Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Road to Hell

I almost never find myself in agreement with the Vatican. In theory, I like red Prada shoes, but not on this Pope. He always looks like he’s on his way to a gay cocktail party (and believe me, it wouldn’t be the first time I’d criticized some old queen’s shoes at one of those).

But now the Vatican has tackled one of my pet (peeve) projects head-on. As only the Vatican could.

Apparently, La Papa was getting all stressed out by the aggressive driving in Rome. In fact, he was heard to say, (loosely translated from Italian), “I do declare! All this testosterone is giving me the vapors!”

Here I present to you "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road," aka The Ten Commandments of Driving

1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.

In the interest of not going directly to Hell, without passing “Go,” I’ll let you write your own snarky comments to the actual commandments—although I find it unbearably pretentious, in fact almost blasphemous, that they chose to use the same construct as one of Christianity’s most revered documents. But what do I know, maybe they’re just big Letterman fans in Vatican City. Or maybe they just screened QT’s new flick in the Cardinals’ dorm.

The supporting paper also suggested praying before you buckle your seat belt. Please. Anyone who has ever been in Italian traffic knows you’re pretty much praying the whole time to make it out alive! (This might be the first time in recorded history that the Vatican recommended praying LESS? Interesting.)

In fact, they suggested that reciting the rosary would make you a better driver, because the “"rhythm and gentle repetition does not distract the driver's attention." Oh, yeah? Ask a teenager about “rhythm and gentle repetition” and whether it’s a distraction to their driving or not.

It also talked about the dangers of prostitution in cars (?!?!?!? As opposed to . . . what? Is the incidence of getting an STD greater if there’s a stick shift involved?).

At the end of the day, though, ANYTHING that will get people to drive better is all right by me. Although I can just see it now, Missy Catholic Soccer Mom, in her big ass Suburban with a carpool full of kids, juggling a skim, no-foam mocha latte, a steering wheel, her cell phone AND a rosary.

Lord help us!

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