Ask the Pope

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day

Some Cardinals invited me over for a BBQ to celebrate Memorial Day. We drank some German beer and watched the Phoenix Suns beat the San Antonio Spurs. I was a little disappointed with the Spurs. They were my team. I even said a special blessing for them before the game, but it obviously didn’t work. I’m beginning to doubt my papal power.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Famous Forever

People talk about how everyone has his or her “15 minutes of fame.” Well, that’s not true for me. I now have acquired infinite fame. I will be world famous forever (even after I die). And when I die, I’ll probably be even more famous in heaven, so the 15 minute fame rule doesn’t apply to me.

So, here’s some words of advice for anyone who thinks they might be famous:

If you think you might become famous (and you’ll probably never get as famous as me), make sure and keep all your possessions that way you could sell them later for big bucks.

For example, someone sold my old Volkswagen bug for $244,000 U.S. dollars. Imagine if I would have kept that? I could have made a bundle of cash. That was a poor mistake on my part.

And now, someone is selling my old apartment on eBay. I should have kept that apartment as an investment property. I could have used that money to buy a new wardrobe and send whatever money was left over to feed the poor. It could have benefited two worthy causes.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Shroud of Turin


I don’t think the Shroud of Turin is really an image of Christ.
But, the shroud controversy has got me thinking about a new business idea.

Due to my normal to oily skin, I wear a herbal facial masque every night to keep my skin looking soft and clean. It also helps hide my blemishes and tighten my pores.

Most of the Cardinals think I’m gay for doing this, but I don’t really care. My stylist tells me to ignore the ridicule and just focus on getting healthy skin. I think he’s right.

Anyway, I leave the clay masque on my face for about 30 minutes before cleaning it off with a warm Egyptian cotton hand towel. And when I’m done, I can see a clay imprint of my face on my towel.

I bet you that if I let it dry, I could sell these towels on eBay. What do you think? I can call it “Wash Cloth of the Pope.”

Saturday, May 28, 2005

My First Book Deal

The Vatican Diet

Two people arrived from Penguin Putnam to give me a book deal. They wanted me to write a book about (1) America’s invasion of Iraq, (2) my belief about women in the church, and (3) the homosexual movement in Catholicism. They think it will be a bestseller.

I told them that I didn’t feel comfortable writing about such controversial issues. Instead, I told them that I have already begun writing a book about weight loss. I’m calling it ”The Vatican Diet.” It shows the importance of drinking red wine on a daily basis, eating plenty of vegetables, and staying on a low-carb, high-protein diet. I even allow people to “cheat” on their diets once a week by eating vending machine food.

I think people will love it.

Time Magazine Interviewed Me

Time Magazine recently interviewed me.

Here’s a transcript:

What did you think of Pope John Paul II?

J.P. was pretty good, but he had his flaws. I learned from his mistakes.

What flaws did he have?

Well, for one thing, he drove a Ford Escort. Not my style.

Tell us about your blog?

When I became Pope, I started getting all this email—as you can imagine. So I started a blog so that I could interact with anyone more quickly. Someone recently asked me if my office water cooler is filled with Holy Water.

How did you respond?

Of course, not. It’s just bottled mountain spring water. I could, of course, turn it to Holy Water if I wanted to because everything I touch is basically holy and blessed.

It’s like that legend about King Midas and how everything he touched turned to gold. It got him in trouble, didn’t it? He couldn’t eat food because it turned to gold. He’d see a ham sandwich sitting there and the second he touched it— it turned to gold. The poor man was starving.

And I would imagine that the Midas touch inflated the economy as well. The story never gets into the economics of the Midas Kingdom, but you can imagine how inflation must have skyrocketed.

Do you think you’re a type of King Midas?

Well, I’m sort of a King Midas—sure. Except everything I touch gets blessed—in a sense, but to really activate it—I need to say a prayer. So, at this moment—the bottled water is not holy yet.

Now, watch this.

[Pope Joe walks to water cooler ands says a silent prayer.]

Now it’s holy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Business Ethics

At the Vatican, we’re not about money like other “big businesses.” We’re about saving souls.

Sure, the old Popes in the medieval ages were a bit greedy. But, not me; I’m more interested in your eternal destiny.

And bribery doesn’t work with me. Just because you send me 1,000 U.S. dollars doesn’t mean I will get your dead relative or friend out of purgatory, or hell for that matter. I will not compromise my business or religious ethics for money.

Besides, I’m worth more than that. My speaking fee alone is 5000 U.S. dollars per hour. And my agent thinks I can get more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ex Cathedra

One of the most stressful parts of my job is when I’m supposed to speak for God. I have to make sure that what I’m saying is not only Biblically correct, but also grammatically correct.

This gets especially tough for me when I have to speak for God in Spanish. I can never remember the genders of the nouns. I need to get a pocket translator.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Concerning Sneezing

Before I was Pope, I would say, “Bless You” after every time someone sneezed. It’s an expression that I used to say out of habit.

Now that I’m Pope, I need to reserve my blessings to only people that deserve and/or need it. I shouldn’t bless someone just because they sneezed. What kind of Pope would that make me?

I must not be wasteful by blessing everyone. If I did, my blessings will mean less. And there’s nothing worse than a cheap blessing. Just ask Ashlee Simpson.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

John Paul's '75 Escort For Sale

Everyone realized how much cash was made off my old car, so now someone is attempting to sell JP's little Escort.

It's a sad little car, but it does have some benefits:

“The car comes with a set of rosary beads that belonged to the pope, a picture of a saint glued to the dash, and a small candy container filled with fuses and matches.”

I think the car's candy container (filled with fuses and matches) is a damnable sin. A candy container should have candy. And don't you dare put chocolate candy in that container--it would melt and get all gooey on hot days. Unless, of course, the candy container is portable and you can take it with you. That would be okay.

Friday, May 20, 2005

St. Peter's Chair

Bush recently praised me by saying, “[Catholics and non-Catholics] can take heart in the man who sits in the chair of St. Peter.”

I’ll take the praise, but Bush has no idea how uncomfortable that chair is. The thing is rickety and falling apart. Reminds me of my old Ikea furniture. I need to get a nice comfortable recliner. Something I can fall into and sleep in at the end of a long day. St. Peter didn’t have the chair options that I have today.

I also was recently praised by President Bingu wa Mutharika. I considered calling to thank him, but I’m afraid that I’ll mispronounce his name. I guess I’ll just send a card.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Vatican Fitness Club

As you know, I want to be a man of the people, so I regularly visit the Vatican Fitness Club to swim and do a little workout among the peasants.

Yesterday, I was sitting in the Jacuzzi with 4 other men when the bubbles stopped. Everyone looked at me (since I was closest to the big red button) and wanted me to get out of the Jacuzzi to turn it back on.

Not only was I tired, but I’m Pope, too. Why should I have to get out of the Jacuzzi to turn it back on? Why can’t one of those guys get out and do it? Besides, what’s wrong with just sitting in murky, warm water without bubbles? Are the bubbles even necessary?

After about a minute, one of the guys looked at me and politely asked me to turn the Jacuzzi back on. The three other guys looked at me and I started fuming inside.

I’ve never considered becoming a Baptist until that point. Thoughts of baptism by submersion seemed like an appropriate doctrine at that moment.

I imagined my thin, frail arms trying to hold that tough guy under water. I might convince him by telling him that I was Pope and wanted to give him a special blessing. I think I could hold him down for 15 seconds, but that’s about it. Not long enough to make him pass out.

Oh, well.

I ended up just ignoring him and looked at my toes. I like to wiggle my toes in the Jacuzzi.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Free Beer at the Vatican

Ever since I mentioned that I love drinking Stuttgarter Hofbreu beer, they started sending me tons of it.

They just delivered 700 liters of beer to the Vatican. It’s a little embarrassing, but I can’t deny the gift of beer. It’s almost as great as the gift of apostleship.

I forgot to mention my love for Guiness beer and Ding Dongs. I hope the Press will pick that up.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Papal Interview: Part Deux (excerpt)

Vatican H.R. Department:
Tell me one of your strengths?

That’s a tough one.

If I was forced to pick one strength, I’d have to say it’s my humility. I am a very humble person. Ask anyone. I always put others in front of myself—especially women and children.

For example, if there was a fire in this building, I would make sure that all the women and children could escape first.

Well—actually--after me. The elderly [Ratzinger points to himself] should escape first because we’re a bit slower. And, as Pope, I'd definitely need to exit first. It wouldn't look good if the Pope died in a fire in the Vatican.

But the women and children should be right behind me. And I’d imagine they would be pushing me in some sort of wheel chair if possible—to sort of quicken the process.

Vatican H.R. Department:
Tell me one of your weaknesses?

Vending Machine food.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Spanish Inquisition

Someone asked me about my thoughts on the Spanish Inquisition. Here’s my response:

The Spanish Inquisition was a terrible, terrible massacre that should have never occurred. If I were Pope back then, things would have been quite different.

Not only was it wrong, but it also required a working knowledge of Spanish.

My Spanish is terrible. I know enough Spanish to order a margarita and find out where the restroom is located. What kind of Spanish Inquisition would that be?

I’m sure my inquisitions would have been a lot more fun—-if anything. I wouldn’t even call them inquisitions; I’d just call them “brief interviews with a Spaniard in a pub.”

Why threaten people into Catholicism, when you could use a margarita? And I’d never use opium, as Marx suggested.

Another bonus about me being Pope back then is that Poe’s classic story “The Pit and the Pendulum” (which delves into the atrocities of the Inquisition) would have been renamed “The Pub and the Potty.”

I’m sure it would have been really funny book, and gained me some converts at the same time. So we both would win.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


With the growing excitement about the new Star Wars movie, I think it’s time for me to get into the action by developing my own video game based on the movie.

I’m going to call it “TSAR WARS” and it would feature me as a crime-fighting Pope that can travel through the world and time to fight and destroy evil dictators.

In the game, I’d be able to travel through time and kill off people like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Pol Pot, and the Sith. I might also want to get rid of Galileo because he caused the Church some problems, too.

My goal would be to create peace and harmony in the world.

My weapons would include boiling holy water, an iron Bible with spikes, and an ability to cause people to fall asleep through readings of my catechism. I need to set a meeting with PlayStation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Et Tu, Georg?

My brother, Georg Ratzinger, supposedly told The Bild Newspaper that he’s concerned about my health. Quoth the Ratz:

“And health-wise, he's no longer the most robust. His heart! Such a man should really not have such a burden put on him."

I appreciate his concern, but I think you should be aware of his jealousy. He never wanted me to be Pope. They interviewed him when I was first nominated, and he immediately told them that I wouldn’t be a good Pope because I’d probably die within a year or two.

Little did he know that they were looking to hire a short-term Pope anyway, so I got the job. I know I may not be around very long, but it annoys me that my brother seeks publicity by speaking about my health. He’s a ratz. A real ratz.

The Intervention

Several concerned Cardinals came to me last week about a Vatican janitor who has a drinking problem. I was shocked and horrified that any of my employees would be drinking on the job (besides Mass of course).

My first response was that we hide the communion wine. My second response was that we should hold an intervention to show our concern about this matter.

A group of us gathered in my chambers and I invited him over for a cocktail. The minute he walked in, he immediately suspected something. I guess the fact that I didn’t have a jar of olives on my mini bar gave it away.

I told him to sit down and relax. I told him we were all concerned that he was not only drinking too much, but also forgetting to clean our restrooms properly. We ran out of soap twice last week. I had to resort to using my disinfecting wipes to clean my hands.

He soberly apologized and promised to keep his drinking binges to weekends and holidays. I graciously thanked him, and also asked if he could start using a liquid soap that smells like lavender. He said he would.

My job is complete.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Concerning PowerPoint Presentations

One of the Cardinals gave a PowerPoint presentation to us today. He used a bunch of really tacky slide transitions and sound effects. It drove me nuts. I cringed every time he clicked the mouse. He also used the worst color palette imaginable: pink text over a blue background. The guy must be color-blind. It hurt my eyes to even look at the screen.

The Cardinal also seemed to enjoy using the “typewriter” animation effect. You know, where the words slowly type on the screen. It’s like torture waiting for these long paragraphs to slowly appear.

Whoever developed the “typewriter” effect on PowerPoint deserves purgatory for at least 200 years. I mean, is that effect really necessary?

I don’t care how many “Hail Mary” prayers that Microsoft programmer says. He or She will spend at least 200 years in purgatory if I have anything to do with it. And I do. Believe that.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Pope's Baseball Card

So they make a baseball card featuring John Paul II, but not one for me? It’s a little upsetting, but I’ll get over it.

Book Nook

My afternoon readings consist of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the essays of Ruskin, and the Holy Scriptures. My rusty knowledge of Middle English keeps me from reading Chaucer at a healthy pace.

Ruskin keeps my mind spinning, and I must admit that I've drifted off to sleep several times while reading his writings on "The Pathetic Fallacy." I'm not going to pretend that Ruskin is easy--not even close. It takes a lot of work to read Ruskin! Whereas most literature requires a sharp steak knife, Ruskin requires a pickaxe. He makes my mind dizzy at times. It's like drinking a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor.

Now, I need to prepare for Mass.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Concerning Communism

I think "Gilligan's Island" and the "Smurfs" are good proofs that communism works. If only we could get a dictator like Gilligan or Papa Smurf to lead us.

I would do it, but we need to have some separation between church and state. Nobody wants to be in Mass every morning like me. Although, I do think people would appreciate the wine I serve.


During really boring meetings with the Cardinals, I start brainstorming about other possible careers. I doodle on whatever paper I have in front of me and dream about my other passions. I know that I'm kind of stuck being Pope, but I still really want to pursue another career on the side. I'm thinking about sending my resume to Hostess.

I maybe the only person that appreciates the inherent value of preserved-packaged food, but for some reason vending machine foods make me smile. I've often thought of getting a job working in a development position at Hostess. I'd get together each day with the other Hostess development executives, and we'd brainstorm together on creating new Hostess treats. Here's my first pitch to the group:

"I can't help but think about the genius of the Chocodile. When Hostess wed the Ding Dong and Twinkie to produce the Chocodile, it shot up sales forty-percent. So I started thinking about a possible marriage between the vanilla Zinger and the coconut Pink Snowball. I'd like to call it: Pinger!"

Not only would I want to be involved in giving the green-light to new Hostess creations, but also used to punch-up the older treats.

"Sales on Pink Snowballs are slowing down, and we need to start thinking of ways to encourage sales. Now, we just did a survey on people living in Norco, California, and we learned that these people are more likely to buy the Pink Snowballs if we include three balls instead of just two. It would also help to have some sort of cross-promotional deal with NASCAR."

In order to get a development position at Hostess, one must be extremely familiar with the design and traits of packaged goods. Candidates for a development executive position at Hostess should be thoroughly versed in Cicero's De Treatus Packagedis (roughly translated: Concerning Packaged Treats).

In his writings, we learn that food offered in vending machines must be of a special hybrid: durable enough to sustain the fall once released from the metal coils, and yet soft enough to feign eternal freshness. Much like a seasoned prostitute, vending machine food must be scantily clad in some transparent outfit, and yet never allowing the viewer to cop a feel until the price has been paid.

But whereas in ancient Rome a prostitute could be seduced through an oration of Ovidian poetry, we must be aware that vending machine food will never come until the dollar is inserted in the machine. Reciting Ovid to a vending machine will only produce madness--never packaged cookies.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

My Love of John Milton and Axl Rose

Ten years ago, I wrote many essays concerning my love of Axl Rose and John Milton. Nobody really cared for my papers or my ideas back then, but now that I'm Pope--these papers deserved to be either published or burned.

You can read my essay here and decide.

Long Week

It's rough being Pope. I never have a day off.

I sort of wish I was back being a Cardinal, so I could have a couple days to myself each week. Now that I'm Pope, I'm on call 24 hours a day. There's no rest for the Holy.

Not only am I tired, but I'm sort of upset right now. While driving to the market today, some guy cut me off in his little Jetta. Imagine that? He was talking on his cell phone and wasn't even paying attention to my giant, white Escalade. I could have drove over him.

What infuriated me more was that he had this "Remember John Paul II" sticker on the back of his car. If you're going to represent the Catholic church, don't drive like a maniac.

The Price of Greatness

Winston Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

I disagree. With or without responsibility, I will always be considered great and most holy. It’s not really my choice to be holy and great. I just am by default.

Now, if I was forced to choose either greatness or holiness, I think I would have to pick greatness.

This is of course a silly scenario. I would never have to choose between greatness and holiness unless I was at gunpoint.

I guess you’d have to imagine me backed up against a wall with some guy pointing a gun at my forehead and saying, “Choose holiness or greatness, your Holiness.”

I’d tell him to calm down, “I choose greatness, of course. Now take that glock away from my head before I take you down.”

Just because I'm holy, doesn't mean that I can't--as Tupac says--"Hit Em' Up."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Vending Machines at the Vatican

Whether you're punching the buttons to get a soft Twinkie, or secretly shaking the machine to get those Hostess Pink Snowballs, vending machine food always fulfills some deep need in mankind's innate depravity.

I usually don't visit a vending machine until I'm desperately hungry, but that's where they get me. I step up to the glass and start looking at all the delicious items. I look up at the bag of trail mix, and then over to the bag of cookies, and then down at the glazed honey bun god. I see the bun beckon me, calling my name for help.

To appease the victim (and my rumbling stomach), I open my wallet and begin ironing out the crumpled bill in my hand. I slowly insert the bill, and wait to see the credit appear on the digital screen above the keypad. For some reason, the bill always comes back, so I begin ironing it out again and insert it once more. It always works on the second (or sixth) try.

I type in the appropriate vending machine code "B23" and wait for the snake coil to release the forbidden treat. I watch the snake unravel its tail, as it releases my beautiful, glazed honey bun. I bite my bottom lip during the its descent, praying that the sacred glaze doesn't crack when it hits the bottom.

When it finally arrives, I'll cradle it in my arms for a couple minutes, checking for any scratches or bruises.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. I sure love those honey buns.

Interviewing Process

When I was interviewing to become Pope, I was asked many questions. I was literally drilled for days by many different Cardinals and the Vatican H.R. department. I was very nervous.

I've received some emails recently asking me about the interviewing process. So, I've released a transcript of one of my first interviews. Please forgive me. I was quite nervous.

You can read my interview here.

Poor Lighting

I really hate the fluorescent lights in the restroom of my new pad. The lights are really bright and everything in the restroom has that greenish-Matrix feel.

I never thought I had skin problems until now. The restroom has the kind of unflattering light that reveals every pore on my face.

I wish I had the dim yellow lights like in nice restaurants. Instead, I'm forced to wash my hands and stare at a mirror that hides nothing. I see all my imperfections clearly now.

Whenever I go inside, I shy away from the giant mirror and only look into it to check my teeth for food particles.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

First Class Pope

When I fly, I refuse to sit in first class.

I like to think of myself as a man of the people, so I sit in economy class among the common folk. This gives me a chance to mingle with the peasants and talk about subjects they are interested in (like NASCAR and Arm Wrestling tournaments).

To improve my popularity, I refuse all drinks and food while flying. I tell flight attendants that I’m neither hungry nor thirsty, and to please divide my peanuts and drinks among the rest of the passengers. They deserve the food more than me.

On red-eye flights, I sit in business class. I don’t like drool.

Cleanliness isn’t next to Godliness, but it helps.

I have a very sensitive nose and it’s difficult for me to bless people who smell, particularly those less fortunate souls who live in impoverished areas.

The terrible part is that it’s often the people that smell that need my blessing the most. You know? I’m talking about the poor people with very little running water and food. So, what’s a Pope to do?

I had to reject several Vatican hobos yesterday because they smelled.

And this doesn’t mean that I’ll bless every clean person that comes my way either. For example, I wouldn’t bless Ashley Simpson because I don’t like her music. She might smell nice, but that doesn’t matter. Her music stinks. It really stinks.

Counter Culture


I found this great little Vietnamese restaurant about a block away. I love Pho!


Now that I’m Pope, I can’t just walk around town wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I have to get all Pope’d out and look good all the time. I have a certain image that I must maintain.

On weekdays, you’ll usually find me wearing an Ivy Terry Cloth Kangol hat, a white Addidas sweat suit, and some Pope’d-out white Pumas. I also wear my platinum chains around my neck if I’m riding in my Escalade. I don’t dare wear my bling when I’m walking the streets. There’s no telling who will try and rob me. I’m no fool.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Face the Music


Someone told me, “A real leader faces the music, even when he doesn’t like the tune.”

Not true. I have an iPod.


I’m in the middle of interviewing people to be my assistants. They all tell me how great it would be to serve under me. They say it would be an honor--yadda, yadda, yadda.

I imagine they’re all a little intimidated when meeting with me. So I freak them out by not saying anything. I just let them into my office and stare at them.

I don’t say anything and I wait for them to break. The longer they can handle the silence, the better.

This one guy got really uncomfortable after five minutes of silence and started chanting “Hail Mary.” I told him to get out. I told him that I could read his mind and he didn’t deserve to me in my presence. And the guy actually believed me.

He freaked out and started apologizing while backing out of my office. He started to cry.

I then told him to come back inside because I was just playing a joke on him. I told him, he’d been POPE’D (my version of Ashton’s PUNK’D).

You should have seen his face. My camera crew thought it was hilarious.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Patron Saint of Malt Liquor

axl rose

I have been thinking about naming Axl Rose as the Patron Saint of Malt Liquor. His intoxicating voice has always entranced me. Like a drunken Che Guevara, he moved masses of people to follow him and believe his words.

The miracle he performed was managing to gather Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler, and Slash to actually work together. Though addicted to every chemical solvent known to mankind, this crew managed to pump out hit records. They were sort of the white version of N.W.A.: a crew destined to fall apart, but managed to produce some amazing songs.

I know that saints are usually named after death, but I think this is appropriate since Axl’s career is dead. Let’s just let the memory of Guns n’ Roses rest in peace.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Concerning Red Wine

During this afternoon’s lunch, the Cardinal next to me put ice in his glass of Merlot. His first sin was ordering the Merlot; the second sin was adding ice.

I’m sorry for being a wine snob, but it’s just wrong to add ice to red wine. Furthermore, why drink the restaurant’s house Merlot, when there was a perfectly fine Pinot available? I call those actions an abomination.

Vatican Restrooms

The toilet paper dispensers in the Vatican are really annoying. I can only wiggle out like three little squares at a time. It takes forever to get out of the restroom.

I’ve managed to cheat the system a bit by squeezing the cardboard tube into an oval to help me roll more paper off, but that only allows me like five or six more squares at a time. It’s quite troubling.

To make matters worse, the paper squares are only one-ply. Can you believe that? What sick individual developed one-ply toilet paper? Did he think one-ply would work? Did he think one-ply would be comfortable? I’d like to see him try using it. See how he likes it.

Well, I don’t really want to see him using it. I’m not into that kind of thing. And I’m not judging anyone who is into that. It’s none of my business. Different strokes for different folks.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Trouble Sleeping

I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I guess I'm just not used to sleeping in my new pad. I turned on some Marvin Gaye music to hopefully ease me back into sleep, but even that didn’t work. I was shocked. I ended up turning on the television, but nothing was on. The Vatican Dish Network stinks. I ended watching some episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on DVD. Larry David is hilarious.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked through the streets of Rome. I saw a guy drinking a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. I felt really sad for him. It’s one thing to be poor, but it’s another to be downing a cheap beer at noon. I gave him some money so that could get a hearty ale or something. I told him to buy something with substance, like a Guinness or a Newcastle. He thanked me over and over again. I told him not to thank me, but to make sure he was in church on Sunday. He promised me that he would.

As I kept walking, I came across this poor man playing “Hotel California” on a panpipe. Can you believe that? A freakin' panpipe. Who plays that thing anymore? I really hate that song. I put a couple coins in his hat and told him that he would probably make more cash by playing better music.

I suggested Al Green’s “Here I Am (Come and Take Me).”