Friday, March 8, 2013
I saw a little donation box today, benefiting starving children somewhere in a Third World country. It was a Lent-related item, and got me thinking back to how Lent used to work when I was in elementary school. Back in those days, we also had fund raisers for starving children. This was before political correctness was invented, so we referred to these poor kids as “Pagan Babies”. Seriously... Pagan Babies! How condescending and wrong was that? We felt so awesome collecting money for these impoverished children. I’m not sure we knew what “Pagans” were. Whoever they were, poor misguided souls, they just didn’t know any better. They obviously needed to become Catholic as much as they needed a hot meal. There was usually a competition between girls and boys that drove the fund raising. I’m sure we totally lost the point of the whole thing as we concentrated only on obliterating the other team. I remember winning a skateboard during a Lenten raffle one year. I ended up breaking my arm while riding it about a week later. This could possibly have been a sign, but I’m not sure of what. Might have been a Divine Message to cease and desist already with the Pagan Baby moniker. We always had to give up something during Lent. The default item was always candy. I think the only time we had candy was when we visited our grandmother. She had a candy dish that was always full of some sort of hard candy. Someone decided that weekends during Lent didn’t count, and were exempt from whatever we were living without. Hmmmm... I wonder who thought up that special clause. I suspect it wasn’t a real rule, but I wasn’t about to argue. I don’t think giving up candy was that much of a hardship for me. It counted though, if I was questioned about what I was giving up. Nowadays, if I were so inclined to play the Lent game (I’m not), I would probably give up something I didn’t really like anyway. Like calamari, thong underwear, or karaoke. I would most likely get cosmic noogies for this, so am better off just not playing. Hey... I think I just gave up Lent for Lent. Is that cheating?