Papal Bull

Cosplay for the righteous

Cosplay for the righteous

 

Asking around for candidates to be included in our occasional series “Hijos ilustres de Zaragoza”, I came across the name Fermín Miñambres a couple of times, which was quite a surprise to me as I’d never heard of him. None of my informants was willing to go into any details as to what this Fermín Miñambres was renowned for, but I definitely got the message that he was worth tracking down.

 

I eventually located him, which wasn’t easy because several years he changed his name and nowadays prefers to be called Pope Wayne II.

 

Pope??

 

I arranged to meet His Holiness in the foyer of a local hotel. No sooner had I entered the hotel when an athletic-looking, middle-aged man greeted me with a smile and an outstretched hand.

 

“Heen Martínez?”

 

“Yes. Pope Wayne?”

 

“The second.”

 

We sat down and I switched on my voice recorder. What follows is the interview I had with this remarkable illustrious son of Zaragoza.

 

 

First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking time out for this interview.

 

Not at all. Always glad to speak to the press.

 

Well, it’s not exactly the press, just a blog.

 

Communication, my son, can take many forms. The Comanche’s smoke signals, the nightingale’s madrigal, the Daily Telegraph, the runes carved in the menhirs, a birthday card to your sister… it’s all press, it’s all messages. The Communist Manifesto, the Rosetta Stone, the Huffington Post, an SMS from your mistress, your neighbour’s electricity bill…Press. All press.

 

Ah, right. Well, anyway, thank you.

 

Don’t mention it. I’m always delighted to share my words with journalists, and before you say you’re not a journalist, let me ask you this: The rooster that announces the dawn, the ping that a microwave oven makes, the Osama bin Laden videos on Al Jazeera, the mother’s contractions before childbirth… are they all not examples of journalism?

 

Well, I had never really stopped to think about it.

 

Ah ha! And you call yourself a journalist!

 

No, no, hang on, it was you that called me a journalist.

 

Was it? Maybe you’re right. I utter so many truths that I can hardly keep up with them sometimes.

 

I would be delighted if you could continue uttering a few more, for the benefit of the readers of my blog.

 

Sure. No problem. What would you like me to tell you about?

 

Well, the first question I was going to ask you is why you call yourself Pope Wayne II.

 

Obvious, isn’t it? There was already a Pope Wayne I, so I became the second.

 

I think I have to ask two questions at the same time here: Who was Pope Wayne I, and are you really a Pope in the way we usually understand the word “Pope”?

 

I shall answer your questions in the reverse order. That means, I will answer the second question first, which will entail leaving your first question until the end. No, I’m not really a Pope. And Pope Wayne I was the spiritual leader of the Hot Galaxians, a weird sect based in Delaware in the 80’s.

 

I see. So, I have to ask you the original question in a different way. Why do you call yourself a Pope, if you aren’t really a Pope?

 

If I were to call myself a lavatory cleaning product, would you be asking me that question?

 

Excuse me?

 

I mean, you seem to take umbrage at my calling myself a Pope, so I wondered if calling myself a lavatory cleaning product would make any difference to you. Or a glass of milk. Or a ton of coal. Or a fur coat. Or a kidney. Or a basketball court.

 

Yes, I mean, no, I just wanted to know why you have taken the title “Pope”.

 

It’s not a title. It’s just a name. I could call myself Dolores Yellowstone, if that would make you feel better.

 

So there’s nothing papal about you, is that right?

 

Well, yes and no. And notice I say Yes before I say No.

 

So there is a bigger something than a smaller nothing?

 

I see you are beginning to follow me. The thing is, I am a god.

 

I beg your pardon? You say you’re God?

 

No, not “God”, I’m saying I’m a god.

 

You are a god. Right. So that explains why you have a certain, shall we say, empathy stroke affinity with the papal ring to your name. I see.

 

You could say so, yes. The thing is, being a god, I felt that the name Fermín didn’t have the right sort of gravitas. I toyed with the idea of Vishnu for a while, Amida maybe, but I settled for Pope Wayne II and here we are.

 

And, er, when you say you’re a god…

 

Do you doubt?

 

Well, no, I didn’t want to suggest…

 

Your faith is still weak, I perceive.

 

Let’s just say I like to leave my options open.

 

Sitting on the fence, right? Like those “God PROBABLY doesn’t exist” losers who have hijacked the London buses. Yeah, yeah, I know your sort. Covering your back just in case the Archangel Gabriel unsheathes his scimitar, isn’t that right?

 

That hardly describes my own stance, Wayne. Anyway, what I wanted to ask you is, when you say you’re a god, does that mean you are one of several? Are there other gods? Not just one?

 

Well of course there are other gods. What kind of question is that! And you call yourself a journalist!

 

I’ve told you already, I’m not a journalist!

 

You’re telling me!

 

OK, OK, there are other gods. And are they the gods that people commonly refer to as gods?

 

Come again?

 

I mean, are you referring to Jehovah, Allah, gods like that?

 

Jehovah? Allah? Never heard of them. I know a god called Manolo, and then there’s Charlie, and Fritz of course. You could include Sylvie, too, I suppose.

 

I see. So there’s a god called Manolo. Right.

 

Are you being flippant?

 

Let’s just say the sceptical me is in the ascendant. Tell me about your church, your faith, whatever.

 

Do you genuinely want to know about my flock?

 

Genuinely.

 

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you but we have a confidentiality clause.

 

“We?”

 

My flock have told me they don’t want me to blab to journalists.

 

But I’m not a …

 

You just don’t get it, do you? Look, I’ll make a deal with you. I perform a miracle and we call it a day, OK? I’m getting tired.

 

You can perform miracles?

 

No sweat. A fine god I’d be if I couldn’t do miracles! Ha!

 

OK, so what sort of miracles can you perform? Can you bring people back from the dead?

 

Never tried that one but it shouldn’t be too hard. Let’s try something more basic. I see you’re drinking a glass of water. I shall now turn it into a glass of wine.

 

I’d be very very very impressed, your Holiness.

 

Let me see… Concentration…. OK, there you go.

 

What?

 

I’ve turned your glass of water into wine.

 

No you haven’t. It’s a glass of water!

 

Try it.

 

It tastes of water to me.

 

It may taste of water, but in fact it’s wine.

 

No it isn’t. It’s water.

 

You have NO FAITH WHATSOEVER,  have you.

 

Look, Fermín, if it looks like water and tastes like water, I reckon it’s water.

 

I agree it’s not a very good vintage.

 

It’s not wine, and you can’t perform miracles. Ergo, you aren’t a god.

 

So that’s your definition of the ontological proof, is it?

 

No, it’s my definition of a phoney.

 

My son, I shall overlook your weaknesses if you see the light.

 

And I shall overlook your bullshit and publish this in my blog.

 

That’s very kind of you.

 

Not at all.

 

 

 

 

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