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.”


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