Blech Friday

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat. (Proverbs 23:20)

Surreal, man. Some of you know that ODF depends on the random leading of the Holy Spirit to select the day’s Bible verse, a sort of point-and-click approach to hearing the voice of God. I’m banking on the fact that God is as random as I am, since he’s supposed to be made in my image. So the fact that this particular verse dropped in the slot the day after Binge Thursday is just too freaking weird. Of course, coming the day after makes it more of an “I told you so” than a pearl of great wisdom. I guess that sometimes even God can’t resist kicking a bloated horse.

Let’s take stock. The day after Thanksgiving has become associated with a number of things. First, it’s a day of pseudo regret. We all complain that we ate too much the day before, but this low-grade bellyaching (like the pun?) is simply part of the ritual, a required denouement to institutional gluttony. We suspect that those who don’t complain don’t get it (which they don’t). If, by any chance, they did resist overeating the day before, they are guilty of an inexcusable moderation. God may be impressed, but I say to hell with them.

The day after Thanksgiving is also associated with leftovers. (The makers of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and zip-lock bags make a killing this time of year.) Now if God is as priggy as our day’s verse hints at, then he’s probably pointing to the overstuffed refrigerator and mumbling something like “What about all those starving kids in Africa?” as though anybody really cares. (There are enough official shame days on the religious calendar already, so God can just put a plug in it.) I say, a refrigerator loaded with leftovers is a beautiful thing. If God didn’t want us to have leftovers, he shouldn’t have invented the microwave oven. I’m telling you, gluttony is too important not to extend the practice as long as possible.

The other thing that this particular Friday is now associated with is shopping. It has become the official opening of the Christmas consumer celebration. Stores open their doors as early as midnight morning to mobs of completely irrational people who, insane with consumer lust and debt, charge through the aisles in a bacchic frenzy of orgasmic buying. Some might see this as a perfect complement to the previous day’s food bender, an outward excess to balance the previous day’s inner excess. I don’t care. I think anybody who gets up at 2:00AM to go shopping is an idiot, unless, of course, he is buying something really cool for me. I still think he’s an idiot, but in such a case I am, like God himself, willing to forgive. I’m not heartless, you know.

There is one other possible reason why this verse showed up the day after Thanksgiving when there’s nothing you can do about it anyway (except resolve to make a New Year’s resolution to exercise sometime in the fuzzy future). It’s just possible that the Holy Spirit—caught up as he probably was with the Macy’s parade and all the football games—just dropped the ball on this one and ended up delivering the oracle a day late and a dollar short. I wouldn’t be surprised if, like everybody else (except the women, of course) the Holy Ghost simply nodded off for the afternoon and spaced out his commitment to this site. If so, I forgive him. Besides, I’ve more than once had to turn his rather questionable contributions into meaningful insights for readers. Que sera sera.

In honor of excess and all that makes Western culture the envy of the world, I offer a bonus cartoon to inaugurate the holiday season:

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