Hallowed be thy name

At exactly 19:37 Greenwich Mean Time on the second of April 2005, Pope Karol Józef “John Paul II” Wojtyla dies from natural causes (complications in the urinary tract caused by advanced gonorrhoea.) This is truly a sad day for believers and heathens alike, Pope George W Bush kindly calls him a ‘Champion of Freedom’, which insinuates that the Pope quite likes blowing up those fucking Arabs, just like Americans, and other Arabs. The following is a very slightly dramatised account of the Pope’s death and the proceeding papal selection process. Upon suspecting the pope of being dead, the Camerlengo, currently Eduardo Cardinal Martinez Somalo, verifies that the pope is dead by spitting in his eye and shouting “you sister-fucking son of a goat!” three times. At which time the Pope either rises and smites the Camerlengo furiously with lightning from his fingertips, or remains being rather dead. The Pope chooses to remain being dead in this case. The Camerlengo then notifies the Cardinal Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, currently Camillo Cardinal Ruini, that the Pope has in fact passed to the next realm. The Cardinal Vicar then makes this information public to a suspected two hundred thousand concerned onlookers in St Peter’s Square. There is a shocked silence before someone starts playing Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name” on their car stereo, at which point two hundred thousand people cheer and hold up their lighters. As many as twenty thousand people are reported to pour out a sip for their dead homie, resulting in a plague of drunken pigeons. The obligatory 9 days of mourning pass with a ceremonial bed race at exactly 6:45am each day. The Pope’s hospital bed, containing the deceased Pope, and pushed by the Camerlengo, is pitted against the hospital bed of a recently deceased priest, and pushed by three elected cardinals below the age of 80. The beds must pass through the middle of St Peter’s square and the race ends outside St Peter’s Basilica. Bonus points are gained for running over drunken pigeons and healing lepers. Symbolically, the Pope wins every race, although only by a small points margin, in a representation of both divinity and humbleness. On the final day of racing, the three elected Cardinals are replaced by Michael Schumaker himself, and an intense race culminates with Mr Schumaker failing to heal any lepers whatsoever and only running over a paltry 4 pigeons, then throwing a tearful wobbly and accusing the Camerlengo of taking performance enhancing drugs. This accusation is laughed off by the amphetamine fuelled Camerlengo as the Pope’s bed smites open the Basilica doors and skids to a smoking halt in the centre of the room, where the Pope then oversees the ceremony to elect the successor of St Peter. 117 Pope Hopefuls enter the basilica, the priceless sculpted doors of which are then welded shut. Each potential Pope then enters into a hard fought popularity battle involving a speaking round, a general knowledge round, and a swimsuit round. The cadaver of the Pope inexplicably releases gas at any pious moments mentioning God during the speeches of the candidates. Cardinal Thomas Williams picks up on this and manages to include poignant references to God not less than 15 times within his speech, resulting in a cacophony of perished papal flatulence to a chorus of “Cor, Tom, what a ripper!” At the terminus of the papal pageant, each Cardinal then casts a silent vote upon a tablet wrought from the preserved faeces of the deceased Pope. The first vote results in less than a two thirds majority, thus the faecal tablets are conflagrated, releasing black smoke, thus signifying to the crowd of healed lepers and drunken pigeons in St Peter’s Square the failure to elect a new Pope. This process is repeated and upon the third vote, white smoke is emitted from the basilica, thus signifying the election of a new Pope. A canticle of “Habemus Papam!” is asserted by the throng of holy men. Cardinal Francis Arinze arises after being declared Pope by the Queen with a victorious grin. He makes his way venerably over to the ring. The battle foetuses are released to general cheering from the failed papal candidates and a wry grin from Cardinal Arinze. The foetuses have been collected over the past 9 days by the awesomely terrifying Swiss Guard, armed with standard issue arm length procurement gloves and wistful smiles, who pilfer them from confused Romanian women and failed Bulgarian gymnasts. Twenty angry foetuses bearing knives and general weapons of street fighting make their way warily into the centre of the ring, where they commence beating and stabbing the piss out of each other. Cardinal Arinze is splattered with tiny patterns of blood after one foetus is brutally decapitated with its own umbilical cord. Cardinal Williams is keeping a book and a running tally of bets. Unfortunately his foetus had been mangled beyond repair with a tiny samurai sword. Eventually all foetuses but one lie bleeding or dying in small puddles on the ground. The victorious foetus raises its tiny arms in the air, and would have roared in triumph if it had developed vocal chords yet. Michael Schumaker is then forced to extract as many stem cells as he is able with a large syringe from the victorious foetus and injects them expertly into the brain stem of Cardinal Arinze. The Cardinal then emanates a roar of pure reverential holiness and drinks some orange juice. Cardinal Arinze then prays the doors of the Basilica open and steps forth into the crowd of adoring faithful as the new Pope, to the tune of Iron Maiden’s “The Angel and the Gambler” and none of them are any the wiser.

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