No beer for you: A vent on Lent

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have given up beer and chocolate at the same time. Some people think quitting two vices simultaneously can make you criminally insane. I don’t happen to believe that, but my cellmate swears by it.

Anyway, I gave up beer and chocolate for Lent. I’ll explain the concept of Lent, because of some of you reading this aren’t Catholic. Which is perfectly fine by the way, it simply means you (and I hate to break this to you) are going to hell.

Lent is the 40-day period leading up to Easter when those of us who are not going to hell give up something we treasure, such as TV, or dessert, or those twice-weekly trips to shady massage parlors.

It’s a holy season in which you sacrifice little things like sweets, and generally try to avoid gluttonous behavior. You do this as a small symbolic gesture to honor Jesus dying on the cross. Being able to fit into your jeans without the aid of lubricant, and walking up a flight of stairs without needing a team of paramedics on standby are just bonuses.

Currently it’s day 14 without beer or chocolate. I’m counting down the hours until Easter, which I plan to spend dipping Kit-Kats into mugs of Coors Light. It’s been tough so far because temptation is everywhere. Just the other day some sick, twisted psycho tried to deliberately tempt me by placing a Peanut Buster Parfait right in front of me. The fact that she was a Dairy Queen cashier fulfilling my order is not the point.

The point is that giving up a vice or two can mess with your mind. Marie says I’ve been moody and irritable lately. I told her that makes us even from when she was pregnant, but she didn’t seem to think that was as funny as I did. So guess what else I’ve had to give up now.

At least the chocolate boycott is somewhat tolerable. Beer, however, is a different story. Truth is, I have to have lots of beer to emotionally deal with my 13-month-old. Then, again, lots of beer is the reason I have a 13-month-old.

The people I feel for are the smokers trying to become ex-smokers. Nicotine is hard to break away from. I vividly remember the day I quit smoking. It was after my first puff of a cigarette at age 12.

A few months later, I had my first chew, when (true story), our family veterinarian gave me a pinch of his Copenhagen. If you think it’s weird that someone in the medical community would give tobacco products to a child, you’ve never lived in Granby.

The incident happened on a Winter Park chairlift. My friend Robbie Busse and I happened to be riding up with the vet when he popped out his can of Cope and offered us a pinch. Robbie turned a little green but pretty much held his own. I won’t say what I did, but in the off chance you happen to be the Texan in the white parka skiing under the Apollo chair lift sometime around mid-January 1981, I sincerely apologize.

Nowadays the tobacco cessation products are everywhere. Like those Nicoderm patches, for example. You slap one on and nicotine is absorbed through your skin. Kind of like going to a bingo hall on Friday night. But the patches have only small amounts of nicotine, so just one may not do. If you get desperate and need the full effects of a cigarette, you’ll need to wrap a lot of them all over your body, to the point where you end up looking like a mummy, only not as nice smelling.

So while it may not be as difficult as quitting tobacco, my beer and chocolate sacrifice is testing my emotional limits. That’s why I’ve had to occupy my mind by taking up a new hobby and building something creative. I’m pretty excited about this project. It should by done by Easter.

I’m making Kit-Kat flavored beer.

E-mail Steve Beauregard at beauregardsteve@


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