Monday, March 11, 2013

I Hope, The New Pope, Isn't a Dope

I Hope,
The New Pope,
Isn't a Dope

Let us pray,
He might be gay.

New red shoes,
For the man they choose.

They sit in pews,
And share their views,
Then send up smoke,
But not a toke.

Women are watching,
But they can't vote.
"We can't even send in a post-it note!"

The cardinals are celibate,
But just for the hell of it,
They watch women peeling,
On the Sistine ceiling.

But leave the boys alone,
Or we'll never atone,
Said the men in red
-- we'd be better off dead.

There was a papabili,
Who only spoke Swahili.
He said we need a man,
With an African plan,
But the Italians said don't be so silly.

The Argentine threw his red hat in,
but he could not speak medieval Latin.

You can't use a condom,
Non est disputandum.

We're catching up with modern times,
But slowly, slowly, let the bells chime.

Retrospective -- A letter to the Frog Hospital in 2006, from LaConner's Indomitable Mayor, Wayne Everton, regarding the future of the oil economy.

Dear Fred,

It's been my experience that we find solutions when we need to and not before. All of the various substitutes for petroleum will, I believe, be invented or found or discovered about 10 years before the crisis gets unmanageable.The fall out, of course, won't be the lack of oil but the lack of the money that oil produces. Will the new substitutes produce income for the plastics manufacturers? The tire manufacturers? The Middle East countries? The auto makers of the world? All the others who are dependent on the income?

I doubt the end of the oil age will be sudden and dramatic, as the film seems to predict. It will be slow and evolutionary, like the end of the steel age, or the iron age.

I assume we will not only find substitutes for petroleum but also for the by-products..... like war. There are so many other reasons for countries to annihilate each other I feel confident we will find one, or more, that fills the need. Non-existent weapons of mass destruction comes to mind but there must be others at least as imaginative. Mel Gibbson proved, I believe, in his great historical "Braveheart" that there is no need for massive weapons. Stones and arrows will probably be used in WW3 so oil won't be needed, either as a necessity or a pretence.

Revelations, I've found, work best in retrospect. It's easier to say "I knew that was going to happen" than to say "I know what's going to happen". Christians are like Republicans and Republicans are like the oil supply. Some day they'll all be gone.

You seem happy where you are, Fred, and I'm happy for you.


FROG HOSPITAL REPLIES: Dear Wayne, it's been seven years since you wrote this and two things have happened. First, you are no longer with us, gone someplace in the spirit, and we miss you -- most of us do. Second, we haven't run out of oil yet -- the fracking technology has turned it all upside down and, ignoring the environmental problem, we seem to have a surplus rather than a scarcity.

But the best part of your letter is the opening sentence, and I repeat with emphasis your own words:

It's been my experience that we find solutions when we need to and not before.

That's actually a very hopeful statement.

If you've been fortunate, you may have known one or several beautiful women

I deny everything. I regret nothing.

The Astonishing Debbie Rosenblatt. I forgot the promise I made to myself. After I met Debbie Rosenblatt from a personals ad in the Boston Globe I said I would never, ever do that again – because she was such a winner.

It was like hitting the $10,000 jackpot on a slot machine. Take the money and never go back to that casino again – after giving everybody working there a nice tip, of course. But don't go back to the honey pot. Good luck is a moving target. Wherever you found it, it won't be there the next time.

I called her up after I read her ad. She lived in Framingham, an outer suburb. She was a widow. She told me her age – she was seven years older than me. Then she said, "I'm probably too old for you." But she was fun to talk to. I said let's meet. She suggested this old-fashioned watering hole in Wellesley. I thought – what the heck.

I got there a little early, to make sure she wouldn't have to wait for me. I am compulsively punctual anyway. But it was when I saw her walk into the room, making an entrance – that's when I called her astonishing.

She was five-foot ten and she had legs up to here, a long, elegant neck that would put Audrey Hepburn to shame, and longer arms that waved in the air like a flock of snow-white geese, and sparkled in the light with dozens of gold bracelets and scarlet red, red, red polish on her exquisite fingernails.

She just said hello and "you must be Fred," but to me it sounded like "How are you, handsome?" Such enthusiasm and zest, pitter pattering – she loved jazz and dancing and her precious daughter and those special, darling children of mine – she asked me about them, and was sure they would grow up to be famous and wealthy.

I took her dancing, to the rooftop of a Boston skyscraper, valet parking, Cole Porter, and she was lovely and smelled so good. We made love and we were so hot.

Debbie and I had a fling. Nothing as good as a widow – she loved her husband, but he was gone and buried. All she wanted to do was have a good time and enjoy herself again with her new lover.

For a season, not more than a month. Truth is, I couldn't afford it. I was the sole support of those two kids. Valet parking was something I couldn't keep up, and I only had one sport coat and a few good shirts.

Debbie was completely innocent in her needs, which were expensive. So we called the whole thing off. Oh, I forgot about the grand piano in her living room. She could be so ecstatic just to hear me stumble through a few chords of Gershwin. The room would have been garish with color and crystal, but it was so like Debbie, so completely true to her nature.

She had me over for a seder, with a few friends and relatives who enjoyed complaining about everything. I felt at home and smiled.

No, my life was too serious. But a woman so sexy and so virtuous and honest too. I can see her shining in the sky, and hot and grabbing my hair on her bed.

We called it off. We became friends – this was a new idea to her. Everything was new. She had lead a sheltered life and married her first boyfriend, and he was a good husband and all her needs were provided for. She never had a job, a merry widow she became and I was her first man. There were others after me. We talked on the phone sometimes.

But it's been years, I had forgotten. These computer dates are weird. The meetings are hollow and so un-fated. I have met several women this way, nice enough, but now that I remember Debbie, I know that I won't ever do that again.

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Fred Owens
35 West Main ST
Suite B #391
Ventura, CA 93001

Thank you very much,

Fred Owens

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