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2004-08-18 - 3:52 p.m.

Considering the fact that I was raised Catholic, it’s none too surprising that guilt factors as one of the primary forces driving my puny little head. The collected sermons delivered both by clergy and more secular sources (i.e. mummy dearest.) gather like mist, molding themselves into an intimidating habit-wearing, ruler-wielding, force for the moral imperative. In the cliché of the devil and angel appearing on the shoulder, I’d probably break from the norm in that my angel would probably be delivering repeated blows with said measuring stick, while the devil looked on, half-stoned off a satanical spliff, mumbling: “That’s fucked up, man…”

The problem with having one’s ethical code wrapped in guilt is that it comes to full bore once the infraction has occurred. Doobie-man is right there for the action as it happens. “Screw it man, you deserve another tequila. Like, so you didn’t have dinner. You a grown assed man, dude. Shoot it up.” The Nun appears just in time to yank open my eyelids and point to the instant replay. “Do you like this dumpster? It’s so much better than the one you fell asleep in last week. A fine choice. I mean, this one is outside a much nicer apartment building. If you’re going to treat your body like a garbage can instead of a temple, you might as well stuff the garbage can with Brie that’s past due rather than Cheddar. I salute you.”

Did I mention the Nun is amazingly sarcastic?

My moral fiber, as of late, seems to be as well tailored, as a Chinatown Polo knock-off, so The Nun has had much fodder to feed upon, and has now well exercised the muscles that breed utter decimation of confidence.

While this does not leave me standing tall with pride, her current strength gives me options. Simply put I can place her purposely and prematurely in my way to avoid certain moral potholes. Example:

Ever since my iPod went the way of so many kidneys removed in crappy hotel rooms, fleeing my pocket and running to the black market, I’ve been jonesing for a replacement. My cash flow not being Mississippi-like, a sacrifice needs to be made.

The full trough the Nun is currently enjoying has been filled mostly by Dionysian activities. When one sees his friends almost exclusively at a bar, then he’s probably due for a fall. It’s not that I’m lushing down drinks every two seconds, more that I’m missing dinner, and one errant shot can nudge me into the land of “Durrr…”

So…two birds…one stone.

I don’t drink for a couple weeks, and the cash normally allocated for social lubrication adds up to a neat-o piece of machinery.

This doesn’t work though, the sacrifice-reward format. It takes far-sightedness and maturity. (I’m looking into picking these up, but the mark-up outside of the holiday season is just terrible.) Instead, I adhere to the instant-gratification-punishment system. As in, I go buy the Pod today, and then, out of slight shame for having made such a large purchase, the Nun beats me out of the pub.

The experiment begins today, and we shall see whether I’ve succeeded in manipulating myself, or mealy added a brand new form of rationalization to my already ballooning skill-set.

I'm thinking of calling my bookie to find out the Vegas Odds. Anyone care to wager a side bet?

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