TORNADO, WV (ABSNN) - An unauthorized conclave of Cardinals from the Western Hemisphere has been gathering for the past four weeks in this tiny West Virginia hamlet. Dressed in their scarlet robes, and attended by nuns wearing earth tones, priests and deacons in black, and friars dressed in plain brown robes, the Cardinals are meeting to elect (could it be?) a new leader.
The meetings have not been pretty; discord reigns instead of holy brotherhood. Fights have regularly broken out during meals. It is common to see one Cardinal chase another many hundreds of feet before returning to the communal table. One can hardly miss the fact that this gathering of Cardinals has much work to do to approach consensus.
It is also rumored that more than a few of the senior Cardinals have been courting the brown frocked nuns who gather timidly with the males. From this reporter's vantage some yards away, it appears that sexual restrictions will not be a feature of this new breed of Cardinals. However, monogamy is not a factor either as one particular Cardinal has been seen mating with at least five different females.
The Cardinals do not speak to observers; neither do they issue written updates to the observers of their conclave. And they tend to break into smaller groups that meet in remote areas along the Coal River. However fractious their mealtimes, they do group together at Vespers each evening.
As this is an unauthorized conclave, the Cardinals wear a black mask over their eyes, and black chin whiskers. They do wear the scarlet peaked miters, but it is nigh impossible to tell one from another at a glance. Again, there is a strict pecking order observed at all times. Apparently, the Cardinals observe a long afternoon siesta under the balmy, unseasonably warm March skies. Then, at least, peace does come to their numbers. The nuns and priests, deacons and acolytes take the opportunity to dine at these peaceful moments.
After Vespers, and a late snack of sunflower seeds, the Cardinals adjourn to various lodgings in the many Black Walnut, Hickory, Oak and Maple trees adjoining the conclave. If and when a strong leader emerges from the pack, Thespoof.com will bring you all of the information available to it from the standpoint of this humble observer.