Hurrah, you say.
Pancakes galore, you rejoice.
Buttery sugarly heaven, you gasp.
I have long believed that Pancake Tuesday should be made a national holiday.
Back in the olden days, when Ireland was in the iron-clad grip of the Catholic Church and constantly threatened with a good smite-ing from Himself, Pancake Tuesday was kinda treated like a national holiday.
For those of you who just think Pancake Tuesday is a commercial holiday conspired by egg and milk companies, in a manner similar to Valentines Day and Halmark, think again: it’s actually a religious day, called Shrove Tuesday, where people made pancakes with the leftover nice food as a final treat before the seven weeks of hell known as Lent!
Well it’s not really hell anymore considering all us Catholics are a little heathen-like nowadays.
When I was younger my Ma tried to prevent my soul burning in hell by making me give up all number of nice foods during the Lenten season and so, for 40 days a year, all that you could find in my lunchbox was raisins and jam sandwiches.
She also made my go to mass once a week….every week….until I was 18.
It wasn’t too awful during the years we went every Sunday morning, but due to a priest shortage, our local Church could only provide a Saturday night service from the time I was about 15.
during my teens, when all my friends were spending their Saturday nights going to discos and terrorising old people and wearing the faces off each other against damp walls covered in used chewing gum and snails, I was in mass.
Naturally enough, I counted down the days until my 18th birthday, spent the 3 months before it goading my mother with the fact I couldn’t WAIT to abandon my religion and did a “In your FACE! You can’t make me go anymore! HA HA HA!” dance in front of her the morning of my 18th birthday.
My birthday was on a Saturday, so it was extra meaningful as I waved her off to mass on my very first day of freedom, grinning like only a snotty teenager can.
And then the Pope died that night.
My mother still blames me for that…..