25 February 2009

Dude, You've Got A Little Something Right There...

As I returned from the microwave with my lunch, a co-worker stopped me with a quizzical look on his face.
"What's up with Igor's face?" (Igor is not his real name)
"Uh... What do you mean?" I replied, instantly thinking of about twelve ways I could make fun of Igor for being born ugly and aging poorly into an even more hideous visage.
"It looks like he has a marker smudge on his forehead."
"That's weird. Oh wait! It must be Ash Wednesday."
Additional confused look from Nikolai. (Also not his real name)
"You know, Ash Wednesday?" I asked.
No look of comprehension from Nikolai.
"The beginning of Lent?"
Still no recognition. Seriously? Dude, you're 40 and live in a state where phone books list more churches than bars. How can you NOT know about Ash Wednesday?
Hey, it must be time to fuck with Nikolai.
"Ok, you've heard of Mardi Gras, right?"
Instant recognition.
"Cool. Well the reason everyone parties balls on Fat Tuesday is because the next day, Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of Lent. Lent is that long period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter where people make promises to God to do or not do certain things, but only during that short time period instead of year round, because apparently everyone's willpower sucks over the long haul. So everyone switches their shit fully on during Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras and they get tore up like a burning pub full of Irishmen in a hurricane. Because starting the following morning, they have to clean up their act for two months."
Nikolai is nodding his head.
"Well everyone smears ash on their foreheads to help them remember that Jesus gave up smoking for Lent, but the night before he quit he tried to smoke an entire carton of Parliaments. The next morning, he woke up passed out in an ashtray full of puke, ash and cigarette butts. No one told him he had that crap all over his face and stuck in his beard until a few days later. So now everyone smudges ash on their foreheads to honor that memory."
Nikolai is no longer nodding his head, but is instead looking at me through rapidly narrowing and suspicious eyes.
"Hey man, my lunch is getting cold. Good talking to you."


While Tim and Tubbs were here this weekend, we made a few trips around town. Tim observed aloud that there sure were a lot of churches in town.
"Church is big business around here," I replied.
"Shit, speaking of church and business, have you heard about the mega-churches that are putting ATMs on premises so that parishioners can donate that way?"
"What? That sounds....wrong."
"Yeah apparently the machines don't dispense money. You just get a receipt for your donation, which you then toss into the collection tray."
"Wait, isn't there some allegory about 'money changers' in the Bible? I seem to recall there was some anger and muttering and stuff. Don't these people READ the book they follow?"
"Apparently not," replied Tim, "Or at least not the part where their hippie leader, old Capitan Whatshisname, threw a bitch fit on the church bankers."


If you're going to hell anyway, you might as well angle for the good seats.

Here's some relevant Jethro Tull.


Bj in Dallas said...

Jethro Tull always reminds me of Lent and puking in ashtrays...I've never known why until now.


Tithing ATM's. Who'd of thunk.

Scandalous Housewife said...

Did you give up anything for Lent? I gave up queso...

Debbie said...

That Ash Wednesday story is great. I encouraged my kids to "add" something to their lives instead of giving up something. I was thinking along the lines of good deeds, etc. My oldest said he had decided to add smoking cigars. Better luck to me next year.

zakary said...

I think I peed a little reading this.