Monday, June 25, 2007

Confused? Ask the Pope

REVHEADS and car enthusiasts across the world were outraged.

"How dare an 80-year-old man who has a full-time chauffeur and a bullet-proof car lucky to reach 40km/h tell us how to drive?" they cried.

But I think the Pope's move last week in issuing the 10 commandments for motorists was brilliant.

In an age when the Catholic Church is criticised for being out of touch, it's good to see His Holiness turning his religious concerns towards something so practical.

The 58-page Vatican document, Guidelines for Pastoral Care of the Road, urges drivers to avoid road rage and to respect the rights of pedestrians.

Drivers must not make "rude gestures" at other drivers, or use cars to show off and "arouse envy".

I am impressed with his wise words and eagerly await the next chapter in the Pope's how-to guide to the modern world.

Sure a code of behaviour for drivers is helpful, but think about the other areas of everyday life that could be made so much easier and less stressful if only the Vatican told us exactly how to behave.

The 10 commandments for shoppers would be an instant hit.

Top of the that list would be thou shalt not invite one's boyfriend into the changing room – because even though you want him to see you in that sexy red dress, the rest of us don't need him leering while we're squeezing into the latest fashions.

Hiding pieces of clothing at the back of the rack so other shoppers can't see them, just in case you want to come back and make a purchase would definitely be a sin.

Next could be thou shalt not argue with the checkout operator over a 15c price discrepancy while the queue stretches behind you for miles.

And the list would include thou shalt not feign ignorance and rock up to the 12-items-only express check-out when you quite clearly have at least twice that amount of groceries.

It's just a start, but you get the picture.

Once the Pope has sorted out shoppers it would be handy if he could turn his mind to other modern day moral minefields.

A list of 10 commandments for behaviour on long-haul flights would not go astray – just ask mile high hostie Lisa Robertson's employers.

Neither would some advice on how to act in expensive restaurants – talking loudly on mobile phones would be the first feature on that list of sins.

Who knows, if the Pope continues down this path, he might end up making Catholicism so relevant that attendance at Sunday mass will sky-rocket.

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