|Take my mayor... please...|
I'm starting to feel toward Frank how I ended up feeling about Berlusconi... it's a bloody train wreck, but hilarious.
Yes yes... we're all very upset... blah, blah, blah...Evil pope destroys Church, yadda yadda...
But the sheer Italianness of it all is starting to be pretty entertaining.
The difference, of course, is that Silvio always did stuff with sly grin, like he realized it was all a joke and he was letting you in on it. Frank, on the other hand, is deadly serious, particularly about himself and his own wonderfulness, which makes the whole thing even better.
Yesterday's Papal comedy sketch was pretty good. Did y'all see him diss the mayor of Rome?
The unforgiving assessment of Ignazio Marino -- a man the Italian media love to hate -- further heightened tensions between the pope and the mayor in the run-up to the start of the Holy Year of Mercy in December, with the Vatican fearful the Italian capital is ill-prepared for the millions of extra pilgrims.
There y'go. One for the "pope of mercy" files.
Of course, once again as usual with Pope Frank, the move wasn't exactly "speaking truth to power." Marino is just about the most hated man in the country right now. Rome is falling apart (more than usual) and the people who live there, as they wait on stifling hot subway trains that stop for half an hour in the tunnels between stations, spend their time thinking of all the things the Roman Mob used to do to unpopular Emperors. So, you know, pretty safe target.
And funny thing... just for no reason at all and out of the blue and stuff, the next day, the Rome cops came to the streets around the Vatican and ticketed every Vatican employee car they could find.
In case you've never been to the Eternal Dumpster, this is Rome on a completely normal day,
... and none of it ever distracts the Roman police from their important flirting-with-women investigations.
Today's update on the papal vaudeville act:
A Rome radio station decides to prank the Vatican (a popular form of entertainment for Roman radio personalities). Someone from the Radio 24 satirical programme, La Zanzara (The Mosquito) impersonating the Italian premier Matteo Renzi, calls Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family and one of Frank's lower level lieutenants, asking him how the pope felt about Marino joining the papal entourage in Philadelphia.
Paglia replied, not without embarrassment, that Marino’s “exploitation” of the World Meeting of Families on 26 September “infuriated Number One [Pope Francis]”.
Asked by the Renzi impersonator whether Marino had “gate-crashed” the event, the prelate quickly agreed in the affirmative. “Marino was very insistent on seeing Pope Francis [in Philadelphia] and this annoyed the pope tremendously”, said Paglia, adding: “The mayor is a good man, a good person, but nobody on our behalf invited him.”
120% increase in Rome fender-benders as Romans listening to the radio in the car go limp with helpless laughter.
I realise Americans tend to take the whole Vatican thing with absolute deadly seriousness, following the papal lead. But Italians are somewhat more ... errr... irreverent.
This man commands a cwack dicastewy!
He wanks as high as any in Wome!
"Centuwian why do they titter so?"
"Just some Roman joke, sir."
"Are they... wagging me?"
"Oh NO sir!"