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« Resquiescat In Pace, Take Two | Main | Good News, Bad News »

"A Well-Lived Life"

That's what Ann Althouse says, and I would agree. We shouldn't be mourning his passing, which was as he wanted it--we should be celebrating his life. And as at a wake, (though it's not, as far as I know, actually true) I have to tell a story about him that Tom Rogers, former president of the Space Transportation Association, used to tell.

It seems that often, the pontiff, weary with the cares of the world, would have trouble getting to sleep. On these occasions, one of the best cures for his insomnia was to take a ride around the beautiful city in which he lived, in the back seat of his limousine. On one of these occasions, he realizes that he's been missing something from his life for many years.

He taps on the window to his driver, and says, "Mario, I haven't driven a car since I was a priest in Cracow. It would give me so much pleasure if I could do it once again."

Mario, of course, is aghast. "Your Holiness, it would be unseemly! You are the Pope!" To which the reply was, "That's right, Mario, I am the Pope. You are the employee of the Pope. I shall drive."

So they switch places, Mario with reluctance and the Pope with glee, and they head off for the driving tour of his life, past the Tivoli Fountains and the Coliseum, up and down the hills. Fortunately, it's late at night, so traffic is light, and like most Romans, he pays little attention to traffic signals or speed limits. Inevitably, the sound of a siren greets their ears from behind, and so the Pope reluctantly pulls over, fearing the headlines the next day.

The patrolman gets off his scooter, walks up to the limo, taps on the smoked-glass driver's window, and his face turns sheet white when it rolls down to reveal who is behind the wheel. He stammers, "A thousand pardons, your Holiness. I'm so sorry to inconvenience you. But can you please wait for just one minute while I contact my superiors"? And the pope nods beatifically.

He goes back to his scooter, radios the station, and says, "Capitano, I need some advice. I'm about to give a traffic ticket to a very, very important person."

The radio crackles back, "What's the problem, Luigi? Who is it? How important are we talking here?"

"I don't know, Capitano, but whoever it is, has got the Pope for a chauffeur..."

Posted by Rand Simberg at April 02, 2005 01:28 PM
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If it ain't true, it oughtta be.

Posted by Kyle Jelle at April 2, 2005 04:26 PM

LOL. Thanks for a good chuckle on this sad, sad day.

Posted by B Chan at April 2, 2005 04:32 PM

Well, the tards at the NYT wrote this screed. Just when you think the extreme left can't get any lower.

Posted by Mike Puckett at April 2, 2005 08:49 PM

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