As I sit with enough food to feed the entire third world digesting in my tummy, I can’t help but think about the nature of Thanksgiving. Ostensibly, we are taking a day to be grateful for everything we have. In reality, we are shoving massive amounts of food into our heads with a cultural excuse to alleviate some of the binge guilt. It isn’t a day to be thankful, it is a day to be FULL. And not just to be full, but to be full and keep eating anyway. Thanksgiving is the day when you eat until you feel like you are going to split open ala Mr. Creosote, then you have some pie. In short, it is a glorious celebration of all things gluttonous. It got me thinking. Do we here in the good ol’ U. S. of A. have a holiday for every deadly sin? It turns out we do.
We’ll start with lust, because, lets face it, lust always comes first. This one was easy. Valentine’s Day. For anyone in a relationship, this is the day when you can be almost guaranteed a festive night in the sack, so long as you spend enough money on the right items. Some flowers, some chocolate, and depending on how festive a night you have in mind, some jewelry. God bless St. Valentine. He may also be the patron saint of bee keepers, plague, and greeting card manufacturers, but it is love, or its more popular cousin, lust, that gets this guy’s feast day circled on the average calendar.
Greed is next, and as is typically the case for greed, it snagged the biggest and the best for itself. Say it with me now. Christmas. How could a holiday that starts the day after Thanksgiving and continues until some time in late January possibly be anything but greedy? Sure there was some religion in there, but once Santa showed up, it became a pastime everyone could enjoy. Everybody makes out a big list of stuff they want other people to give them. Heck, Santa’s purpose in this whole thing seems like it was to train children to be good little consumers. “But Mommy, you don’t have much money. Should I really ask for all this? A whole list?” “Oh, I won’t be giving it to you. A fat man in a red suit is going to drop it all off, so the sky’s the limit!” Before I leave Christmas, let me just say a bit more about Santa. Think about him. Here is a guy who is officially not religious, but undeniably Christian. He’s fat, generous, corporate sponsored, and despised by people who he doesn’t visit. Hey, he even wastes fossil fuel with his frivolous usage of coal. Santa is the USA.
Sloth is next. This one was easy. Too easy, in fact. See, there are plenty of holidays where the only accepted celebration seems to be “not working,” but the one that fits best is Labor Day. This is day dreamed up by a labor union as a day specifically for NOT laboring. And what did the government say? “Sounds good to us.” Well of course it did. Someone said, “Hey… you mean if I sign this piece of paper I get to stay home and watch The Price is Right tomorrow?” Frankly, realizing that there are men in our government with that kind of power, I am surprised that Labor day isn’t the one day of the year that we DO work.
Wrath. I had a hard time with this one. I mean… is there really a day that we all set aside to be outwardly angry? Sure, Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to lead to raised voices between people who have just received the yearly reminder of why they moved out in the first place, but that isn’t really why we get together on those days. The best I could come up with is September 11th. Sure, it isn’t a holiday right now. I think the term “Day of Remembrance” is the popular one at the moment, but you and I both know that it is just a matter of time before the dayification council makes that call to the calendar companies. And I don’t know about you, but I tend to see a lot of angry people on that day every year. Yeah, I know, it is a weak argument, but hey, this is Brainlazy, not The New Yorker. Cut me some slack.
Envy is another tricky one. I always considered envy to be sort of a combination of sloth and greed. “I want what that guy has, but I’m too lazy to go and take it.” Let’s assign Lent to this one. Sure it is a Christian thing, but so is Christmas and St. Valentine’s day, and for that matter, the seven deadly sins. And sure it isn’t one holiday. It is sort of a holi-forty-day. And no one celebrates it… Okay, so this isn’t the best fit either, but I’ll tell you what, when I give up Cheese Doodles and I see a guy eating them, envy is what I feel.
Finally, pride. I always wondered how it was possible that pride could be not just a sin, but a deadly one. Heck, they give out bumper stickers for it. “Proud parent of an Honor Student at Midtown Community School.” I guess from the church’s stand point, those stickers are equivalent to handing out a “Proud luster over strippers” bumper sticker. But whatever. We’ll give this one to Independence Day. We, as a nation, get together and feel pride over the fact that we are, in fact, a nation. “Were you born here?” “Yes, and I am quite proud.” Although, since it is Independence Day, we aren’t so much getting together and being proud that we ARE American, we are getting together and being proud that we AREN’T British.
Well, there you have it. Proof that sin is fun. We have taken the year and carved off hunks of it for the expressed purpose of committing the biggest and best sins we can think of. And I for one couldn’t be happier. Now I’m going to go watch a bunch of athletes hurt each other. Have a great gluttony day, everybody!