Aaaaand they're off!
Today Christians the world over mark the beginning of Lent, the 40-day peniential season that ends on Easter Sunday. And for us Catholics I do mean "mark," as we once again get our foreheads smudged with ash and are reminded this is where we're headed, too. It's a sacred season.
It's also a keenly competitive Catholic sport.
A. "So, what are you giving up for Lent?"
[Five points for toughness, zero for originality.]
B. "And you?"
A. "Chocolate." (thought racing) "And... Facebook. I'm staying off Facebook until Easter."
B. "Good for you!" (Damn! Quick: play the "techier than thou" card.) "I'm more of a Twitter person. I don't know how I'll make 40 days without posting a single Tweet, but that's my plan!"
[B now up by one point, for fast thinking: remembering to say "tweet" instead of "twit."]
A. "I think some people become slaves of all this social networking, don't you?"
[HA! Take that, Miss Twitterer!]
B. "Oh, I agree. In fact, I've decided to go back to old fashioned communication for Lent.'
A. "Phone calls?"
B. "Thank-you notes."
B. "I'm having them made today. Embossed."
A. (Pounce! Pounce now!) "Oh, so you don't actually have them yet. But you've checked the printer's proofs, right? You'd hate to pay for any dumb mistakes."
B. (heart rate rising slightly) "I'm sure they'll be fine."
[The bell. To your corners.]
A. "Well. Have a terrific Lent."
[trans. 'you really need it.']
B. "You too. Have the greatest Lent ever."
[trans. "look who's talking."]