I guess I'll start this letter off the same way I started off the other 266 letters, packages, signed headshots, and baked goods I've mailed to you (which I'm sure were just missed and not actually ignored): What up, homie? I feel comfortable saying that because you are universally regarded as the coolest pope to ever live. You're even cooler than Pope Formosus, and he was a skeleton!
You've gotta be pretty cool to beat Skele-Pope.
Since you (or, more likely, your "posse") have ignored my correspondence over the past year or so, Cracked has let me use their highly visible platform in order to elicit some kind of answer to my burning question: Why don't you come kick it with me this September?
Now, because you're the Pope, and because I have 12 years of catholic schooling under my belt (not to mention seven years of work within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia), I'm going to do my best to make this a rare G-Rated column so that you can read it. Also, please refrain from reading any of my other columns, as I'm pretty sure that the amount of cussing, as well as most of the subject matter, could get me excommunicated.
Look, ever since you announced that your 2015 visit to the US will culminate in the city of Philadelphia, I have been extremely anxious. I'm not concerned because your visit is due to bring two million people to the city, nor am I worried about the giant fence being erected that will pretty much shut things down completely.
Phillydome: One Pope enters, that same Pope leaves safely.
No, Your Excellency, I'm just a tad bit apprehensive about Philly's less-than-stellar track record with guests to the city. I'm more than likely being neurotic here, because you probably have Pope bodyguards who have special Pope firearms and Pope grenades to protect you from Pope-related danger at all times. But do you know what we did to the last high-profile visitor to the city? Some hoodlums left him headless and dismembered in a dirty alleyway! That was HitchBOT, the friendly Canadian robot, and he's all people can talk about when they mention Philly lately. He came to the City of Brotherly Love and he was treated ... well, exactly how my brothers treated me growing up, actually, so I can't say I'm super surprised.
Nothing like a Philly "Welcome Hug."
But of course, Most Holy Father, you have something HitchBOT didn't have: a pearly white Mercedes Benz fortress made of bulletproof glass. Hey, I think it's great that you're bringing the Popemobile to Philly with you; just be sure to keep your eye on it. I say this because vehicles visiting Philly have a habit of disappearing. One of my favorite bands had their van and all their equipment stolen right out from under their noses. Now that I mention it, for some reason, vans seem to get stolen all the time in Philadelphia. And the Popemobile is way cooler than any van, so just don't get too attached to your sweet ride, is all I'm trying to say.
Or at least attach some machine guns or napalm launchers or something.
At this point, Father Made Entirely Of Holy, you may be saying to yourself, "Erik, dude, I'm the Pope! Surely, that title is one the people of Philadelphia will respect!" And maybe you're right, Most Sovereign Pontiff. Maybe I'm not cutting my fellow Philadelphians enough slack. But you know what another highly respected title all over the world is? Santa Claus, that's what. Like you, he's all about charity and making people happy while wearing cool robes and funny hats. But do you know how we repaid him? We booed him and pelted him with snowballs, because we could.
"Keep your good cheer OUTTA MY CITY!"
It may seem like I'm telling you to just completely avoid Philly this September, and let me just say that nothing could be further from the truth. There is a lot to see and do our city, and I hope you get to experience it all. From our really old, busted-up bell to our famed statue of Sylvester Stallone, you're in for a real treat when you get here. But staying in Philly and visiting Philly are two different things, and I'm pretty sure I've done a commendable job of dissuading you from parking yourself anywhere in Philly during your visit, Most Esteemed Successor of Peter the Apostle.
With that in mind, allow me to extend the old olive branch and welcome you into my home! I already cleared it with the wife, so it's totally cool for you to crash here! See, I'm in what you could call a "Philly Safe Zone," just on the outskirts. I'm far enough away from those scary red zones on the map, but close enough that you're just a hop, skip, and a jump from city activities like boxing training and those sandwiches we're famous for. In addition to hanging with a self-described "totally rad dude," here are the amenities you can look forward to when you're staying at Chateau Germ:
As you can see, I'm fully equipped to house you for the weekend, and you may even decide that you love it here and want to crash a few more days, which I'm fully on board with. I'm looking forward to hearing back from you so that we can plan what we'll marathon on Netflix. I'm thinking either Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or House Of Cards if you haven't seen season three yet. Either way, I have a New Kids On the Block sleeping bag with your name all over it.
Sincerely Yours, Most Sanctified Father of Kings,
Erik Germ can be reached by the Pope or anyone else by following him on Twitter.
If the Pope hopes to survive Philadelphia, he should take notes from Bill Burr. See Burr destroy Philadelphia jackasses in The 10 Most Satisfying Cases Of Hecklers Getting Destroyed. If not, he may go the way of Pope Benedict and resign. In which case, he should read Luke McKinney's column on how best to Pope around on your last day. Check out The Pope's Last Day Of Work and feel the hilarity spirit flow through you.
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