In the wake of the President Bush - Iraqi shoe-throwing incident, another head of state was victimized by a copy-cat footwear attack. Pope Benedict XVI was Pope-mobiling through his usual drive-by benedictions in Saint Peter's Square yesterday morning when a disgruntled monk hurled two sandals at the Bishop of Rome.
As the leather-thonged footwear hurtled through the brisk Vatican air, the throng's shouts of praise and awe were quickly transformed into one communal "Oh Dio!" However, a miracle occurred or, according to a gaggle of atheists, it was just a change in the wind velocity. In any case, as the sandals were finding their target, that is, the Papal Proboscis, they suddenly veered away from the Pope's head and headed right back to the would-be assassin, slapping him again and again on both his superior and posterior cheeks.
At that point, six burly Swiss Guards, armed with pikes and AK-47s, de-shoed the alleged assailant and carted him off. Meanwhile, as the Pope continued his benedictions, the 500,000 strong, as though one, dropped to their collective knee and chanted, "Mama mia, che miracolo!"
At the Vatican news conference in the late afternoon, Papal spokesman, Padre Guido Sarducci, announced that the alleged footwear felon was identified as Fra Giordano Bruno, who was excommunicated one year ago for claiming the Sun and the planets revolved around the Earth. When asked where Bruno was being held, Padre Sarducci said, "He is under guard in the catacombs of San Pietro where he is undergoing an Inquisi...undergoing rigorous questioning."
It was, at that moment, behind the closed doors of the Sistine Chapel that reporters heard ungodly cries and screams of anguish and pain. It was then followed by a deadly silence and the faint aroma of burning flesh. When asked the origin of the hideous odor, Padre Sarducci provided only a one-word explanation.