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Blowing White Smoke

Feb. 14, 2013
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, just got the news that the sixteenth Pope Benedict is hanging up his mighty mitre ’cause at the age of 85, he just doesn’t have the gas to muster and deliver the popely goods like he ought to. Boy-oh, don’t I know the feeling, I kid you not. And so here at the top of this week’s essay, let us pray:

“Lord, it behooves me to beseech thy graceful means at the start of this wordfest to wonder if you couldn’t manage to concoct some kind of way whereas the granting of me suddenly coming into some serious dough through very little, if any, of mine own effort could be accomplished by your handiness of miracles of which we’ve all heard so much about but of which I, sheepish servant surely, have seen but little evidence of lately, if ever, in a personal kind of way—catch my draft?

“And to please grant anybody whosoever reads the words I am about to nail to this very page safe and glorious passage whilst reading the inscribed wisdom I shall purvey for one and all, young and old, so that they don’t croak through no fault of their own before they’ve reached the final word. Praise be to you and the high horse that brought you.”

And so now some of the world sits on the pins and needles to learn the name of whom shall be crowned top dog of the latest installment of Vatican Idol. I hear there’s scuttlebutt in some quarters that the next pope for the Catholics could be a man of color (for those hoping the pope would be a woman of color, I guess you’ll have to wait ’til next time). And so I am remindest to perhaps remind certain members of other assorted denominations, especially those poised and ready for an imminent Second Coming, that there happens to be some scholars of the Bible book who tout the notion that the Lord Jesus was an African-Asian guy. And to that notion I say, “No shit, Sherlock.”

Like anybody could ever possibly think He would’a blown into Nazareth from somewheres like our Brook-focking-field out there in Honky-sha County. Let us not forget that in the days of the earthbound-living Lord, the world was flat—they even hardly had Europe for christ sakes.

You just got to figure he simply had to be a guy of color, just like about 110% of the everybody-who-inhabitated-that-neck-of-the-woods back then, or rather that neck of the desert, if you will. And if there ever is some kind of what-they-call Second Coming, I suspect that rather than a flowing-locked Brad Pitt-type in a white robe, you’ll all be bowing down to JamMaster Jeezy-C, a player with the righteous rap from way back.

Anyways, whoever gets tabbed as the new pontiff, I hope he/she goes totally old school with the popish moniker they get to choose. Enough with the Johns, Pauls, John Pauls. How ’bout a Dionysius (pope years 259-268), Hilarus (461-468), or Sisinnius (708)?

My personal choice would be Lando (913-14). The naming of a “Lando” as pope (Lando II) would be a nice nod to Lando Calrissian of the Star Wars universe—the head honcho of Cloud City and whose home world is Socorro—and a savvy move by the Roman Catholic Church to appeal to lapsed Christians who by birth have to reside on other planets through no fault of their own.

All this religious talk reminds me of a little story:

This guy named Leo was in the hospital, near death, and so the family sent for his pastor. As the pastor stood beside the bed, Leo’s frail condition grew worse, and he motioned desperately for something to write on.

The pastor lovingly handed him a pen and paper, and Leo used his last ounce of strength to quickly scribble a note. And then he died.

The pastor thought it best not to look at the note just then, so he slipped it into his jacket pocket. Days later, at the funeral, the pastor delivered the eulogy. He realized that he was wearing the same jacket that he'd worn the day Leo died.

"You know, Leo handed me a note just before he passed,” the pastor said to the assembled. “I haven't read it, but knowing Leo, I would believe surely that it would contain a word of inspiration; a word of inspiration for us all."

The pastor reached into his pocket, unfolded Leo’s note and read aloud, "Help me! You're standing on my oxygen tube, jackass!"

And so it’s time for my Dismissal of you’s by me with this prayer: “Lord, looks like we’re done here for another focking week. Praise be to me for making it through without losing my marbles all over the floor.

“And hey, please don’t forget what I invoked about needing serious dough and the sooner the better ’cause you know, not all of us got eternity on our hands like the crowd you hang with. Reminds me of ye olde joke: It’s been said verily that if you lead a good ol’ sin-free life here on Earth, you’ll wind up getting to spend all Eternity with Him. Second prize is two Eternities.” Ba-ding!-ding!-ding! This essay is ended, go in peace ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.



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