Saturday, April 02, 2005

Media Running Out Of Euphemisms For Pope's Declining Condition

Headline writers "on their last leg"

Vatican City--Pope John Paul's tenacious grip on life is now threatening the jobs of headline writers and reporters everywhere, say media experts. Headlines such as Nearing Death and Fading Quickly usually mean just that—and generally do not require further amendment.

This has not been the case with Pope John Paul II

"There is a tacit understanding between public figures and those that report about them," said one journalist. "That when the euphemistic fabric becomes a bit threadbare, that it's time to change the linen." The source denied that this was a direct request of the Pope to die, although he said it would "make good copy downstairs."

"We've already expended the basics,” he said. “Nearing Death, Approaching Death’s Door, and Sliding Toward The Gates Of Heaven. From here, if there is no change, we move into Lapsing Into The Iris Of Twilight, Fading Consciousness and, Readying To Be Ushered To His Seat By Christ.”

The source said that new reports that the Pontiff was speaking and opening his eyes “undoes a good week’s worth of good journalism. Now we have to reach for more creative phrases,” he said.

One newsman said he was opting for “Skulking In The Waiting Room Of Death,” as it “provides room for the sort of mortal prevarication the Pope seems to delight in.”

Other say that “Pope-Mobiling Towards New Jerusalem,” is not only disrespectful, but possibly sacrilegious. “We need to avoid that at all costs, said one prominent news anchor. “That’s why I personally expelled the alliterative, Papal Palpitations Presumably Pushing Pontiff Paul Phlegmatically from our teleprompter.” His reasoning quite clear.

“It’s alliterative quality was shattered by the phonetic departure at the end, “he said.

Analysts agree that an extended “swan song” on the part of the Pontiff could have many staffers’ jobs “shuffling of this mortal coil.”

“We’re worried, “ said one typesetter. “This could be out last hurrah—our Waterloo, a virtual Hindenburg in a world of headline-writing dirigibles.”

As of this report, the Pope continues to wait outside the confessional of mortality.

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