After the pancakes have gone, when your “annual lemon” has been juiced, when you lay there panting after the extravagant taxidermy of Shrove Tuesday, incapable of movement, deep within the crepe coma, this my friends is the time to decide what to give up for lent.
As a tradition it’s not a bad one: to relinquish something you enjoy for a defined period, to pit your will power against the forces of desire, to prove to yourself that despite it’s many failings you are in charge of your own body. Impulses can be resisted – it’s what separates us from the animals. It’s what separates us from Jeremy Clarkson. All aboard the good ship denial, turn your head away from the cooing sirens of fancy and hold fast me hearties! There be beasties ‘ere and cupcakes by thy name.
It should come as no surprise that in the increasing secularisation of Christian festivals, in this era of the detox, Lent has become something that many of us will take part in for perceived health reasons, especially in the dietary holocaust of winter. Just like Jesus, we will throw ourselves in to the culinary desert for forty days and nights, forcing ourselves to subsist on just three meals a day with minimal snacking and the odd bar of chocolate. Just like Jesus did. And like him we will be tested by the forces of darkness. Evil maltesers will appear in the hands of generous loved ones, melting attractively like your resolve.
“It’s okay – We’re lighter than ordinary chocolate” they’ll whisper to you. The same way they whispered to Jesus.
Many will fall in this race, endurance is, after all, a steep few may climb. You’ll watch them acquiesce to their hankerings, watch the weaker ones reverting back to calorific black holes – inhaling chocolate hobnobs to drown out the berating voices inside their heads. Unstable and insatiable these black holes will become infinitely dense and not even Walkers Lite will escape their chubby gravity. Stay well away from these lest you be sucked in.
Jesus said no to the choccy biccies or as they were known back then, “Satan” and so can you. You don’t need divine nepotism and a lack of easily available confectionary on your side – you’re all much better than that.