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Sicperson ready to sell out for pointy hat

It is fashionable nowadays to say that, while one may not have the answers, one hopes to be asking the right questions. This Space is different, awash in answers for which no one yet has the questions.

* * *

Sample answers from fifth- and sixth-grade kids' essays:
"Genetics explains why you look like your father and if you don't why you should."
"Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they're there."
"Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun. But I have never been able to make out the numbers."
"We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation. Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on."
"Clouds are high-flying fogs."
"I am not sure how clouds get formed. But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing."
"Clouds just keep circling the earth around and around. And around. There is not much else to do."
"Water vapor gets together in a cloud. When it is big enough to be called a drop, it does."
"Humidity is the experience of looking for air and finding water."

* * *
There was an old monk in Siberia
Whose life grew wearier and wearier.
He came out of his cell
And with a hell of a yell
He eloped with Mother Superior.

Does Mother Angelica know about this?

* * *

Sic's friend the philosopher is shocked that the faithful, on hearing of that cloned Scottish sheep, did not make the following connection:

It was Yahweh, I truly believe,
Who sought good example to leave:
When he found man alone,
Said, "This lad needs a clone,"
Took a dab from his side and made Eve.

* * *

And Roberta Meehan writes from Greeley (the place) with a "concern": "If the pope were to be cloned, would the clone also be infallible? And what would happen if they disagreed?"

We're glad you asked, Roberta. In his seminal work on the subject, Popes and their Clones: The Theory, the Practice, the Scuttlebutt, Cardinal Ratzinger alludes to the strange case of Popes Pius IX, both of them, who kick-started papal infallibility back in 1870 and thereafter disagreed on almost everything.

* * *

The whole world now knows there are aliens on the loose in Roswell, N.M., but surprisingly few people have seen them. One witness, according to Time, is known locally as Cactus Jack.

Everyone knows that Sic's neighbor, Luigi, the one with a sewing machine attached to his parachute, is a genuine alien. He has now begun to call himself Cactus Luigi. This merely proves that people everywhere have a great need to belong.

* * *

If we said it once, we said it twice: This Space will no longer mention -- you guessed it -- The Compost, from Green Bay diocese, which offers, David Letterman fashion, Cardinal Ratzinger's top 10 reasons women can't be ordained, including:

10. Pink is not a liturgical color.
8. Women would spend too much time shopping for vestments.
6. Where would they ever find elderly male housekeepers?
5. Their children would be confused by having to call their mother "Father."
3. If they were to become bishops, the pectoral cross would not lie flat.
2. When presiding at baptisms they would want to show pictures of their grandchildren.
1. They are anatomically challenged.

* * *

E. Paul Weaver, who, we hope, has great patience, wrote last December to say he has been a minister in another denomination for 65 years (he has great patience). Ministers, in fact, abound in his family. And now, his daughter went and married "a very fine Catholic young man." This led to a granddaughter, which brings Weaver to the nub: "You know your way around in the church. Is there a chance, if my little one should be as holy as Mother Teresa, that someday she might become bishop of Rome?

You have our infallible word on it.

* * *

Though the competition is over, those Amazing Big Sic Limericks trickle on, including one from Patty Colman Lawlor of San Bruno, allegedly penned by an angel:

How happy I am from afar
That this is a grand NCR.
Did not know of this paper
Till this limerick caper,
And now will subscribe from a star.

* * *

And from Clare Will Faulhaber of New Braintree:

An infallible person called God
To a feature called Sic gave the nod:
"It is only with Sic
That I really can click --
Two infallible peas in a pod."
* * *

There is a passage in William S's "Julius Caesar" in which Julius or someone is thrice offered a crown as emperor of Rome or something and each time finds it more difficult to turn the crown down.

Similarly, Sicperson seems to be saying: "Is this a pointy hat I see before me?" while contemplating what might have been had we all played our cards a little closer to the scrawny old chest. Or something.

* * *

Finally, don't look now, but trouble seems to loom again on page 2, where you-know-who, if we may stick with the Julius C scenario, thinks he "doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus." If This Space should unaccountably disappear again, you can reach Sic in the gulag. Or somewhere.

National Catholic Reporter, July 18, 1997