It's day 1 of the Conclave! For Catholics, this is the moment we've all been anxiously awaiting since we first picked up Dan Brown (btw...I loathe this bubblegum hack. He will no doubt be the subject of a vitriolic Sette Bello post some day). For Catholics, the Conclave is the Super Bowl-Olympics-World Cup-Monster Truck Finals, Steel Cage match style. And, I'm going!
Time to check my supplies before heading down to St. Peter's to mingle with the chosen, the media (cue echoing authoritative Godlike voice). Press pass? check. (thank you, Wired). Latin-to-English pocket phrase book? erm, no, but Italian is kinda like Latin, so, yes, check. Abridged Guide to Vatican II? Hell, yeah. And lastly, winning flutter on the next papa? Si. My man is Claudio Hummes of Brazil. Conservative, multi-lingual, 70 ( a fine age to be the next pope), Not Italian. He's a shoo-in. And, at 8 to 1 odds, he could be a nice earner. Cristina went with Count Christoph von Schoenborn of Austria, a bit of a longshot at 16 to 1. I'm not sure I understand the appeal. Besides, the man already has the title of "Count". The church hasn't appointed a nobleman to be pope in years. In a followup bet, on the name, I went with "Luke"...sturdy, traditional, respectable, and 20 to 1. Xtina went with JP3. "Only because there is no MP3", she informed me. This is either a clever geek joke or something I should know as a 12-year-product of Catholic schooling, but of course forgot. I chose not to smile, but made mental note to ask around at St. Peter's about Pope MP3.