"Giving it up for Lent"

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"Giving it up for Lent"

Postby John Hughes on March 3rd, 2012, 2:13 pm

Hello, Tom.

My grateful thanks to you for your humorous reply to my question last month on "Pet Hates in the Modern World".

Following on from my anti-mobile 'phone rant, I decided to abandon two further scourges of modern times - which I'm asamed to say I find myself using increasing frequently - Facebook and Twitter, for the duration of Lent. And I have to say, I'm rather enjoying it! I don't see myself re-activating my accounts in any hurry...

So, I wonder sir, if, as a young lad with a strong R.C. background (like myself), did you "give up" things for Lent? And if so was it by choice or where you "encouraged" to by the grown-ups? Indeed, do you still mark the Lenten season in some way by "giving something up"?

It's a bit early to wish you "Happy Easter", so instead, I hope you have a marvelous March.

As ever, my good wishes.
John Hughes
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Joined: February 8th, 2011, 5:33 pm

Re: "Giving it up for Lent"

Postby Tom Baker on March 31st, 2012, 7:43 pm

Dear John

As a fervent Catholic child I had little enough of luxuries because of the war and the post war shortages. Of course in those day I did not drink much: most children were TT in those days. But we redoubled our self loathing and went to confession more often than usual.

I got going as an actor because of those sessions of sweet invention. I made my first confession at the age of six. As I didn't know much of the ways of the devil, the priest was really quite redundant, I simply had nothing to confess. Father Sharkey used to urge me to dig deeper and said how much Jesus loved a sinner.
So I digged deep into my little imagination and, Lo, I struck a rich vein of lies:
"Pray Father, give your blessing, it is six days since my last confession."
"Let's hear the sins," hissed father Sharkey, flashing his teeth, "The sins!"
"I've done murder", I whispered.
"Murder? How many times?" he asked swallowing deeply and his adam's apple jumping with excitement. "How many times?"
"Twice I said."
"Ah," gulped the Sharkey, "Two murders in six days, anyone we know?"
Realising I was getting in deep I swiftly improvised: "No, Father they came from the next parish."
As a penance I was given forty lashes of his tongue.
Oh, bring back yesterday!

Best wishes
from Tom
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