We are in the midst of Lent, when the faithful honor Jesus’ forty-day temptation in the wilderness by abstaining from booze, sex, and Facebook; whereas on the day before, Mardi Gras, the unfaithful go to New Orleans to film “Girls Gone Wild” videos.
“Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday.” The Anglicans call it “Shrove Tuesday” and celebrate by eating pancakes. I wondered if “shrove” was Anglican for “fat.” After all, pancakes can make you fat; just look at the church’s founder, King Henry VIII. Man, that guy was shrove. He looked like he spent Shrove Tuesday at IHOP, slept through Lent, Ramadan style, then woke up and ate a few Easter hams. Surely “shrove” meant fat. But when I looked up “shrove” in the dictionary, it said it meant “the past participle of ‘shrive’.” Oh, right; how could I forget? Okay, so then I looked up “shrive,” which means to confess and be absolved of guilt. So there it is: pancakes eaten on Shrove Tuesday have been absolved of calories. Everybody wins [...]