The sacrifice of meat on Fridays for Catholics (I’m not sure if other denominations follow this practice) is symbolic from the early days of Christianity when meat wasn’t as commonly available as it is currently, and so giving up meat on Fridays was a sign of giving up something special.

The origins of Lent make sense, but the current practice of it doesn’t.

On Fridays, you can eat lobster, crab, shrimp, salmon and caviar. But you can’t eat a hot dog or bologna sandwich. You call that a sacrifice?

I gave up smoking cigarettes, but it wasn’t really for lent. It was really just for myself. I don’t think quitting an activity that was slowly killing me counts as a sacrifice. If anything, I should smoke twice as much for lent.

Which is precisely why the Church in recent years has modified its position to say that abstaining from meat on Fridays is no longer a requirenment, but merely a recommendation.

Also, throughout CCD, my teachers had emphasized that even better than giving something up is to make a resolution to do something positive, like helping your parents make dinner, or something. (Sorry for the crappy example).

There was some standup comedian, I forget who, who had a routine on Lent. It went something like this:

Jesus was tortured, crucified and died for our sins. I’m sure he’s real impressed that your fat ass gave up chocolate for a month. Yeah, you’re just like Jesus.

Maybe I will give up brow beating idiotic people. Maybe I will give up standing on two legs. Oh wait I know I will give up intelligence for 40 days, I will do my best to register myself for the draft and as a Republican and then I will read every installment of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series while watching American Idol, and Survivor at the same time as I order every possible article of clothing from Hot Topic, and then, just as Easter approaches, I will hand-write a letter to President Bush and congratulate him on all of his accomplishments and that his vacationing for more than a third of his time in office is commendable, but to really top off my lent experience I would then find Angelina Jolie attractive because her fist-sized-lips are so big and being equipped for good fellatio is all that matters when it comes to making a woman sexy. Wow, looks like I already gave up grammar for this post, oh well, there ya go.

I decided to give up masturbating.
I failed, this morning. Twice.

Oh God! Finally I’m not the only one I know who masturbates in the morning!