My Day With his Papacy

Recently while flipping through the various bits of mail I get on a daily basis because I am so popular I came across a rather odd envelope. It was shaped like a cross and sealed with a wax symbol that seemed fairly important, I mean, it was in wax after all. Upon further examination I realized the symbol was none other than two thumbs ups crossed to form, well, it's hard to explain but I'll try… they were crossed like a cross. I hope that conveys what I saw well enough. Anyway, I searched long and hard for the return address. It did not come easily, it was in the last place I looked, the top left arm, because as I said before, the envelope was cross shaped. Anyway, the return address simply said "From God". I thought it was a joke but the shining golden ink that it was written in made me think otherwise.

So I decide to open the envelope, but how. There was no seal on the reverse side of the cross. What was I to do, I was stumped. I next went to the local magic shop in town. When I got there I picked up my bi-weekly paycheck. Hooray, I now had money for food. Being a self proclaimed prophet slash Magic: The Gathering Warlord doesn't generate much income for all you out there who aspire to the aforementioned position. After I picked up my check I went back home. My home isn't really a home. It's more of an apartment and by apartment I mean one room closet in the back of a Laundromat that used to be owned by my parents until they decided to sell it and move to an undisclosed location. (Mommy, if you're reading this, please send me a key to the new house and maybe even an address, it could be my Christmas and birthday gifts this year. I swear I won't eat Mr. Picklewitz.)

On the way back to my home I stopped at the local church to inquire about opening letters from God. I think they laughed because they were jealous I got a letter and they didn't. Anyway, when I got home I took the letter out of my pocket (I had brought it with me, it made me feel muy importante, as the Spanish say). I put the letter down on my bed and began to make myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich. When I sat down on my bed to eat my delicious meal, I realized that, much like Moses and the Red Dead Sea, the two sides of the cross had split. On my bed lay a letter written in the same bright golden ink. It was a long, taxing letter that only prophets would be able to fully understand so I'll have to relate to you what it said in more simple terms. Oh and it was written in Esperanto, the official language of prophets everywhere. Ahem,

" Fooled you! This isn't from God, but someone just as good (don't tell the Big Man I said that, he might smote me)! What's up buddy? It's Benny, remember me? Guess what they elected me Pope! Those suckers! Anyway, some magazine, the Holy Bible, or something, I forget the name of it, well they were having a contest. Someone would win a date with me. I immediately thought of you, that always kind to me Dungeon Master back when we played dungeons and dragons in your parents' basement. You made sure those ogres couldn't gang up on me. Anyway, since I'm pretty much God, I fixed the contest so that you won. You get a date with me, how awesome is that?! I'll be by your house tomorrow to pick you up. Get ready for a day of awesomeness. Don't forget to take your pills though; I don't want you getting motion sickness from the wild ride that is the Pope."

Naturally, I became excited. I mean, how could I not? The big man wanted me to hang out with him. Not just hang out with him, but go on a date with him! Wow, it must be Christmas, I thought to myself. (Again, Mommy, a key and an address for the new house would make a lovely Christmas gift, really, just though you should know, again.)

I looked at my spiffy digital watch clock calendar. I realized two things when I did this. First, it wasn't Christmas (the key is still welcome!), it was only October 23rd, a mere two months and two days early. Secondly, I had fifteen hours still till tomorrow. He didn't tell me when he was coming but I knew. My grandmother used to sing me an old rhyming song. It went like this, well what I'm saying is what I think it meant. She sang to me in Russian. She could speak perfect English but whenever she tried to sing, all that came out was Russian. Anyway, here's my translation: "Red at night, Pope's delight. Red in the morning, Pope's warning." Now, I know, that might not be clear to you non-prophets, but it was as clear as crystal to me at that moment. Do you want me to explain? Well tough, I can't the moment has passed already. Hah.

I sat on my bed and stared at my wall. It was plastered with cutouts and magazine ads from all the greats. Jonah, the Whale, David, Trogdor, and even Merlin had a sexy centerfold issue cutout up there. I looked down at my watch, one minute had passed. Okay, at this rate I only need to look up and down 899 more times, give or take a few. I stood up suddenly, taking myself off guard. My legs gave out and I fell to the ground, my head bouncing off it like a tennis ball. I could see my eyes closing and black enveloping me. When I woke up I looked at my watch. It read 4:30 AM. Score! A lot of time passed. Next, I had to deal with the burgundy stain that had soaked into my previously beautiful and stunning hardwood floor. While covering the stain with a newspaper I realized that my hair was crusty and sticking together in clumps. That simply wouldn't do!

I walked out of my room and into the empty and dark Laundromat. I opened one of the front-load washers and turned it on. Sticking my head in, I could feel the water rushing over me. The water below my head soon became a deep red. I couldn't remember dying my hair though. This thoroughly confused me. After the whole burgundy color incident was finally over, it was already 6:58 (I was quite confused for quite some time over the hair dye issue, I forgot about the fact my head was in a washer. My head was in there so long I pruned). As I sprung from the washer in haste to finish preparations, the top of my cranium came into contact with the top of the inside of the washer. I collapsed in a heap on the ground, my head still inside the washer and my neck's space being invaded by the lip of the entrance to the washer, cutting off my air. I woke up gasping for air. My watch read 7:34. I let out a small yelp of fear that I had missed his coming and slowly extricated my head from the growling washer of doom that I had been locked in battle with for over three hours now.

I sat down on a washer that was facing the W.O.D (washer of doom) and tried to ponder if I had missed Benny's arrival or not. It hurt to think, so I stopped. My thoughts began to drift to various things. I stopped this because of course it hurt to think about anything. (Which in reality if you are keeping track, would make anything I wanted to do in the future very hard to accomplish.) I ambled, nay; I moseyed back to my room and sat down on my bed, fighting the pain that canvassed my cranium. I'm sure if my brain could talk, it would have been talking quite loudly and with what I assume would be tons of emphasis behind his voice to me about the predicament his home was in. I lifted my hand to my head and rubbed, which took quite a lot of effort since I couldn't think about it. On the way up my hand took a detour at my face and rubbed it first. It was then my hand realized that my face was still pruned from the washer. My hand communicated this to me and told me this wouldn't be good, Benny would think I was mocking him! What to do, what to do…

Before I could think about it I was at the one outlet in my room plugging in the hair dryer I had gotten on EBay for forty nine cents (including shipping and handling). Then, just as I had begun to think about it (the pain in my head was becoming dull and I began to have thoughts again) my face was being blasted by sporadic bursts of hot air. It reminded me of, um, well, nothing actually. You just have to imagine this one for yourself. Seeing as it wasn't working very well, I pulled the cord from the socket, receiving a small jolt in the process. Cursing, I dropped the appliance to the ground. It broke in two and I kicked it under my bed. Walking to a pile of fresh clothing in the corner of my room, I picked out some styling duds for my special day. I knew I didn't have to impress Ben, but I wanted to. I don't know about you readers out there but it makes me feel good when someone compliments my hip and groovy threads. It was then that I heard a knock, knock, knocking at my door. It couldn't be him, I thought to myself. How could he get in? The Laundromat was locked! Timidly, I took baby steps towards the sound. At the door, I put my bulk behind it and opened it an inch. I moved my head so that my left eye looked through the gap I had created. I saw nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Well, okay, I didn't see nothing, per se, but there was no one there. I saw the other side of the Laundromat. So if someone asked if I had seen anything I would have to say yes I had, but I had seen no one.

After having my one eye search as far as I could to the left and right I looked up and down, that it where I made my discovery, my dear children. Standing there, hunched over, was, of all people… my landlord! Fooled you didn't I? You thought it would be the Pope, didn't you? Well then, looks like you were wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong! Hah!

My landlord looked up at me and mumbled something in a hoarse old man voice. I asked him to repeat it and when I didn't understand him the second time, I retreated quickly to get my ear horn. Opening the door all of the way I held the metal ear horn up to my ear. This time, when I asked him to repeat himself I heard him. He was speaking Aramaic. Now, I have never claimed myself to be a scholar so of course, I didn't understand him. Shrugging, I pushed the old man back a step and held up one finger, signaling him to wait. He stumbled back and began a frenzy of mumbled somethings. I walked back into my cramped room and retrieved a baked good, at this time I can not remember which kind. The mind does that to you… makes things fuzzy and warm. Okay, so I gave him the warm baked good and he left smiling. All of the sudden as if out of nowhere, a roaring sound ripped through the silence like a really sharp arrow goes through a wild animal back in the cave man days (believe you me, that's pretty darn sharp too). Following the roar was a red streak out in front of the Laundromat and accompanying that was a loud screech which had me huddled on the ground in the fetal position holding my hands over my ears in pain. I recovered quick and stood up, a slight trickle of blood dripping from my right ear. I dabbed at it with a paper towel, cleaning the mess up. Above me, I heard footsteps on the roof. They were slow and paced footsteps so it took a while for whoever it was to get to the chimney. Finally the footsteps stopped and I heard a whooshing sound as a cloud of ash sprang up from the bottom of the fireplace.

As the dust settled I gazed upon the man who had made all my dreams come true every year since I was born. The Pope!