Saturday, 9 March 2013

313: Put Out The Fire

Basil was never supposed to be Pope.  Until it happened, he wasn’t even in the running for the job, let alone a real contender.  Yet there he was, in the big hat and the red shoes, undergoing the Pope Joan test in that special chair.

He was just trying it all on, so he said.  He wondered whether the garb would suit him and thought maybe a quick self-portrait with his iPhone to send to his Mum would be in order.  After all, he’d never get another chance and there is was, just sat there waiting for the new His Holiness to be chosen.

Of course, he knew smoking was a dirty habit and that he should give it up, but he couldn’t find a bit of the Bible that expressly forbade it.  And that sort of made it alright.  So a second picture for his brothers of himself sat in the chair, in the garb, smoking a Camel Light, seemed like another good idea.

If only he hadn’t dropped the cigarette.  If only it hadn’t fallen into the grate.  If only it hadn’t already been made up in readiness to announce the decision.  If only the fire hadn’t taken hold so quickly.  If only the white smoke hadn’t billowed out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.  If only the cardinals hadn’t been alerted to it and rushed into the room.  If only it hadn’t been binding that the new Pope would be the man sat in the chair when the white smoke went up.  If only he hadn’t uploaded the images to Twitter.

At least he would pass the Pope Joan test.

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