2005 Year In Review
Most Overrated Event: Election Of A New Pope
Most Underrated Event: City Engulfed By Maple Syrup Smell
I happened to be in London at the time of Pope John Paul’s death. My family, mostly Catholic in the “Well, nothing else makes more sense, so . . .” kind of way, had the television on every morning watching the same scenes over and over of reporters standing outside the Vatican waiting for news. It got to the point where whenever someone woke up and walked into the living room the first thing they would say is, “Did he die yet?”
And then he did die, while we were in the airport coming home. We were waiting on line to go through customs and word spread like wildfire on the snaking line. And you know what everyone did? They went about their business. Except for me – I cried for three straight days. (Haha – sorry, Mom.)
Immediately following that, the world was downright ENTRANCED by the selection of the new pope, which, to me, was about as exciting as the selection of the new Northeastern Divisional Manager at JC Penny. But everyone else did the thing where they crowded the streets, waiting for news, blah, blah, blah. Then the new pope was chosen, and you know what everyone did? They rejoiced – and promptly forgot about him. Pope Benedict had a shorter media shelf life than the Runaway Bride (whom he edged out in the Most Overrated Event category).
I still say they should have gone with my idea: They should have turned the selection of a new pope into a reality TV show. They could have a room set off to the side where the cardinals could go in and complain to a camera about the other cardinals. (“Cardinal Egan smells like mothballs. I can’t stand sitting next to him!”) And then they could vote off 10 cardinals every day until it's down to the final three, and America (just America) could text their votes in to choose the next pope. It would have been golden.
As for the entire city of New York smelling of maple syrup, frankly I can’t believe that we let this go without an explanation. How eight million New Yorkers were satisfied with “Oh it’s Trade Winds,” or “Probably just pollen,” is beyond me. For all of you that weren’t here, I don’t know exactly how to explain it – I mean, IN MY APARTMENT it smelled like fucking pancakes and syrup. I’m getting angry all over again. I need to stop. But this has to be the definition of underrated: For a few hours, one of the largest cities in the world experienced a phenomenon unlike anything ever experienced in history, and the next day we were back to Nick and Jessica. I think we could have spent a little more time on that one.