Friday, April 19

Eat all you can on Fat Tuesday

There’s only one day of the year when it’s OK to mention the word “fat” in connection with people. The other 364 are off limits because the word is derogatory toward those of us carrying extra pounds.

Fat Tuesday signifies the beginning of Lent in the Christian world. Otherwise known as Mardi Gras, it’s a day of feasting before the 40 days of fasting begin. Fat Tuesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday, Carnival Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday depending upon where it’s being celebrated.

In years gone by, churches ruled with an iron fist and people were serious about their religion. They didn’t want the temptation of consuming forbidden foods during the Lenten season. In an attempt to lessen the lure of the prohibited, they ate whatever was in the fridge or pantry that might cause them to sin. That’s another thing that was real when I was a kid. According to our priest, occasions to sin lurked around every corner. Constant diligence was mandatory in the struggle between good and evil.

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I’ve never been to New Orleans, and it’s the one place I wouldn’t want to be today. After all that Catholic indoctrination, I’m a stick in the mud. I’d stay in my hotel room and try to ignore the revelry going on outside my window. Here’s why. I’m too stupid or too scared to make any connection between a solemn Ash Wednesday and the preceding day of glorifying food, booze, beads and prancing through the streets in ridiculous costumes.

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