SMOKE: Email To The New Pope
Originally published: 28 April 2005
This is the latest in a long line of imaginary emails I have sent various people. I haven't done one for a while because I haven't had anyone to write one to, but I believe Joseph Ratzinberger - the new Pope Benedict XVI - qualifies quite nicely.
I dropped him this little note, by way of introducing myself.
First things first - what do I call you? You must get quite freaked out these days when folks hail you in the streets: "Hey look! It's Benedict!!"
Bet that caught you out the first few times, eh? Looking around wildly for a Benedict, and not realising that it was you all along. Hey? Not so easy this pope thing, is it Ben?
You must forgive me if I'm a little ratty - you may not know it but I was actually also in the running to be pope. You only pipped me by about 2-billion votes, but I was running against you nonetheless.
I didn't actually get any votes at all, but that's not my fault. I wrote an impassioned plea a while ago when I learned of JP's illness ("Domine patri, spiritus sancti") in which I pointed out that any Catholic male can theoretically be pope.
I probably didn't get any votes because I'm no longer Catholic and I say words like "devil" occasionally, but I really wanted to be pope, man. And isn't sometimes desire and passion enough?
Whoops. Sorry, dude. Shouldn't be mentioning words like that to an oke like you. Those are things you gave up on years ago. I hope, at any rate. Wouldn't be much of a Catholic if you still believed in succumbing to such filth. Sorry one more time. Won't mention it again.
You're probably wondering why an ol' lapsed Catholic like myself is emailing you and the answer is very simple indeed: you're like the serious big cheese now, dude, and I thought you could use some input from a man who knows all about having to maintain saintly appearances while deep inside his breast beats the heart of a demon.
I'm not saying you're a demon, Ben - I'm just saying, is all. I'm just saying.
I read somewhere on the Internet that you are quite a traditionalist - a Catholic hardliner, if you will. Fair enough, I suppose - somebody has to be.
What you may not know is that I too am a hardline traditionalist - I also like things done a certain way. My way. Just like in the song. So I think you and I are going to get along great, actually.
But here's something I've been dying to ask: do you get a bit of a rush at all those folks filling St Peter's Square chanting "Viva il Papa!" in their millions? Feel like a bit of a rock star, huh? Worthy reward for all those years in grim tombs with nought but Gregorian chant and incense for your kicks, I should think.
What about when they kiss your ring? All those kneeling, slobbering serfs kissing a chunk of gold on your finger like the unworthy dogs they are - must give you just a hint of a woody, don't it?
I don't mean to be overly familiar or disrespectful, but you aren't God after all, are you? One step down, to be sure, but not da Big Guy hisself. Which means you're just a guy who can afford a huge rock and a weight of bling, and that makes you no more than a man.
And most men I know would get a semi in his trousers if folks were kissing his hands and swooning over him and generally behaving as though he is the holiest motherfucker on Earth.
Oh shit - you are the holiest ... um ... feller on Earth. Forgot that briefly.
I know you're all pious and stuff and only think about Jesus, but surely you spotted a hottie or two in that crowd when you stood there like - well - God himself?
Little Italian number or two? A hot little Turin milf, perhaps? Rich hubbie, always out of town in Bologna shagging expensive whores, she's bored, looking for some fun, why not a roll in a papal sack...?
Or have you totally managed to block out all sexuality from your life? That's some awesome shit if you have, bro, because I've had one or two mates who have tried the celibacy thing and believe me when I tell you that nobody shags more than those okes now. Like rabbits, bru.
One of them actually went to the Catholic seminary after school and managed only two years before he was outta there and working as a Durex salesman.
All true, your worship - all true. He was actually Polish as well, which gave the whole thing a nice symmetry. You wouldn't know him - this was a while ago. In the eighties. His name was Thomasz, if I recall. Great bloke. Total reprobate.
It's just that I'm married and faithful and all that jazz, but if I spot a little Claremont hottie, dude - phew, I tell ya... It's not like I'm going to take action or anything, you know, but being a bloke I'm going to feast on summa that ass, you know? Not literally - visually. A visual feast, your eminence.
And if the same thing doesn't happen to you what does it all mean? Other than the fact that you're probably more qualified to be pope than I am, of course.
But is it really such a bad thing to covet a Claremont hottie? I mean - have you ever even been to Claremont, dude? You wouldn't understand unless you had, man, but believe me - take it from one who lives here and knows - wow, dude. Seriously. Excellent hotties, man. You gotta see it to believe it.
Here's a thing, your loveliness: I get the feeling that the Catholic church just doesn't appreciate that sexuality can be a beautiful thing.
That a quickening of breath at the sight of an unrestrained pair of funsacks or a muscular, tight botty lets us know in no uncertain terms that we are exactly as we were intended to be - sexual beings.
Instead sexuality is made out to be perverse and disgusting and an impregnating act only, while half the Catholic priests worldwide are rogering little schoolboys in the rectu - sorry - rectory. Seems a bit two-faced and twisted to me, man.
Do me a favour, your hugeness: root those little sodomites out, won't ya? You can do it, you know - that's the extraordinary thing. JP II could have as well, if he'd really wanted to.
All you need to do is not hide sex offenders by moving them from diocese to diocese in order to protect them - you need to take every single tiny complaint about sexual abuse from every single Catholic in the world and you need to thoroughly investigate the accused and go public with them as an example.
You need to ensure that you stamp it out, Ben. It's enough now.
*Wipes brow on sensible hanky*
Phew. Sorry about all that heavy shit, man - just some things that needed to be said, you know?
Anyways - I just want you to know that I'm not bitter about losing the papacy to you - you seem like a swell, stand-up kinda guy and I've got a really good feeling about you.
Now get out there and show all us non-Catholics just what we're missing out on, huh? You big softie, you. Go on - get outta here.
*Shakes head in wry amusement*
Claremont, dude - you won't regret it. Later, man.
All my love,
PS: You're a German, or Austrian, or Bavarian aren't you? One of that German lot anyway. Here's my question: what's up with Germans who come to Cape Town on holiday wearing long socks and sandals? Yeah, yeah, culture and all that, but I mean - I don't go to Germany wearing a safari suit, do I? Not that I've ever been to Germany nor worn a safari suit, but you know what I mean. Like - lose the socks, Fritz. Y'know?
I fired off my email to email@example.com last night, and this morning I had a reply marked Urgent! in my inbox. I opened it up, and this is what it said:
I'm not sure about ze socks, but vill investicate uzzer allecations. Vot, please, iss "funsacks"? Cardinal Schniebenschnaber vonts to know.
PS: Nein condoms, Luke. Nott yett, young frient.
Pope Benedict XVI
Ah well. Seems like a nice enough bloke, I spose.
All Smoked Out,