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After wine, women and thong

Published: 
Monday, February 23, 2015

You wined up, wined down, and rolled back. 

You threw your waist at policemen, provoking them to commit a breach of the peace. You got drunk. You ate doubles from a street vendor who did not have a food badge and you did not wash your hands before or after. You urinated in the street and dropped your food boxes and toilet paper in the street. You wore that thong without tights or stockings and shoved your altogether in other people's faces. Oh yes, you did. I saw you. You will find the Bactroban ointment on the last shelf in third aisle in SuperPharm. 

And now it is time to behave yourself and experience the catharsis of 40 days of penitence. Lent has become popular again and since we no longer have the foolish idea that we need to stop singing calypso from Ash Wednesday, we can concentrate on really important "give-ups'' like diet soda and toxic people.

These days, Lent is no longer just for churchgoers. Lots of people who have not seen the inside of a church since their baptism use the Lenten period as an opportunity to recalibrate. American "Bible-coder'' Stephen Smith, who works for a Bible web site, analysed Twitter to discover what people were giving up for Lent. At the top of the list were school, Twitter and chocolate. But the list also included Facebook, boys, marijuana, selfies, online shopping and, Obama.

I checked in on my Facebook friends and nobody could come up with anything more exciting than alcohol and junk food. Pathetic—these people have no imagination and no appreciation of the true meaning of sacrifice.

Pope Francis in his Lenten message suggested we give up indifference and pointed out that personal sacrifices mean nothing if they do not benefit others. As he once said, "I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.'' 

That's aimed right at you wimps out there, who think a little fish on Fridays is going to get you in the rights with the Big Guy Up There. Now is the time to suck it up and buckle down, and all that. The idea is if you can tough it out for 40 days, you can do forever and ditch these no-good habits. 

Here is the Real List of 40 Things to Give Up for Forty Days.

1 Homicide. 2 Bearing false witness. 3 Ignoring people asking for help, food or directions. 4 Artificial sweeteners. 5 Bad feelings from childhood. 6 Stupid driving. 7 Parking your car in front of my driveway. 8 Three-quarter jeans. 9 High heels. 10 Talking, if your name is Kanye West. 11 Witness tampering. 12 Urinating in public. 13 Not seeing a urologist to find out why you can't hold it and have to do it in the street like an obscene pig. 14 Kidnapping. 15 Robbery. 16 Shooting with intent. 17 Being a member of a gang. 18 Paying for gym membership and never actually going to the gym. 19 Obscene language. 20 Your "revenge list'' of people you intend to get back at one day, including the bully in high school because he or she is reading this right now and will embrace the next give-up on this list. 21 Being a bully. 22 Bad hair days. 23 Weaves. 24 False eyelashes longer than a quarter inch. 25 Borrowing when you have no plans to pay back. 26 The affair that is going nowhere. 27 Texting him a zillion times when he doesn't call. 28 Texting her to find out where she is. She is not your property. 29 Texting during the show at MovieTowne. 30 Bad spelling. 31 Not returning your mother's calls. 32 Barking at the children. When they grow up, they might add you to their list of things to give up for Lent. 33 Tattoos. 34 Dropping hints about an Easter wedding. If it's been a year and nothing doing, time to move on. 35 Trying to look like a rapper. 36 Keeping up with the Kardashians. 37 Being a fool. 38 Emotional eating. 39 Sending nude pictures of yourself to significant others. 40 Did I mention being a fool? Here is it as again because it covers everything on the list and then some—being a fool.

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