Sin Eating – An Unhealthy Diet by Trevor Plumbly
The ancient art of sin eating
Even at age 70 one can always find a new challenge. Just today I discovered an ancient group of chaps known as ‘sin eaters’. It seems that, in earlier times, the job of these guys was to ensure that the departed didn’t go upstairs with anything sinful attached. It was a fairly simple process: bread and beer were passed across the corpse to the sin eater who tucked in, symbolically consuming the sins of the departed. He then collected his fee and waited for the next client to drop off the twig. This struck me as far too good a lark to condemn to history: you get free food and booze as well as picking up a few bob along the way. What more could a senior citizen want?
Reviving the practice of sin eating
So I am thinking of reviving the practice. I’ll get a few of my old mates on board and then franchise it. Imagine ‘Sin Adoption Process Services’ or SAPS ™ in every neighbourhood. Hell, if they can plant Starbucks all over the planet why not a dirty deeds’ depository? The idea’s got enormous potential; it just needs fleshing out a bit. Franchise purchasers would need to be of sufficient age to convey wisdom and a degree of solemnity to the punters and attend a short training course to ensure standards are established before receiving their diplomas. A menu would need to be set, to include my percentage of course. But that wouldn’t be too tough; the food consumption could be kept to a pre-packed morsel, while the fees would be reasonable for the minor stuff like the seven deadlies, which should cover most people’s lapses.
Sin eating – the modern version
I realise that the concept of hoofing your guilt onto others is nothing new, but my scheme puts the whole deal bang into the 21st century. My version is based on instant innocence: why not take your shortcomings to people who by virtue of their calling haven’t got too many of their own. Pop into a SAPS™, spend a few bob and you can enjoy the rest of the week guilt-free. I am not knocking the professionals who’ve done well up to now, but I have knocked about a bit and, indeed, occasionally stumbled along the way. Nothing heinous mark you, just enough to enable me to put folks’ petty failures in perspective and apply a slightly more lenient route to a clean conscience. I see a great future for SAPS™ and plan to provide an online service with credit card facilities, of course. As yet, I’ve had no dialogue with church leaders, but doubtless when this thing goes global, either Lambeth Palace or the Vatican will be on the blower with buy-out offers. Is that greed? Or avarice? Probably both, so just to be safe, I’ll pour a beer, have a fried egg sandwich and wait for the phone to ring.