Look how delighted Pope Francis is here. During his weekly audience, the Circus de Cuba came to visit and placed a spinning ball on his finger, like he is a Holy Globetrotter, and it’s probably the best thing that’s happened to him in a long time. It must be hard being the Pope. You can’t, like, pop out to the market, or amble down to the local Trattoria for some garlic knots and homemade ravioli, or fly off to Rome at a moment’s notice — well, partly because you are already more or less in Rome — or have sex on the kitchen floor. You can’t just up and go to Hamilton because you bought tickets on StubHub. Or, maybe you can. Maybe the Pope is a master of disguise, and he can slip in and out of regular life and fly coach and go to a Lakers game (for which he would pull strings to get seats for cheap, because come on, you’re the Pope) and watch the World Cup while yelling rude things at opposing nations. But PROBABLY not. So I’m glad he got to have a good time.

Vatican Pope, Vatican City, Vatican City - 02 Jan 2019

And that DOES look fun. Honestly, I think I’d be a pretty good Pope. I like helping people, so it’d be nice to go minister to them in a way that’s actually official and potentially rejuvenating. I like large chairs, and regalia. I like knowing Secrets, so I could call up world leaders and make them break confidentiality to me, and I’d stay up late at night reading all the really juicy old religious texts and diaries that they don’t let anyone see because it’s too creepy. I would then write a bunch of related novels under a pen name that make Dan Brown’s look like children’s books (and then also maybe a bunch of children’s books, because whatever, I’m the Pope). My Instagram account would be rockin’. I like to listen to people talk about themselves, and I definitely enjoy the arts and food, so my weekly audiences would be as entertaining as possible and catered by whatever local geniuses also want a side of absolution. I’d make sure to invite the casts of various Broadway musicals to come confess their sins after performing the whole thing in my foyer — a burdened soul leads to leaden art, don’tcha know, and yes I made that up, SEE I AM ALREADY A GOOD POPE. And I’d enjoy repudiating all the gross priests who’ve ruined lives. Of course I’d annoy a lot of people around the world by upending some big parts of the Catholic doctrine and I’d probably also be a lot more specific about telling certain idiots exactly where they can stick it. So in fact, in a lot of senses and maybe even all of them, I’d be a terrible and scandalous and sacrilegious Pope. And that might be precisely why it would be awesome. In sum: I’ll see you at my pulpit when hell freezes over, and in the meantime, someone please send this man the actual Globetrotters because it’s going to BLOW HIS MIND.

[Photo: Rex/Shutterstock]