The Corpse Trial

graveyard

In the year 897, a very strange event occurred. A trial took place in Rome, called the Cadaver Synod, or Corpse Trial. The former pope, Pope Formosus, who had been dead for some months, was disinterred and placed on trial. The judge of the trial was Pope Stephen VI, who was the pope at that time. It was believed that what transpired on that day was lost to history, but with some Indiana Jones type, “archaeology” I was able to get a copy of the transcript, which I translated from Latin (you’re welcome) to English for your convenience.

The corpse of the former pope was sitting in the chair, as if he were still pope, wearing all his papal vestments. Pope Stephen VI addressed the people in the room.

“Let it be understood, that Deacon Bartholomew will be answering for Pope Formosus, and Deacon John will be the prosecutor. Let us commence with the charges brought before the court.”

Deacon John stood up and faced the audience, careful not to stand too close to the accused.

“The Holy Roman Papacy charges Pope Formosus with perjury, ascending to the papacy illegally and ambition.”

There was a collective murmuring from the bishops and cardinals attending the trial.

“Pope Formosus, is it correct that you were once the Bishop of Porto?” Deacon John asked.

There was a silence in the room, everyone was on the edge of their seat, waiting to see if the dead pope would speak. Pope Stephen turned and glared at Deacon Bartholomew. The Deacon, who remembered it was he who had to answer for the deceased, jumped out of his seat and faced the audience. He straightened his diaconal vestments and did his best to preserve his dignity. He said what he thought the former pope might say if he were still alive.

“WTF?”

Pope Stephen glared at Deacon Bartholomew. “I mean, yes, that is correct.”

Deacon John continued his line of questioning. “You were then made Archbishop of the–”

“Answer the question, you charlatan,” Pope Stephen roared and pointed at the cadaver.

“Forgive me your holiness, but I need to finish. You were then made the Archbishop of the Bulgarian Church during the reign of Nicholas I, charged with bringing that kingdom under the Roman Church?”

The crowd turned their head from Deacon John to the super dead pope.

“I don’t know what any of that actually means.”

Pope Stephen once again glared at Deacon Bartholomew.

“Yes, that is correct,” Deacon Bartholomew stammered.

“You admit then, that you violated canonical strictures against translation. That is to say, the transfer of one Episcopal see to another?” Deacon John asked.

Pope Stephen once again interrupted the prosecution. He covered his mouth with a handkerchief, walked up and stood an inch away from the corpse pope, who has been remarkably calm thus far in the proceedings.

“You deserted your diocese without papal permission!”

Deacon Bartholomew, who did not want to risk a third glare from the pope, immediately answered in the affirmative.

“Let it be written that Pope Formosus has plead guilty to transmigrating sees, in violation of canon law and performing holy duties as a bishop, all the while, in fact, a layman,” Deacon John said.

More murmuring was heard again throughout the room and someone was heard saying, “This is some weird shit even by medieval standards.”

Deacon John waited until the rumbling died down to resume his questioning.

“The last charges were laid upon him during his first synod and did not originate with me,” Pope Stephen said.

“We must now settle the charge of perjury. You were deposed and excommunicated by Pope John VIII at a Roman council—”

“You aided in poisoning our beloved Pope John and delighted in his head being bashed in with a hammer,” Pope Stephen interrupted once again, who was nearly frothing at the mouth and behaving decidedly un-popeish.

“May I remind your holiness if I may be so bold, murder and/or aiding and abetting in murder, is not one of the charges leveled against the accused.”

Pope Stephen reluctantly nodded his head, as if he didn’t see why they couldn’t lay one more charge on him.

Due to a deteriorating spinal column, the former pope was sliding down in his chair.

Deacon John paused, forgetting momentarily where he left off.

“You were deposed and excommunicated by Pope John VIII at a Roman council, and you swore an oath never to return to Rome or exercise priestly functions again—were you not?”

“That is true,” Deacon Bartholomew answered.

“I have here the document that declares this oath and is signed by the deceased; it was taken at the Synod of Troyes,” Deacon John said.

Deacon John gave the document to Pope Stephen, who shoved it in the face of the cadaver.

“After the assassination of his holiness, Pope John VIII, all charges against you were dropped and you were reinstated by Pope Marinus I, as Bishop of Porto. So you returned to performing duties, after signing a sworn oath in a papal court?” Deacon John asked.

“Yes, but only after I was pardoned by our holiness Pope Marinus—”

Brother Bartholomew was interrupted by Pope Stephen, who rose once again and stuck his finger in the face of the dead pope.

“Silence, you fiend!”

“Let it be written that Pope Formosus has plead guilty to the charge of perjury,” Deacon John said.

“I didn’t plead guilty actually,” mumbled Deacon Bartholomew.

“Now, we come to the third and final charge of ambition to become pope,” Deacon John said.

“When you were Bishop of Porto, why did you usurp the universal Roman see in such a spirit of ambition?” Pope Stephen asked.

Deacon John sighed; he was becoming exasperated with the Pope’s outbursts and interruptions. “Go ahead and answer the question.”

Deacon Bartholomew was uneasy; he knew that he had better say something that Pope Stephen wanted to hear or he’d lose his post as deacon.

“I conspired with Boris I to become Bishop in Bulgaria and secretly held ambitions to become pope. I was a traitor to King Charles the Bald.”

Some snickering was heard in the crowd at the mention of “King Charles the Bald.”

“I knew it! I knew it!” Pope Stephen yelled and did a victory dance.

“Let it be written, that Pope Formosus has plead guilty to the charge of ambition to seek the papacy illegally. His holiness, Pope Stephen, will now issue the sentence,” Deacon John said.

At this point the corpse pope had slid out of his chair and into the floor. His papal crown was askew.

“I find the accused guilty on all three charges and I issue a rescission actorum, which I will look up the meaning later. Deacon Bartholomew, go find a layman’s robe somewhere and Deacon John, please bring me a knife,” Pope Stephen said.

“A knife, your craziness … er … holiness?” Deacon John asked.

“That is what I said.”

When Brother John arrived back in the courtroom, Deacon Bartholomew was closing up his briefcase like any good lawyer.

Deacon Thomas presented the knife to Pope Stephen, who grabbed the knife and went over to the body of the former pope. He then grabbed the dead pope’s right hand and with one quick slash of the knife, cut off the Pope’s first three fingers.

One of the bishops sitting in the front row jumped to his feet, whether it was to object to the desecration, or he had to use the bathroom, no one can be sure, because he was forced back into his seat by his fellow bishops, where he remained silent.

“You have spoiled the cloisters of Rome and defiled the papal see by performing holy acts as a layman. I remove the fingers that gave blessings to poor men and rich men alike.”

Deacon Bartholomew came forward to remove the papal vestments from former Pope Formosus and put on the layman’s cloak. “Ew,” he said as he touched the cadaver. “Does anyone have any hand sanitizer?”

Pope Stephen, who was scratching his head with the former popes’s fingers said, “You will bury him in a foreigner’s grave.”

Some of the bishops and cardinals in the crowd helped put the corpse back in its original casket, which they carried out with heads bowed.

“I need everyone present to sign this document as witnesses to the events that transpired here today and then we will adjourn to the room next door for some coffee and donuts,” Pope Stephen said.

 After the burial of Pope Formus in a foreigner’s grave, Pope Stephen decided that his corpse wasn’t corpsey enough, so he had him disinterred again, tied with weights and thrown in the Tiber River. The people rebelled against Pope Stephen and he was later imprisoned. A few months later, while in prison, he was strangled to death, thus ending the bizarre story of the Cadaver Synod. 

A revised excerpt from my book, The Gnostic Keepers.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=marietta+rodgers&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

 

 

A Memorable Feast II

dinner-for-dogs

A charming dinner party is being held and among the guests are Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, Jean-Paul Sartre, Philip K Dick, Shirley Jackson, Stanley Kubrick and Michelangelo.  Michelangelo sits at the head of a very large dining table, while the others are all on the other end, because of the palpable odor coming from him.

Jackson: {eyes frantically searching the room} Is there a fire exit?

Hemingway: Yes, is there? The last dinner party I attended, ended in a fire, causing me to miss dessert.

Server: {points to a window}

Michelangelo: This pheasant is rancid and has a foul smell.

Sartre: {wearing a scowl worthy of any Frenchman} The stench is coming from you I’m afraid. I agree with your unwillingness to bathe, because it’s your true essence; however, my nose is of an entirely different opinion.

Kubrick: {to the server} My dear boy, don’t just come shuffling in like you’ve been drinking in a Wild West saloon all day. Walk slowly and allow the back-lighting to create a silhouette. The camera will be only on the silhouette, so the audience can see there is someone here serving, without actually seeing someone serving.

Server: What audience?

Dick: They’re over there. {points to a stuffed squirrel on the mantle piece}

Vonnegut:

squeirrel
Squirrel

 

Jackson: We are all going to die in some horrific fashion and our story will be required reading for goth middle school students.

Sartre: {smoking two cigarettes} If we die, it will be because of our choice to come here and not by any transcendent force. It’s all in my book titled, Abstruse Conjectures of the Bourgeoisie … ending with a silent, “t.”

Michelangelo: I will sculpt everyone after dinner and give you all a tiny flaccid penis.

Hemingway: I have a large penis. Why else do you think I would hunt, bull fight and punch anyone critical of my work?

Kubrick: {moving Jackson’s plate}

Jackson: What are you doing? I had my tarot cards there and I was just about to put down the card of a man dancing, while holding a puppy eating ice cream. It’s the card of death!

Kubrick: It is all necessary for the diegesis of the film. I have full artistic control and if you don’t like it, you can complain to the studio.

Michelangelo {contently basking in his own squalor}

Dick: I think someone followed me here.

Server: Would you like more wine?

Sartre: {slaps server} Don’t interrupt me in the middle of an existential crisis! I will have more wine though.

Jackson: {to the server} You didn’t offer that homeless man at the end of the table any wine.

Dick: I was once abducted by some hipster aliens, who had a penchant for cycling and ironic clothing. They also probed me.

Hemingway: I have a large penis.

Kubrick: {disgusted with the server and his complete lack of composition, pushes him into a broom closet and takes over serving} I need some epic music for my thirty minute title sequence.

Michaelangelo’s aroma has permeated beyond the dining room and has attracted a Grizzly bear and several other forest creatures. Everyone scatters, except for Dick, who thinks the hipster aliens have returned and Hemingway, who gets the bear in a full nelson.

Vonnegut: “So it goes.”

bearvonnegut
Bear

 

A Witless Wonderland

teapartyoutside

A table is set in a forest with porcelain teapots filled with ginger tea, white tea, black tea and many others. The table is also filled with every kind of confection, from scones to butter cookies, not to mention, some scrumptious-looking finger sandwiches. At the table, sits our top leaders, discussing vital issues.

VP White Nationalist Rabbit: {pulls out a broken pocket watch} I’m terribly late for my meeting with an organization that shall remain nameless.

President Mad Asshatter: {takes his pocket watch and dunks it in the black tea}

White Nationalist Rabbit: Not the black tea!!!

Spokesperson Queens Reich: Sir, I need to discuss the proposal to weaken mercury standards and how it could negatively impact our anti-pollution laws.

Mad Asshatter: Nonsense, mercury is good for you. {snorts mercury from a thermometer}

Senior Advisor Jared Dorkmouse: {pokes his head out from an empty teacup}

Mad Asshatter: {turns tea cup upside down and traps Dorkmouse under it}

Treasury Secretary Creepy Cat: Sir, I’ve been doing the math on this border wall and …

Mad Asshatter: Stop right there. There’s no need to bring math into this.

Creepy Cat: But sir, we don’t have the money.

Mad Asshatter: Stop smiling like that. You’re making me lose my appetite. {shoves entire scone into his mouth}

Security Advisor March Hare Implants: A withdrawal from Syria is very unpopular among some of your base.

Creepy Cat: {Ears perk up at the mention of the word ‘withdrawal’ but go back down at the mention of a poor country}

Mad Asshatter: {picks up Dorkmouse by the tail and begins to spread butter on him}

Dorkmouse: {trying to escape} Squeak!!!

White Nationalist Rabbit: I am so very late. I hope they don’t start without me.

Queens Reich: Mr President, we should suspend our daily press briefings.

Mad Asshatter: {realizes he’s holding Dorkmouse and throws him up in the air, where he lands on a tree branch} Suspend them for how long?

Queens Reich: Until you learn how to construct sentences.

Mad Asshatter: Look, you can hold briefings, just blame everything on the Democrats.

Creepy Cat: {smiles so wide he catches a bee and several flies}

Mad Asshatter: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

March Hare Implants: {grooming mustache with a tea whisk and staring blankly}

Queens Reich: I don’t know, how is a raven like a writing desk?

Mad Asshatter: I don’t write. How the fuck should I know? {drinks tea from the pot}

White Nationalist Rabbit: That’s an excellent riddle.

{A hawk swoops down on the tree branch and flies away with Dorkmouse}

Mad Asshatter: Where is that bird going with my raspberry tart? Do something, March Hare Implants! You’re my National Security Advisor.

March Hare Implants: This is not in my job description, but okay. {Hurls a saucer like a frisbee and hits White Nationalist Rabbit, knocking him out of his chair}

Mad Asshatter: Goddamn it! It got away.

Creepy Cat: {Sees the White House cat}

Mad Asshatter: I need to get a new National Security Advisor. Queens Reich, find out who made these tarts and ask them if they want to be my National Security Advisor.

Queens Reich: You’ve already asked much of the kitchen staff already, for various cabinet positions, including for White House Spokesperson.

Mad Asshatter: Well, try some of the custodial workers.

Queens Reich: Sir, it’s time to call Sean Hannity. You need to find out what our economic, social and foreign polices are this week, because no one seems to know.

{The Mad Asshatter leaves with Queens Reich and March Hare Implants. He grabs a couple of tarts and shoves them inside his suit jacket. White Nationalist Rabbit is still on the ground, possibly dead. No one could tell before anyway. Creepy cat is left alone to sniff the butt of the White House cat}

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Commercialism

pooh emoji

‘Tis the season for compulsory drinking. Christmas, that time of year when you almost forget why you hate people; then you see your neighbor’s, giant-inflatable Grinch blocking out the sun and you remember why you hate everyone. Here today to get everyone in the Christmas spirit, are some of my favorite tweeters.

Be sure and visit these talented individuals at:

@ObscureGent –  www.theobscuregentlemen.com
https://www.patreon.com/theobscuregentlemen

http://apple.co/1NUoOjl

@bourgeoisalien – http://amzn.to/2xTbU3O

https://bethargyropoulos.wordpress.com/

@Bob_Janke – https://t.co/NngAxGi8qp

@yonewt – https://t.co/rFf7GAVK9L

@bornmiserable – https://www.youtube.com/theblackoutchoir

@Chyld – https://mariettarodgers.com/category/bacon-saves-the-world/

@rccromwell4 – thefederalist.com/author/richcro…

@HatfieldAnne – http://www.annehatfieldvo.com

@distracted_monk – http://amzn.to/2gwd1nk

@singwithTaffy – https://t.co/9aO38SuOr2

@gmatt63 – http://lupo.net/

https://gmlupo.com/

@PlainTravis – http://www.plainzero.com/

@ObscureAaron –  http://thedad.com

theobscuregentlemen.com

@soyourelikethat – https://magneticvirgo.wordpress.com/

You can find these funny people at the Mime Academy of Dramatic Arts and on the Twitter:

@caseyduncan  @ThePocketJustin  @bananagrvyrd  @sixfootcandy  @PFitzpa  @TheAlexNevil  @Bandersnaaatch  @Mr_Kapowski  @Fickle_Filly  @GrantTanaka  @seamussaid  @skullpuppy11  @CommonSavant  @offbeatoliv  @Mardigroan  @wittwitbarista

Please keep this in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Office Hack: The Impractical Guide to Office Norms and Protocol

berzerk2
Office Break Room

Sure you can read your employee handbook, but who has time for that. So, I’ve compiled a list of tweets, that cover the do’s and don’ts of calling in sick, proper break room etiquette, how to impress your boss, and how to establish a good working relationship with coworkers.

Having a good relationship with your boss is key to getting a promotion. Be sure to answer their questions with confidence.

Let your boss know you’re willing to go that extra mile.

Annual reviews are a good time to bring up important matters.

Establish a rapport with your boss by letting them know they are a great leader.

Always give your supervisor advance notice, when you are going on vacation.

Take responsibility and let your boss know when you are going to be late.

Calling in sick can always be tricky, because you want to let your boss know you’re sick, but you don’t want to have to bring in a doctor’s note.

Always reassure them, that it’s nothing too serious and you’ll be back in the office soon.

Add a little description of your illness for authenticity.

Pick out your wardrobe the night before, to save time in the morning.

It’s always a nice gesture, when you bring in food to share with your coworkers.

It’s okay to confide in your coworkers.

Keep your relationship professional though.

Let coworkers know your door is always open.

Always be clear with your colleagues and leave no room for ambiguity.

Don’t overload your schedule.

Ask your coworkers about their weekend.

Don’t forget to speak clearly and leave a detailed voice message.

Ask HR if you’re not sure about something.

Always treat your subordinates with respect.

Make sure you have plenty of office supplies.

Most importantly, backup your computer. You never know when it will crash.

 

 

Woman Gets Fired for Dying at the Office

skeletonatdesk

Thirty-two year old, Sarah Lansford, had a brain aneurysm and died yesterday during a board meeting. Immediately after dying, she was dismissed with no severance package. Her exit interview was conducted while EMT’s were carrying her out to the ambulance. A coworker, Theresa Hanner, described the events leading up to Sarah’s demise.

“I was right in the middle of giving a PowerPoint presentation on our line of stool softeners, when she just keeled over and her head hit the table.”

Sarah died at 10:20 am, but an ambulance wasn’t called for another two hours. A coworker present, Tom Brown, was asked to explain the time discrepancy.

“She came to the meeting and it was obvious she had already been drinking, because she reeked of vodka. Theresa was giving her presentation on our line of stool softeners and I was playing Fruit Ninja on my phone, when her head hit the table. We all assumed she had passed out, so we just kept going on with the agenda.”

When it was lunch time, box lunches were being served and that was when board member, Larry Parker, discovered she was dead.

“My lunch was shitty! I got an egg salad sandwich, so I decided to swap with Sarah, since she was passed out and wouldn’t know the difference. I noticed her face was extremely pale and she had no color in her cheeks. She looked like Morrissey from 1985. That’s when I knew she was dead as fuck.”

When inquiring about Sarah’s work ethic, several things came to light. She was described as being habitually late and her coworkers complained many times about smelling alcohol on her breath.

“Sarah was already on thin ice,” Tom Brown said. “Dying in the boardroom is unprofessional and was the last strike.”

Sarah apparently did not have a good working relationship with her coworkers and  ruined office parties with her drunken behavior.

“One time during a company Christmas party, she came dressed as a sexy elf and sang, ‘Baby Got Back’ by Sir Mix-a-Lot during karaoke. It was just sad,” Tom Brown said.

Her coworkers also revealed, that she had inappropriate relationships with other staff members.

“She was sleeping with Jeremy from HR,” Theresa Hanner said. “She broke up with Jeremy, but he started harassing her and wouldn’t leave her alone, so she filed a complaint. Jeremy had to write himself up. It was very awkward.”

The CEO, who was fed up with Sarah’s unprofessional behavior and lack of karaoke acumen, fired her immediately. After Sarah was taken away in an ambulance, the last presentation was given and then a vote was taken. In a unanimous vote, the company agreed to add a new line of rash cream.

Original revised version, published in Below the Fold Magazine, 7/8/16.

Make Extinction Level Event Great Again

dinnosaur4

It’s 66 million years ago in the Mesozoic Era. An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and President Trumposaurus Rex is meeting with his top cabinet officials, to discuss what to do about it.

Trumposarus: {trying to pick up a brontosaurus egg with his tiny hands} I don’t understand what is going on. Something about an asseroid coming at us.

Penceadon: That’s asteroid sir.

Trumposarus: Isn’t there some way we can destroy it?

Monomattisteryx: We can’t; it’s too big.

Trumposarus: That’s what she said.

Sesslodocus: Nice one sir.

Trumposarus: Shut up Sesslodocus. I’m firing you right after this hemorrhoid hits the Earth.

Kushnaraptor: {shrieks in a high-pitched scream}

Pompeodromeus: What exactly do you do here again?

Sanderceratops: Sir, you need to tell the other dinnosaurs the bad news and to prepare themselves for something horrific.

Monomattisteryx: The asteroid is about 10 to 15 kilometers in diameter.

Trumposarus: You know I can’t count. Do you know how big a tyrannosaurs brain is?

Pompeodromeus: It will immediately cause climate disruption upon impact.

Trumposarus: Climate disruption is a hoax perpetrated by pterodactyls who want to rule the Earth.

Sesslodocus: {starts to speak but Trumposarus bites off his head}

Kushneraptor: {screeches again}

Penceadon: The impact will release dust, sulfur and carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. The dust will block out the sun.

Trumposarus: Good, it’s too hot anyway.

Penceadon: No, that’s bad, because the plants won’t get any sun and about 75% of them will die.

Trumposarus: {finally gets the brontosaurs egg into his hands} So, who cares? I don’t eat plants.

Sanderceratops: Sir, a lot of dinosaurs, including me, only eat plants.

Trumposarus: Sucks to be you.

Monomattisteryx: I don’t think you understand. The dinosaurs and other animals that you eat, will die out, because they won’t have anything to eat.

Pompeodromeus: It’s a lot more than that. It’s hitting in water, so it is going to create a megatsunami, probably over 33 feet tall.

Trumposarus: See, I told you we should have built that wall.

Pompedromeus: A wall wouldn’t make a difference in this case. The impact will also cause wildfires to erupt and the shock waves  will trigger global earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Penceadon: What are you going to tell the other dinosaurs?

Trumposarus: I’m going to tell them it’s all fake news and that it’s going to a big beautiful asteroid, that’s going to do great things. Very great things. You’ve never seen an asteroid like this, believe me.

Sanderceratops: I’ll gather all the dinosaurs together, so you can address them.

Trumposarus: Can someone wrap up that head for me in a to-go box? I want to save that for later.