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Thursday, October 16, 2003


When in Doubt, Interview Something Dept.

Today marks Pope John Paul II's 25th anniversary as head of the billion-member Roman Catholic Church (actual non-lapsed membership: 12,462).

As is my wont, I hit the pontiff on his hip to reflect on his quarter of a century as spiritual leader of the Church.

Pope John Paul II: Hold on one minute, Cardinal, my shit's blowin' up. I can never figure out how to work this thing... Hello?

Bunsen: Holy Father, it's Bunsen.

PJP2: Good to hear from you. Have you cooled it on all the sex talk on your website? I've been a little under the weather, I haven't checked in a while.

Bunsen: I try, I try.

PJP2: For shame. But at least you try. What can I do for you, my son?

Bunsen: What do you think about all of this talk about you being, er, on your way out?

PJP2: I have no plans to depope.

Bunsen: What about the health problems?

PJP2: I'm going to let you in on a little secret: popes never die. We just float stories about bad health, step down, and hang out in the Vatican. John XXXIII does nothing but sit around in his tighty whiteys, forcing us all to watch "World's Strongest Man" reruns on ESPN. I haven't even seen "Coupling" yet. And don't get me started on the Borgias and the whirlpool bath.

Bunsen: How about those Cubbies?

PJP2: I would apologize to their fans, but this is the way He likes it. They should be used to it by now. There's a delicate balance in Creation, if the Cubs make the Series, 10,000 have to die in a Ugandan mudslide. He's tired of mudslides.

Bunsen: What about my Yankees?

PJP2: No comment.

Bunsen: Oh, shit. The Ferry?

PJP2: No comment.

Bunsen: Let's get back to depoping. If you decide to step aside, who would you like to see fill the hat?

PJP2: You're really putting me on the spot.

Bunsen: Just between you and me.

PJP2: Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner, as the first pope team.

Bunsen: You're kidding. I think you have playoff fever.

PJP2: What the Church needs now is a good cop/bad cop team that gets results.

Bunsen: Looking back on your 25 years as pope, what's been your greatest accomplishment?

PJP2: Offing Marilyn Monroe for despoiling a good Catholic boy. She was a wily one.

Bunsen: That was before your popedomship.

PJP2: Er, right. Then it has to be the IMAX theater I had put into the sacristy at St. Pete's Basilica. I just watched "Kill Bill" there last night. There's nothing like an 80-foot blood geyser in Dolby surround to get the heart pumping. But Uma Thurman's nose looks like a flying buttress on the big screen.

Bunsen: Thanks for the time, Father.

PJP2: Let's keep the Marilyn Monroe thing on the DL, dig?

Bunsen: You got it. It's like being in confession when you're talking to Bunsen.

PJP2: Peace out.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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