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Umbilicus orbis terrarum

A conversation among two Cubans after the news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation broke.

Via Enrisco (my translation):

Umbilicus orbis terrarum

- Did you hear about the pope?

- Yeah, he retired.

- The first one in six centuries.

- At 85 I think it’s good he retired while he’s still in top form and he doesn’t have to stick around to hear that his Urbi et Orbi blessings from the balcony are just not the same, that they are not as effective. That’s the problem with high-ranking religious figures, the expectations are way too high.

- No, I’m talking about the reasons he gave for retiring. Look, here it says, “the decision by the pope was made many months ago after his visits to Mexico and Cuba and after repeatedly examining his own conscience before God.”

- He’s going to retire because of three days he spent in Cuba?

- Well, not just because of that…

- So what are the Cubans who have spent a lifetime there without the Popemobile and without air conditioning going to say? That they’re going to retire once they get on in age? What a bad example for future generations! The Pollack, now he was a tough one. He took three bullets and was wasted away in the end, but he kept on plugging away.

- That's true, but what I find interesting are those examinations of conscience.

- Why do you say that? Because he refused to meet with Payá and the man later ended up dead in a ditch? Because of the Cardinal of the Industrials or the industries of the Cardinals? Because of the beatings administered by the Paramedics of Santiago? It's just that with all the baseball teams, I get confused.

- No, that's not it. What I believe is that he was traumatized after his encounter with the devil.

- Not just him, anyone would be traumatized. Did you see him the other day when he went out to vote? The kids at the ballot box looked at him as if he were the Chupacabra.

- I think kids today have the same problem as the pope; they just aren’t like they used to be.

- You shouldn’t demand so much of them. When you were kid, you already know what you would’ve done if you saw an old man with a crazy look on his face and more bent than a pretzel coming at you. I think he went there to suck the energy out of those kids, just like he sucked the energy out of Benedict 4x4.

- The thing is that as much as everyone one wants to deny it, Cuba once again is the center of the universe. It’s even our fault popes retire. All roads lead to Havana. We are no longer the keys to the gulf but the actual keys of St. Peter. Just look at Chavez.

- Yep, birds of a feather flock together in the Intensive Care Unit. That is the destiny for Cubans.

- What is that? To decide the destiny of the world?

- Nah, that the more screwed we are the more important we think we are.

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