(The curtain rises to reveal an ante-room in the Vatican. Cardinal Jorge BERGOGLIO hurriedly enters stage right and approaches a grand doorway. He’s wiping his hands on his cassock as he encounters Cardinal Josep PSLYISNITZC, also about to enter.)
BERGOGLIO (sotto voce)
Goddamned air dryers…
What’s ‘at, Georgie?
Hey, Joey, what’s up? (Gestures towards door.)
What’s going on in there?
You haven’t heard?
Well, I’m hearing all kinds of noise now.
So I’m asking, what’s going on?
White smoke? No.
(Col. MURSTRICHT, head of the Swiss Guards, enters, unseen by Bergoglio.)
BERGOGLIO (wheeling to face him)
I’m sayin’, it’s you, baby!
BERGOGLIO (wheeling back around, panicked)
(Bergoglio, pulls out his phone, makes a call on speed dial, checks his watch.)
Shit, I gotta get to the airport. There’s a red eye
to B.A. leaves in 90 minutes.
Ha! I. Don’t. Think. So.
But I gotta get home and pack up my shit.
(to phone) Yeah, is this Vatican Travel?
MURSTRICHT (Gently but assertively taking phone from Bergoglio)
Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh, my friend.
We got people that take care of all that shit.
Dude, you are home, man.
But what about Messi?
What about him? He’s a brilliant football player.
But you’re now pope!
You are, like, the guy.
Messi, my cat. I gotta get my cat.
And my CDs and shit.
Cats? You want cats? There’s a million friggin’
cats out there in St. Peter’s Square, gorging on
pigeons. Take your pick. This is your place, now.
Yeah, and after the Sistine Chapel Choir live
from your den, your CDs will sound lame anyway.
(Bergoglio looks back and forth between the two of them.)
You fuckers aren’t kidding, are you?
No, My Eminence, dude, we are not.
I really can’t go back and pack up my shit
and get my cat, can I?
MURSTRICHT (checking his smartphone)
Buenos Aires isn’t scheduled for a papal visit until—
wait, here it is—May 2015. But I think we can scooch
that up a few months, providing the enormous logistical
challenges of moving your papal entourage work out.
BERGOGLIO (now steamed)
Well, this just blows.
(Pslyisnitzc puts his hand on one of the door handles, Murstricht the other.)
BERGOGLIO (mostly to himself)
I had tickets to the opera on Friday night,
I had lunch plans on Saturday…
After you, Your Eminence?
(Bergoglio pauses for a second, sighs, then nods slightly.)
(Pslyisnitzc and Murstricht throw open the doors. A blinding light. The roar of the Cardinals.)