The Vatican is supposed to be the smallest country in the world, but it does not have a pub or a football team. They would have to play in black and would all be left footers. Those cassocks they wear would need a bit of trimming though.
I was walking around with Longo, a tall (obviously) Croatian who kept telling me he had no money. He bathed his wrists in the fountains as he claimed it relieved hunger. He did a passable impression of Richard Prior which he did for Michelle, a black New Yorker. I cringed wondering if she might be offended but she laughed.
Michelle and I got on great and we spent the evening in the hostel drinking white wine. I think all the red was taken elsewhere. I told her I wrote a letter to Betty Ford at her clinic. I was a fully paid up member of the Tuesday night club, which was a group of teachers that met every Wednesday in the Fountain Head. We discussed matters of deep philosophical importance such as why 4-4-2 is better than 4-3-3. The letter was a request for her to be president of our organisation. It appeared, on the surface, to be a recovery group, but it was full of drink references in cryptic crossword style. Such as: win enough support, be erudite, whisk you away, etc, etc. I counted 12 but others pointed out more; the power of subliminal thought. I told her that failure to reply would mean automatic acceptance of the position. She still holds that post, albeit posthumously now.
She asked me where I sent it.
“To ‘Betty Ford, USA’.”
“Did you include the zip code?”
“It’ll never get there.”
“Are the postmen thick?”
We had a great time chatting together; shame we were in a hostel.
Longo and I stood admiring the fine statue of Charlemagne at the entrance to the Vatican when an American spoke.
“That man there is my great, great, great grandfather.”
He was large but not obese, just like his relation and had been used to the good life.
“I traced my family tree as far as I could in the US and then searched the parish records in England. But if he had 2 children who had 2 children, there would be a least a million of us.”
Hope for us all then.