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Tear The Roof Off The Sucker

As the saying goes, there’s nothing new under the sun.  While navigating through this Republican-created debt ceiling “crisis”, we find this satisfying example of how our medieval forebears dealt with the political intransigence of the College of Cardinals in selecting a new pope:

They tore the roof off the sucker

Palazzo dei Papi

Located in the attractive Piazza San Lorenzo, the Palazzo dei Papi or Palazzo Papale (Papal Palace) is a striking reminder of this town’s former importance. Built between 1255 and 1267 to house the popes who had sought refuge in Viterbo, its most striking feature is an elegant seven-arched loggia. The small courtyard behind these interlocking arches is also pretty, with a lion-bedecked fountain and views out towards the city walls.

One of the best stories about the Viterbo popes is of an election for the papacy in 1268. 18 cardinals dutifully assembled in the bishop’s palace, but after a year and a half they still hadn’t managed to choose between candidates. The Viterbesi, exasperated, locked the cardinals in their conclave (the word comes from the Latin ‘with key’), reduced them to bread and water rations and even removed the roof of the palace. Eventually the cardinals made their decision, but it had taken nearly three years – the longest ever conclave.

It seems worth a try – just peel back the roof of the House and let them all sit in there and bake until they’re ready to do something.  I’d like to embellish the plan, though, with the option to throw poop on them through the open roof.

  1. July 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I remember that. (I mean, reading about it. Wasn’t there.)

    The poop option made me LOL. Thanks for reminding me I’m a child at heart.

  2. B^4
    July 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    As a money-saving measure, the Capitol building A/C needs to be turned off.

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