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I have never been a particularly religious person, but the concept of Lent has always fascinated me. For the uninitiated, Lent is a 40-day period (depends on how you count it, but the number 40 is a go-to in scripture) when some Christians, e.g. Catholics, engage in prayer, penance, repentance of sin, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.

Chances are you have known someone who “gave something up” for Lent. Some fast, which is more strict than the practice of simply abstaining from something. I have known people who gave up chocolate, wine, and various other vices during Lent.

Being mostly secular and a pleasure-seeking hedonist, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to practice the opposite of Lent. What if, instead of giving up a vice for 40 days, I made it a point to succumb to that vice for 40 days? As the old saying goes, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” (Oscar Wilde)

My thoughts went immediately to booze, which spurred the name “Bent,” instead of Lent.

So now that you know the backstory, here’s the plan:

Bent will occur in the months of December 2015 and January 2016. Bent does not coincide with Lent. During Bent, I will go to 40 bars in the Coachella Valley. The bars/restaurants may not be part of a national chain. I will have a different cocktail at every bar. If the bar makes a signature drink, I will order that drink. It is not necessary that the visits occur over 40 consecutive nights, as that just may not be possible, but I will visit 40 bars before I leave Palm Springs on February 1. I will write about each bar separately in consecutive order, and when Bent is completed I will compile all entries in one article.

Bottoms up!

Read all the Bent posts here.

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