Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

The Pope’s Private Parts

During the long, suffocating tropical nights of last summer, I was sometimes reduced to a feverish state by the unrelenting heat. As buckets of sweat oozed from pores I don’t remember having, I was seized by fantasies of an almost megalomaniac nature. Do your eyeballs have pores? Mine seem to. They certainly sting with sweat-type juice sometimes. To get back to the point, stalking the no-man’s land between semi-consciousness and dream my mind overran with improbable visions and bizarre imaginings. I dreamed of having the most popular blog in the world, and ways I might achieve it.

It’s all in the title, a racing brain told me, then it came in a flash. The Pope’s Private Parts would have surfers flocking to my pages in droves. It wouldn’t matter what the post was actually about, hits are all that count in the world of a cynical megalomaniac on the blog. And anyway, rather than an intimate study of the man beneath the cassock, unsavoury types might expect, The Pope’s Private Parts could just as easily be about little things he does in his spare time. It could describe the fascinating hobbies God’s Emissary on Earth might enjoy, like collecting foreign stamps, or knitting colourful mittens, to give just two examples. Or the parts could be special corners and private rooms in the Vatican his holiness retires to when he wants to get away from all those vicars and monks and bishops you find hanging around holy places. I can hardly be held responsible for what others might think his private parts refer to. We don’t all have minds like sewers.

Problem is, once the seed is set, even some of the purest among us can’t stop our thoughts straying slightly towards thinking of The Pope’s actual private parts. You know, his private, private parts. Well, call me sinful, if you like, but I couldn’t. In some ways, I suppose I’d never thought of him having any before that moment, though, deep down, I must’ve known he did. Like the Queen of England does. Well, not exactly like hers. In reality, nowhere near like hers, but you get my drift. As far as I know, that is. Not that I’m in a position to know anything at all about the personal bits of Her Majesty. I swear, I’m not.

Not thinking of things like that is not exactly easy for we weaker mortals, as some of you may have experienced by now. And when we dwell on them we get overcome by feelings of shame and guilt. But it’s only human nature. No matter how desperately we don’t want to imagine how these things might look, sometimes we can’t stop ourselves. I find humming a little tune quietly to myself can help the thoughts go away. Yet there are times even humming out loud can’t help get the most disturbing images out of our minds. As soon as we’re told not to think of something we go right ahead and think about it. It’s like being told not to look now.

But, whatever you do you have to keep those thoughts out. Such despicable imaginings are unwholesome, most likely sacrilegious, and possibly illegal. In the case of The Queen they could even be treasonous. They can still hang you for treason. At least, when I was at schooI I think they still could. But they have to prove it first. Thought treason, it doesn’t bear thinking about. In the case of  The Pope you’ll almost certainly have booked your ticket across the Styx.

Nevertheless, the idea is tempting. To use the title The Pope’s Private Parts, I mean, not the other things. It might attract quite a few, let’s call them amateur anthropologists. Not exactly quite the sort of people I normally want to rub shoulders with, but then I’ll do anything to get them hits. You know the types, ‘keener-than-average biologists’. Or blokes who sneak out in dirty raincoats nicking women’s underwear left hanging out to dry, and stuff like that. Or just people who can’t resist taking a peek at things they’re not supposed to; the Peeping Toms of the world. To the best of my knowledge my work doesn’t usually appeal to that type of person, but then I don’t usually write about things they like. And neither do I intend to start.

When all’s said and done, a post entitled The Pope’s Private Parts has to be attempted. It’s irresistible once it gets into your head. Call it a social experiment. Spiced with the slightest hint of sexual innuendo, dressed with a fortuitous sprig of ambiguity and sprinkled with innocent puns, as it is, the thing could go viral. Not in the literal sense. Now that is disgusting. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for ever thinking of it.

In the end, are there really people around who want to see titillating photos of the Pope’s naughty bits? Is there a healthy enough demand? I expect there are, and I expect there is. Though the health of that demand is debatable. Never mind, science is not always an exact, well, science. We will see. And I’ll keep you posted to how my experiment goes.

Copyright © 2012 Bryan Hemming               Conil

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