Showing posts with label Regina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Regina. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Calvin can be funny!

Explains so much.

But admit it, you were expecting Calvin and Hobbes.  Sorry about that.

HT: Regina!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Handy Dandy Hiney Guide to How Not to Get Kicked out of Vatican City

The Roamin' Correspondent of the IC, Regina Hiney, creates a timely and handy guide as a Christmas gift to Vatican-bound travelers.

In light of recent unfortunate events of a topless feminist stealing the baby Jesus from the Vatican City Crèche this Christmas tide, I have done a bit of research and lo and behold, Vatican City (given its small population) actually holds the record for the highest crime rate in the world.  Now, not everyone gets exiled.  But enough folks have gotten banished, that it is abundantly evident that a Handy Dandy Hiney guide is sorely needed.

1.    Let us begin with the most recent faux pas.  If you are visiting Vatican City and you want to see the official Vatican City Nativity Scene, please remember to keep your shirt on and try not to take the baby Jesus as a souvenir.   This is considered very bad form and you will be exiled.  Having said that, let us take a exiled look through history:

2.   Don’t be an idiot Visigoth.  Idiot Visigoths may ransack Rome but Saint Jerome or someone of his grandeur will take time out of their day to excoriate you with their words.  Jerome defended his dear friend, 85 year old Saint Marcella who was murdered by the idiot Visigoths.   Who won?  Well, all parties are dead . . . But there are no more idiot Visigoths, 1.2 Billion Christians (and not a few idiots in their own right) and 2000 years later we still have both the Latin Vulgate of Doctor Saint Jerome and know of the heroic virtue of Saint Marcella.  Idiot Saints beat Idiot Pagans every day of the week and twice on Sundays.  If you want to remain in Vatican City, don’t ransack Rome and tick off our doctor-saints.

3.   Don’t be possessed by a demon.  Pope Francis exorcises the Vatican frequently.  The Saint Michael prayer is said daily.  Don’t want an exile?  Reject Satan.  And all his works.  And all his empty promises.  If a legion sneaks in, chances are, the exorcists will find you and they will expel you.  Don’t mess with the diabolical.  Seriously.  Even if you don’t plan on going to Italy.  Throw away the Ouija board. 
4.   Don’t be Pope during the reign of a jerky anti-pope.  An antipope is a person claiming to be Pope who was not duly elected or proclaimed while a duly elected Pope was still in office.  Now there have been quite a few antipopes in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church. Currently, there is a dude named Michael, living in Kansas with his mom, who claims to be the legitimate pope.  Pope Michael of Kansas is not the legitimate Pope.  Pope Michael might be legitimately crazy.  But he is mostly harmless, albeit schismatic.  Now, here is the very salient point, neither Pope Michael, nor his mom can exile Pope Francis.  This is NOT to say however, that there have been times when powerful crazy schismatics (and their moms) have not been so harmless.  If you don’t want to get banished from the Vatican, you want to avoid being pope when power crazy schismatics (and their moms) try to seize the chair.  Saint Silverius and Pope Vigilius (and Emperor Theodora) learned this the hard way.  So did Sultan Boabdil of Granada and his mother Aixa of the Nasrid Dynasty.

5.   If you ever find yourself writing the greatest piece of Italian poetry of all time, don’t place the reigning pope in the “Inferno” portion of your “Divine Comedy.”  Placing the reigning pope head first in a flaming baptismal font whilst his feet are being licked with scorching flames of burning embers is also considered bad form.  Folks have written things they regret.  Be it the politics of the Black and White Guelfs of Dante’s day or racial issues of modern America, don’t get sucked in.  And once a person gets defriended or exiled, they can’t take it back.  Dante wrote the greatest poem of Western Civilization.  He died banished and he may very well still be in his own Purgatorio.

6.   Don’t start your own church. 

    • If you got a beef with the bishop of Rome and you would STILL like to visit the Vatican Museum, think before you post your 95 thesis on the cathedral door.  And then, even if you post on the cathedral door and you “accidentally” get excommunicated over the small misunderstanding, should the pope summon you to appear at the Diet of Worms, show up.  They say that showing up is 80% of life.  But I say, showing up and communicating is always key to ending a Vatican Exile.  What you DON’T want to do, is call the letter of Saint James in Holy Writ an epistle of straw, call the Pope the antichrist, get involved in a peasants war, hide out in Wartburg Castle and marry a former nun.  Name calling, canoodling, and hiding rarely ingratiates yourself with the curia and it won’t get you an invite to the papal apartments come Christmas.
    • If you may have had a legitimate annulment claim according to Levitical law, but it was nullified by “interfering” Holy Sees, Spanish in-laws, and the lack of discretion by German princes, but you really should like to see that new statue everyone is yammering about over there at the Sistine Chapel, then sometimes, you have to suck stuff up, buttercup.  Festering leg wounds may never heal, but a fickle heart clearly will indeed.

7.   Incidentally, the Baby Jesus stealing friendly feminist was actually NOT the first woman interred in the Vatican jail and then banished from Vatican City.  Interestingly, when the little Vatican jail (whose one cell overlooks the Vatican gardens) opened in 1929, the first inmate was a Swedish woman who assaulted a member of the clergy.  She was given psychiatric tests and sent back to Sweden.   The best way to enjoy the Vatican gardens is by WALKING through them via a guided tour, or from the top of Saint Peters.  But if you have an axe to grind and are on a limited budget, the jail does offer a nice few, for a low price, for a limited time.  But chances are, it will be a once in a life time opportunity.

8.   Don’t steal alms from the poor.  After WWII, an Italian man broke into a alms box in Saint Peter’s.  He was held in the Vatican jail.  He was not allowed to return to Vatican City.

9.   Avoid assassinating popes.  Sure, this may SEEM obvious.  But not for the reasons you may think.  
    • If the Pope dies, chances are, you just made him a martyr.  He goes straight to heaven and Catholics all over the world have a powerful intercessory saint at their disposal.  And he’s going to be praying an Assassin’s Creed (HA!) for your sorry soul. 
    • If the Pope does NOT die.  He will look for you.  He will find you.  And he will forgive you.  Then you will have an awkward conversation in your jail cell.  Avoid an awkward conversation in your jail cell; don’t try to assassinate the pope.  Plus, the Swiss Guard won’t give you a “bye” on your banishment from Vatican City if you ever get out of jail.

10. Finally, if you get hired as a butler for the Pope, don’t steal his personal papers.  And if you “accidentally” pick up his personal papers because you “accidentally” put your Sudoku game book on top of the Pope’s first draft of Deus Caritas Est.  Don’t “accidentally” give them to an Italian journalist.   You will find yourself banned from Vatican City.  Especially if the original title of the encyclical was tentatively; “What’s love got to do with it?” 

--Regina Hiney, Roamin' IC Correspondent

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Handy Dandy Hiney Guide to Determine if Your House Blessing Bounced Off

So, ten years ago our family moved into a nice neighborhood in suburban Virginia. It had some bedrooms, some bathrooms, a basement, a two car garage and a decent yard with woods and grasslands for our six children to view as they walk past the windows on their way to the messy basement to play the X-box. It is a small piece of the American dream paid for with the blood and sweat and tears of a middle management government career and the lucrative pay of a Catholic school teacher with a humanities degree. We signed a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and a home owners association contract. We joined the neighborhood watch and we had our house blessed. Its what Catholics do. Well, maybe not the neighborhood watch, unless you feel guilty about all the HOA letters your family gets. But the house blessing. . .that's what we do. We do it because we remember the joyful event of moving into a house, to thank God from whom all blessings come, we pray for protection, we pray for sanctification and we expel demons. If we are in the south, in a planned subdivision with well kept lawns and six children, we also freak out the Southern Baptist, but that is never our intention. But recently, after a few encounters with the local fauna and a particularly bad infestation of mice and then (because of the mice) a soiree of snakes, I had an epiphany. I thought that maybe, just maybe. ..what if my house blessing "didn't take." I wrote to the priest who did the house blessing;
"Dear Father,Ten years ago, you blessed our house. In that time our home has been blessed with one bear, a family of skunks, countless deer, a cache of snakes, raccoons and enough mice to fund labs all over the world to cure Ebola. This year, the mice have been a thing. Today I called a dishwasher repairman who pulled a dead mouse from the grinder inside the motor. After much prayer, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion, that my encounters with little woodland creatures are squarely because I did not obtain the house blessing of a Franciscan. Thought you should know. In Christ,Regina Hiney"
Well, this beloved priest wrote me back explaining that with house blessings there are no warrantees and no guarantees. And that sometimes the blessings bounce off the family's home. I had no idea. I searched many tomes and ancient books of Catholic lore for this information. No where could I glean this precious pearl of invaluable knowledge. How does one know if one's house blessing has "taken?" I have decided to write a guide. The Handy Dandy Hiney Guide to Determine if Your House Blessing Bounced Off Your Family's Home" 1. If, upon one week of the house blessing, your stark naked four year old son flicked his superman underoos from the second floor landing in the foyer and they accidentally got caught on the chandelier in front of second story picture window and you did not own a 12 foot step ladder to remove the superman underroos from the chandelier so you had to go nearly 6 months with superman underroos with track marks dangling from your two story chandelier. . .further, if any guests that entered your foyer entered your home with the possibility that at any moment, the underroos could fall on their head like the sword of Damocles. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. Also. . .if you also couldn't turn on the lights to your chandelier for six months for fear of 1. Causing a smelly, smoky fire by burning dirty underroos and 2. Letting your neighborhood see your illuminated crap, your house blessing may have bounced off. 2. If, you have ever let your two year old and four year old play in your sandbox with two friends whilst you ran inside to change the clothes from the washer to the dryer and somehow in that brief period of unsupervised time, a pick up truck was able to drive into your backyard where the children were playing and (this complete stranger) was able to enter your sanctuary loudly beeping his horn and SCREAMING at you to get the kids inside and position his truck between the four children and a black bear. This Good Samaritan prevented the children from being consumed. . .and yes that IS a blessing. . .but IF you, the mother almost had to have a defibrillator treatment thinking about how the bear almost consumed all that succulent meat inside all the various underroos because she wasn't sure the children were wearing clean underwear (this is why you always wear clean underroons, kids) . . . your house blessing might have bounced off. 3. If one day, you noticed a large hole under your front stoop. . .if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop. . .if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and discover it contains a skunk. If one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and it contains another skunk. . . if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and discover it contains a whole skunk family; if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and discover "Ah crap. . .of all the skunk holes in all of Virginia, I had to get a Hi Falootin Fruitful Skunk Family." You know this because you see they are eating from an old open can of Fancy Feast Cat Food from a neighbor's trash. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. . .or been diverted to the skunk duplex that you had no idea you bought. 4. If one day, after you had animal control help you round up the Hi Falootin Fruitful Skunk family. . .after many traps and even more tomato juice. . .the odor of their sanctity still lingers. . .and a family of raccoons took up residence in the duplex that you had no idea you bought. your house blessing might have bounced off. 5. If upon potty training another child who did not like the feel of the "no frills two ply, no plush, thus will flush" brand toilet paper, decided he would wipe his delicate bottom down every carpeted stair as the soft plush of the white carpet (former model home, I didn't choose this color carpet, I have a humanities degree, but I am not stupid) was softer and because the delicate snowflake didn't like to wipe with his hands and maybe have to touch poop on account of the "no frills two ply, no plush, thus will flush" brand tends to disintegrate upon contact with skin, delicate snowflakes not withstanding . . .your house blessing might have bounced off. . .or maybe it just got soiled. 6. If you are a Catholic apologetics geek and you have ever answered your front door only to discover a couple of Jehovah Witnesses there wanting to discuss the importance of being a good steward of the environment and all of a sudden two Mormons ride up on Bicycles and want to discuss the restoration of the priesthood and you can't because YOU HAVE A KIRBY SALESMAN CLEANING YOUR CARPETS. . . your house blessing might have bounced off. 7. If you have ever been woken up to a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night, you immediately run to find the child and step on a lego but stifle the pain so as to offer succor and comfort to your child. . .further, if you find the child by the toilet in tears, crying about a blood clot and pointing to his or her stool. . .only to discover that they too have had an encounter with a lego. . .and you know this because you have physically mushed the stool with your "no frills two ply, no plush, thus will flush" toilet paper and it disintegrates easily and poo gets on your hand and you find yourself sorely tempted to wipe your hand on your white carpet. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. 8. If you know the difference between the Eastern garter snake and a Black snake because of all the mice they like to eat that live in your home. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. 9. If every piece of edible flora that you have planted by breaking every child labor law in the state of Virginia has been eaten by the fauna. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. 10. If you have ever received more than one Home Owners Association letters regarding bicycles, lemonade stands, garbage bins, naked children fleeing Saturday night bath night, fully clothed mothers fleeing homework meltdowns. . .your house blessing might have bounced off.

--Regina Hiney, Roaming Correspondent