Cheyenne, Wyoming -- The Tribal Gathering Is taking the Catholic Church to court over its use of smoke signals to announce papal election results.
"Just because you know how to build a fire doesn't mean you can steal our proven communications technology," a spokesman for the group said.
"Smoke signals were developed by Native Americans long before there was a Columbus or even deep dish style pizza. And we intend to protect that legacy."
The Tribal Gathering said it would be willing to share the use of a new app it is developing, called Burn and Learn, which simulates messaging via smoke signals.
"This is the first OS application that actually causes an iPhone or iPad to overheat, sending out puffs of smoke that could be used as a messaging media," the spokesman said.
"Of course Burn and Learn is a one time application because the recipient's phone is fried during transmission," he added. "But that's all part of the fun."
Vatican officials are considering use of the application to signal the election of the next pope. They are also scrambling to come up with some alternative technologies, since they haven't paid their phone bill for a while.
"We could get a giant ball, screw some light bulbs into it, then drop it off the roof of the Sistine Chapel to signal we've crowned a new Pope," one cardinal suggested.
"I think we should rub two altar boys together," another said. "That should create some sparks." (This Cardinal was immediately banished to the Los Angeles diocese.)
A third cardinal called for the creation of a laser light system that could be combined with the use of the Vatican's many fountains to create a multimedia light and water show. "Is Esther Williams still alive?" he asked.
Meanwhile, the Tribal Gathering is making its court case as sweeping as possible. "The Catholic Church has already lost its credibility. If they don't watch out, bingo will be next."