I have been urged by a colleague to shed some light on the election of the new pontiff. I say this because I do not wish to appear to be privy to the details behind every major world news story and feel that it behoves me to occasionally exercise severe discretion. However, at this point I do not think that a little more openness would be harmful.
Yesterday afternoon I received a call from Cardinal Capone, (if this story seems familiar, I regret to inform you that Peter’s story, amusing though it is, is fictitious), who said that there was a danger of damage to the hats of the cardinals, as so much head-scratching was going on. Joe the Rat, as his friends know him, had been elected, but they were damned (sic) if they could think of a suitable name.
Sometimes my patience is strained. This lot have had nothing else to think about for the best part of a fortnight, and still they don’t have the gumption to exercise their imagination. This is the direct consequence of being told what to do for their whole lives.
I suggested that it was time for a show of modernisation, and something to liven up the image of the new pope. Joe has been a boring old fart ever since I first met him when we were on the German jury for the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest. He was winner of the “Most boring mass” competition in
“Pope Benny Hill”, I said, “that will do it”.
I had a vision of a Pope, while remaining respected for his piety, wisdom and compassion, who was also able to acknowledge his humanity at a universal level by deployment of cheeky double-entendre and well-meaning references to carnal activity (at the same time recognising that anyone going so far to practise these activities would burn forever). I had a vision of Popes and Cardinals chasing scantily clad altar boys round
Alas, it was not to be, thanks either to the Italian telephone system, Capone’s appalling grasp of English or maybe the will of God.
The same thing happened last time round. It should have been Jean Paul, in recognition of my old friend Sartre.