Wednesday, February 13, 2013


In today's economy, you've got to be pretty confident to quit your job without having another job to go to. And if you're on the cusp of 86, without any 401(k) or IRA, that sounds just plain nuts. But that's what the Pope just did. And get this: he didn't even have a salary during the last eight years, so there goes whatever mad money he might have socked away. However, according to the internet: Three bags containing gold, silver, and copper coins are placed in the coffin beside the body of a pope. Each bag contains one coin for each year in his reign, the only monetary compensation he receives for his service as pope.  

Now, I don't know how much those coins are worth. (But call the 800 number now and you'll receive agenuine Mercury silver dime free!) Still, talk about irony. The leader of the world's Catholics, and the paycheck doesn't come until after he's gone. I wonder if he's having a conversation with Kimberly, the the Vatican's HR twinkie:

KIMBERLY: ... OK, so you know you have to turn in your ID on your last day, and return any Vatican possessions -- keys, pencils, chalices --

POPE: Yes, I understand.

KIMBERLY: However, you do get to keep your red shoes. But the angels --

POPE: -- wanna wear my red shoes. Yes, I've heard that one a few times.

KIMBERLY: Well, we're certainly going to miss you. So do you have any questions?

POPE: Yeah, this coins-in-the-sack thing...

KIMBERLY: That's a beautiful tradition, isn't it?

POPE: Well, that's what I wanted to ask you about. Because I didn't die in office like 99.99% of my predecessors --

KIMBERLY: Thank God.   

POPE: Right, thank God. But what I was going to ask... since I'm still alive, is there any chance I can collect now? Y'know, just to tide things over a while?

KIMBERLY: Mmm, I'm afraid not. That's against policy, and we wouldn't want to start a precedent.

POPE: Well, nobody has to know. And it's only, what, 24 coins, it's not like I'm breaking the bank or anything.

KIMBERLY: Well, you were elected in April 2005. You're resigning at the end of February, so technically it's only 21 coins.

POPE: Holy -- are you kidding me? You're nickel-and-diming me over a month?

KIMBERLY: Mmm, actually it's more like a month and three weeks. But you're going to be dead, so what's the difference?

POPE: I can't believe -- Do you know what President Obama gets? 


POPE: Four hundred-thou! And that doesn't include a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment. And what's America's population? Three hundred-fourteen million. I call the shots for 1.8 billion people. That's "billion" with a B. And Obama just has one country to keep in line. I've got the whole world on my watch.  

KIMBERLY: Not to be rude, but you knew your salary when you accepted the job.

POPE: Like I had a choice. Once you're voted in, it's kind of expected that you accept.

KIMBERLY: Your predecessor never had a complaint, and he served about 20 years longer than you.

POPE: Ugh! Again with the comparisons to John Paul! I've had eight years of that --

KIMBERLY: Seven and four-fifths --

POPE: Whatever! You know what it's like to follow a legend? "Oh, John Paul, he's so nice, he's so understanding, he skis, he used to be an actor!" What do they say about me?

KIMBERLY: You were in the Hitler Youth League.

POPE: Again, like I had a choice! All the kids were forced into that!

KIMBERLY: If we're finished --

POPE: No! I want my salary!

KIMBERLY: As we've already discussed --

POPE: No, you've told me what I'm supposed to get, there was no discussion! That's my money and I want it now! Pretend it's a pension and just give it to me!

KIMBERLY: If I could I would be happy to –

POPE: Twenty four -- twenty one coins. You've probably got more than that in your top drawer. 

KIMBERLY: I have a meeting in five minutes, so if you'll excuse me...

POPE:  I should've expected this. Eight years of service --

KIMBERLY: Seven and --

POPE: Whatever!... I can't believe it. I'm top dog with the Catholics... front page of every newspaper in the world right now... and I can't get three bags of coins. How about lifetime bathroom privileges at the Vatican, hunh? Can you spare that? Maybe a little outplacement?

KIMBERLY: Actually... I have a friend... he's looking for someone right now... No, you wouldn't be interested --

POPE: No, no, what is it? 

KIMBERLY: Well, it requires some -- communications experience.

POPE: Hey, every Sunday I'm out on the balcony givin' 'em the good word.

KIMBERLY: That's true.

POPE: But my age... am I too old?

KIMBERLY: Not at all. In fact, I think you'd be perfect.

A back porch on a sunny day. The Pope is sitting on a lounge chair, when he looks up at the camera.

POPE: Hello, I'm Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, but you probably know me better as Pope Benedict XVI. Like me, I'm sure you've had questions about reverse mortgages...

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