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who is bigger than the president of the united states?

MICHAEL LENAHAN IS THE #1 DRIVER for New York’s #1 trans­porta­tion ser­vice, VSO Pre­mier Lim­ou­sine. When the new Pope de­cides to visit New York, he is met at JFK air­port by Michael and VSO’s best car, which everyone calls Ground­force One. When Pope Francis sees the car, he is im­me­di­ately smitten by its shiny black sur­face and its heavily tinted win­dows.

While the rest of the Papal en­tourage is oohing and aahing over the car, Francis ap­proaches the driver and says, “What is your name, my son?”

“Michael, but everyone calls me Mickey, Your Ho­li­ness.”

And the Pope says, “You know, Mickey, they don’t let me drive any­more. In Rome, I mean. I hardly ever get to drive. Would you allow me to drive this beau­tiful au­to­mo­bile?”

Catholic or not, Mickey is hes­i­tant: “I’m sorry, Your Em­i­nence, but I don’t think I’m sup­posed to do that.”

But the Pope is the Pope after all, and Michael is a good Catholic boy after all, and so it is that Francis takes the wheel. His Ho­li­ness is de­lighted with the power of the car; he also has a leas foot, and he pays no at­ten­tion to Michael’s pleas for him to slow down.

And so it is that sev­eral blocks from JFK, Francis is pulled over for speeding.

Of­ficer An­tonio ‘Tony’ deLuca is also good Catholic boy, but from an Italian family. So when walks up to the limo and asks the driver to roll down the window, he im­me­di­ately rec­og­nizes the driver. In fact, he is shocked by what he sees!

Tony asks the driver to wait a minute, and he goes back to his pa­trol car, sits down, takes a deep breath, and ra­dios in, asking for the Chief of Po­lice: “Chief, we got a problem.”

“What sorta problem?” asks the Chief.

“It’s a BIG problem, Chief.”

And the Chief says, “Wudda ya mean ‘BIG’?

“Well, Chief, I pulled this limo over, right? The driver was WAY over the speed limit but, Chief, when he rolls down his window, well, you’re not gonna be­lieve who was dri­ving! I mean, it’s BIG!”

And the Chief says, “Big like the mayor?”

“No, Chief, a LOT bigger than that!”

And the Chief says, “You pulled over the gov­ernor?”

“WAY bigger than that, Chief!”

And the Chief says, “Holy shit, Tony! Please don’t tell me you pulled over Obama!”

“Bigger!”

And the Chief says, “Bigger!??! For God’s sake, Tony, who is bigger than the Pres­i­dent of the United States?!!?”

And Tony says, “I don’t know, Chief. I couldn’t see into the back, but, Chief, he’s got the Pope dri­ving for him …”


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HEADER IMAGE: The most ex­cel­lent car­toon at the top of this page is by John Cole  for The Scranton Times Tri­bune. The city of Scranton is known to most people out­side of Penn­syl­vania as the lo­ca­tion for the shooting of the tele­vi­sion se­ries The Of­fice. For me, Scranton is a sort of sister city to Wilkes-Barre, where I was born. I spent all of 1976 as the bar­tender at the Sher­aton Inn, first exit off of 81 North into Scranton, back when they turned what had been a nice lounge into a cheesy disco …


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True words. Packs, pri­vate money, bought courts and pos­sibly elec­tions all add up to oli­garchy.