The Pope was sitting in his Popemobile bubble outside the UN. He was eating a Twix and looking over his speech notes when the phone rang. He picked up.
God: It’s God, Francis. What’s happening down there?
Pope: What, no hello, how are you doing?
God: Cut the crap. Is the UN buying your end-poverty-hunger-global warming pitch?
Pope: Of course. The UN, Obama, and I are on the same page. That’s why I’m here in New York. You think I’d visit this place otherwise? Looks like they won’t even let me go see the Mets.
God: No blowback so far? What you’re selling is very thin, you know. High-flying rhetoric, no specifics.
Pope: High-flying rhetoric is what I do. We’ve talked about this before.
God: Yeah, but if you were really serious about poverty, you’d offer a plan, a pilot project for one African country, a test case. Nobody is pointing that out? Clean up the contaminated water supplies, give back stolen farm land to the people?
Pope: Not a peep about it.
God: Nothing on the Internet?
Pope: I don’t read the Internet.
God: What about Obama? What are your impressions?
Pope: On the surface, he seems clueless. But he’s on board.
God: On board with what?
Pope: Rockefeller, Brzezinski.
God: I spoke with David R last night. He seemed a little worried. When he’s worried, so am I.
Pope: Look, G, the media are saying nothing about Globalism. We’re good. Jobs have been leaving the industrialized countries for decades. It’s nothing new. You know, open up new factories in Third World hellholes, pay the workers three cents an hour, dispense with environmental regs. Millions of jobs lost back at home. It’s SOP.
God: And nobody is saying the whole Globalist operation is a cause of poverty?
Pope: Nobody cares about poverty or unemployment in industrialized countries. The story line is all about poverty in Africa and Asia. Again, we’ve talked this through before.
God: That quote of yours is getting more play these days.
Pope: Which one? I’m a quote machine.
God: “I want a poor church for the poor.”
Pope: Not a problem.
God: No? The church has assets worth, what, a hundred trillion dollars? And collection plates keep filling up.
Pope: People expect rich leaders to talk about ending poverty. It’s perfectly acceptable. You know: “I made it and now I’m going to give back.”
God: Yeah. Well, the history of how the church “made it” is pretty damning.
Pope: Where have you been, G? History is passe.
God: What year is it down there?
Pope: You’re kidding, right?
God: I’ve got a lot on my plate. It’s easy to lose track.
Pope: Take a guess.
Pope: You’re hilarious. Try 2015.
God: I wasn’t that far off. A century down there is like a minute up here.
Pope: Yeah, sure. This is me you’re talking to, G. Don’t give me that space-time continuum jive.
God: Anyway, I’ve got pressure on me from the Corporate Board. They want more poverty and hunger and chaos.
Pope: Patience. Things are working out.
God: In case you’ve forgotten, the church does best when times are worst. That’s the whole thrust of the current op. Drive the world back into the Middle Ages. Disease, pestilence, poverty, rampant crime, all the usual horrors. That’s the greatness of the church. It knows how to make hay in that environment. Better than anyone else.
Pope: I’m well aware, G. Well aware. I’m a Jesuit, remember? Who thought up this whole op centuries ago? Listen, are you okay?
God: Nothing I can’t handle.
Pope: Because it sounds like you’re slipping.
God: The Corporate Board is worried about blowback on the church. See, this isn’t the Middle Ages. It was one thing to introduce rampant chaos when all the people had were bows and arrows and stones and catapults. But now…I was just reading a weapons catalog the other day. Wow. It’s ridiculous. The firepower. Some of these crazies—
Pope: I get the point. We’re okay. We’re covered. Are you still seeing your shrink?
God: He put me on Lithium for Bipolar. I’ve gained thirty pounds.
Pope: I see. And you were pretty heavy to begin with.
God: I’m roly-poly now. It’s not a good image. I just started on Valproate. I get these blinding headaches.
Pope: You want a suggestion? Find a good psychiatrist and have him slowly withdraw you from the drugs. Don’t stop them all at once, whatever you do. It could be catastrophic. Then, when you’re clean, get a medical card and switch to pot.
God: Hmm. Wouldn’t want that story to get out.
Pope: Did you see my speech to the US Congress the other day? 130 Representatives and Senators are Catholics.
God: I watched a few minutes. Your accent is thick. I had trouble understanding you. What did Obama say about it?
Pope: He was happy. You know, he’s a devout Christian…
God: Yeah. And I’m a Zoroastrian.
Pope: If we can put this carbon tax piece together with the global warming piece and the poverty and hunger piece, we could hit paydirt. Create all kinds of planetary disruption.
God: But I don’t see any real signs of progress there. All I hear is a lot of words.
Pope: Slow and steady. America is the biggest obstacle. That’s why I’m here. And you know Hilary and Jeb are waiting in the wings. They’ll pick up from where Obama left off. Either one of them.
God: What about Trump?
Pope: Don’t worry. When the time comes, he’ll get his share of scandals. The press is loading up. The ducks are in a row. We’ve had reporters on the pad for years. They’ll do what they’re told.
God: I talked to Hillary last week.
Pope: What did she say?
God: She called me honey. Can you believe it?
Pope: I hear she has health problems.
God: Put it this way. If she knew she was going to drop dead her first day in office, she’d still run for President. The woman’s a wolverine.
Pope: If Obama has any concerns, they’re about these upcoming Globalist trade treaties he’s pushing. The TPP, the TTIP. People might start catching on that he’s ushering in deeper poverty. Which, of course, he is.
God: He’s got his marching orders. He knows why he was put in as President. He can’t turn back.
Pope: He doesn’t want to turn back. He’s just skittish about exposure.
God: All he has to do is keeping saying the treaties are a great deal for everyone. He’s good at saying the same thing over and over. Broad brush strokes, empty homilies.
Pope: We’ve got a high wall at Vatican City.
God: I was going to talk to you about that. Not a good look for you. And your immigration policy comes off like zero tolerance.
Pope: We may have to let in a couple of migrant families and showcase their sympathetic stories. Of course, we’d vet them to make sure they’re docile.
God: Don’t mess it up. What’s new on the pedophile priest front?
Pope: More hush money to victims. Priest relocations. We sent one guy to a little chapel in the north of Alaska. He’s locked down. The whole pedophile thing is a disaster, of course, but, traditionally, proximity to young boys has been a strong selling point to applicants for the priesthood.
God: I don’t want any connection made between pedo-priests and other pedo-networks.
Pope: We’re on it.
God: All in all, Francis, I can’t say I’m happy so far with your term in office. It’s shaky. You’re vulnerable.
Pope: Do I need to remind you that you’re getting a considerable cut of our action just for sitting in your suite at the Heaven Hilton? You don’t have to lift a finger. The money keeps rolling in.
God: About that, Francis. For the past three years, my gross from your operation has been declining significantly.
Pope: Our 1.2 billion members are the exclusive result of our promotional work. Without us, you might be living in a small condo.
God: You work for me.
Pope: So you claim. Feel free to keep fostering that delusion. In case you’ve forgotten, church members can only approach you indirectly, through our priests. We own the pipeline.
God: Another conversation for another time.
Pope: That’s what a cartel does. It builds and maintains a pipeline.
God: Stay safe, Francis.
Pope: What’s that supposed to mean?
God: Whatever you want it to mean. You’re the Pope.