Hello, and welcome to The Gods Are Bored! Guess what? We are going to have an unprecedented event in the Philadelphia region. We're going to have a crippling blizzard -- like, the blizzard of the century -- the last weekend in September!
I know, I know, that sounds weird. But I'm not kidding you.
What do we know about blizzards?
*They shut down highways.
*They close schools.
*They make travel hazardous, if not impossible.
*They cause disruptions in health care and public safety.
*They make people run out to the store ahead of time for bread, eggs, and milk.
All of that is going to happen in Philadelphia during the final weekend in September.
Pope Francis, he of the "everyman" and "feed the poor" ilk, is coming to the City of Brotherly Love for a fluffy thing called World Meeting of Families. We in the Delaware Valley have already been told that Pope Francis will not be including gay people in his definition of marriage and family. That's to be expected.
What's also to be expected is total chaos in Philly. (I wonder if anyone will be able to tell? It's always partially chaotic in Philly.)
This lunatic pope is going to Independence Hall on Saturday and is giving an open-air Mass at 4:00 Sunday afternoon. Anyone -- I mean anyone -- who wants to go see him is warmly invited to do so.
Not that it will be easy in blizzard conditions.
Let's go back over those blizzard prerequisites:
*Shutting down highways -- Every major highway except Interstate 95 will be closed while the pope is in Philadelphia. All highways coming in from the east. All highways going out to the west. Both major bridges into Philadelphia will be closed. (The Ben Franklin Bridge will be open to foot traffic, but everyone has to go through scanners, like airport security.)
*The pope must be guarded by the FBI, local and state police, the sheriff's department, and Homeland Security. They are already at work on plans to erect a fence around a huge swath of Center City Philadelphia -- including Spare's college.
*My school will be closing at noon on Friday and not opening up again until Tuesday. This is because all major thoroughfares in Camden will be closed to traffic.
*Spare's school in Center City will be closed from Wednesday until the following Tuesday. All students are being strongly urged to go home, if possible.
If it disrupts traffic and requires extra police, and closes the schools, it's a blizzard.
Maybe that's why he wears white.
I had the utter bad fortune to have to spend the day with a devout Roman Catholic colleague. She proudly said that this pope will seek out the poorest neighborhoods in the region to visit. He has a lot of ground to cover, if that's the case. But what I think (and I didn't share this with my colleague) is that this blizzard visit is a colossal case of hubris. This pope is asking for a terrorist attack, he's asking for crowds to crush each other in an effort to get to him, and he's basically giving criminals of all stripes a wonderful chance to rob, pilfer, and scam.
La di dah! This will be a funny adventure for those of us at The Gods Are Bored! We'll lay in our stores of milk and bread. We have plenty of firewood and space for Heir and Spare. Gonna hunker down and ride out this storm, praising and worshiping the Bored Gods!