I’m Giving Up Charlie Sheen for Lent

by admin on March 11, 2011

Having been raised Catholic I’ve always been taught that at Lent you give up something you really like as a form of penance, a way of commemorating the sacrifices that Jesus made – which seems odd because Jesus wasn’t Catholic, he wasn’t even a Christian. Anyway, I digress.

This year I’m giving up Charlie Sheen.

It’s not that I really like Charlie. It’s not that I’ve even watched the show that paid him an obscene amount of money to star in while he went through rehab, prehab and threehab. It’s just that I find the very public meltdown of a self-obsessed celebrity fascinating. It’s pure train wreck time. I can’t take my eyes off it.

But I’m going to. Partly because after the first flush of fascination you realize that the individual at the heart of it has some serious issues and none of those will be resolved with hour-long TV network specials or in-depth features in newspapers or the radio. And they certainly won’t be resolved by me paying it the smallest degree of attention.

But mostly it’s because it really is a waste of time. My time. Your time. Quite frankly it’s even a waste of Charlie Sheen’s time. We all have better things to do with our day. Sock drawers need to be organized. Toe nail fungus needs to be attacked. Drying paint needs to be watched.

I’ve long since given up being a practicing, or any other kind of, Catholic, but I still give up something for Lent every year.

Ordinarily my Lenten sacrifice is something that I will miss by its absence. Beer, wine, caffeine (that was really hard), meat, water melon (OK, that was easy). Somehow I suspect that I really won’t miss Charlie very much and when Easter rolls around I won’t pick up on my celebrity-reading habit again.

If this works out I may also give up reading about Silvio Berlusconi, Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin and other foolish fringe figures.

But just in case I do suffer withdrawal pains my mum told me about a great escape clause. Apparently the Vatican says that the six Sundays during Lent don’t actually count as days of penance, because they represent a sort-of ‘mini-Easter” when Jesus defeated sin and death. So I can read about these folks to my hearts content in the Sunday papers.

Man, you gotta love the Vatican! They think of everything.

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