As a child, I greeted this day with mixed feelings. It was fun to miss the first couple hours of school, even if that meant attending a church service. I even enjoyed the service, if they were burning a lot of incense. I just loved the smell of that stuff. I liked the idea of running around all day with a dirty forehead too. But how could any of that compensate for six weeks without sweets? I'd have been perfectly content to wear sack cloth and ashes for that period, but my mother knew what would really make an impact. And it did. I gained expert negotiation skills, convincing friends to trade cookies for an apple. Became a skilled magician too. Candy dishes and cookie jars were in plentiful supply at my grandmother's house. But during the Lenten season, the contents would magically disappear. If my grandmother noticed that these disappearances coincided with my visits, she never said a word. I even used these skills at home occasionally, although it took some searching to find the goods. For some reason, my brothers always got blamed for the disappearances. Sorry, guys. Desperate times, desperate measures.
No, I didn't forget about the soap part. That's in the conclusion to my little tale. Check for it on Friday.