At dinner yesterday, I mentioned how I felt ripped off when I eventually learned that the Lenten fast does not apply to Sunday. If you give up, say, chocolate for Lent, you are not held to that obligation on Sundays. Those who are mathematically inclined would have noticed that something was up: Lent is forty days long, yet if you count backwards forty days from Easter Sunday, you don't get Ash Wednesday. To hit Ash Wednesday, you have to skip over the Sundays. Hm...

When I related this little anecdote, the head of one of the other people at dinner perked up. Apparently, he didn't know about this rule at all! His parents had withheld this information from him all these years. "I'm going to make sure to bring this up the next time I talk to them."

I was also disappointed that people were angling for (and received!) dispensations from the Lenten fast on St. Patrick's Day. (At least it didn't work when baseball's opening day fell on a Friday.) My attitude is that if you're going to be a member of a religion, then don't go looking around for loopholes. "Yeah, I'm a member of XYZ religion, except for the parts that cramp my style." If you don't like the rules of your religion, then try to change them or go find some other religion that's more compatible with your lifestyle.

(Raymond braces for the onslaught of flames now that he's touched on a religious topic.)