The Pope is coming! Everyone get ready, and if you’re in NYC, make sure to stick anything you don’t want all holy in a plastic bag, or at least cover it with a tarp. The Pope will be in NYC soon, and he’ll be riding in the latest Popemobile, a modified Jeep Wrangler. But is this really the best possible Popemobile?
The Wrangler is an okay Popemobile, as far as open Popemobiles go. We’ve covered the history and evolution of Popemobiles here before, as well as featuring some recent ones, and even giving you some hot tips on how to make your own quick Popemobile.
But we’ve never really examined exactly how the tried-and-true Pope-in-a-box/Pope-in-a-Hole formula can be improved with the benefit of modern technology and a fresh set of eyes.
Until now. Thanks to the recent upgrade of the Jalopnik Mainframe with a Religiosity-Support Module (a chunk of the True Cross connected to an Arduino that handles translating the Holiness into USB protocols) we believe we have come up with five useful, sure-fire improvements to the standard Popemobile designs:
1. The Papal Crane
The whole point of a Popemobile at all is to most efficiently and effectively distribute Pope-grade holiness to the masses. Often, this is best accomplished with direct Pope-to-person contact. That’s why Pope Francis derided the all-enclosed Popemobiles as being ‘glass sardine cans.’
But even with open-air Popemobiles, there’s still a pretty big gulf between most of the people in a crowd and the Pope himself. A great way to solve this problem is with a device like this one, the Papal Crane.
A Papal Crane-equipped Popemobile would allow the Papal Crane operator (in the rotating control cab at the rear) to raise and lower the Pope into the adoring throng as needed. The effective radius of direct-Pope contact would be increased dramatically, maximizing the Pope’s visit.
Also, in situations where the Pope is in danger, the crane could quickly whip the Pope safely 50 or more feet into the air, ideally before the Pope comes to harm.
2. Piety-enhancing robotic exoskeleton
Maybe we’ve been thinking about this all wrong by limiting the idea of a Popemobile to just automobiles. Maybe a more radical re-thinking of the Pope-delivery problem is warranted? Maybe it’s time for a full-featured, fully motorized Papal Robotic Enhancement suit?
The Piety-Enhancement Suit concept would deliver unheard-of mobility, safety, and access to the Pope. The suit would allow a Pope to safely and effectively mingle directly in massive crowds of believers, delivering blessings and forgiveness with a strength, range, and power over 50x an un-augmented Pope, thanks to a sophisticated radio-thermal nuclear generator system, developed by NASA.
Blessings and holy thoughts could also tap into this power source and be broadcast further than ever before, thanks to a mitre-mounted antenna array that can patch directly into communications satellites.
Also, for the triple purpose of mass-blessings, long-distance baptisms, and crowd control, the Papal Exoskeleton is equipped with a pair of powerful Holy Water cannons, one in each forearm.
3. Pope/Coptic Pope Encounter System
It’s easy to forget that the Pope Francis is not the only Pope game in town. There’s also the Coptic Pope, Pope Tawadros II. It’s high time Popemobile designs were standardized, especially with common and compatible Papal access ports.
By designing Popemobiles with standardized Papal Containment chambers and dockable access ports, the Pope and Coptic Pope could safely interact with one another, while minimizing any hazard to outsiders or onlookers via specially hardened and Papal-emission tight Papal Containment Chambers.
The two Popemobiles could dock, port-to-port, and the access ports could be partially opened, say with a screen or mesh that would allow the co-mingling of Papal energy before allowing direct Pope-to-Pope contact.
If everything checked out okay, the access ports could open, allowing for true multi-Pope interactions, or, possibly, the rare and astounding display of a Popefight.
It’s possible this system could harness the energy that theological scientists theorize will be released during direct Pope/Coptic Pope interactions. As of yet, these reactions are unknown, which is all the more reason Popemobiles such as these should be built.
4. Electric/Pope-Power Hybrid
The Pope is really just sitting (or standing) on his ass (or feet) while the Popemobile drives around, and if the Pope is serious about people needing to be good stewards of the Earth, it wouldn’t kill the guy to pitch in a little, right?
That’s why an electric Popemobile with a cycle-type generator for the Pope to ride would be such a good idea. It would save energy as the Papal pedaling replenished the Popemobile’s batteries, and would be a real PR boon to the Vatican, which would be seen as really practicing what they preach.
Plus, think how ripped the Pope would get.
5. High-Blessing-Volume Papal Dragster
Generally, Popemobiles have tended to be slow-moving vehicles. That’s great if you’re right nearby, but it’s wildly inefficient when you think about the big picture of the Pope’s job when he travels: meet and interact, in a holy way, with as many people as possible. The Pope needs to simply cover more area.
That’s why a Papal dragster would work so well. Crowds would be organized into long lines, forming lanes that faced onto a long strip. The High-Blessing-Volume Papal Dragster would tear ass between the rows of people, the Pope mounted securely up front, hands free to wave, touch, and bless people as he whips by at speeds up to 160 MPH.
At the end of the row, the Papal Dragster turns, and makes another run down a new strip, zig-zagging his way through the massive crowd.
The Papal Harness would have plenty of shock-absorbing materials and allow the Pope a good amount of motion while remaining safe and secure at the front of the dragster. The Papal weight should also help minimize the chance of wheelies.
He may need a mitre with a visor, though.