A New Pope
(A New Pope)
In the Land of Wind and Ghosts there lived a man whose name, of course, was long forgotten. And these art the descendents of that man:
The forgotten man begat Hemdan. And Hemdan begat Akan. And Akan begat Beardo the Great. And Beardo the Great begat Achbor. And Achbor begat Timnah. And Timnah begat Hanoch. And Hanoch begat Samlah. And Samlah begat Zohar. And Zohar begat Hezron. And Hezron begat Er the Indecisive.
And Er the Indecisive begat Shimron. And Shimron begat Zurishadai. And Zurishadai begat Zimri. And Zimri begat the Man Who Invented High-Heel Shoes.
And the Man Who Invented High-Hell Shoes begat Bethzur. And Bethzur begat Sheba. And Sheba begat Onan… blah, blah, blah, blah, begat Haggi.
And Haggi begat Ziphion. And Ziphion begat Izhar. And Izhar begat Elzephan the Incontinent. And Elzephan the Incontinent begat Shuni. And Shuni begat Jethro. And Jethro begat Uzziel. And Uzziel begat the Amazing Beardless Woman.
And the Amazing Beardless Woman begat Shelumiel. And Shelumiel begat Elizur. And Elizur begat Elishama. And Elishama begat Nun. And Nun begat Sansanah. And Sansanah begat Jennifer.
One day whilst she was magnetizing squids, Jennifer came upon four men and a Faerie going faster by not going slower.
‘Hail, strangers!’ quoth she. ‘Who art thou?’
‘I am Scoot the Ko’An, First Apostle of Hondo,’ quoth the one with the staff, ‘and these art Pope Trampus, Brian Fritz Skanky-Bitch, and Casey the Choirboy.’
‘But who is the Faerie?’ asked she.
‘I resemble that remark!’ quoth the Faerie.
‘Oh. Right,’ quoth Scoot. ‘She is Nori the Cursing Faerie. The Gods of Hondo didst summon her to help us find the evil Technomage.’
‘Damn straight!’ quoth Nori.
‘The Gods of Hondo!’ quoth Jennifer. ‘May I join thee?’
‘Of course thou may’st…’ spake Matt, as he didst appear before them as a Republican teapot. ‘If thou proveth thyself worthy to join them.’
And he didst give her a piece of yellow legal paper with the word Hondo written on it 5000 times.
‘If thou canst read this paper to everyone,’ spake the God of Everything Else, ‘then we shall make thee the High Priestess of Hondo.’
And so she didst read the word Hondo as it was written 5000 times on a single piece of yellow legal paper.
‘I quit!’ quoth Trampus, for no particular reason. ‘The sands of the beach may be numbered, but take away the dross from silver, and a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Give not thy strength unto women, for surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood. Thy hair is like unto a flock of goats, that appeareth from Mount Gilead—’
‘I resenteth that!’ quoth Brian Fritz, the Sacrificial Goat.
‘Shut up, goat-boy!’ quoth Trampus. ‘For this is exactly what I am talking about! Thou’rt all laughing at me! Just because the joints of thy thighs art like jewels of cunning workmanship!’
‘Scoot,’ spake the God of Everything Else, ‘thou knoweth what to do.’
And so Scoot didst once again whomp Trampus over the head with his staff.
‘Please stay, Trampus,’ spake the God of Everything Else. ‘Thou knowest this tough job market. ’Tis hard to find a good Pope these days.’
‘I command thee!’
‘Zooty, zoot, zoot!’ exclaimed Trampus as he walked out. And these were the last words spoken by Trampus Canaster, for it came to pass that he was killed a short while later in a phone sanitizing accident.
And Scoot didst pick up Trampus’ charred skull and didst meditate on it for a long while.
‘Alas, poor Trampus…’ quoth he. ‘I knew him.’
‘Scoot!’ quoth Casey. ‘Let me see the skull!’
‘Don’t make me get Shakespearean on thine ass!’
‘I call dibs on his parking spot!’ quoth Nori.
And so they didst give Trampus a proper burial by the road.
‘Trampus hath left us,’ quoth the God of Everything Else. ‘We must choose a new Pope.’
And Derrick, the God of Stupidity, didst appear as a power pole to help Matt decide.
‘After long debate…’ spake the God of Magic.
‘We choose Casey as our new Pope,’ finished Matt.
‘No more shalt thou be called the Choirboy,’ spake Derrick. ‘Now thou shalt be the Pope of Hondo.’
‘In order that a tragedy like this shall not happen again,’ spake the God of Everything Else, ‘we shall create a sign by which thou may’st state when thou hast had enough. We shall call it the Secret Sign. Whenever thou art not in the mood to be mocked, thou shalt call Secret Sign, and by this others shall know thy mind.
‘But be warned: he that abuseth the Secret Sign shalt really get the Gods of Hondo pissed off at thee. And thou doth not want that.’
‘And in the absence of a Choirboy,’ spake the God of Fist-Pounding, ‘thou, Brian Fritz Skanky-Bitch shalt be known as the Sacrificial Choir-Goat.’
‘Woo-hoo!’ quoth Brian Fritz.
‘Yes, but thy title be in name only,’ spake the God of All Things Found Under Couch Cushions, ‘for thou shalt not be promoted; thou shalt always hold the lowest rank in Hondo.’
‘Ah fuck!’ quoth Brian Fritz, who from then on didst refuse to bow or pay any homage to the Gods of Hondo.
And the Gods of Hondo didst vanish from amongst them, leaving the Dudes to continue their quest.
‘Dude!’ quoth Casey, glorying in his new rank and position.
‘Oh shit!’ quoth Nori, ‘What shall come of Hondo with him as our Pope?’