BOSTON HAROLD -- Denizens of a cheerful alcoholic den of iniquity located in a quaint brownstone neighborhood in downtown Boston, can be found scratching their heads in puzzled wonder at the recent appointment of one of their own as the new pope Benedict XVI.
In the second shortest conclave in recent history, the College of Cardinals elected fellow patron and all round quirky character, John Ratzenberger to serve as the new Vicar of Christ, head of the Holy Roman Church.
Described by other patrons, still able to carry on a relatively coherent conversation after ten o'clock in the evening, Ratzenberger was a, "Strange sort. Always liked to joke around. Kinda guy that always had an answer for everything."
"Well maybe that's why they gave him the bloody job", slobbered a rather portly, disheveled and currently somewhat surly individual seated at the end of the bar. His bloodshot piggy little eyes flashed to life through the amber lens of a half consumed Heineken, and he continued, "Always was a momma's boy. And a bit of a Nancy boy too if you ask me. Always comin' around dressed up in some sort of phony uniform. Sometimes he was a cop. Sometimes he was a mail man. He even came in here once dressed like the Queen of Spain. And then tellin' all the pretty boys to call him Cliff. I think he fancied himself the reincarnation of that 1960's British pop poofter,"Sir What's His Name ".
I decided to cut short my interview with the big, belligerent, bellicose hulk when it appeared that he was about to heave his corpulent carcass up off the stool and attack me. As it turned out he was only lifting one of his massive butt cheeks in order to pass an extremely moist sounding batch of noxious sewer gas.
The tall good looking man behind the bar was just as puzzled. " I didn't even know that John was Catholic. I would have never guessed he was a Cardinal. Sure he used to wear a red hat every once in awhile, but I always thought it was just part of his boy trolling gear. Live and learn I guess."
Being the kind of friendly neighborhood pub where everybody knows your name, the general consensus was one of good will and encouragement for Ratzenberger and his new found, much needed recent employment.
A rather sullen, stubby, swarthy skinned waitress standing at the bar commented, "I just hope he remembers where he comes from and I hope next time it's poker night, the Vatican springs for the beer and pretzels.