like Noah--ride to safety in the sodden, animal-feces-befouled vessel that is my intellect.

Yoli: I know you were making a joke and the double entendre may be unfortunate, but I could totally eat a pickle right now.

Brian: I would like to take credit for inspiring you, but like football players say, all praise to Jesus.

Steph: No no, nothing like that. I'm fine... except for the orange spiders. They talk to me.

Larry:...uphill in the snow both ways to get to church where you had barbed wire kneelers and razor-blade pews. I've heard this one.

Jess: So THAT'S how you get out of this! Do you know any divorced women? Hey! I could divorce my wife and then re-marry her. Would that work? I have to call my priest.

MPH: Go. Fuck. Yourself.

SJ: Man, I was fine through all that MPH stuff, but now I'm craving a sandwich soooo bad. A cheeseburger-pizza-pie-chicken-ice-cream-steak sandwich. With gravy.
When I was six, my mom asked me where I wanted to eat. I wanted to eat at Fudrucker's, but it came out "Rudfucker's." I thought it sounded so funny that I repeated it. For a while. My mom wasn't too happy about that.
Haha. I gave up chocolate for lent. Yeah, that lasted a whole 24 hours. No diet for me, eh?
Crab cakes
Corn on the cob
I just noticed up above that Steph said she's expecting. I didn't believe she even knew Affleck.
Alison: And somehow you grew up to become Ms. All-World Speaking Champeen of (Whatever It Is You Compete In).

Even with the unfortunate misprononciation, I wouldn't say no to a burger from Rudf... that thing you said.

K: I guess I'll see you in hell.

MPH: Phew. Crab cakes and corn on the cob. Keep naming nasty shit I won't eat. This is helping.

Larry: As long as she names one of the twins Gigli.
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