• DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    by Mary Beth Ellis
  • Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Random House Trade Paperbacks
This area does not yet contain any content.
« One That Does What It Should | Main | Notes From the Popemobile »
Thursday
Apr172008

Pope's Rollin' Up!

The ultimate playa moment from yesterday's DC Pope Dance Party was the moment B16's limo rolled up on the White House. Dude got a drum roll. There was an actual drum roll as a military aide stepped forward and opened the door. That is some seeeerious introductage, and the single most magnificent demonstration of good birthday karma the world has ever seen. Now I know why I've suffered traffic tickets, dumpations, and rounds of vomiting on my own birthday: The Pope has been storing up the good stuff, drumrolling in and out of limos.

This impressed Jim The Small Child Nephew, who has begun referring to the man in the dress as the "Pote," which I will accept as vastly preferable over what he formerly calling him, which was, quote, "Poop." He was sitting before the day's nine thousandth version of "Happy Birthday," and since Jim has just turned four, and all the world revolves 'round his own kingly point of reference, he announced that the Pote is four as well. (There seems to be little agreement on what to insert after "happy birthday, dear..." Kathleen Battle used "Holy Father," which makes me absolutely terrified to use anything else, but I've also heard "Pope Beeeen-i-dict," without the "dear," and "Poooohhhh-hhope," but I was sad that no one thought to insert one of the more singable titles, "Supreme Pontiff Of The Universal Church and Archbishop And Metropolitan Of The Roman Province.")

Later, he presided over vespers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (We do enjoy our adjectives!) What I don't get is why the Holy Father was stuck down in the crypt, which is a creepy Catholic term for, well, basement. Then again, this is what Catholics do for a basement, when on the national scale:

 

In the rest of America, this is an "undercroft," replete with concrete floor, folding chairs, and the aromatic remains of many a Knights of Columbus fish fry.

 

Then everybody gave everybody else presents, and the Pote got cash, y'all. Charity cash, but then again, I don't think his salary is all that great to begin with, the bulk of the Vatican's income apparently earmarked for kicky little ermine shrugs to be worn in the dead of April. And then three bishops asked him questions, one of whom was the Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, the Archbishop of Cincinnati, who confirmed me several seasons of The Simpsons ago.

 

Big Dan read his question, looking very much as he did on the day of my confirmation, only now he was perhaps four percent less dour and sporting a highly liturgical lanyard and security pass. B16 listened to him wind down, then smiled wryly and said, "I remember our conversations. We had many interesting discussions." This was a great papal ha-ha, for I am quite sure that these "discussions" were not exactly about how very, very much they agree with one another.

 

Well, it's a great day to be Catholic. If there's one thing we know how to do, it's wear very tall hats and process in a big long line, and today we got to do both.

 

forever young at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (10)

I was reading your post to my co-worker and he was a little bothered by your reference to the Pope as B16. I just laughed.

I've noticed your posts are more sarcastic than usual. Been feeling ok lately?

April 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDanTheSoldier

MB, I am anxiously awaiting your pithy comments on the dregs offered up under the guise of music at today's Mass...

April 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan G

Yes, Brother-In-Law, I'm OK, thanks for asking. Just feeling a little stuck with some projects, is all : ) I plan to give nicknames to all the "Papas" who serve throughout my life. It helps me feel close to my shepherd. Fortunately, so far I've only had to bestow two!

Susan G., my official stance on the music is as follows: Admirable save from Opera Man, with a heaping side of WTF. They couldn't have one song in German?

April 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

B16 is nowhere nearly as disturbing a nickname as "The Deuce."

Besides, it beats the name one of my mom's coworkers gave him: http://marchandchronicles.blogspot.com/2005/04/return-of-irreverence.html" rel="nofollow">Simon Bar-Sinister.

I'm not familiar with the Holy Father's disagreements with Cincinnati's Archbishop FortyPointsInScrabble. I do, however, know that pretty much since he got on Shepherd 1 Benedict XVI has absolutely lowered a giant Vatican boom on the sex abuse scandal, its practitioners and its enablers. Which is a very good thing.

He don't, he don't, he don't mess around, HEY!

Also, no person who likes kittens, piano music, and beer as much as he does can be that sinister.

April 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Hey, did you notice that JP2 appears to have on the same Red Shoes as B16 in that Simon Bar-Sinister link?? Check out the Castro picture (which I find HIGHLY amusing!). Perhaps they ARE the Papal shoes. Do you think B16 is wearing hand-me-downs?

April 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris

I think, by some sort of unwritten Birthday Law, even in your expanded version everyone would have to cram all the syllables together, and then extend the last one. Something like:

“SupremePontiffOfTheUniversalChurchandArchbishopAndMetropolitanOfTheRoman Proooooooooooooooovince.”

If I ever had the opportunity to sing Happy Birthday to the Pope, at least that's how *I* would do it.

April 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChestertonianRambler

Thank you thank you THANK YOU for giving me a laugh during a long day! Your posts about B16 have left me chuckling for days! Oh, and I think if you're a Catholic, it's okay to call him B16; I like to think the Pope has a sense of humor! You're the best, MB!!!!

April 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara N

Thank you so much for the kind words, SN :)

B16 is digging all sorts of fun, forgotten objects out of the Papal closet. The ARE the Papal shoes, but The Deuce didn't wear them all that often. They connect the Pontiff with the Holy Roman Empire and the martyrdom of St. Peter (red is the liturgical color of martyrs and the Holy Spirit.) I understand they used to have gold braid on them too.

April 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

[...] THE SMALL CHILD NEPHEW: Where’s he going in his car? He has to go potty. He’s four. Why does he keep taking his hat off? He has glasses! They play baseball in there, too? Can James [...]

Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.