I’ve figured out what I’m going to forego for Lent. No, it’s not riding bicycles and no, it’s not sugary snacks. Somebody suggested I try a kosher diet for Lent. I really like the juxtaposition of traditions it involves, but I’m not going to be kosher either. I realized quite clearly what I should forego for Lent early Saturday morning. I’ll tell you what it is, but first a story...
Saturday was Mark’s birthday. So on Friday Mags and I drove to eastern Utah with our touring skis and camping gear. On our way we stopped at a taco shop where we both got veggie burritos. We were going to throw the best birthday party that could be had in a yurt in the eastern Uinta Mountains. I mean the best possible party to be had in a yurt, not the best possible party, which happens to occur in a yurt. There is an important distinction there, because none of us are big partiers. I’m not saying you’ve got to eat burritos before throwing the best party in a yurt either. In fact, eating burritos beforehand could actually ruin a party. Just ask my brothers.
To tell the truth, we stayed up late in the yurt drinking Cock’n Bull, eating birthday cake and reading aloud Henry David Thoreau. Around midnight Mark and I went out for some powder runs. It was windy and bitter cold, and the moon lit the slopes brilliantly. But I’m supposed to be telling you about Lent, not my lame social life.
This is kind of a backwards story. Thursday night was league night at the bowling lanes. I’m still flirting with that 200 game, in the same way that Dave flirts with Katherine, the college girl he meets in Breaking Away, i.e. hopeless.
To boost my bowling score, I stopped for some flautas at one of my favorite taquerias on Salt Lake’s west side. I love a good taqueria, especially the kind where I’m the only white person in the entire place. That’s how I know I’m getting authentic Mexican food. I’m always cautious of the places where the only Mexicans are the ones in the back washing dishes. No bueno.
Perhaps the food I had Thursday night and Friday afternoon was too authentic. Perhaps my gut isn’t as invincible as it used to be. Whatever it was, I woke up on Saturday morning with the worst case of Montezuma’s Revenge I have ever had. It was the worst case I’ve ever had because the outhouse was 30 yards away from the yurt, and it was about 10 degrees outside. The frigid dash across the snow got old after the third time. By the fifth time my Lenten fast was clear to me. By the seventh time I was pleading for mercy to la Virgen de Guadalupe.
I don’t need a clearer vision than that. No more taco stands for me. I’ll keep on riding when I see a new taqueria. The new taco shop up the street from my office will just have to wait. For Lent this year, I am going to abstain from all of them.