VATICAN CITY (The Borowitz Report)—Pope Emeritus Benedict’s return to the Vatican began on a sour note today as the current Pope, Francis, reprimanded him for rolling his eyes sarcastically during meetings, observers said.
The trouble started when the former Pope showed up at a meeting Francis scheduled to discuss plans for his Christmas mass, a meeting that “Benedict wasn’t even invited to,” a Vatican source said.
“It was awkward,” the source said. “Francis started talking about making an appeal to the world’s poor, and then Benedict started sighing in this really loud and obnoxious way.”
After about ten minutes of suffering through Benedict’s sighing and eye-rolling, Francis “totally called him out on it,” the source said, adding, “What Benedict was doing was totally disrespectful. Plus, he is supposed to be retired, so he shouldn’t have been wearing his Pope costume.”
Reached at his apartment at the Vatican, Benedict downplayed the incident, saying he “was just trying to be helpful.”
“Look, Francis is insecure—I get that,” he said. “He’s new at being Pope and it’s not surprising that he’s making so many mistakes. Once he checks his ego at the door, I think he’ll thank his lucky stars that old Benedict is around to back him up.”
Sources said that Benedict ignited tensions upon his return to Vatican City earlier this week when he posted a sign outside his residence reading “Home of the Original Pope.”
I WOULDN’T SAY there’s been a single week since I’ve started working about a year and a half ago in the hospital that I’ve only had to work 48 hours a week – as the 2004 EU Working Time Directive instructs.
It can be anything up to over 100 hours a week. There was a couple of hours where I was working over Christmas where I was on call three times a week and you’d have to work the next day post-call as well.
Generally you wouldn’t get any sleep, or you might get one or two hours. You could end up working anything up to 36 hours in a row.
Thirty-six hours would be a record. But once a week you’d generally have to work 32 hours in a row.
It’s a killer. Adrenaline tends to get you through the first 20 hours. You start to feel the burn at around 4am. You focus then on the ward for a few hours, you make your way through it, you’re generally okay that night, but then the next day is really exhausting.
Is this government committed to media diversity?
Former pub landlord Mark Cahill from West Yorkshire accused the deceased owner of a slapdash approach to palm love and of grabbing hold of his manhood ‘like it’s a box of spanners’.
Doctors took the decision to operate on Cahill, who was unable to abuse himself with his old hand after it was affected by gout.
“However, the hand went at it far too fast. I’d creamed the bed sheets before I’d even got to the faux-lesbian Santas on Page 7.”
“I’ve tried putting nail varnish on it and I’ve added a nice frilly cuff to hide the join but it’s just not right somehow,” he added.
Cahill’s problems multiplied on his return home after the hand insisted on playing a grand piano at 3am after dragging him downstairs and despite his lack of any formal piano tuition.
“I knew I should have gone down the bionic route,” he continued.
“All I will say is this: In three films, each lasting two hours, you never once saw The Terminator stick his finger up anyone’s arse.”
Father Christmas has been threatened with the removal of his monopoly in the UK present distribution market following the publication of this year’s Naughty or Nice lists, which for the fourteenth year in a row strongly suggest that the list a child gets on to is intrinsically linked to parental income and engagement.
We simply cannot go on with a situation in which the lists completely fail to represent society as a whole,’ claimed junior minister Alan Crockdale, ‘Yes, there are hidden issues, but it’s up to Santa to do much more to encourage naughty little children from working class backgrounds to seriously up their game.’
‘Where once a child had to do at least a couple of good deeds a year like make their Gran a cup of tea in order to make it onto the Nice List, nowadays it seems it’s enough if they just refrain from beating up smaller kids or don’t swear at their teacher,’ he suggested. ‘It doesn’t go nearly far enough, but of course it’s always a positive if they don’t end every sentence with ‘Or I’ll f*ckin shank ya’.’
But a spokesman for Father Christmas reacted as angrily as his brightly-coloured, festive costume would allow, saying that his organisation, North Pole Gifts Direct, wasn’t responsible for social engineering and claiming that government standards for achieving a place on the Nice List have in any case gone down significantly in recent years.
Government Ministers are meeting today to discuss the possibility of removing Santa’s monopoly and raiding his pension fund, which would open up the present delivery market to foreign competition including ‘Befana’, the Italian witch, or the German ‘Christkind’, who has been following developments in the UK market for a long time with a hope to extending operations here.
‘This is yet another example of the EU trying to destroy British traditions,’ claimed Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre. ‘The next thing we know we’ll all be forced to eat Sauerkraut for Christmas dinner and the Queen’s Speech will be given by Angela Merkel. I mean, come on. Father Christmas? You can’t get more British than that!’ he said, referring to the mythical, red-suited, white-bearded character, based on a Greek saint, modified and embraced throughout Europe, and finally embodied by an Atlanta-based company in the 1930′s to promote Coca-Cola to the American public.
The news has just broken that Santa Claus passed away in the early hours of this morning.
Santa was the beloved and well-known operator of North Pole Toys a company that was set up with seed capital from the renowned financial firm Goldi Sucks.
Santa leaves behind a loving family and a host of adoring fans. Also left behind are his legions of unpaid workers.
The funeral will take place in the North Pole Cemetery. Sponsorship for this event has gone out to tender. A date for the funeral has not yet been set.
Because of the death of Santa, Government officials around the world have declared Christmas will no longer take place. Serious rioting by Children has broken out in many cities. Authorities worldwide are trying to control the situation.
Sam Richchild the Vice President of Goldi Sucks and illegitimate son of Santa in a press released issued just two hours ago revealed that the Sucks backed, “Money Hoovers Incorporated” might step into the breach to fill the Christmas void. Governments welcomed this intervention across the globe.
A visiting Shell Oil executive who was present at the death of Santa claimed his last words were, Arctic Oil is my Gift To “Royal Dutch Shell”.
In a separate comment, the Vatican advised that they would pray for the repose of the soul of Santa but urged the faithful to understand that Mr Claus had usurped the true spirit of Christmas. The Vatican now urged the faithful to seize this opportunity to revert to the true meaning of Christmas and donate all their seasonal monies as a Christmas gift to the Vatican
Meanwhile childish riots continue to break out. The Dali Lama says children in Tibet must be armed to save the undeclared Buddhist Christmas holiday from Chinese persecution. Despite contravening international law the USA and its allies will consider giving aid to the Dali Lula and his followers.
Musical supremo Elton John has revealed that scientists have successfully made him pregnant, using the genetically modified womb from an old bear. Sir Elton, 65, has barely suffered any signs of morning sickness, although he did feel the urge to hibernate in late November.
The pianist and his partner, David Furnish, already have one baby, born by a human surrogate somewhere in California. But the happy couple are expecting the follow up to be ‘even better than the old one’, thanks to the miracle of science, a grizzly’s second-hand lady-pocket and cutting edge techniques which have combined to produce what Elton describes as his best albumen yet.
“There’s no feeling like it, having a little human growing inside you”, explained Elton. “It’s fantastic that these days, age is no barrier to being a mum. And a Christmas baby? Well, that’s the best gift I could have hoped for. Although I’d still like that steam train and a Dubai island shaped like my face.”
Furnish explained that differing gestation periods between the species ‘Homo sapiens’ and ‘Ursa Minorus Keyus’ make it hard to calculate exactly when the baby is due, but a full medical team are on stand-by for Elton’s sell-out Christmas tour. “Obviously, it would be a dream come true for Elton to squeeze it out on stage during an encore”, admitted Furnish. “But failing that, I think we’d both quite like a water birth.”
The singer has denied media claims that he is ‘too posh to push’, and is adamant that he won’t resort to a C-section. But doctors are keeping a sharp knife handy just in case he changes his mind, and have seized the opportunity to warn other elderly men in a similar position of the risk of hernia at least, or even a full rectal prolapse.
Mumsnet have criticised the star for being ‘too old’ to have a baby, but Sir John’s team are unconcerned. “David’s found this wonderful nanny to take care of everything, and Elton will be singing songs from his back catalogue to sooth situations and ease any tension as the child grows,” said his gynaecologist. “But hormones do play an important part at times like this. Obviously we’ll move everyone away to a safe distance if he storms off to his piano starts playing ‘the Bitch is Back’.”
For one reason or another, Santa Claus (or a masturbating lunatic dressed as Santa Claus) has decided to scuttle down our chimneys like a sleigh-riding murder goblin and stab us all to death this holiday season, instead of doing the whole “presents and whimsical obesity” thing we’ve gotten used to. Maybe it’s a subtle indictment of the commercialization of Christmas. But probably it’s because drunken fraternity sociopaths and/or irony-worshiping hipsters cannot resist renting DVDs that looks like these:
via Santa Claus Slays.
“We got people who ain’t eaten for weeks here. They threw some grain into the crowd and there were people eating that shit up like it was waffles with maple syrup. I never seen anything like it. We like a Third World nation,” Lashonta Jackson, 43, a starving woman in the crowd recalled afterwards.
Hundreds of people stampeded the Walmart car park to get some food aid, as the WFP trucks came close. The stewards and aid workers marshalled the crowd into an enclosed area of the former shopping mall to distribute the sacks and boxes of wheat and rice.
“I gots me my first meal in over a week. Hmm hmm, it like Christmas here. Thank the lord for the food, it went straight down my gullet, I gots me a full stomach now, and I going to relax with a toothpick in the corner,” Jim Bob Mulrooney, 27, said licking his lips.
Chief operations director for the WFP, Margaret Seronam, spoke of her anguish at the plight of these Americans: “With a bankrupt government, a 20 trillion dollar deficit and millions of people starving, we are here to help America pull through its greatest nightmare. I’ve never seen anything as harrowing and disturbing as this. Even in Somalia and Zimbabwe, or Ethiopia it was never this bad.”
A potential felon awaits questioning
In scenes reminiscent of Herod in Bethlehem, police are roaming the streets in packs arresting each and every old man in the country in case they once did something bad and got away with it!
Starting out as part of Operation Yew Tree in which police are questioning any smug old people who so much as shared a lift with Jimmy Saville, this new initiative hopes to cleanse Britain’s ageing population of unconfessed crimes.
“They’re just bitter because they didn’t catch us at the time!” Said Bernard Stevens (70) from London who finally owned up to stealing oranges to save his little brother from dying of scurvy during the blitz.
There is also a suggestion that turning old men into criminals might be a good enough reason to stop their state pensions (an outcome which would be interpreted as ‘Growth’ by Chancellor George Osborne).
“It’s great!” Said a spokesman for the Chancellor’s office. “We don’t even have to send them to prison, just pack em off home with 140 hours of community service and no pension! Free labour and a welcome Christmas bonus for Britain’s economy!”
Thousands of old men are currently holed up in police cells across the country without medication, slippers or perhaps more importantly…bedpans!
“Fookin hell, this place stinks of turd!” said one criminal who asked to be transferred to a high security ring with a guaranteed buggering rather than put up with the stench of a thousand old man poos.
“It’s like Christmas has come early!” Said one local police commissioner. “We’ve charged more people in the last week than in the whole of 2011!”
Some of the crimes for which these poor chaps have been convicted include; puking in a girls lavatory, driving into a bush having accidentally taken your wife’s Valium and talking to children without a license!
The world is a safer place this week.
Mr Christmas is the seventh person to be questioned as part of Operation Yewtree.
The news has come as a shock to the public who are still reeling from allegations made against Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and 3-2-1′s Dusty Bin.
“It seems that every day there are new developments,” said 42 year-old Karl Newman from Chepstow.
“These people form part of my childhood memories, so to find out that they have been noncing it up is quite shocking.”
“I remember sitting on Santa’s knee on several occasions when I was a child, and him telling me he would empty out the contents of his sack in my bedroom if I was a good boy now sends a shiver down my spine.”
37 year-old Melanie Carter also recalled some of the things Mr Christmas had said to her when she visited him at the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham in 1980.
“I remember commenting on his outfit and he said that if I wanted I could stroke his furry rim.”
“I’d also been worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver presents to my house because I don’t have a chimney.”
“He said that it wasn’t a problem because he liked to enter by the back door anyway.”
“He also reassured me that the doll’s house I wanted wasn’t a problem and that the elves would have no problem knocking one out.”
The day after Benedict’s latest book “The Infancy Narratives – Jesus of Nazareth” – was published on November 20, Vatican officials found some headlines they were not expecting.
“Killjoy pope crushes Christmas nativity traditions,” read one tabloid headline, claiming that Benedict had snubbed traditions such as animals in nativity scenes and caroling.
“Pope sets out to debunk Christmas myths,” ran another.
Holy Scrooge! Some blogs unceremoniously branded Benedict the new Grinch that stole Christmas and one rocketed him to the “top of the grumpy list for 2012.”
And then there was this zinger headline from a web news site: “Pope bans Christmas”.
Coming little more than a month before Christmas, it was the last thing the Vatican needed – another image problem for the pope.
Alarmed by some of the headlines, the Catholic social network XT3 felt compelled to run a blog that dissected the media’s coverage of the book.
It was headlined: “The pope has not banned Christmas”.
So what was all the fuss about?
In the 137-page book, the pope states a fact: that in the gospels there is “no reference” to the presence of animals in the stable – actually, it was probably a cave – where Jesus was born.
Bloggers had a feast with that, with one calling it “Bombshell number one”.
What some neglected was that just a few sentences down, the pope states that even today, “No representation of the crib is complete without the ox and the ass”.
He explains: The tradition of the ass and ox came from reflecting on parts of the Old and New Testaments. Christian iconography then adopted the motif early in Church history to show that even animals knew Jesus was the son of God.
KEEP ON CAROLLING
In other words, the tradition that has developed over the centuries matters more than an unverifiable fact, at least as far as the case of the ox and ass in the stable is concerned.
“I think that what people need to realize here is that the pope is trying to be as historical as he can be,” said Father Robert Dodaro, professor of patristics, or the study of early Church writings, at Rome’s Patristic Institute.
“He wants to see the biblical narratives as history where possible but he is also trying to explain details in the narratives that cannot be historically verified,” he said.
Some bloggers, taking their cue from television and website headlines, even wrote that the pope had spoken out against Christmas carols.
In the book, the opposite was true.
Benedict says the evangelist Luke wrote that at the moment of Jesus’ birth the angels “said” the well-known phrase “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased”.
But in the next line he explains that “Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually song”, that “the angels’ song of praise has never gone silent”, and that it is “only natural that simple believers (even today) join in their caroling on the Holy Night”.
So, no need to cancel any school performances.
Another section of the book that irked some bloggers is where the pope restates what biblical scholars have known for decades, if not centuries – that Jesus was born several years earlier than the first century AD.
Benedict writes that since King Herod died in 4 BC, Jesus was probably born “a few years earlier”. He attributes the erroneous fixing of the year of Jesus’ birth to a miscalculation by the monk Dionysius Exiguous some 500 years later.
“No one’s faith should be shaken by this book,” said Dodaro. “On the contrary, it should be fortified by this account. This is a believable account of the birth of Christ,” he said.
And in St Peter’s Square, workmen have started building the Vatican’s larger than life nativity scene, which is expected to have animals and singing angels.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella)
Countries around the world have begun bombing each other in the run up to Christmas.
‘I think it gets earlier every year,’ says Mandy Batchelor, a 22-year old physicist from Cheshire. ‘I remember when you used to get the odd massacre in the week before the holidays, and that would escalate into the New Year, but now there are countries launching retaliatory airstrikes in September. And I’m sure the arms sales start earlier every year. It’s crazy.’
The switching off of the lights, and the cowering in bunkers, which normally takes place at this time of year is expected to reach unprecedented levels thanks to the global economic meltdown and a general rise in human unpleasantness.
For some, the idea of nations escalating violence towards other countries, or their own people, during the festive season is under threat as more non-Christian countries adopt the tradition.
Professional wine taster Linda Sachet is amongst those who see a darker side to the Christmas season. She says, ‘I usually only manage about 30 seconds of the news before the sheer unrelenting misery of it all makes me switch over to “Fred Claus” on Channel 5; that’s how bad things have become. No-one should have to make those sort of choices at Christmas.’
Stanley Goodwin, a retired toe specialist from Buxton, adds: ‘I don’t think other countries get Christmas the way we do. I mean, I remember when having a war at Christmas meant leaving off the mustard gas for twenty minutes to have a quick kick-about in no-man’s land. Now, it’s non-stop. It’s too commercialised these days, the arms dealers are ruining it.’
However, some people feel that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a dash of global genocide.
Self-confessed estate agent Ali Bishop says, ‘Even if I’ve got the tree up, opened a Panettone and bought the�Radio Times, for me it never really feels like Christmas until some country’s begun shelling its neighbours.’
Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace admits the Queen, who is preparing her annual Christmas address to the nation, is struggling to come up with something that isn’t a ‘complete downer’.
‘Conflicts and civil unrest in North Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, take your pick,’ says a Palace source. ‘It’s a struggle to fit them all in. She’s pretty much decided to leave all the miserable stuff to the Pope and just cheer everyone up by recounting how she got to meet Daniel Craig and jump out of a plane.’
with a nod to �Dick Everyman