Ian Midgley: My application to be the next Pope
I can't say that I'm an overly religious man. I'll pop along to the local carol service every Christmas. I'll drop a tin of fruit salad in at harvest festival. I'll dance naked around the burning wicker man with Edward Woodward trapped inside every summer solstice.
You know, the usual.
But I think I've seen the light.
I've been struck by the proverbial lightning bolt and my eyes have been opened; they've been opened to the endless opportunities that being Pope would do for my career.
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I, like John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in The Blues Brothers, am on a mission from God.
The event that sparked my Road To Damascus moment actually happened on the B1249 Driffield Road to Langtoft – admittedly not quite as glamorous – when the news came over the radio that Pope Benedict XVI had decided it was time be an ex-Pope.
It got me thinking. What would have happened if St Paul had been on the A164, outside Skidby, en route to Morrisons in Beverley, when he'd had his epiphany?
Let's face it, there's more chance of that happening than actually moving anywhere through the endless roadworks. Now that would be a miracle.
Benedict XVI will officially hang up his frock and crook next week – paving the way for a new successor to St Peter, shepherding the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, which, incidentally, is roughly the same number of City fans who want to travel to Huddersfield next month, according to West Yorkshire Police.
Now, there's been a lot of talk of potential successors to Benedict.
Some say the next pontiff will be an African. Africa, after all, is home to the fastest-growing Catholic congregation in the world.
Others are calling for a South American to take up residence in the Vatican. South America, after all, has the world's largest collection of mad Argentinian presidents and sombrero hats.
But, so far, one area that seems to be woefully under-represented in the candidates is Yorkshire and, more specifically, Hull.
Is it not time an East Yorkshire Pope bestrode the world, preaching the gospel and bringing some much-needed Hull common sense to this rapidly degenerating world?
Obviously, a Hull pope would officially have to be know as "the Perp" and discard the pointy hat for a flat cap but, apart from that, I can no reason why it wouldn't work.
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, my children, I would like to take this opportunity to announce my candidacy for the Papacy.
I have written an open letter to Rome, stating my credentials, and I shall let you know what happened when they invite me for an interview.
I've learnt a lot since I turned up for that job interview at Majestic Wine Warehouse with flies stuck all over my face (long story) and I'm pretty sure I'll ace it.
Here's my application:
Dear Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Tony Blair.
I would like to take this opportunity to apply for the position of Pope, which I see from recent media reports is currently vacant.
I feel I have all the qualities you are looking for in the role and know I would look awesome in a big white dress and hat combo.
I have wonderful communication skills and am a whiz at social media – which I believe is a must in these days of trying to reach a younger audience.
Much like my predecessor, Benedict, I have recently, reluctantly, joined Twitter and I – like a certain someone you may have heard of – also have 12 followers. A coincidence? I think not.
My online presence will be invaluable in spreading the Church's message of peace, love and the importance of Irish laundries run by nuns.
I have been to Rome on holiday, twice – I actually got engaged there – and really liked it, so would have no problem in relocating.
Finally, like his outgoing Holiness, I also have no idea what a prophylactic is.
Yours, the Right Reverend Monsignor Ian Midgley.
There, I think that should do it. Now, when I'm elected, what should be my first miracle? I'm thinking automatic promotion to the Premier League for the Tigers or turning water into funding for Castle Street.
Answers on a postcard or Communion wafer please.