Forty days is a long time if you give up something you aren't sure you can live without. So today, on Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday if you like, perhaps the notion is you gorge yourself on that one thing so much so that you are unable to face it for the next 37 days, leaving you with just a few days to manage. Really, who among us couldn't live without chocolate for three days? This seems to make the most sense if what you want to give up for 40 days is flapjacks. A trip to IHOP should make the most out of today - and should help insure your inability to look at another pancake until at least April.
The easiest thing to give up might be swamp cabbage. Millions of Americans (yeah sure) will be celebrating Swamp Cabbage Day with a nice hearty bowl of stew. The recipe can be found in "White Trash Cooking". My favourite has to be Uncle Willie's Swamp Cabbage Stew. With celebrations like this, it is no wonder today marks the start of National Eating Disorders Week. A nice big bowl of swamp cabbage and I might give up eating entirely for Lent.
This year for lent I will instead give up being obnoxious. I think the only way I can manage that is if I spend today being unbearable. Perhaps it will be a little like overdosing on chocolate. Bah. Never mind. I'll just celebrate National Obnoxious Day on my own... me and several million other North Americans.