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Sunday, February 06, 2005

I, Pontiff

It looks like the pope is finally a goner. I had my suspicions that he had been dead for years and the Vatican elite was pulling some sort of Weekend at Bernie’s stunt with the carcass of John Paul. I never watched Weekend at Bernie’s II or whatever the fuck the sequel was called, I don’t think that I even saw the end of the first one, so perhaps the Papal charade has finally come unglued and it’s time to get another figurehead.

Soon it will be time to choose a new leader of the Catholic Church, a new man to preach against contraception in over-populated Latin American countries and against the use of condoms in a world ravaged by AIDS. It’s time for a new leader to tell the world to “pray for peace” while the church has allied itself with despots and tyrants whenever that course has served the financial goals of Catholicism. We need a new Pontiff to carry on the centuries-old misogyny of the church in Rome.

The election of a new Pope is a ritual of this Dark Ages religion that goes back to the time of the Renaissance—an epoch that the Church never fully accepted. The Cardinals lock themselves into the Sistine Chapel with only bread, water, a case of Viagra, and a Cub Scout troop and they don’t leave until they have elected their new leader (but they often send out for another Cub Scout troop). The election is a grueling process of deliberation and Cub Scout conga lines that ends when the new Pontiff has been selected. A puff of gray smoke emerges from the Sistine Chapel and only then does the cleaning crew enter the cathedral and the exhausted but happy cardinals return to the Vatican. After a short hospitalization and subsequent Vatican debriefing, the cub scouts return to their homes where they all undoubtedly reconsider their thoughts about becoming altar boys.

I have e-mailed my resume directly to the Sistine Chapel so that I may be considered for the position of Pope of the Catholic Church. As a former Catholic I don’t see why I shouldn’t be considered even though I have a few strikes against me. For one, I was absolutely the world’s worst Catholic. I can never remember a time when I believed anything that I was taught about religion. Baby Jesus? Sure, man, whatever you say. Heaven and Hell? No thanks, but if it works for you then go knock yourself out. Church on Sunday? That sort of conflicted with the Marx Brothers movies they played on TV when I was a kid. I’d tell my parents that I was going to the early mass and go play baseball for an hour. Then I’d hang out with my buddies laughing my ass off to Groucho’s one-liners while the folks were praying or whatever it was they did at church. I was always in too much of a bored stupor to pray while I was there.

I was actually an altar boy back in the day. I was the world’s fucking worst altar boy if memory serves me. There was no corn-holing of little boys in my parish. The kids survived although I’m sure a few of the priests needed psychological counseling after dealing with me and my hoodlum friends. My favorite gag as an altar boy was when we helped the priest during the communion service. As the priest put the host into the mouth of the kneeling parishioner, my job was to hold a plate under their chin in the event that the host fell out insuring that the “body of Christ” didn’t unceremoniously hit the floor. When my hoodlum buddies came up for communion I would push the plate against their throats to make them choke on the dry host wafer. A bit juvenile and stupid but what do you want from a fourth grader?

I would only volunteer to be an altar boy for the cool high masses like maybe Easter or Christmas. When you worked that mass you were supposed to be the altar boy for the following weekday masses which began at 7 a.m. 7 a.m. Sure Father, let me put that in my palm pilot so I don’t forget. Needless to say that the exigencies of fourth grade life prevented me from ever showing up for one of the 7 a.m. shifts. I figured that the priests were big boys and could handle it on their own. The responsibility would be good for them.

So I think I have a good shot at being elected as the new Pope. If I’m elected I am going to change the clothes he wears, I mean come on, you’re in fucking Italy. Wear some cool clothes. There will be some big changes in the church. I won’t go into all of the details but let me just say that I already have some major investors in my churches-to-nightclubs idea. If I am Pope all of the child sex scandals will end immediately but nun consensual sex scandals will explode.

If I don't make Pope then how about Michael Jackson? He likes funny clothes and little boys so he's completely qualified.

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