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A Laugh For Lent February 22, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
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Granny47 sent me a funny e-mail this morning which seems perfect to share on Ash Wednesday . . . the first of forty days of Lenten sacrifice.

At the outset, I must “confess” that I have never observed Lent.

As a result, much of this post will be based on hearsay and anecdotal evidence rather than first hand knowledge.

(Of course, the same could be said about many/most/all of the teachings and practices of faith-based religions . . . including the annual observance of Lent.) 

As I understand it,  those who observe its rituals give up something they love (e.g., chocolate, video games, sex, or . . . {{gasp}} . . . texting and tweeting) to prove that they are “decent sorts” who one day should be allowed to pass through Heaven’s Door.

I’ve never bothered to observe Lent because I’m not convinced we have to prove that we are “decent sorts” to get into heaven . . . and that’s a good thing since proving that we are “decent sorts” would be an effort in futility for many/ most/all of us (even if we had a fast-talking lawyer or highly polished spin doctor on our permanent payroll).

The only thing I’ve ever given up for Lent is . . . self-imposed sacrifice.

As a result of my intentional (self-imposed) ignorance on the subject, I may misunderstand and/or misstate the sanctity and significance of this seasonal sacrifice by its celebrants.

If I do, please feel free to clarify for us below.

WARNING:  If you have given up your sense of humor for Lent . . . please stop reading NOW.

And don’t come back until you’ve reactivated your funny bone chakra.

Ready . . . Set . . . a lesson on being punctual:

A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish.  A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and give a short speech at the dinner. Since the politician was delayed, the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:

“I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, lied his way out of it.  He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss’s wife, taken illegal drugs and given VD to his sister. I was appalled.  But as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.”

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late.  He stepped up to the microphone and began to speak:

“I’ll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived. In fact, I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession.”

Moral of the story:  What happens in the confessional does NOT always stay in the confessional.

If you want to act and speak with impunity . . . head to Vegas.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For a post on the serenity of Lent:  These 40 Days (Maggie Madly Writing)

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Comments»

1. Piglet in Portugal - February 22, 2012

Nice one Granny! But it has to be told in an Irish accent 🙂
I went to an Italian convent school. Observed lent (whilst at school), went o search wekends where we did not speak but for the life of me I could not understand why we should share our innermost thoughts and digressions with a priest to gain absolution.

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

As an outsider to the practice . . . maybe priests encourage their congregations to flock to the confessional to share prurient thoughts for their own lascivious sexual titillation.

Just a thought. 😉

Piglet in Portugal - February 23, 2012

I think you are probably right! I was actually thinking it, but did not write it to your blog 🙂

Seems a bit perverse to me that priests are not allowed to marry. So many young people were, and are still abused by some Catholic priests…many stories are only just coming to light. So sad.

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

Maybe it’s time for the church to leave the dark ages behind and allow priests (of both genders!) to marry and have children of their own . . . so they leave others’ children ALONE!

2. suzicate - February 22, 2012

That is too funny! Proves the guest of honor should never be late!

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Isn’t it great! The more “pious” the politician . . . the more we enjoy catching them in the act of political incorrectness. 😆

3. SidevieW - February 22, 2012

Ouch!

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Talk about stubbing your toe on the podium! 😉

SidevieW - February 22, 2012

hehe

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Check out the clip PTC brought round from Frasier, Sidey ~ it’s a double “OUCH” filled entendre.

4. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 22, 2012

Great one! 😆

Your conception of Lent is totally out of sync with my own, but I won’t take the time to clarify! You know a lot of my feelings. Suffice it to say that heaven cannot be earned, it is grace freely given, no strings attached, to all who accept it. And it is now and forever – it need not be postponed or put off.

Also, how could that joke be offensive to anyone? It’s a riot! 😆

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Your definition of heaven reminded me of a funny quote I heard last night on Jeopardy: “Hell is other people.” 😉

From Wikipedia:

No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original French title is Huis Clos, the French equivalent of the legal term in camera, referring to a private discussion behind closed doors; English translations have also been performed under the titles In Camera, No Way Out, and Dead End. The play was first performed at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in May 1944, just before the liberation of Paris in World War II.

It is a depiction of the afterlife in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity, and is the source of one of Sartre’s most famous quotations, l’enfer, c’est les autres (“Hell is other people”).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Exit

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 22, 2012

Absolutely! It reminds me of my favorite obituary:

Somebody Else died today. Therefore, Others will be called on to do all the jobs that Somebody Else used to do, until the Others pass on. After that, Anyone will be expected to step in – that is, if Anyone will. . .

Now I know where Others go when they die! 😆

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

I love that obituary. I wonder what will happen to all of us when “they” die?

“They” need to do something about “that.”

5. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 22, 2012

Here is one of myt ALL-TIME favorite Frasier clips – very appropos, as you will see:

Enjoy!

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Ooh . . . that is PAINFULLY funny. Thanks, PTC. 😀

6. souldipper - February 22, 2012

You turned my attention to this big time, Nance.

I wonder if I would uncover my demons better by being in the desert for 40 days and nights or by giving up my computer for the same period. Hmmmm. The dreadful scheming would likely begin in one hour. “If I buy an IPad, does that count?” “I’m only using my IPod.” “Maybe I do need a IPhone. NOW.”

A little poem even popped out:

“I’m so pure and sanctimonious,
So sure and cock-eee-phonious
I’ll prove for sure
There is a cure
Computers can be soo-per-flu-ous.”

The thought causes pause…then I get nauseated. Maybe I’ll move Lent to summer when there’s diversions.

Oh never mind. The demons haven’t killed me yet. 😀

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Bwahaha! Your comment substantiates what I’ve long believed to be true . . . the primary value of my posts lies in eliciting the wit and wisdom of readers. Thanks, Amy!

7. Catherine Johnson - February 22, 2012

They were both hilarious! Thanks for the laughs.

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Thanks, Catherine. I am glad to see that my readers have NOT given up their sense of humor for Lent . . . life without laughter would be a “dry desert” indeed. 😉

8. pix & kardz - February 22, 2012

haha, ouch 🙂 as i was reading your story, i had a sneaking suspicion it was the absent politician being described, but before i could figure out how this would end up being revealed, the ending surprised me. urk! 😀
 
i have never participated in lent, either BTW, so from a strictly non-observing perspective, i think between the humorous lines there is also a whole lot of wisdom. i think that God likes us all a whole lot more than we might think or even hope to expect, and that there are some self-exerted actions that may be good for an individual to commit to doing or avoiding for 40 days, however IMO none of these would change his mind about his amazing opinions of us.
 
thanks for sharing. at the same time it goes without saying that for those who do follow lent – no disrespect intended with this comment! 🙂
 
and that Frazier clip, oh boy. talk about opening your mouth to change feet, er fleet 😀

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Thanks, Kris! I agree . . . “God” loves us . . . as and where we are. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

And watching that Frazier clip really is the perfect example of opening your mouth and unintentionally inserting your foot. 😀

9. aawwa - February 22, 2012

Brilliant! I love it.

Lorraine 🙂

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Thanks, Lorraine. Glad you enjoyed it. 😀

10. Nancy Curteman - February 22, 2012

When I was in first grade in Catholic school, I remember making my first confession. The nuns had to give the little first grades suggestions for sins they might confess. Sounds like that politician figured out plenty of his own.

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Thanks, Nancy. Like you, BFF received suggestions for his first confession during catechism ~ saying a bad word, talking back to his parents, staying up past his bedtime, not doing his homework, etc.. 😉

11. klrs09 - February 22, 2012

That was wickedly funny! Didn’t expect that punch-line at all. I have never given anything up for Lent, either, but then I’m not Catholic. I do however like eating pancakes for supper.

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Thanks, klrs. Glad you enjoyed . . . and pancakes for supper sounds like a wicked idea! 😀

12. Julie - February 22, 2012

Good one! Sounds like many actual politicians, sadly.

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Politicians are not the best behaved kids on the block . . . that’s for sure.

13. solodialogue - February 22, 2012

Haha! Wouldn’t surprise me to learn this is actually a true story.

I’ve seen you commenting for quite some time on Elizabeth’s site and finally clicked over here to read something of yours. I often find myself enjoying your comments there as well. 🙂

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

I agree ~ this could definitely happen in real life . . . which makes the joke that much funnier.

Thanks for stopping by and for reminding me why your name seemed familiar. I just swung by your blog and left a few comments.

A movie you might be interested in seeing, if you haven’t already: Temple Grandin

http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Temple-Grandin/70132542?strkid=869687494_0_0&strackid=7799a104fd162d3c_0_srl&trkid=222336

14. Andra Watkins - February 22, 2012

I am a non-observer of Lent as well. I don’t think God requires us to deprive ourselves of things, but that’s just my interpretation.

nrhatch - February 22, 2012

Same here. If we have habits and behaviors that are not working to our advantage (e.g., procrastination or hoarding), it’s a great idea to shed them . . . for good, not just for 40 days.

Other than that, I expect we’re here to be happy and enjoy everything life has to offer (while we’re busy digging tunnels to nowhere).

15. JannatWrites - February 23, 2012

I’ve never observed Lent. Good thing, because I suspect it would be another big opportunity for failure!

The joke was hilarious. It’s a relief to know my sense of humor is not on sabbatical 🙂

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

As a child, I would joke with friends who were giving up stuff for Lent ~ and encourage them to choose something they wouldn’t really miss. Example:

Me: Hey, Mom, what’s for dinner?
Mom: Liver, Onions, and Bacon.
Me: Ooh . . . man. I gave up Liver for Lent.
Mom: You can have leftover pizza.

WINNER . . . WINNER . . . PIZZA DINNER! 😉

16. sarsm - February 23, 2012

I would not survive without my sense of humour.

Absolutely brilliant Granny47 – thanks to you both for a great start to my day.

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

Sometimes the jokes circulating in cyber-space are worth their weight in space dust! 😀

17. William D'Andrea - February 23, 2012

Last evening I attended a Lenten Soup Supper at the First Prespyterian Church of Greenlawn, New York, where I am a member. The ladies supplied us with more than a dozen crock pots of delicious soups to choose from. As always, the pot with the chili was emptied.

As for a humorous incident, there was something that happened during one of last year’s Soup Suppers.

After the Supper, a Christian Video was shown in the Church Parlor. Among the people gathering, there were three High School Girls, who regularly attend Sunday Worship.

I made the comment that they were “Very nice girls.”

They actually were offended by my saying that.

One of them told me, very indignantly “We’re not nice girls!”

I meant that as a compliment. I suppose it all depends on what you mean by “nice”.

I graduated from High School in 1963. I know things have changed greatly. What I’d like to know, is what do present day High School girls think you mean, when you use the word “nice”?

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

I have no idea, William. Maybe teen-agers, prefer to be called “cool” or “sick” rather than “nice.”

Your Lenten dinner sounds great . . . but I’m surprised that it’s “ladies” doing all the work in this day and age. Don’t any of the men help with the cooking, serving, and cleaning up? 😉

William D'Andrea - February 24, 2012

The Lenten Soup Suppers at my church are what’s called “Pot luck dinners”. The ladies, along with one or more of the men, prepare their soups at home, then bring them in the crock pots to the Church.

That only happens during lent. At other luncheons and dinners throughout the year, it’s usually the men who pitch in, setting up the tables and chairs, etc.

The cooking is usually done by a man who’s a professional chef, and volunteers his services to the Church. He is also an executive chef, who knows how to assign work; so we don’t have a lot of people standing around, no knowing what to do.

Another humorous occurance that happened at one of these events, was when my sister came to attend a picnic on the Church’s front lawn.

She was wearing a golden necklace, with the pattern “o-x-o-x-o-x-o-x-o-x-o-x-o-x-o-x”

One of the Chruch ladies commented that it meant “Hugs and kisses.”

I said, “Oh. I thought it meant “Ox ox ox ox ox ox ox.:

The lady sighed and shook her head saying “Typical man.”

The thing is, when I was in school I learned to read an write in English. When I see the letter o followed by an x, I automatically think “Ox”>

18. kateshrewsday - February 23, 2012

Hmmm. Lent. I used to love the theatre of Lent; the ritual of playing out a kind of spiritual ‘detox’ with lots of silence and focus, followed by all the drama of the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. I still do: but guilt and sacrifice can have no part in the whole thing, for me.

Great story cycle, though.

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

Actually, I don’t think much of the story ~ it has never made sense to me that a paternalistic god would prove his love for us by crucifying his only son.

A truly loving parent should be able to demonstrate love for us in a far more palatable way.

kateshrewsday - February 23, 2012

You only have to look at Greek legends to see that a strange and not necessarily logical father-type can have a strange relationship with their offspring, and still; make a classic storyline. Heracles, for example. An all-round nice bloke who slaughtered the lot. Great read, though.

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

The Greek and Roman Gods were no better, eh?

Maybe it’s because they are Gods . . . and feel they can do as they please without repercussion? 😉

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

Or, perhaps, the more plausible scenario:

In recording these legends and tales, the recorders were encouraged to demonstrate that gods (and, by parallel, their representatives on Earth) were free to act with impunity and it would be HERESY for the populace to question their motives.

“Ours is not to reason why . . . ours is but to do and die.”

William D'Andrea - February 25, 2012

Jesus was crucified to take the punishment, for every sin ever committed, upon Himself. That is ever single sin; including the greatest evils that have ever occured; such as wars, mass murders, genocides, etc. He took the punishment reserved for those who commited these great evils, along with all the minor wrongs that all of us commit.

He took the punishment so that no one would have to endure eternal seperation from God the Father, as long as they accept Him as Savior, regardless of the evil they’ve done.

Now this leads to the question; don’t people like Hitler and Stalin deserve eternal damnation? Should they receive the same forgiveness as us minor offenders? Should they be given the opportunity to receive the same rewards as their victims?

That is an eternal mystery, called the “Scandal of God’s Grace”. His undeserved, total forgiveness is extended to all sinners, who accept Christ as Savior. Even to those, who everyone believes, should be spending eternity Hell.

nrhatch - February 25, 2012

I don’t buy it. I don’t believe in a paternalistic God, or that Jesus died for our sins, or that we have to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, or that anything could ever separate us from the Loving Source of All.

God dwells within me . . . as me.
God is the breath within the breath.

Namaste! _/!\_

19. eof737 - February 23, 2012

I remember the confessional well… we shared afterwards. 😉

nrhatch - February 23, 2012

I am glad not to be on the giving or the receiving end of the confessional. I prefer to act without an intermediary. 😉

20. Perfecting Motherhood - February 24, 2012

Hilarious! This must be an Irish church. 😉

nrhatch - February 24, 2012

I can’t think “Irish Catholic” without thinking Kennedy ~ JFK, Bobby, Ted, etc. BIG families with connections.

21. Team Oyeniyi - February 26, 2012

I am so glad I read this! 😆 with allt he shinanigans going on in our political environment at the moment, I love this!!!

nrhatch - February 26, 2012

Yay! Glad you enjoyed.

I wonder if politicians (and other celebrities ~ sports figures, singers, actors, etc.) behave worse than the rest of us . . . or if we sit up and take notice when then do because they are “in the spotlight”?


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