Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday Indeed

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and that means that today is: Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day and/or Fastnacht Day depending on where you are in the world. I live in York PA (although I sometimes wonder why when reading the comments section on the local newspaper's website) so for me it is the day of the Fastnacht. A fastnacht is a ridiculously bad for you doughnut made from any amalgam of flower, honey, butter, potatoes, lard, sugar, milk, yeast and eggs.

Once you've decided on what you are going to put in these little killers, you have to decided what shape they will be, and if they will have a hole. I can go out around York County today and find fastnachts of all size, some round with a hole, some square with no hole but all defying the laws of physics. They look like a normal doughnut but when you heft them the feel like a whole dozen. They are just as heavy in your gut, too, causing you to feel as slow as molasses all day after you eat them. Molasses! There's one ingredient variant I forgot above.

As with so many other bastardized traditions, this one no longer holds it's original significance. In all it's forms the Shrove Tuesday splurge was a way to rid the home of all these indulgences in order to ready the family for it's Lenten sacrifice. Now people give up other things for lent like:

"I'm not going to drink soda for a month"
"I promise to go 40 days without eating Whoppers"
"I'm giving up TV for Lent"
"I'm swearing off anallingus till Easter."

You know. The normal stuff. It's not exactly commensurate with the suffering of your Messiah though, is it? He spent 40 days in the desert fasting and being tempted by Satan, its not as if he just stopped eating candy or anything. It's the classic lip service of most American Christians that I find deplorable and comical at the same time. I'd rather they just be honest with us, and themselves, and eat one regular doughnut a day for 40 days

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