Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

There Is Something Fishy About Lent

Many people always eat fish on Friday for Lent.  A friend told me he does this to be pious.  Well I want to be pious too. I want more pious than average. I want to be the epitome of piousness.  So if these people are eating fish on Friday, so am I.  My friend did caution me, “Remember, this is Lent, so it all has to do with sacrifice”.

I couldn’t wait for that first Friday to begin my pilgrimage to piety.  I went to a restaurant, but was faced with an arduous choice.  Should I get the Blue Fin Tuna?  Perhaps the Red Snapper Livornese?  The Baked Dijon Salmon looks simply decadent, whoa, better scratch that one. It kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

Mmmmmmmmm - Sea Bass!
I finally choose to sacrifice with the Pan Roast Sea Bass, imported of course, with the stuffed courgettes.  Now you may not think this meal was grueling but it took considerable time and effort to truly savor the scrumptious flavor of the sea bass.  And the peppers stuffed in the courgettes caused some mild gastric discomfort.  You may not consider this the holiest of meals, however I must point out the courgettes were sprinkled with olive oil, just like they use in the Holy Land.  And finally, the imported sea bass strained my credit card balance.  So this meal had many sacrificial aspects.

Don't forget the courgettes ........
However as I left the restaurant, I did not feel very sanctified.  I felt stuffed, as stuffed as those courgettes, which were exquisite by the way.  Maybe I went about this wrong. I decided to try something different the following week.

That Friday I went to the local fish fry at the church down the street.  This is perfect I surmised.  If eating fish makes you righteous, then what better place to consume it, then in an actual church building?  Plus, I would be hanging out with the pious crowd and maybe some of their piousness would rub off on me.

It was an all-you-can- eat deal, but I ate two pieces and was full.  I was about to leave when I noticed the guy at the table next to me get a third piece of fish. This gave me pause. If eating fish produces piousness, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the more fish you eat, the more pious you become?

I was not going to let this guy be more righteous than me. I mean I am righteous. If I had a brother, then we would be the Righteous Brothers. Actually we would be the Ake Brothers, but you get the idea.  But this guy was not going to out righteous me, so I ate a third piece, and a fourth and a fifth, matching him filet by filet. But I could not finish the seventh piece and I watched in dismay as my adversary devoured his eighth.   Oh yeah, this guy was righteous all right. I’m not worthy.  He did have this aura of holiness around him, just like the Buddha.  Come to think of it, he looked a little like the Buddha, I wonder?

I waddled to my car and I was saddened that this second attempt to achieve piety had also failed.  By stuffing my face full of fish, not only had I not achieved virtue, the opposite had occurred. I had committed the sin of gluttony.  It was then I realized something was seriously wrong.

Yes, something is suspicious here. Something is strange, something is dubious.  Something doesn’t smell right.  It smells wrong, it smells…, it smells …. Sorry, I just can’t come up with a good word to describe it.

So I am declaring “Shenanigans” on all this fish eating nonsense!   There cannot be a sacrifice when this stuff tastes so good. And if it doesn’t taste good, just dip it in some tartar sauce, the universal antidote for bad tasting fish.  How can this be a penance when it tastes much better than what people eat it third-world countries? (Especially with a side of coleslaw) Shenanigans, I tell you! MAJOR SHENANIGANS!

If you really want to sacrifice, eat tofu on Fridays. Maybe a nice big kale salad?  Or how about some of that quinoa crap?  Eat that stuff all day and you will not only sacrifice your Friday, but spend most of Saturday morning getting “cleansed” and I don’t mean spiritually.  

Or if you wanted to really want to obtain nirvana, eat a vegetable burger. And not one those generic veggie burgers.  No, eat one that contains pieces of multi-colored gunk in it, so you have no idea what you are ingesting. It’s like the ultra-modern version of mystery meat, only it’s not even meat. It’s gobs of who-knows-what, fused together into patty form and scandalously referred to as a burger. Like it resembles a cheeseburger in any other aspect but its shape. If you can eat that monstrosity and not ralph it up, then you have really accomplished something.   
Therefore, I have made a new Lenten resolution. I will march to the beat of a different drummer. I will take the road less traveled. I will swim against the tide.  When everyone turns to the left, I will turn to the right.  That is correct: I am giving up fish for Lent!  Unless of course, I can persuade someone to make me a fish sammich, then I just might be tempted to indulge.