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Midday Matinee – Tuesday’s Tale: The Papal Primary Debate

February 12, 2013

Midday Matinee

Midday Matinee – Tuesday’s Tale: The Papal Primary Debate

Ooh-eee-ahh-ohh-ahh-eee-emm “Welcome back to our live coverage of the Papal Primary Debate, live from the Vatican. I’m Fox Blitzen and I’m your moderator.” (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Paranoiburg and Ancient Carnaubans. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….


“In our next segment we address modernizing the church,” Blitzen said, resisting the urge to stroke his perfectly-trimmed beard. “Cardinal Cain, would you try to bring the church into the Twenty-first Century, and if so what would you do?”

“I would update the tithe,” Cardinal Cain said. “Ten percent is just ridiculous. I would replace that with my Nine-Nine-Nine plan: a nine percent tithe, plus nine dollars for communion and nine dollars for parking.”

Blitzen arched a subtly-darkened brow. “You realize the church is worldwide. Not all countries use U.S. dollars.”

“Of course I know that,” Cardinal Cain said. “Catholics in Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan-stan would use their own currency. In the words of the Latin philosopher, ‘O sibili, si ergo. Fortibuses in ero. Nobili, demis trux. Sewatis inem? Cowzendux!'”

Blitzen coughed. “Cardinal Gingrich, your response?”

“That’s fundamentally preposterous,” Cardinal Gingrich said. “It’s not Latin. It’s not even Pig Latin. As I wrote in my latest book To Save Your Soul – on sale now at booksellers worldwide, also available for eReaders, and I’ll be signing copies in the lobby after this debate – the fundamental issue of the Twenty-first Century will be extending the church into space. And I have a plan for that –”

“The red light is on, Cardinal,” Blitzen said.

“– and there you go with that liberal media bias,” Cardinal Gingrich said, turning to the crowd to await the applause to which he felt entitled.

“Cardinal Perry,” Blitzen said. “How would you modernize the church?”

“I’d do three things,” Cardinal Perry said. “First, I’d change the College of Cardinals to an online university. Second, I’d increase the budget for the Defense of the Faith, because the church needs the most modern, most effective defense to deal with global challenges. And third….”

Cardinal Perry paused. Blitzen nodded. Blitzen nodded again. “Yes, Cardinal?”

“I don’t remember the third thing,” Cardinal Perry said.

“I do,” Cardinal Romney said. “Eliminate Catholic Charities. Look, we know that forty-seven percent of the people in the pews will never take responsibility for their own lives.”


Have fun!

  • addisnana

    Running onto the stage from the right (she always comes from the right) was a breathless Bachmann. “How could you have started without me?” she panted.

    Fox Blitzen didn’t miss a beat. “We’re having a papal primary my dear and the Papistry is only open to men so you were not invited to this debate. I suggest you join the ‘Nuns on the Bus.'”

  • NCrissieB

    “My husband doesn’t want me to be a nun,” Bachmann said. “He wants me to be pope.”

    “Then let him run,” Cardinal Perry said.

    “He doesn’t have time,” Bachmann replied. “He’s trying to pray the gay away.”

    “That brings me to my next topic,” Blitzen said. “The institution of marriage. This time we start with Cardinal Gingrich.”

    Cardinal Gingrich looked out at the crowd and nodded his approval of their approval of him. “As I wrote in my book One Corpus, One Delicti – now in paperback worldwide, available in eReaders, and I have limited edition copies to sign in the lobby after this debate – marriage should be between one man and one woman at one time.”

    “Unless she wants a promotion,” Cardinal Cain muttered beneath the applause.

    Blitzen’s ears perked up. “Excuse me, Cardinal Cain. Did you want to disagree?”

    “No, no,” Cardinal Cain said. “I mean, we’re only talking about wives here, right?”

  • winterbanyan

    Bachman scowled at him. “When did wives become the only issue? Yes, they should stay at home and breed as God intended — well, except for me, since I have important work to do, like being the first Swedish pope.”

    Cain snorted. “Wives are the issue. As you know, I have had affairs. But unlike my colleague Cardinal Gingrinch, I do not indulge in serial monogamy, otherwise known as divorce and remarriage. I can renounce my affairs. He can’t renounce his divorces.”

    “How did the subject get changed?” Cardinal Romney asked. “I was trying to talk about how we should treat the irresponsible leeches of the world.”

    “Please,” said Fox Blitzen, “let’s move on to another question.”

    “Not yet,” answered Cardinal Romney. “It’s my turn.”

  • addisnana

    Cardinal Romney took his turn. “I’ve had only one wife and no affairs. I think the ability to control one’s urges is an essential discipline for the Pope. I also think it’s important for the Presidency and that if I’d had a better Etch-a-Sketch people might have voted for me based on my superb control. Those little knobs are tricky.”

    Fox Blitzen tried hard to control the urge to laugh. Snorting through (one of the true measures of professional journalism) he managed to comment.

    “Urges? Control? Fidelty? May I remind each of you that this is a Papal Primary. Some priests have had sex with children and you’re talking about controlling your urges. The last Pope buried all this when he was in charge of The Congregation in the Defense of the Faith. He’s tried for years to avoid responsibility and here you all are waving the issue like a red flag to lawyers everywhere. The church only speaks of sex when women and foetuses are involved.”

  • NCrissieB

    “That’s a fundamentally flawed question,” Cardinal Gingrich said, pausing to bask in the adulation of the assembled masses. “Foetuses are important, yes. In a few years they’ll be janitors, cleaning our churches to help support their parents and siblings. But the fundamental issue here –”

    “– Oh Vaaaaatican oh Vaaaaatican God shed his grace on theeeee,” Cardinal Romney interrupted, singing. Badly.

    “The Archives!” Cardinal Perry shouted. “That was the third thing!”

    “What about them?” Blitzen asked.

    “I’ll get rid of those too,” Cardinal Perry said. “Who needs old books?”