Different ways to observe Lent

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 8, 2022

While most folks who observe Lent tend to give up certain things, there are those who ‘take up’ instead—volunteer work, for example. And then there are people like me who, instead of giving up edible things like chocolate or those nasty Peeps (which, actually aren’t at all edible but useful for using as packing material instead of styrofoam peanuts), try to give up negative behavior.

 

Like cussin.’ Or gossip. Or cussin’ while gossiping.

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Take gossip—I don’t want to be a part of it, don’t want to hear it, and then fall flat on my face with failure the second anyone with a breathless, southern accent (which is EVERYBODY I know) begins a sentence with, “Pa-aam, you are not gonna believe…” Then it’s all over. Anytime my name is broken into two syllables, I’m a goner. That vocal treacle has pulled me in and trapped me like fly paper, unable to escape with integrity.

 

And so I’m thinking of following in Del Hall’s footsteps. Because this Cincinnati native has switched to an all liquid diet for Lent. Did I mention it’s beer? That’s right—with some herbal tea and water thrown in with a multivitamin, overseen by his doctor.

 

Drunk religiously. Since 2019

 

Del says every time he undertakes his 46 day sacrifice he loses weight. In fact this year, by day 31, he’d lost 25 lbs. I’m assuming that’s because his liver fell out. He’s also addicted—er, relentless, in his promotion of beer being part of a healthy lifestyle and undeserving of sinful connotations. He also admits to mixing it up as drinking the same beer each day can become boring.

 

“Sweet?” he explains. “I might go with a milk stout. If I want fruity, I’ll go with one that has raspberries in it.”

 

Before you write off Del as some kind of lush, he is quick to point out that he doesn’t sit around and drink beer all day or get drunk. He uses his annual tradition to raise money for the Ken Anderson Alliance, a foundation that supports adults with disabilities. As Hall has a teen daughter with Cerebral Palsy, this is his way of making a difference in the lives of others. With local Ohio breweries taking part, $5000 has been raised towards the goal of $25,000.

 

If I can’t get away from gossip, maybe beer is the logical way to go? Although booze loosens the tongue and fuels gossip. Not to mention that if I drank that much beer for 6 weeks, I’d be the object of gossip. This is getting far too complicated.

 

I guess I’ll just continue to give up the ingredients found in car wax and cattle hooves.

 

You know: Peeps.