Pope grants special dispensation to people who realise Dan Brown’s novels are ‘actually a bit shit’

An announcement from the Vatican, made simultaneously in Rome and at a news conference in London, has confirmed that Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI has given special dispensation to disaffected fans of the novels of Dan Brown, allowing them to recant their devotion to the author and embrace the Roman Catholic Church.

This unprecedented move allows disenchanted readers to convert to Catholicism but retain their traditions and practices, such as getting over excited about pseudo-conspiracy runabout thrillers, whilst at the same time admitting that such books are actually historically inaccurate, clumsily written and really rather crap.

The announcement has already drawn interest from several readers, including former Dan Brown devotee Hilary Williams. ‘My daughter lent me The Da Vinci Code to read on holiday and I was hooked. The preface, which stated that everything in the novel is based on fact, gave it a legitimacy that I found lacking in other forms of worship. But I then went out and bought Brown’s 1998 debut novel Digital Fortress and, well let’s just say that I get my doctrinal mysticism from Rome nowadays.’

Another would-be convert is movie buff Derek Sincock. ‘I loved Tom Hanks in the Da Vinci Code – that film really hit my buttons. But Angels and Demons was a real disappointment. Who wants to watch two-and-a-bit hours of someone running around a bunch of statues and a helicopter blowing up? I think I’ll allow papal infallibility to inform my DVD purchases from now on.’

Since the Vatican’s announcement, other organisations have also attempted to enlarge their numbers. The BNP is preparing to open its doors to casual racists and people who have nothing against homosexuals, so long they ‘keep what they get up to in the privacy of their own home’; while the Labour Party is considering the unusual step of allowing socialists into its ranks. Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury has launched a recruitment drive with the slogan ‘Want hokum? Go Anglican!’

(Written 26 Oct)

Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 9:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Halloween ghosts ‘the real deal’ this year as River Styx boatman refuses to accept PayPal

Trick-or-treaters dressed as ghosts and ghouls could be bumping into the real thing this Halloween, after it emerged that Charon, the mythological figure that ferries the newly deceased across the river Styx and into the underworld, is refusing to accept PayPal.  As a result, increasingly large numbers of lost souls, deprived of an afterlife, have been left to wander the streets of Britain.

Metropolitan police officers have reported a dramatic rise in homeless spectres among the beggars and vagrants drawn to the bright lights of the nation’s capital.  ‘I came across this tramp dossing down outside Clapham North tube station,’ one constable recalls. ‘He had this weird, ghostly white pallor, and when my toe went through his leg when I prodded him to wake up and move along, I realised he was the real deal.’

An even greater rise in ghosts of no fixed abode is forcast by the end of October, after it emerged that Saint Peter has also hardened his attitude towards the dead as part of a radical modernisation programme.  ‘I lived in the same convent for nigh on sixty years,’ moaned one spectral shade, ‘but he steadfastly refused to let me through the Pearly Gates because he couldn’t see any evidence of my charitable works and pious life of contemplative prayer in my Facebook updates.  I don’t even know what Facebook is! And when he asked me if I’d twittered them – well, I looked at him as if he was mad!’

For his part, Charon the ferryman remains unmoved and, despite turning away thousands of would-be denizens of Hades, justifiess his position by blaming the prohibitive administration costs that PayPal charge for every transaction.  ‘With cold hard currency like coins you know where you are,’ he told a crowd of restless spirits queuing for his barge. ‘But PayPal are a business, not a bank – with them skimming off my profits, I just wouldn’t be able to stay afloat.’

(Written just before Halloween 2009)

Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 9:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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