Tuesday, 16 February 2010

It's Lent!

Hellmann's Mayonnaise. So named because it drags the souls of men into Hell.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent. The purgatorial bootcamp which characterises this holy season in the Church is a time for offenders young and old to renounce our sinful attachments (pictured above is just one of mine, one acceptable to be mentioned publicly, that is), to draw closer to God, to frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation and do penance and to engage in works of mercy in reparation for our sins.

Pickled gherkins and cucumbers. So addicted I stole them from my parish priest's fridge.

It is a time of less hot showers than usual, if like me, you just can't do cold ones. It is a time of getting up before 11 in the morning. It is a time for pithy blogposts, not lengthy rants. It is a time when I could actually say my morning prayers. It is a time to cut down on spending money on guilty pleasures, only to give this money to the Council when I realise the extent of my parking fine debt.

I'll try to give up smoking again, of course, and other solitary vices but some things are just not realistic. Still, all things are possible to God. One day at a time...

One of my big ideas is to stop consuming these products for Lent...and start making them! I now have about 25 jars ready to be filled with apple chutney, pickled cucumbers/gherkins, tomato ketchup and mayonnaise.


On the side of the angels said...

well I'm allergic to tomatoes, mayonnaise makes me vomit and to me anything pickled is the invention of beelzebubble....

wanna swap lenten sacrifices ?

The Bones said...

Err...I need to know what I'm getting myself into here!

Physiocrat said...

It looks as if a good penance for you would be giving up E-numbers. Allow yourself say, only 500 E-numbers a week. (You just add up the numbers on the contents list.)

Crux Fidelis said...

Don't ever eat Hellmann's mayonnaise again. It was manufactured here in Paisley until 2002 until evil multinational Unilever shut the factory down (it also produced Knorr soups and Gerber baby food) and transferred production to eastern Europe throwing hundreds on the dole. Nobody I know buys it any more.

Physiocrat said...

Crux, why do you think the Hellman company got taken over and production transferred to Eastern Europe?

Cadbury's is going through the same process. Why is this happening?

Clue 1: for every £1 of an employee's real purchasing power, he must take home about £1.10. And for every £1.10 the employee takes home, the employer must give over 80p to the government.

Clue 2: Benefit levels are typically around £150 to £180 per week, depending on circumstances once housing benefit has been added on. Nobody is living in luxury on this benefit but to match it in take-home, the employer has a gross labour cost of around £300 a week. In other words, the minimum price of employing someone legally, on the books, is £300 a week. And the UK is by no means the worst European country in this respect.

This is not unrelated to the phenomenon you have mentioned. An even better example is that Scottish prawns are being flown to Thailand and back for peeling.

European countries have achieved the seemingly impossible - low pay and high labour costs at the same time.

Tax reform. Now.

Crux Fidelis said...

I have a problem with "Tax reform" in that what it usually means is "Tax cuts for the rich".

Physiocrat said...

Crux - it depends on the tax reform, surely?

Since most tax systems run on the principle of soaking the poor, how can tax reform mean tax cuts for the rich?

You should not have a problem with this tax reform which is implicit in the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do, use the "contact" feature to ask any questions you may have.

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