e-mail us


Sic’s non-askance glancing gets greedy

The Catholic world is still buzzing with news of Sic’s October surprise. In case you missed it, the sensational event began with our suggestion that, if the folks at the Vatican were willing, “Sic would not look askance at a red hat.” And so it was done -- a spectacular piece of headgear, courtesy of the mysterious Cardinal Nemo, making our humble self a cardinal.

We don’t wish to push our luck, but, if anyone asks, Sic would not look askance at a Mercedes Benz.

* * *

If the material in This Space is not up to snuff, blame El Niño.

* * *

You haven’t heard the last of Mother Teresa and Princess Diana. Mary Hazlett (“It is good to laugh”) sent a Jewell Cardwell column of kids’ comments:

Ashley, 4: Mother T “is an older woman, you know. She helps people by going around, picking things up and helping the poor.”

Maria, 5: “She gave the poor people stuff that other people stole, and she’s a nun with green eyes, light skin, red nails, a big sparkling ring, diamond earrings. ... She’s up in heaven with my great grandma and my dog Cassie, ruling the earth with God.”

Troi, 5, thought Mother T and Princess D were one and the same: “She’s white and wears a thing on her head.”

Maeve, 6: “She had a heart attack in Indiana.”

* * *

Fr. Joseph Gallagher writes from Baltimore to say the Little Flower, recently declared a doctress of the church by the pope, believed women should be priests. So the document doctoring her begins: “Non obstantibus aliquis opinionibus ridiculosis ...” (“Despite some silly opinions ...”). You are not obliged to believe this.

* * *

Bill “Bookshelf” Graham quotes from a student research paper: “God is the master of all. He holds a PhD in everything.”

* * *

And don’t tell Clare Will Faulhaber that women are not ordainable or other lukewarm theology like that. Writes she:

When bishops hold forth atop their podium,

I take their words with a grain of sodium.

* * *

The following awry headlines were sent to NCR by fax:

“Plane too close to ground, crash probe told.”

“Miners refuse to work after death.”

“Juvenile Court to try shooting defendant.”

“Two Soviet ships collide, one dies.”

“Two sisters reunited after 18 years in checkout counter.”

“Killer sentenced to die for second time in 10 years.”

“If strike isn’t settled quickly, it may last awhile.”

“Cold wave linked to temperatures.”

“Typhoon rips through cemetery; hundreds dead.”

“Man struck by lightning faces battery charges.”

“Kids make nutritious snacks.”

* * *

Writes Edmund Doerre from Chippewa Falls, who calls himself “Foolperson”: “I have recently burst out of the closet, and now freely admit to all my Foolconfreres that I am a Sicaholic, especially since you admitted your infallibility.”

It gets better: “I do not quite understand, however, why your estimable editor does not allow you to satisfy my cravings -- and the cravings of so many thousands -- on a weekly basis.”

Is this a wise fool or what?

* * *

Doerre, an alleged member of the Fraternal Order of St. Odo the Lesser, boasts of having interviewed Card Ratzinger (not his real name) back in 1990 at which time the Fool accused the church of some tacky teachings in the past.

“Such teaching appears to be in error,” said R (not his real name), “but we must remember that at the time it was given it was inspired and hence infallible.”

We can tell you right now that Sic will never stoop to such weak-kneed infallibility as that.

* * *

Sic’s friend Amica found these on the Internet -- they’re what inquiring minds want to know:

What do batteries run on?

What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.

What goes around usually gets dizzy and falls over.

What has four legs and an arm? A happy pit bull.

What’s brown and sticky? A stick.

(We never promised they’d be good.)

When their numbers dwindled from 50 to eight, the dwarfs began to suspect “Hungry.”

Where does weight go when you lose it?

Why can’t we just spell it orderves?

Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?

How come wrong numbers are never busy?

* * *

Our special section, Pet of the Week, has, if we may say so, maintained an uncommonly high standard. That standard takes a dive this week with the appearance of staff person Teresa Malcolm’s rat, Joe (not its real name). This beast, who has been known to hang around the newsroom, raises serious questions about pets and petting.

* * *

When a suspicious packet arrived wrapped in black plastic, we were nervous until it turned out to be nothing less than a kneeler cushion from Mother Angelica. At least, it had her EWTN logo on it. A luxurious item with inches of foam to protect the pilgrim knee. Where, we thought, had the pre-Vatican II bare boards gone? If you know for sure that Mother A is a secret admirer, feel free to tell her Sic wouldn’t look askance at a gig on EWTN. Say Nemo sent you.

National Catholic Reporter, November 21, 1997