Thar She Blows

Years later when Howard and I were living in Rome’s Via Giulia, Pius XII (real name Pacelli) finally died. Apparently, he was something of a faddist pope-pius-xii-460_980938cwhen it came to medicine. The ultimate fad proved to be his embalmment by what seems to have been an amateur taxidermist. As a result, while he lay in state in the basilica, he turned, according to one viewer, “emerald green.” Then, in response to the summer heat, he suddenly exploded. This was kept from the world for a long time until someone (a Jesuit?) passed on the information. It is also reported that many sturdy Swiss guardsmen fainted during this holy combustion.

Gore Vidal

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2 Responses to “Thar She Blows”


  1. 1 sally January 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Whoops—trying to catch up with you. Shouldn’t have laughed at this one.. should try to remain PIOUS? aggghhhhh


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