Hiding in Plain White

I read a news article recently in which Pope Francis lamented the fact that he can no longer walk around the streets of Rome unnoticed like he used to. Just the other night, a paparazzi snapped a photo of His Holiness leaving a record store.

Well, duh. The guy is dressed from head to toe in a white robe and hat that anybody would recognize as the official outfit of the Pope.  Pro tip: if you’re trying to blend in with the commoners, maybe ditch the cassock and pellegrina and fringed white fascia and cross. Wanna go incognito? Slip into a nondescript pair of khakis, match ‘em with a button-down shirt (black or grey) and comfy loafers. Oh, and don’t forget the sunglasses. Voila! You’re now persona non grata.

Or papal non grata, as it were.

By the way, how cool is it that the Pope went record shopping? The article said he left without buying anything. Funny they would use those words, because it looks to me like Francis has something approximately the size and shape of a record tucked beneath his left arm and hidden under the robe.

I don’t want to accuse the Pope of shoplifting, because I’d rather not spend an eternity in fire and brimstone, but…well…

I dunno. I’m suspicious.

As if the Vatican needs another scandal!


Now that we’ve binged our way through almost everything interesting, we were looking for something new to watch. Preferably a critically acclaimed TV series we hadn’t caught the first time around, like Mad Men, Deadwood, and The Sopranos — shows we binged years after they’d entered the pop culture zeitgeist. A friend of mine had been prodding me to watch The West Wing for years. It’s streaming on HBO Max, so last night, we fired it up.

And were instantly hooked.

I’m a sucker for good writing, and the snappy dialogue hits the mark for me. Not to mention the fast pace, superb acting, perfectly balanced humor, and tantalizing plotlines.

“Hey, this show’s pretty good!” Tara said after the pilot.

“I’m not surprised,” I replied. “It won something like six million Emmys.”

Three episodes down, 153 to go. I guess we’d better start hoping for excuses to stay inside. Can’t use Covid anymore, but maybe we’ll get lucky and end up with six-foot snowdrifts or a marauding pack of man-eating wolves. Something fun like that.

On the other hand, I’ve had my fill of staying home. Tara went back to work for the first time in a week today, and I’ll be heading back to the office tomorrow.

Just in the nick of time apparently. Stir-craziness is nothing to be taken lightly. This morning, I was blasting Christmas music in the basement. This made me worry about my mental health a little bit, so I consulted the American Journal of Psychiatry. They say warning signs that you’re losing your mind include:

  • Too much/too little sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Listening to Bing Crosby 25 days after Christmas

This scared me, so I did some quick math. Turns out Christmas was only 24 days ago. Whew! Dodged a bullet there, I guess.

Back to reality (and sanity) tomorrow.

40 thoughts on “Hiding in Plain White

  1. It does make you wonder what album the Pope was shoplifting. I’m guessing it wasn’t Black Sabbath.
    I never saw the West Wing either, mainly because I can’t stand network television with commercials. Might be worth a go on HBO Max.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Papal PR probably set up that whole fake record shopping trip to distract from the worldwide outpouring of snark after Pope said couples should have more kids and fewer pets. Nothing like a rich, single, and celibate dude telling poor folks to spend their limited resources breeding.

    Now they’re trying to humanize him with vinyl: “Look! No streaming services for him! He’s AUTHENTIC.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t realize he actually wore something under his robes? Thought maybe it was in line with men in kilts… and-yes I see the “official looking car and the official looking man” but, are we really sure this is THE POPE? I mean, he’s in Italy right. Why is he coming out of a store with it’s name in big English letters, as is the store directly next door. I say shenanigans going on here. Since we’re playing name the album I’ll go with ACDC- Hell’s Bells

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I absolutely LOVED “Mad Men.” It helps that I earned a degree in advertising, even though I never actually went to work for an agency. Plus, I love all things retro.

      Imagine my surprise when Peggy popped up as the President’s daughter on “The West Wing.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! I saw him on a commercial this morning and thought the same thing. I always think of him as Chris Traeger from “Parks & Recreation,” so it’s interesting to see him in a different, more serious political role.

      Like

  4. You DID dodge a bullet there! HA.
    So funny about the Pope. Who knew he had sticky fingers?
    I completly missed out on The West Wing, glad to hear you are enjoying it. I’ll keep it in mind if I need something old/new to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Never seen The West Wing. Maybe I should give it a try. Dule Hill is in it, I see. TELL me you’ve watched Psych. If not… man… come on.
    Do some googling of papal clothing, did we? Ha!
    Bing Crosby 25 days later. Snort laugh.
    Guess who’s got the ‘rona now? THIS girl! [Picture the thumbs.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, never seen “Psych,” but I do like Dule Hill’s character. I’d actually never heard of him before the show.

      What, you don’t think I knew about cassocks and pellegrinas and fringed white fascia already? Gasp!

      I’m sorry to hear you’re Omicron’s latest victim. Hope it’s as mild for you as it was for Tara (and maybe me).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve spent the last week and a half teaching from home due to my district’s COVID-related worker shortage. I LOVE everything about teaching from home… except the teaching.

    As for the pope, wow! I didn’t think popes, even ex-popes, did any of the mundane stuff we mortals do. I assumed servants did all that stuff for them until they died. I’m willing to concede that the record store was telling the truth and that they just GAVE the record to the pope, but I want to know why he’s hiding it under his robes. What doesn’t he want us to see???

    Liked by 1 person

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