Pope Delivers Stirring Speech; Old Queen Blesses Poor


So. I hope everyone had a happy and a merry. We did and it was great. Too much food, too many gifts and too much Gram. Way much too much Gram. My entire weekend was, “Oh who gives a shit, Mooner…..,” and then you fill in the blanks.

“…Fix us another drink…; …you got any more a them snail biscuits…; …I’m gonna shoot yer fucking pig iffn he gits near me…” And my personal favorite,”…Tell yer Aunt Hilda ta go with us. Come on Hilda, whyn’t cha go with me an tha P-cubed to tha Spoke. We’ll git ya a cowboy an knock tha crust off.”

Of course, Gram yins all of the yangs when she tells SAC Ellen, “Come here SAC lady an lemme tell ya sumthin. You hang onta Mooner real tight, cause he’s wurth it.”

Naturally that heart-warming yin came with, “A course tha case a tha ADHD tha boy’s got is enuf ta chap tha Pope’s ass.”

Which reminds me of the fucking Pope. Here’s what happened in Popeville this holiday:

The scene takes place in the Pope’s quarters in the Vatican a few afternoons ago. It’s a bone-chilling day in Vatican City as an unusual cold front moves in to frost southern Italy. Italian Republicans go on local TV shows and declare that the freak weather bears no connection to global warming.

It’s Christmastime, right, Christdom’s holiest of all holy days– the celebration of the birthday of baby Jesus. Pope Benedict knocks back a couple of stiff martinis to steel himself against the cold as he rehearses the annual “Peace and Good Will” speech Popes are required to deliver each year at this time. Catholics worldwide await the old queen’s divinely-inspired speech as if God Himself had placed the words in the Popester’s mouth.

At the five minutes to go mark, one of his handlers helps Benedict to his feet, assists him to the royal Pope dressing area and props him up in front of the big mirrors. “It’s very cold outside, your Eminence. You’ll need a warm wrap– do you have a preference?”

The look on the Pope’s face would confuse most outsiders. Me, I think he looks like he’s ready to pinch off a yule log and he’s eaten too much holiday cheese and salami the last several days. Other outsiders might think he was sucking on a lemon, but the assistant knows the look well.

“I understand it’s a difficult choice, Sir, but we need to hurry,” the young man says.

The assistant walks to the closet and points to a long wall on the right. There, arranged on thickly-padded hangars, sit half-a-hundred elegant outer-garments. “These are the traditional robes for this speech, sir. Might I suggest this little number?”

The man smiles as he wraps his arm around the waist of a garment and pulls it out for the Pope to view. “This one will highlight the rosy blush on your cheeks and won’t clash with your choice of Christmas gown.”

The Pope nods his approval and offers his shoulders to accept the long-trained cape. “Stunning,” the assistant almost sings. “Absolutely stunning, sir. Would you like a last sip of tonic before you perform?”

He did, and the assistant walks him to the big patio doors and then hands him the fine crystal goblet only half-filled with dry martini. When the Pope cast a sideways glance at the assistant, the young man said, “I’ll make another batch when you finish. You don’t want to be chilled.”

There was a knock at the door and a half dozen or so Cardinals enter, each dressed in the red finery that marks their position. One of these men looks to be the obvious leader, as he heads the pack into the room and is the only one who speaks directly to the Pope. “What is the message tonight, Your Eminence?”

“Provide for the weak, hungry and homeless.” The Pope attempts to stand taller as if practicing the speech.

The Cardinal is impressed with the Pope’s special ability to boil things down to their essence. He is also envious of the Pope’s attire. “You look especially grand, sir.”

Now all the lesser Cardinals remark in animated fashion, each attempting to make a more flattering comment than the last. The Pope loves flattery, but his nerves overwhelm his ego. “Quiet so I can think.” He says this with a flip of his wrist.

The Pope shuts his eyes, murmers a prayer and then crosses himself. Suffering an old man’s clumsiness, he bangs his elbow on the golden staff at his side and punches his nose with a huge ruby ring as he does. His eyes water from the punch.

“It’s time.” And with that, the assistant opened the big double doors. Led by the Cardinals, the Pope follows to his perch.

It was a beautiful speech, full of compassionate pleas for the nations of the world to dig deep into their pockets and provide support for the poor and starving impoverished. Halfway through, the wind starts whipping– cold and harsh as it knifes its way over the collar of his tunic and across his shoulders beneath.

The Pope shrugs against the incessant wind and reaches back to pull the lush ermine collar of his cape over his chilled neck. He pauses the speech and holds his head in a Popely regal pose– humility and grace in one gesture. The desired effect is to hush any talkers in the crowd to add impact to his final line conclusion.

 He delivers the last words and the applause and shouting start. He hugs the fur-lined robe tightly around himself, the robe like icing on his royal cake.

No Pope has ever been as well-dressed as I, he thought to himself. I must reward my assistant. He has a good sense of things.

That’s right. The most high muck-a-much of the Holy Roman Catholic Church stood on his patio and asked the citizens of the world to pay for support of the impoverished while dressed in rare furs and custom finery laced with silver and gold threads.

Sporting rings and bracelets and necklaces of fine gold and precious gems that were plundered from native peoples around the globe by the Pope’s predecessors, Pope Benedict, Queen of all Catholics, told us all that we need to dig deeper into our pockets to help the poor.

I have a Catholic friend who was raised a staunchly Catholic as a boy can be raised. I phoned him after the Pope’s speech and he answered with, “Don’t even start on me Mooner Johnson. The ermine cape was not a smart choice.”

What my Catholic buddy can’t see is that the Pope dressed in his best choice. The Pope did what Popes do. He made the most decadent impression he could.

It’s what Popes do for shitsakes. Just like with the other Queen, Elizabeth the Second of England, Queen Benedict’s loyal followers expect all that finery. Demand it even.

Me, I laugh at their ignorance and cry for the poor. If that old gasbag had a shred of pure human decency, he’d work at feeding the poor by returning the trillions-of-dollars stolen from the weak and unarmed over the centuries by the mighty Holy Roman Catholic Church.

But rest easy Catholics. The Pope is as delusional about world hunger as he is about pedophilia.

Squirt and I are headed to the Food Bank with a trailer of lettuce we just cut from the garden. After that we’re stopping to stock up on Carta Blanca beer and headed to see Streaker Jones and Dixie. They have a new mushroom strain that Streaker Jones says might make a natural substitute for the Haldol used in Loony Bins worldwide.

As I have experience with Haldol, I’m the Guinea pig.

Manana, y’all.

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