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Mandatory miracles from Elvis and Israel

If you’re like Sic, you’re depressed ’cause Monicagate is over. No more House Manager (HM) McCollum, no more HMs Hyde, Hatch, Abbot, Costello and a journalist named Drudge. Those of us who can stand it look back at one brief shining moment we’ll remember as -- no, Camelot isn’t the word, hey, there must be a word. We’re far from closure on this one.

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Sic is sorry for owners of expensive cars like Rolls Royce or even Lexus driving around paranoid lest they -- the cars -- get beat up, rusted or even dirty, not free like the rest of us to back into trees or sideswipe other clunkers like our own.

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An Italian named Carletti recently took a dossier to the Vatican to show why Elvis Presley should be beatified. For example, Elvis is bigger in death than in life, a good sign of sanctity. He also gave to charity. And the mandatory miracle? “He had a miraculous voice,” says Carletti.

The Vatican, in the awkward role of devil’s advocate, said it would help, for starters, if Elvis were a Catholic. Too late.

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Robert Bentel from St. Paul was in a trendy buffet line where the to-die-for deserts came first, followed by sandwiches and other boring stuff.

“I’ll have the rum-rich double chocolate tort,” an elderly man said to the server.

“No, dear, we’re giving up sweets for Lent,” the wife piped up. “He’ll have a small green salad,” she directed the server.

Before fighting for human rights in China and Iraq, shouldn’t we do something for this man?

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The following goofy things are supposedly said by kids in term papers. Sic never repeats these except for readers’ own good:

“Unleavened bread is made without any ingredients. ... Moses went up Mount Cyanide for the 10 Commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.”

“The Greeks were a highly sculptured people. Without them we wouldn’t have history.”

“In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits and threw the java.”

“Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was cannonized by Bernard Shaw. Finally Magna Carta insisted no one should be hanged twice for the same offense.”

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If you live next door to Julia Sweeney alias Pat from “Saturday Night Live,” drop everything, go next door, knock, and when she answers say, “Are you crazy, Julia, or what?” She’ll be puzzled until you hold up the N.Y. Times magazine where Catholic Sweeney was asked about the pope.

“I’m really behind his liberation theology,” said she.

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The state of Israel is all geared up to help millennium tourists walk in Christ’s footsteps. Sic’s favorite is the walk-on-water trick: a bridge one inch under the Sea of Galilee where pilgrims can take each other’s photos. We are assured there will be no handrail, which would look suspicious to the folks back home since Jesus never used a handrail. But there will be lifeguards and boats for those who, like St. Peter, lack faith or backbone and get their feet wet.

After 2000, Israel will take the miracle on the road to a lake near you.

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Marge Roy from Topeka praised This Space: “Always read it second, after the letters.” (It would have cost her nothing to ignore the letters and just say Sic is first.)

She enclosed a Dick Snider column listing potential mergers:

“Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush Co., and W.R. Grace Co. The new corporation will be called Hale Mary Fuller Grace.

And when Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women merge, it will be Knott NOW!

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In an ancient monastery far away, a new monk was assigned to checking the manuscripts on which his venerable brothers had spent their lifetimes. After a few days of proofreading he asked Fr. Saecula Saeculorum, the armarius of the scriptorium: “Doesn’t anyone ever err or write typos around here? After centuries of copying from copies, shouldn’t we compare these with the originals?

“Excellent point, my son,” said Saecula, who next day descended into the belly of the monastery where the originals were stored. After a week he had not returned. The monks found him prostrate on the stone floor and weeping copiously. “Oh Lord,” the ancient fellow said, “the word should have been celebrate.”

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Sic’s friend Amica found the following tips on love on-line:

What is the proper age to get married?

Eighty-four, because at that age you don’t have to work anymore, and can spend all your time loving each other in your bedroom (Judy, 8).

Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife (Tom, 5).

What do most people do on a date?

On the first date they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date (Mike, 10).

When is it okay to kiss someone?

You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a big ring and her own VCR ’cause she’ll want to have videos of the wedding (Jim, 10).

On why love happens:

I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t so painful (Harlen, 8).

On what falling in love is like:

If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it, it takes too long (Leo, 7).

National Catholic Reporter, March 12, 1999