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The 10 Philly Pope-Visit Commandments
By now, you know the logistics – where you can go, where you can’t, and where you can drink the weekend away in the name of Jesus. But if 14 years in Catholic school taught me anything, it’s that Catholics are into rules, especially when those rules are archaically worded. With that in mind, here are 10 Commandments for the papal visit. Like the originals, feel free to pick those you like, ignore others and manipulate the rest to serve your personal agenda.
Marky Mark is your host, and you shall have no other hosts before him.
Is it strange that Mark Wahlberg is hosting the Festival of Families? Yes, yes it is. It’s also amazing. He might not be from Philadelphia, but he’s got that whole blue-collar Catholic, “Say hello to your mother for me” thing down to a science. In fact, I’m not entirely sure we didn’t go to St. Cecilia’s together. Let’s just pretend he’s a successful native – until someone brings up that time he blinded a man, shouted racial slurs and was charged with attempted murder. Then, we’ll throw Boston squarely under the bus.
You shall not take the name of the Francis Festival Zone seriously.
Philadelphia will suffer all kinds of indignities during the papal visit, and this is to be expected. After all, the Big Guy has been known to ask for some pretty hefty sacrifices. But calling a traffic box the “Francis Festival Zone” is where I have to draw the line. At the risk of being dramatic, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Keep holy the Sabbath … next week.
It’s going to be a mess out there, and let’s be honest – this is one of your better excuses for missing mass.
Honor your Nutter.
He’s not perfect, and perhaps he’s been a bit flippant. But you know how you woke up this morning, looked in the mirror and asked, “What am I doing with my life?” Imagine the answer was, “Being the mayor of Philadelphia during the papal visit.” Maybe it’s time to cut the guy a little slack.
You shall not kill.
Let’s just … let’s just keep this one as is. The world is watching. God might tune in, too. Both parties are expecting us to screw up royally, so let’s dig deep and remember what we learned in kindergarten.
You shall not randomly name-drop the Dalai Lama.
We get it – he’s coming too, and you’re more interested in this visit because you’re more evolved. That’s cool. I’m on a huge X-Files kick at the moment. How’s that for non-sequiturs?
You shall not steal from tourists.
… Unless they’re willing to drop a couple hundred dollars on free Pope tickets. Around here, that’s simply what we call a You People Have Too Much Money tax.
You shall not bitch about SEPTA.
These guys still haven’t figured out how to make change for a $5 bill. Did you really expect them to handle Popeageddon gracefully? That’s a little unfair, and you know it.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s parking spot.
We have a long, long winter to get through together, friends. Do not break out the savesies beach chairs just yet. Don’t even think about it. Same goes for the traffic cone. Put that down right now.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s Pope tickets.
Somehow, I think you’ll be able to handle this one.