Well we’re halfway through Lent and I have a confession to make. Last Lent I gave up drinking, and it wasn’t a problem because it came at a boring time with no celebrations. This year, however, I gave up drinking until I realized what was waiting for me.

To use a sports term, I called an audible. Sometimes a quarterback will approach the line of scrimmage and will determine that the game plan should be reconsidered. Similarly, I gave up drinking, then looked at my calendar like it was an opposing team’s defense. A buddy was planning to visit me in New York just two weeks into Lent. Then there was St. Patrick’s Day looming in the secondary like a hungry linebacker with a fistful of Jameson shots. On top of all that, I had a strange intuitive feeling that someone’s bachelor party was planning to blitz my blind side. Taking it all into consideration, I would rather call an audible than take a sack and ruin the team’s confidence.

Some people tell me that I should have stuck to my promise because it would have been more of a sacrifice in these times of temptation. Like giving up TV the week that Nancy Grace and Simon Cowell square off in the first ever Ultimate Fighting Bitch Match. I understand, but to use another sports term, I think I’ve earned home field advantage. In other words, I’ve accumulated enough winning Lents to secure a good seeding in God’s tournament bracket, regardless of my performance this season. So I can afford to rest my starters for this Lent and play my reserves.

Now before you get all worked up and send me nasty emails, please understand that I’m joking. Like when I was 12 and told the referee at a church basketball game that every time he called a foul, he made Jesus cry. When he ejected me from the game, he laughed almost as hard as the bishop did when I asked to excommunicate the man.

Besides, my audible is just as impressive as the original plan. I may not be giving up drinking, yes…but I am giving up doing stupid things after I’ve been drinking. Talk about sacrifice. It’s insanely difficult to give up something that’s inevitable. Like putting a plant in sunlight and asking it to give up photosynthesis. Or even more impossible…putting a fourteen-year-old in a movie theatre and asking him to give up text messaging for two hours.

True, stupid behavior is the natural progression of alcohol. My most recent experience involved a drunk night and the Internet. No, I didn’t marry a Filipino girl or send my life savings to an Egyptian prince. Worse. I drunk Pro-Flowered a girl. That is, I hopped on proflowers.com and thought to myself, “This is going to score me some serious points with her!” Then I woke up with a hangover, a hundred dollar credit card charge, and the sobering reality that I sent three dozen roses to that hot pink-haired chick on those e-surance commercials. Sure she’s only a cartoon, but those tingly feelings are real!

Actually, the roses went to a real live girl, but I’m not sure who she is. I guess we’ll find out whenever the lucky lady replies to my “missed connection” ad on craigslist. Come on, brunette with iPod on the downtown 6 Train at 4 PM!! Why dodge fate?

So you see? Sacrificing stupid behavior after drinking is going to be much, much harder to pull off. Especially since I get an email from Pro Flowers every seven minutes trying to convince me to send flowers to someone. And they’re getting more and more ballsy. Like when they have a special on 200 roses for only $50. I don’t care if 200 roses went for $5. Unless I meet a girl who just won the Kentucky Derby, I don’t see the logic even by Sam’s Club standards.

So far, I’ve stuck to my promise and have stayed relatively free of stupid activity. Of course the term “stupid” is relative. For example, I don’t think it’s stupid to base my March Madness picks based on the cheerleading squads who do the best versions of “spirit fingers”. Sending them tulips, however….

Happy Easter, everyone.

Categories: Columns