By Mark D. Crantz
Laguna Beach. Another perfect day in Paradise, but oh no, there’s a conclave to consider. In normal times, we only deal with concave and convex stuff. Convex lenses are shaped like a cave and pinpoints light, whereas convex lenses look like Bart Simpson’s eyes when Homer is strangling him for some miscreant activity. Concave lenses diffuse light or in Bart’s case snuffs it out entirely. Now for Indy readers not up on cutting edge scientific technology, a conclave is a recent discovery of a lens that is a combination of concave and convex. Conclave pulls together and diffuses light simultaneously. Medically it is called cataracts and impairs vision in older men, particularly men in red beanies who get together infrequently to elect a new pope.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful here, but it should be noted that the last conclave wasn’t very visionary. The guy quit. It was definitively a bad cataract moment. Nobody wants a repeat performance. So with next season hanging in the balance, the next conclave gathers in secret to pick the next pope who must reign 601 years to erase this pope’s quitting asterisk. Picking a pope is a mysterious process much more complex than Fantasy Football, or picking the winner of March Madness, or even deciding when school starts here in Laguna Beach. By the way, Ron Johnson of JCP and Martha Stewart of JCP and Macy’s, with the legion of lawyers generating bills, all would like to thank Laguna Beach parents for adding in two more back to school shopping days. It really helps everybody’s bottom lines, particularly Martha’s who is on a quest to pass Oprah on next year’s billionaire nest egg list.
Now back to the conclave. Catholic cardinals are summoned from around the world to a room in Vatican City that is locked from the outside and remains locked until the group decides who amongst them will be the next pope. In addition, a magnetic jamming signal keeps the cardinals from relaying pope tweets to the outside world. However, Apple Psychic Techies believe that Steve Jobs will unveil the IPhone Cloak Buster device just in time to follow the secret proceedings. He and passed over designers are putting the finishing touches on the new device by picking a suitable religious font. Blackberry dismisses these rotten Apple rumors and plans to announce the presidential winner between Bush and Gore by the end of March when they promise to solve the hanging chad glitch that bemoans Blackberry 10 production.
To assure Indy readers get the most current cardinal voting updates, I have taken it upon myself to hire two intrepid Italian reporters, Mario and Luigi, who will be planted as Vatican City hall monitors, responsible for cardinal carry-in food orders and bathroom breaks. Only here, will we be covering both ends as it happens in real time. Early results by Mario show that carry in follows this cardinal preference: tacos and burritos-18%; pizzas-23%: cheeseburgers and fries-41%; goulash bowls-5%; egg rolls and fried rice-5% and eggs benedict-0%. Luigi reports that South American cardinals make up bathroom breaks at 18%; European Cardinals-23%; North American Cardinals-41%; Eastern European Cardinals-5%; and Asian Cardinals-5%. Early dietary polling predicts the next pope will most likely be elected from Eastern Europe or Asia due to significantly fewer bathroom breaks from vote casting and the increasing prostrate concerns evident in North and South American cardinals. However, European cardinals are showing a well balanced approached and cannot be counted out of the running. It’s still anybody’s game to win or lose.
So place your bets Laguna and be on the lookout for that first puff of smoke kindly brought to us from corporate sponsor Philip Morris that will indicate the next 601year reigning pope.
Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased border collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.