Have you now, or have you in the past, tipped over a cow?
What is your prime concern when dressing for the funeral of a leader in another religious tradition, i.e. Jewish?
White socks or red. But then you really want to start thinking about car keys, pocket cash for the bar at the reception, and business cards.
Have you ever just totally cruised through a day, pretending to look busy but really spending your time, say, wondering how the White Sox could possibly just steal a title like that?
you have off days, like anyone else. You have days when you just are not bringing your A game. I find, personally, that I perform best when I am feeling a little under the weather. I think it has to do with lowered expectations. Im not revealing any secrets when I say that theres a lot of pressure in the job. Celebrating Mass for a million people in a field is no walk in the park. Footwork is crucial, and the considered pause. And maybe most important of all is enunciation. Also wear bright colors.
Hobbies, forms of relaxation?
Kick-boxing. An ale here and there, but only in summer usually. I also have a thorough collection of Silver Surfer comics. I like Puccini records.
If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be?
Oh, eggplant. Thats an easy one.
My boy John Paul was a dear friend we used to kid about getting tattoos, but we never got around to it. He had a nasty sense of humor for a playwright. You know playwrights, all self-important and mysterious and all, but he didnt have hardly any of the brooding artist thing going. Plus he was very hip to the fact that playwrights are like poets, no one actually reads their stuff and they dont get paid. John Paul Jack, I should say used to say he went into the pope business just to get by. I miss the dude.
Whats on your reading table, Your Holiness?
Not Dan Brown, heh heh. But, seriously, there are some things you might expect I like the thorny language of the King James Bible, even without Wisdom, as it were, and I try to stay up on world politics and religious currents. The most fun for me, reading-wise, are the personal projects I set myself the complete works of Tiki Barber, for example. Also sometimes when I am feeling cocky and too sure of myself I inflict penance in the form of forced readings the poetry of James Joyce, anything by Jerzy Kozinski, Saint Augustine. I mean, really, everyone bows and salaams when you say Augustine, but who really reads the guy? Hes impenetrable. I think maybe only his mom ever read everything he wrote. Thats how she got to be a saint, heh heh.
Ever robbed a liquor store?
Not recently, heh heh.
Do you do your own laundry, Holy Father?
No no thats why they invented the Curia.
Whats the deal with you and small-bore firearms?
Target pistols are why God invented cats.
Oh, Catherine of Siena, thats easy. You remember she said when she spoke with God He didnt like to be interrupted and she could hardly get a word in. Who knew the Creator was a monologue guy? That cracks me up.
The whole division-among-Christian-sects thing, you want to speculate a little about that?
Lovely weather these past weeks hot during the day but crisp enough after sunset for a jacket, you know? Starting to be football weather.
Ever play football, Your Holiness?
Played linebacker for two years in school but then the other guys kept growing and I stopped right about here, which is decent size for a pope but not for a guy anchoring a defense. You need a guy in the middle with some serious attitude and a chest like a refrigerator.
Were you dating anyone at that time?
Not seriously, no.
Your meeting with Hans Kung was widely reported in the Catholic press would you care to share some of the conversation?
Well, Hans played some football also, mostly tight end he had the height, you know, and those big hands. We talked some ball, had a couple of beers. Hans is alright for a theologian, heh heh.
Last thoughts you want to share with the readers?
Be not afraid. My boy Jack nailed that one good.