Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Retirement Advice

When I picture “The shoes of the fisherman” I imagine hip waders.

In Utah it is customary for a retiree to announce that they will have more time for some favorite outdoor pastime without the demands of work interfering any longer. No potential endeavor is more lovingly described than fishing, but what does someone who is hanging up the tools of a fisherman as a result of his retirement do? In that case the idea of having “gone Fishin’” does not conjure the image of leisure that it would for others.

In the case of Joe Aloisius “Pope Benedict XVI” Ratzinger the terminology of fishing has additional unfortunate meanings. How can Joe talk about “Jigging some worms” or “wetting a few flys” without raising a few eyebrows?

Perhaps Joe should consider getting involved in cycling for his retirement; if his aging body cannot perch on a bike saddle he could become a cycling superfan.

 In some races cycling superfans dress up to bless or damn riders as they approach the summit of particularly steep climbs. Dieter "Didi" Senft dresses in red tights and waves a trident at struggling riders. A superfan at the Tour of California dressed as a bishop and blessed struggling riders during the tougher climbs of that race. Joe could just dust off his papal garb, and show them how it is really done.

In the south of France there is a wonderful walled city called Avignon, which boasts a generally pleasant climate, and a lovely annual Festival d'Avignon taking place there for three weeks each July. I believe the Vatican still holds a couple of leases in Avignon.

In July of 1987 (17th July) Jean-Paul “Popeye” van Poppel won Tour de France stage 17 in a photo-finish sprint with Guido Bontempi to secured the green jersey after the 239 km (149 miles) ride from Millau to Avignon. Hopefully the 24-year-old Popeye and his Superconfex-Yoko teammates took advantage of the 18th of July rest stage to see the sights of Avignon; the city of popes. This year stages 6 and 7 will rout near Avignon. Perhaps Joe will be able to ride a fishtank over to catch one of those stages.

The last pope who resigned in Rome (Gregory XII ) did so in order to convince a pope from Avignon (Benedict XIII) to also resign. Caught in the mix of resignations was a pope from Pisa (John XXIII) who was also deposed. The Catholic Church on 4 July 1415 effectively went from three popes to none, and they did not elect a new one till Angelo “Pope Gregory XII” Correr died on 18 October 1417. So for about two and a half years the papacy was Sede vacant.

Angelo worked his remaining two years of life as Bishop of Frascati, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and perpetual legate at Ancona. Ancona is a lovely little seaport on the Adriatic sea. As recently as 2011 the Giro d’Italia has wound its way along the Adriatic coast through Ancona, and should Joe retire there he might be able to catch a stage of that race.

Baldassarre “Pope John XXIII” Cossa was not as lucky as Angelo. He was tried and convicted of heresy, simony, schism and immorality though he was able to evade capture for a bit. Eventually imprisoned he was released only to die a few weeks later.

Pope Benedict XIII may have had the best nickname of any pope. People called him “Papa Luna”. Papa should not be confused with the other Pope Benedict XIII who was famous for repealing Pope Uraban VIII’s worldwide ban on smoking, and cavorting with the mystic Serafina di Dio (Who has since been cannonized).

Papa Luna was not living in Avignon when he was deposed.  He spent his retirement in the Spanish “City in the Sea”; Peñíscola. In 1981 Stage 11 (2 May) of the Vuelta a España would bring Jesus to the Mediterranean coastal town. The Spanish sprinter Jesús Suárez Cueva would win that stage. Stage 12 that left Peñíscola for Esparraguera the next day would be taken by the French rider Frédéric Vichot.


Anonymous said...

You're a hidden talent. I just stumbled over this when I Googled "Atheist Popeye" and what a pleasant surprise.


adult onset atheist said...

Thank you, and welcome to my blog.