With the Pope in Philadelphia

I wonder what it’s like to be the pope. At that stage in the hierarchy, do you have a say in what you can wear? What if you’d like to wear something not either black or white? Plaid, for example. Can you do it?

At least he doesn’t have to wear suits, and that I think is something. Though I haven’t had to in a long time, and haven’t had to wear a tie in over a year . . . which is great because I haven’t bought one in over ten. I hope they go out of style before I have to get some more. I’d rather buy a sweater–pay for a garment that amounts to something.

So when he comes here, they’re probably going to give him a cheesesteak. What does the pope do with a cheesesteak, specially an Argentinian? Just stare at it? Miraculously turn it into a churrasco? Meet with some miracle monk from the Bronx that can do it and second him into the entourage? What is the point of being the pope if you can’t escape the unending sandwich diet of Philadelphians for something more in keeping with Christian civilization? Maybe he can go get something to eat in Delaware with Joe Biden.

You know who makes better sandwiches? Mexicans. There’s this place in Mexico City to which nothing in this world compares. I have eaten there often and I bet the Pope has never and never will. Unless they get a Mexican pope from Mexico City one day.

That brings me to tacos in the vatican. Perhaps you could see it coming. Doesn’t seem like the thing to do, but with this new pope, maybe they already have. Did he have a hot dog in New York? I wanted to when I was there, but didn’t. I had a hot dog in Buffalo, Reykjavik and Bogotá. Bill Clinton went to Reykjavik, I understand, and stood in line to get a hot dog at a famous place.

Don’t see the pope going there or waiting in line for a hot dog. Not a man of the people like Clinton. He’s a man of the cloth, which brings me back to my original consideration. I keep seeing pictures of him wearing clothes–which is great–and wondering what it is like to go around dressed that way. The cape, the skirts, the wide looking belt, the little cap. I suppose it is good cloth and is probably bespoke for cardinals and up, but still. Does he have matching white shoes, or black? Do they have special papal socks? Since he’s an old guy, does he have a cloth handkerchief and a pocket to keep it in? Does he have any pockets?

I can’t imagine going out in public without pockets. But then, the pope probably doesn’t have to drive or pay for things. He probably doesn’t run the risk of finding himself waiting with nothing to do, requiring a book. So maybe he doesn’t need pockets to go out in public. I’ve never seen a pocket on his outfit that I can remember.

They’re shutting down whole sections of the interstate for him. The trains had a kind of lottery for the crowded conditions they offer. One Italian place had his picture on their electric billboard, and the term ‘popemania’ sprang to mind when I saw it. If things are bad on Monday, they’re going to cancel schools for the pope. Probably not Westminster, though. 10th Pres downtown is right in the midst of it all–are they going to cancel church for the pope? Now there’s a dilemma. No church, the pope is in town; do not go and see him.

And what about the old pope who stepped down, does he wish he could put on the uniform? Does he still dress up like the pope or have other clothes with pockets? The pocket pope. German, wasn’t he? And not a leftist either. Both of them from countries run by women, come to think of it, though the present pope’s country’s woman is a nut-job. Esa vieja es peor que el tuerto. Is the old one thinking he should have hung in there long enough to get a visit to the USA out of it? He missed out. I hope the one that got to come realizes how lucky he is to be in Philadelphia. Maybe he’ll get to meet John Lukacs while he’s in the area. I’d dress up like the pope and go without pockets for a month for a chance to meet John Lukacs.


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