I’m late for Lent.

It started yesterday. I didn’t give up anything yesterday except trying to make youngest go to goddam sleep before midnight. Giving up this unholy torment for next 40 days and 40 nights is incredibly tempting but wouldn’t count, as you’re meant to give up something you really like.

Or you’re meant to stop doing something really bad. Maybe I should give up being late for everything…

Of all the terrible things I do, all of which I adore, the worst must be smoking. It is awful. I’ve been doing it since I was 9 years old (facilitated by my mum’s constant supply of JPS Superkings – ah, 1980’s Mumming!) with only the odd break to grow babies or that ghastly three-week stretch when I fell out with my entire extended family and bought seventeen pairs of shoes.

But I must stop it. So today, people, on this second day of Lent, I am GIVING UP THE MARLBORO LIGHTS….

…and switching to Marlboro Touch!

They are thinner (kinda cigarello-ish). They are cheaper (£6.99 a pack – VIRTUALLY FREE). And they are better for me with less tar, nicotine and all that grim shizzle that’s turning me into a (fat) Dot Cotton.

This is a huge step forward. I realise it may not seem like it to you, but even attempting to reduce my nicotine/tar intake is a big step towards recovery for me. (And has nothing to do with the fact that I only took this step coz they’d run out of Lights in the Co-Op this morning and I couldn’t be arsed to stop at another shop coz I was desp for a fag so when the woman said, ‘I only got the blue ones love’, I said, ‘blue ones? Oh YAK they’re probs menthol’ and she said, ‘no they’re just smaller and cheaper’, I said ‘well in that case, lovely shop assistant with crucial cigarette information, I shall purchase them IMMEDIATELY and begin my journey towards a pure and healthy lung function!’)

I can report that they are lovely. And this means they cannot be classed as a Lent-qualifying sacrifice…

It’s 40 days and 40 nights because that’s how long Jesus spent lolling about in the desert, chatting to the Devil and trying not to have a wank. (I always bunked off R.E but I’m sure that was the gist of it).

For 40 days and 40 nights you must seek to resist the temptations of the top three GOOD ‘isms’:

  1. Hedonism – the stand-out winner of good isms, it relates to all lusts of the body
  2. Egoism – all the lovely things you do to make just YOU happy or to show-off about
  3. Materialism –  everything else that makes life worth living

NB this does not mean that for 40 days and 40 nights you are allowed to indulge in all the BAD isms, i.e racism, sexism, classism, jingoism, because you should already know they’re not allowed unless you’re a Catholic Priest or Trump or anyone else in a position of power who peddles in lies…

Our Theresa May (absolutely no allegations of lying are intended by mentioning her after that last paragraph) has given up crisps for Lent. Who knew she was so hopelessly addicted to the Salt and Vinegar crisp? Perhaps that’s why she always looks like she’s sucking lemons. Perhaps THAT’S where she gets her nick-name from and NOT because she’s a nasty bitch like her nick-namesake in Prisoner Cell Block H (Vinegar-Tits).

For many of us, Lent is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf, to be mindful, to maybe give up something precisely so that others may benefit. Avon and Somerset police had the right idea when they brilliantly tweeted: Can’t decide what to give up for Lent? Our top suggestion: CRIME.

With this in mind, and for the benefit of all the major supermarkets in my locality, I will give up stealing food to give to the homeless.

Many’s the time I have snaffled a cheese sarnie and given it to one of the increasing number of destitute souls who now occupy every supermarket doorway. But I know it is wrong. I know that the homeless are not, technically, homeless but are either making a lifestyle choice or there entirely due to their incompetence or stupidity. This must be true, otherwise the incredibly rich, multinational supermarkets would be giving their over-stocked, over-priced food away for free themselves. And the incredibly rich, over-paid politicians would be ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THE ENTIRELY SHAMEFUL AND HUMILIATING SITUATION FACING MORE AND MORE PEOPLE IN THIS ‘GREAT’ COUNTRY OF OURS…

No. I think for Lent I shall give up believing that our government has any idea what’s really going on.

Oh wait, I gave that up on 23rd June!

As you were…