Lent Me Your Ears

Easter weekend just ended, and for many of you working for the government, that only meant that you didn’t have to work on Monday. For the rest of us, it forced us to limit the liqueur consumption on Sunday night, so we could get to bed at a decent hour.

There was also a much less acknowledged celebration going on last Sunday that only the Catholics privately rejoiced, as we all knew that when Easter Sunday arrived, Lent had officially the ended!  I am not really a practicing Catholic, I am more of a rehearsing Catholic. More accurately I am a dress rehearsing Catholic, meaning I wear leisure suits, but attend Sunday brunches far more frequently than Sunday masses.

My occasional straying from the flock has not effected my long history of observing their strict disciplined practices,  Some of those tenets slipped away as time passed, but I still religiously practiced the season of Lent. For the Scientologists out there, this tradition does cost you a little, but only in time and restraint, not three quarters of your pay cheque. Lent is a time where people are asked to either do nicer things for a few weeks, or not do unnice things for a few weeks. In our collective life experience, we have all learned it is much easier to not do things than it is to do things. Doing things takes commitment, discipline, willingness to try new approaches and perhaps even consider a change. Not doing things just takes a string around your finger.

Without my knowledge, a little meeting occurred to address my many social issues. Some would call this a friendly get together, while most would more accurately call it an intervention.  At the end of this secret meeting I received a strongly worded recommendation.

I was asked by everyone I know and even people I don’t know to take Lent as an opportunity for self improvement. It seems I have this very annoying habit of using the phrase, “I’m no…” to begin most of my sentences. Those sentences tended to end with a very personal insult to the person I was personally insulting. To ensure that I restrained from using this two-word opener, I received a twelve-page document signed by fifty-seven people to cease and desist from uttering those two words for forty days and forty nights. To reinforce the message, I also received fifty-seven emails, fifty-seven texts, and fifty-seven telegrams as a way to perhaps underscore the annoyance of this habit of mine.

I felt this was a bit of an overreaction to what I thought was a charming catch phrase. After considerable contemplation of this rather insulting request, I made a mature decision to capture my annual Lent tradition. I begrudgingly gave up starting any sentence with “I’m no…” for the entire season of Lent.

Well to honour the success of my Lent commitment, I have unfortunately acquired quite a lengthy back order of these phrases. Now distribution centers are much more experienced with dealing with backorders, and often have customer service employees call clients to explain the error, by blaming the warehouse people in Puerto Rico. I am not so proficient at addressing this kind of back log in inventory, so what follows next, demonstrates that my temparory restraining order has been lifted. If any of you recognize yourselves in these “I’m no”  sentences, allow me to paraphrase the Richard Dreyfuss character Hooper, from  the orginal Jaws movie, ”This was no boating accident!”


“I’m No” backorders have been finally been released:

I’m no chiropractor, but your slightly hunched back gives me an uncontrollable compulsion to ring church bells.

I’m no rocket scientist, but adding a waffle iron to your time machine, is not going to improve its functionality.

I’m no chef, but next time you mash potatoes, taking off the skin really helps with the texture and edibility.

I’m no priest, but I think stealing money from seniors in assisted living homes, might not be considered a holy act.

I’m no relationship expert, but throwing hand grenades at your spouse for not folding the laundry correctly, might be a sign of bigger issues in your marriage.

I’m no doctor, but that blood oozing from your ears, might indicate you should go a little easier with the QTips.

I’m no engineer, but having one hundred and seven bolts and nuts left over after completing your IKEA armoire, could suggest you may have missed a step or two.

I’m no proctologist, but I recognize an a##hole when I see one.

I’m no driving instructor, but your tendency to mistake the accelerator peddle for the brake, is going to have serious implications on your insurance premiums.

I’m no cynic, but … wait I am a cynic, never mind.

I’m no music critic, but adding an accordion to your bagpiper’s band might not be the answer to improving your band’s edgy sound.

I’m no politician, but what you are proposing makes too much sense, it will never work.

I’m no military expert, but invading lands because you disapprove of people’s hats, seems like a slightly flawed strategy.

I’m no vacuum cleaner salesman, but your house could sure use a vacuum cleaner.

I’m no acrobat, but adding a zip line to your back yard bouncy castle, is going to cause a few more child injuries than you currently anticipate.

I’m no motivational speaker, but you kind of suck at everything you do.

I’m no dictionary, but there are other words besides “unbelievable” to describe everything you see.

I’m no philosophy student, but that is why I have a job.

I’m no computer expert, but I find alt / ctrl / esc will pretty well solve most of your technology issues.

I’m no genetic scientist, but your child’s big nose might be directly connected to your own rather large honker.

I’m no food critic, but medium rare shouldn’t look like the soles of my patent leather shoes.

I’m no male model, so you don’t have to keep reminding me that I am no male model.

I’m no orthodontist, but might I suggest smiling is not your greatest look.

I’m no time management expert, but perhaps if you got up before noon, you might be perceived to be slightly more employable.

I’m no circus clown, but your current make up application suggests you need to purchase much bigger shoes.

I’m no athlete, but the reason I keep dropping all the untensils when I empty the dishwasher, is because they are friggin hot.

I’m no financial planner, but using your Visa card to pay of your Master card might be option two.

End of Backlog.

So I was good for forty days and forty nights. I look forward to the next Pancake Tuesday, where I may just give up syrup for a few weeks, as this year’s demonstration was just too damn hard.


Cue the Blong:  “I’m Not” is pretty close to “I’m No”, and that is the best I could do with such short notice.  Some people have asked me to give up songwriting next Lent, while most people suggest substituting Lent with forever.



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