“Show me, show me, show me, how you do that trick,
The one that makes me scream, she said.
The one that makes me laugh, she said.
Threw her arms around my neck…”
– ‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure
Last month, I decided to pack in the liquor for Lent, and to that end, Pancake Tuesday became Beer Tuesday, so that I might red the house out of all liquid-y temptations.
Ash Wednesday came and went (sans ashes or beer), and Thursday snuck past almost without me noticing. However, when Friday arrived, I was beginning to regret my grand abstinence gesture.
Fridays, as the Cure were wont to say, are arguably the best day of the week. The Sisyphean toil takes a hiatus and the world in general feels a little bit… brighter, in all respects. Surely, it is the day for celebrations.
“I don’t care if Monday’s blue, Tuesday’s gray and Wednesday, too. Thursday I don’t care about you – it’s Friday, I’m in love…” I sang as I made my way home. I recalled to, the video for the Cure’s song when Robert Smith and the lads were served up a big tray of frothy beers to celebrate their love of Fridays.
“Ah, beer,” I said to myself. Yet, I couldn’t forget my grand abstinence gesture from the weekend before. “Curse my faux pious and impetuous ways!” I lamented.
Had it only been me, I might have cast aside my grand gesture and headed straight for the offy. However, my partner in crime at home, AKA, Herself had also been installed on the wagon, and, if nothing else, she retains a tad more moral fortitude than I.
“The tongue is out,” I texted her by way of feeling the waters.
“Wind the tongue in. You’re off it for Lent.”
That was me told.
Friday night came and went, and to be honest, after I’d eaten a large bowl of Steve’s Updated Tunafish Pasta (more about that next week), any hankerings I’d previously reserved for one of Robert Smith’s frothy beers had long since diminished. Instead, I looked forward to a fresh Saturday morning; one where I wouldn’t be suffering from the blears from the night before.
“This abstinence stuff is all right,” I told myself with a stupid (bordering on maniacal) grin. Then a nebulous plan began to take shape in the spare room of my mind.
The next morning dawned bright, clear and cold, and I yawned-in that dawn with what felt like a turbo-charged constitution (and liver).
Herself was busying herself around the room as I stretched in bed. And as if my magic, my once nebulous plan exited the spare room and arrived at the front of my mind, solid and fully formed.
“Hi!” I exclaimed urgently, sitting up. “I had the wilest dream last night.” Herself no doubt expected the usual recounting of fighting zombies and/or vampires.
“What about?” she asked.
I lay down in bed again, slain it seemed, from my night-time reveries. “God came to me in a dream.”
There was a pause as those words sank in and my still sleepy brain struggled to form the next sentence.
“Are you serious?” Herself asked. And I struggled to retain a serious expression. I aimed for one of piety bordering on touched.
“God came to me in a dream,” I repeated.
“And what did he say?”
“He said, ‘Lad, don’t you be worrying about staying off the beer for Lent. Sure wasn’t Jesus’s first miracle turning some water into the good stuff.”
Next thing I knew, I was being whacked around the head with a pillow. “It’s true!” I protested. “He told me Saturday nights are made for beers and cheese burgers. He said he likes ranch burgers topped with raw onions with his beers.”
“Stop it.” Another whack. But she was laughing.
And lo it came to pass that on Saturday evening circa six bells, Michael existed the desert of abstinence and went in search of the River Jordan which, as everyone knows, flows with beer at the weekend. Instead of 40 days and 40 nights, for me, it had been three. And yet, I reassured myself, I had resisted Friday’s night’s temptations and that wily, Robert Smith with his frothy invitations.
“Back on the wagon after tonight,” Herself suggested.
“Of course,” I replied, holding crossed fingers behind my back.
“God will have to appear in person next weekend if he wants you back on the beer.”
“I reckon that can be arranged,” I thought but didn’t say. Instead, I said under my breath, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
“What was that?”
At the time of writing, it is Friday and there’s likely to be another bowl of Steve’s updated Tunafish Pasta on the cards for this evening. I can’t be sure, but there might be ranch burgers on the agenda for tomorrow night. Will there be lubrication? We’ll have to wait and see. I’m waiting on word from the Man upstairs.
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