I'm really enjoying Lent this year. I think not being Catholic helps.
Lent, for those of you that don't know and refer to this time of year as "Fish Sandwich Season," is the name of a holiday observed by many Christian denominations which encompasses the 40 days preceding Easter. Lent involves fasting and sacrifice, both personal and official.
For Catholics observing Lent there is a rule against eating meat on Fridays, hence the marked increase in fish sandwiches availability and the inexplicably long lines at Long John Silvers.
While I am not Catholic NOR a fan of fish sandwiches (Can I see the ocean? No? Then I'm not eating the fish) I love Lent. For me, Lent means that numerous late-night restaurants (read: gas stations) stop serving pizzas comprised entirely of pork, which I do not eat, and instead deign to offer up a vegetarian option.
And since vegetables are about as welcome in a gas station as an open flame, the vegetarian option is often a garlic cheese pizza.
Delicious ... as far as gas station pizzas are concerned.
Unfortunately Lent is soon to run its course as Easter rapidly approaches.
And I made sure to double-check that it was rapidly approaching; since they move the thing every year it can be a little tricky to pin down.
Easter unofficially kicks off the Summer Holiday Season. It's just like the summer TV season: There are a couple of really great shows and quite a bit of middling garbage that you end up watching out of desperation to not face the sun. So in the summer holiday season we all get to enjoy the hit holidays like Memorial Day, Mother/Father's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day and Labor Day ... and wade through the boredom of holidays like Loyalty Day and National Defense Transportation Day.
What separates Summer Holiday Season from THE (Winter) Holiday Season is the lack of preamble. There is no "Mother's Day season," nobody spends weeks beforehand setting up decorations and singing songs about Mother, outside of Norman Bates.
And Easter already has a built in preamble, Lent is itself a 40-day countdown to Easter.
Well, move over Lent, because the good folks at Corporate America have decided that they need to make their OWN preamble season for Easter and they're starting where all good holiday seasons start: Nog.
That's right folks, no longer confined to the cold weather and being crushed to death to save $100 on a TV - that symbol of Christmas time drinking, egg nog, has worked its way out of the yuletide and into the pre-Easter celebration.
Because nothing says Easter like downing a thick, creamy glass of egg nog on a warm spring morning!
And just who among the wicked first proposed this cross-holiday beverage swapping?
My first thought was Paas, the creator of the only Easter egg worth owning. Sure, you could try to dye your own eggs using some hippie drek you found on Pinterest but guess what? All the tumeric powder in the world isn't going to hold up to Paas' patented "weird smelling blue dye." And does that Pinterest stuff come with an octagonal-hooped piece of wire? No, no it does not.
After performing a bit of quick research on their website it turns out that Paas is not responsible for Easter egg nog, and that whoever thought that playing the sound of chicks chirping on an infinite loop in the background of the website ought to be taken out back and dyed the color of unemployed.
No, the culprit behind the noggification of Easter is none other than Hiland Dairy Foods, proud producers of various milks, cheeses (both cottage and other), and juice because that is a dairy product now.
To what end does this company wish to expand the presence of egg nog? Mere moments ago the idea of non-Christmas nog was unknown if not reprehensible, surely the milky machinations of Hiland end with Easter egg nog, right?
Behold! The terror that is Halloween Nog!
According to their website Hiland will offer Halloween nog this year. Now, will this be some different, spookier nog that doesn't taste like egg yolk and nutmeg?
I can't tell you because Hiland's website features the most frightening text possible when concerning the constituents of nog: Nutritional Facts Coming Soon.
What?! You're going to follow up your radical new Easter egg nog with an unheard of Halloween egg nog THEN not tell me what's in it?
Hopefully by the time Halloween rolls around Hiland will have either abandoned the hubris of forcing nog into non-nog holidays or discover exactly what is in the product they sell.
So tip back a thick, viscous glass of Easter egg nog this year, content in the knowledge that you won't need to wait until December to get your next fix.
Next year for Lent I'm giving up nog.