“Look-a da bambino!”

That baby’s pinching your cheek, Your Holiness.

“Then I gonna turn-a da other one.”

I see what you did there.

“I tell-a da joke about-a da Jesus.”

You did.

“But I love-a da Jesus.”

You do.

“But maybe I love-a da bambinos just as much. Peekaboo, I bless you!”


“The bambinos are-a da future. Whitney taught us dat.”

She did.

“Dat Bobby Brown was-a bad news.”

He was.

“Whitney deserved-a better.”

She did. It’s been a while since we talked. What have you been up to?

“Pope stuff.”


“I say-a da prayers, I bless-a da people. Is-a nice. Is-a nice.”

You sound like you’re trying to convince yourself.

“I’m-a burned out.”

It’s been four years.

“Si, si. And-a you know when I gotta my last vacation?”

Four years ago?


I thought you had a vacation castle.

“Gandolfo. No, no. It’s-a da museum now. Take-a da tour, buy-a da shirt.”


“Maybe I no need-a da vacation. I just-a wanna sit in-a da Starbucks for a while. Have-a da thing with-a da whipped cream. Read a little.”

What would you read?

“A Bible, but a different one than-a da usual one. Mix it up a little.”


“I just-a need some Pope Time.”

I totally get where you’re coming from.

“Vatican is-a tense lately.”


“Benedict has been-a unbearable since-a da election.”

He hasn’t gotten any better?

“So much-a worse. He accuse-a me of saying da fake prayers.”

There are so many layers to the phrase “fake prayers” that I’m not going to get into it.

“He ban-a the Vatican Times from-a da press conference.”

That’s no good.

“It’s-a terrible! They’re-a da only newspaper! Da poor-a spokesman stood there and-a answered questions from-a no one!”

Oh, no.

“It’s-a da bad look.”

It is.

“Bush league.”

That’s the exact phrase I would use, too.

“Then-a, he get in-a da fight with Belgium.”


“That’s-a what I wanna know!”

This is no good, Your Holiness.

“Si, si. Now he wants-a to live at Lake Como and have-a me pay for it.”

In Benedict’s defense, I would also like to live at Lake Como and have you pay for it.

“Oh, si. It’s-a nice-a lake. But he-a take it too far.”

How so?

“I think-a he’s been talking to-a da Russian Orthodox Pope.”

Things are rough all over, Pope Francis.

“Si. That’s-a why we gotta think-a da bambinos.”