Knock knock knock.
Who could this be knocking at our Rome hotel room door at three in the morning?
I get out of bed… Should I trouser before I open the door? Hey, don’t blame me if you don’t think trouser is a verb. Trouser might mean putting something in your pocket to you but once the principle has been established that it can be a verb, how are you going to stop me from using it to mean “put on my trousers”? Anyway I decided to trouser. Which, as time would tell, was a wise decision.
Knock knock knock.
The knocking had a kind of precise insistance that suggested authority.
I took a deep breath and opened the door. And who was there? Only the bloody Pope!
Now as you may know the old Pope, John Paul George Ringo II, and I had often conversed on the subject of calendars. But the new pope? Eggs Benedict XVI and I had never spoken. So you can imagine how surprised I was to find him at my door.
“Hello, your Popeiness.”
“What can I help you with at three o’clock in the morning?”
I thought it worth reminding him of the hour just in case he thought arriving at people’s doors at such an hour was normal, or worse that he actually thought it was three o’clock in the afternoon and was just a bit confused.
“Yes, sorry about that Alex, I just wondered if I could borrow a bowl of sugar.”
“Oh, okay. I think I can do that.”
I said this to him because I did indeed think it would be something I could do. I then added, “it might have to be a plastic* of sugar.”
I went to the sideboard, found a plastic and started furiously pouring sachets of sugar into it.
“Thank you for this, Alex.”
“It really is no problem”, I replied, lying through my teeth.
I picked up the plastic and carried it over to his Popeiness.
“There you go,” I said.
“Thank you, Alex. I shall always remember this.”
He turned and walked away.
As I returned to bed, Katherine asked, “Who was that?”
“Well,” I said, “you are never going to believe this”.
* We here at gamboling are attempting to change the word for “plastic glass”. For other suggestions, please see this post and the comments. The theory behind plastic is pretty clear – why is glass called a glass? Why, for that matter are glasses (spectacles) called glasses? Well the same reasoning is behind calling a plastic vessel a plastic.