Today is Mardi Gras all over the world for Protestants and Catholics alike. From the historic street parties in Venice, to the raucous parades in the French Quarter in New Orleans, to the renowned and lavish displays in Rio - it's the last gasp of frivolity and fun before the beginning of Lent.
If your'e Protestant, it's not really a big problem. You can party the night away to your heart's content, all night long. But for Catholics this is deadly serious business. At the stroke of midnight tonight is the beginning of Lent. All partying and carrying on comes to an abrupt halt!
This sucks so bad I can't even think straight! It's the start of forty-six days of absolute human misery - involving penance, giving alms and self sacrifice - wherein we're supposed to give up something we enjoy or love. Like drinking, partying, or gaming too much on apps.
It's much worse than stupid New Year's resolutions (which we can ditch at any time without consequence). But if you mess up during Lent you very well might be on the road to Hell! Which is a dreary thought and who really need's that, right?
So what to give up? I thought about Tweeting, which is not possible of course. Last year I tried to be clever and gave up giving up things up for Lent. But that didn't work out at all. I had nothing but bad luck for two solid months.
You can be sure my rich employer is not giving up anything. Honestly I have never met a more selfish and self-centered person in my entire life, bordering on personality disorders. But to give him a break, he's not really Catholic. He's Episcopalian for God's sake, one of those easy religions-of-convenience where nothing much is required, except for donations of course. But occasional attendance keeps him in touch with the rest of high society.
As much as I love politics, I think what I'm giving up for Lent is to stop watching the non-stop coverage of this clownish presidential election coming up in America this year. It's much more healthy to watch the BBC World News anyhow, where we can find out what else is going on in this crazy complicated world besides our nutty politics.
Thanks for dropping in this evening and Happy Mardis Gras to all! If you're doing Lent this year, good luck! It's only forty-six days after all. We can get through this...