Greetings fellow children in Christ, peace be with you my fam! Welcome to week four of my continuing Lenten quest to live according to the Bible.
Honestly, I thought that four weeks of trying to do the whole Moses thing would leave me tense, angry and ready to chuck the whole religion shtick into a bin marked ‘bullshit’ but, surprisingly, I’m beginning to live with a new found serenity and happiness – even though living in the light of the Lord means I can’t have any sex, I have to dress like a New Age preacher, and I can no longer worship false idols.
For example, when Manchester United’s Memphis Depay did that magical little backheel nutmeg against a Midtjylland player last week, I accidentally remarked, ‘That was Godlike’ and subsequently had to flagellate myself with a cat of nine tails I made out of an old pair of socks and some belt buckles.
Which is mental, and painful, and mental, but I bet God’s on a cloud somewhere giving me a thumbs up, right?
In my bid to be less of a selfish, contrarian, atheistic bastard (you know, like Richard Dawkins, except without the slightly redeeming book smarts), I’ve been tackling my diet this week.
As some of you know, alongside not shagging anything that moves, drunk-dialling other Gods or wearing forbidden clothes – eating unclean foods is one of God’s big no-no’s.
It’s all a bit difficult to swallow (figuratively), as being a cheese-addicted fat-processing factory is basically my only reprieve now that I’m living like a frigid priest.
According to Leviticus, there are actually quite a few foods that are forbidden for being ‘unclean’.
What makes them unclean you ask? Oh it’s simple really and not at all senseless:
Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud; that you may eat.
Simple yeah? Gotcha, but what about animals that chew the cud (whatever the fuck that is) but don’t have hooves, are they okay to eat?
No, is the resounding answer according to God.
Or, animals that do have cloven hooves but don’t chew the cud, they’re out too. It all seems very weird and arbitrary, which is unlike God, because thus far in this quest he’s been a bastion of consistency.
So, what exactly does all this mean? Which foods are out? The most common foods that I can’t eat include the best ones: no pork, no bacon, no sausages, no black pudding, no rare steak, no lobster – the list goes on!
Basically, I have to adhere to the Old Testament diet of a pre-Christian Mosaic farmer – which should be easy, considering the variety of modern foods like Pepperami and Twix.
On a positive note, this Bible diet is actually quite healthy. By eating just fresh fruit, vegetables and specific meats, I feel more invigorated than I have in years – God knows his shit and I’m sorry I ever doubted him.
Still though, he hasn’t made it easy.
Visits to restaurants are now a minefield of weird requests, strange looks and tutting from waiters any time I lay out my specific dietary requirements. Last week, I became an accidental hipster because of what I was wearing and, now, I’m coming across like a bearded, fad-eating, middle-class yoga enthusiast and I’ve drifted smack bang into the realm of hipsterdom again.
None of that, however, prepared me for quite how much the diet would impact on my life yesterday afternoon when I came home from trying to herd sheep on Craogh Patrick.
The second I walked in the door, the smell and sound hit me – the delicious sizzling crackle and smoky goodness of a massive, full fry up! I walked into the kitchen to find my girlfriend – who for the last four weeks has become increasingly frustrated because we haven’t had sex – dressed in a sexy black dress and cooking the meal of all meals.
I was honestly touched by the sentiment and the effort that she’d gone to, despite my looking like Rasputin.
Even after four weeks of madcap religious shite-talking and the no sex rule I was enforcing, she was cooking me a slap up feast! I knew it was all a doomed-to-fail ploy for sex but, still, I was touched – like how the word of God might touch you, except real.
Here’s how it played out:
ME: “I really appreciate this and you look amazing but I can’t eat anything on that plate cause God said it’s unclean. Even though I love bacon and sausages they come from an animal with a cloven hoof who doesn’t eat cud and therefore are prohibited.”
HER: “Really? Not even one thick, juicy sausage?”
At this point she seductively began to nibble on a sausage, which even though it burnt her lips on the grease, was basically the sexiest thing I’d ever seen, owing to the fact that I haven’t seen anything even resembling sex in four weeks.
ME: “I’m sorry, I appreciate it, I do. But, well, God won’t let me ’til after Easter.”
HER: (Smashing the plate to the ground in a Godless rage) “Right, well then fuck you… (and as she was walking out the door) …and fuck God!”
Some time later, after I’d cleaned up the tainted meat and eaten some of the beans, I went to placate my girlfriend with promises that I’d be back to ‘normal’ as soon as the God experiment was over, but she was having none of it.
I think that maybe comparing my struggle to not eat pigs to Christ’s temptation in the desert might have been ill-advised, because she made a pretty strong case for how much of a fuckwit I was and left.
So, not only am I now dressed like a sober Pete Doherty with the piercingly sad eyes of a tired monk, but the woman I love has up and left me.
As I fondle the pages of my Bible looking for words of solace, a single solitary tear drops onto the page…