Heaven Less Opulent Than Vatican, Reports Disappointed Pope

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Vol 41 Issue 15

Embattled Tom Delay

In recent weeks, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has come under increasing fire from a number of important media and political figures. What do you think?

I Gotta Get Out More Often

Hola, amigos. What do you hear? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I been dragging my ass through the routine. The winter always gets me down. Don't tell me how it's spring. I know it's spring, but that makes it worse. It gets warm for a few days, I think I finally broke on through to the other side, and then it snows and I feel like shit again. Plus, my alternator belt is squeaking. I got a new one, but I haven't changed it yet because who wants to do car repairs when it's nice out?

The Minutemen

A group of volunteers calling themselves the Minutemen began standing sentry on the U.S. side of the Arizona-Mexico border last week to watch for illegal immigrants and smugglers. How are they safeguarding the country?

Pope John Paul II, Longtime Owner Of Popemobile, Dead At 84

VATICAN CITY—Pope John Paul II, who owned the Popemobile for more than a quarter of a century, passed away last Saturday. "The Popemobile was known the world over," said Peter Egan, a writer for Road & Track. "A fine example of European craftsmanship, the hand-built, 4.3 litre, V-8 powered, pearl-gray vehicle was exceptionally well-loved, even more so after the bulletproof bubble was added in 1981 to safeguard its passengers against assassination attempts. During the time he owned the Popemobile, John Paul II visited more than 120 countries. He loved the open road." The specially altered Mercedes-Benz ML-series off-road vehicle has been maintained by papal staff since the pope fell ill in August 2004. The pope's will is expected to grant its use to either the next pope or John Paul II's young cousin Zbigniew.

Preparing A Living Will

A living will is a legal document that provides directives for your medical care in the event that you are physically unable to express them. Here are some things to keep in mind while creating a living will:
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Heaven Less Opulent Than Vatican, Reports Disappointed Pope

HEAVEN—The soul of Pope John Paul, which entered heaven last week following a long illness, expressed confusion and disappointment Saturday, upon learning that the Celestial Kingdom of God to which the departed faithful ascend in the afterlife is significantly less luxurious than the Vatican's Papal Palace, in which the pope spent the past 26 years of his earthly life.

St. Peter's Basilica, with its 90-foot bronze baldachin designed by Bernini, is one of the many Vatican splendors no longer enjoyed by Pope John Paul II (below).

"Where are all the marble statues, sterling-silver chalices, and gem-encrusted scepters?" the visibly disappointed pope asked. "Where are the 60-foot-tall stained-glass windows and hand-painted cupolas? Where are the elaborately outfitted ranks of Swiss Guards? Why isn't every single surface gilded? This is my eternal reward?"

Heaven, according to the New Testament, has "brilliance like a very costly stone... of pure gold, like clear glass..." with "twelve gates... each gate a single pearl." Yet the pope, who spoke from the afterlife, said heaven is nothing like the "solid-gold city" detailed at length by John of Patmos in the Book of Revelations.

"Evidently, the Bible was not intended to be taken literally, after all," John Paul II said. "Don't get me wrong: It's very nice up here—quite beautiful and serene. It's just not as fancy as what I'm accustomed to. If I'd known heaven was going to be like this, I would've taken one last tour through my 50 rooms of velvet-draped thrones and priceless oil paintings before saying 'Amen' and breathing my last."

According to the pope, heaven is merely a place of unending peace and happiness, wherein all the spirits of the Elect live together forever in perfect harmony and goodness, basking in the rays of God's divine love.

"Up here, everyone is equal," John Paul II said. "No one has to go through an elaborate bowing ritual when they greet me. And do you know how many times my ring has been kissed since I arrived? None. Up here, I'm mingling with tax collectors, fishermen, and whores. It's just going to take a little getting used to, is all."

An artist's depiction of a disappointingly austere heaven.

The pope said it is amusing to think that he has been waiting for this "so-called Paradise" his entire life.

"I spent almost 84 years reciting novenas and Hail Marys to get to this restful place," John Paul II said. "If I'd wanted peace, quiet, and pretty clouds, I could've moved to the Italian Riviera. Frankly, this afterlife represents a significant drop in my standard of living."

"Well, they always said you can't take it with you," he added.

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