This week’s issue of “Time Magazine” ( not a magazine about watches) featured a two page section devoted to Pope Benedict’s decision to retire and how his successor is chosen.
But that’s not what caught my eye. It’s what he has to give up when he leaves. Besides the free coffee and donuts at break time and his “Flying Nun” DVD collection.
I’m not absolutely sure if anyone can still call him Pope after he retires. Maybe, maybe not. Kinda confusing if him and the new Pope are in the same room and someone yells out, “Hey Pope,” and they both respond. Awkward don’t ya think.
Maybe he’ll just use his regular fist name, Joe. Kinda casual but less confusing. After all, before he was a Pope his real name was, or is, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. (not to be confused with John Ratzenberger from Cheers) He chose the name “Benedict” after two other Popes, none of whom had the last name of “Arnold.”
But some of the things he has to give up seem kinda strange, as well as wasteful.
For instance. His trademark red Pope shoes. WTF!
Who in the world is gonna want to wear some guys used shoes. And red to boot! Unless he donates them to a Goodwill store and my other half spots them on a shelf. She’s into shoes big time. And, considering they’re men’s shoes, but, sure as hell, (oops, sorry God) um, sure as shootin’ look like women’s shoes maybe that’s why they make the Pope give them up. I mean, come on, what would YOU think if you saw a guy walking around with a pair of red shoes. Um, unless it was a pimp of course.
So, all in all, I can see why no Pope would wanna keep those shoes.
Now he also has to give up the Pope’s official tailor. Which is the Gammarellis who have outfitted every 20th century Pope guy except for Pius XII who had his own tailor because he knew if he didn’t they’d dress him in stupid loose-fitting flowing type clothes. Pius was into Levis.
Now traditionally after a Pope dies his Pope ring is destroyed as a symbol of the end of his power. The same as when the “Green Lantern” takes off his ring and no longer has any power. Except they don’t destroy the “Green Lantern’s” ring. Costs too damn much to replace.
“So Benny, it’s your last day. Hand over your red slippers.”
“MY RED SLIPPERS! What the heck! Oops, sorry God. What in Heaven’s name am I gonna wear?”
“We’ve got a nice custom-made pair of Mexican made loafers for ya.”
“Ohhhh. Thatsa nicea.”
“Now hand over your Pope ring.”
“MY POPE RING!!! I can’t hand over my Pope ring!”
“I’m sorry Benny, but it has to be destroyed. It’s the custom.”
“WHAT!!!! Custom shmushdom. I still owe “Jared’s” jewelers seven more payments for cripes sake!!! Whaddya gonna take away next? My Popemobile?”
“Ah yes, the Popemobile. I’m sorry Ben but it has to go to the new Pope. But, not to worry, we have a really nice Mini Cooper for you to tool around the Vatican in. Has all the latest features including a bubble top option for you just in case you wanna wave to admirers. Even has a custom-made Papal horn that plays Amazing Grace when your stuck in traffic and need to make some headway. Nice touch don’t ya think.”
So it’s not as easy as you think for the Pope to simply retire and be compelled to give up some very personal items.
Then again, considering the only way a Pope usually leaves the Popedom is to die, I guess retiring and giving up all those things wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Hell, oops, sorry again God, then again if giving up a few things while you’re still alive means that you can enjoy OTHER things, it might be worth it.
Like maybe appearing on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart and conversing about the times you actually talked to God.
“Hey Jon, did I ever tell ya the time I talked to God and he told me this funny joke about a Priest, Rabbi and a Minister who walk into this bar and………………….”
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