ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Cheap, fast, easy
By Mel Wong
Gazette File Photo
DON’T GIVE UP MCDONALD’S
FOR LENT! Clearly, Jesus would admire the ways of the overtly religious
Ronald McDonald. Who else would spend so much spare time interacting
with the elderly?
This week’s edition of All You Can Eat should really be called “All
You Can Not Eat.”
With the end of Lent just around the corner, it’s high time for me to
reflect on the past 40 days (and 40 nights) of abstinence from fast food, junk
food, candy and pop.
If you are what you eat, then before Lent, I was cheap, fast and easy. My
former diet was not healthy. But if you’re judging based purely on taste,
nothing beats a daily intake of McDonald’s, Pizza Pizza, Smarties and
Coke. However, I was initially reluctant to give up what I found to be a highly
satisfying lifestyle, and solicited my friends for alternative sacrifices to
“Give up Jesus,” suggested one not-so-supportive friend.
“Dude... ” I grimaced. I didn’t think God would be supportive
of giving Him up for Lent.
“Give up music!” offered another.
“DUDE!!!” I wailed in response.
Clearly, I needed to get my priorities in order. So, with no better option
available, I began my 40 day journey into the land of salad, sandwiches and
orange juice. It was so wholesome, I felt like I was in a rerun of 7th Heaven.
Every time I passed by my favourite fast food venues, the sweet smells of
grease, oil and lard awakened me. I was filled with memories of the joy of
sinking my teeth into the processed meat of a Quarter Pounder, of sipping from
a can of Coke to feel the sugar slowly rot my teeth and of knowing I would
die young from high cholesterol.
Worse yet was the difficulty of abstaining from unhealthy foods while living
in residence. The Delaware Hall cafeteria has this wonderful tendency of serving
all my favourite foods on one day, and unidentifiable brown lumps the next.
It wasn’t so painful on those days when I had to decide between butter
chicken, lasagna and fettucini Alfredo. But when I had to decide between an
unappetizing brown slab of meat and a soggy green vegetable (eww, vegetables),
I yearned for my days of fast food.
Undoubtedly, the most painstaking part of the experience were those gruesome
all-nighters without my trusty can of Coke. How convenient that the church
would place our 40 days of sacrifice during some of the most stressful months
of the school year.
Do they not understand students need their caffeine in order to write essays
and make the grade? Or maybe it’s all part of their strategy. Without
a good caffeine buzz to keep me working in those wee hours of the night, I
found myself praying to God a lot more: “Please, God. Help me to stay
up so I can finish my essay and pass this course.”
Yes, Lent has definitely served its purpose in strengthening my relationship
with God. But am I ever glad it only comes once a year.