The conclave chimney

So they’ve put up the conclave chimney, a signalling device to let the world know whether or not the assembled cardinals have elected a new pope.

This is quite possibly the coolest smoke-signal in the world, if only because so many people will be paying attention to it. And it reminds me of the last time it was used, when I was in gradeschool. It was all over the news, and we all talked about it, even though very few of us were Catholic (and I’m not, in case my previous LJ entries haven’t made that clear.)

Anyway, during or shortly after that time, this lady’s car caught fire at the edge of the schoolyard. She got out okay, but the car went up like a torch, with thick, oily, black smoke billowing from it. Then the Sarasota Fire and Rescue team extinguished it in one go with a a couple of hoses.

As the plume of black was immediately replaced with a mushroom-cloud of white steam, one of the kids in the crowd shouted “A new Pope! Yipee!”

That was a great day in my memory. Cars need to catch fire next to schoolyards more often.


5 thoughts on “The conclave chimney”

  1. After all the fuss around Eccleston’s departure, someone quipped the other day that white smoke will arise from the chiminey of BBC Headquarters when they’ve selected a new Doctor Who.

  2. Sarasota, Florida? Cool — I used to spend summers there with my family and grandmother. Mmm… sunshine, white beaches, and warm ocean; my idea of the beach was forever shaped by Sarasota. 😉

  3. I remember a robin reliant catching on fire back when I was in infants school (that’d be elementary school to the americans.) The funny thing was it was a robin reliant:

    It was an oil fire under the engine and essentially the entire front of the car melted. If you think three wheeled modes of transport look funny, imagine how hilarious they seem to eight year olds when the entire front of the car has melted into a puddle.

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