As the story goes, President Bush decides to invite the Pope to visit Washington and make an address to a Joint Session of Congress. Everybody who is anybody is there. Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court, all the wise rulers of our great Country, gathered in one great assembly. This is quite unprecendented, and is televised around the world.
Mr. Bush hasn't been doing too awful well in the polls for awhile, but this is his chance to shine, so he gets an idea. He takes His Holiness aside for a moment. "Popie," he says genially, "this is quite a shindig, ain't it?" The old Vicar merely smiles and nods politely, but George W. goes on.
"Ya know," he says, "you're a real big cheese over there at the Vatican. I seen a hunnerd thousand people come out just to see ya wavin' from that balcony thing. Must give ya thrills an' chills when they do that stuff, right?" Again His Holiness agrees. "Yes," he replies, "it is most gratifying, but one must be humble about these things. I merely represent the Church and all its tradition. It has little to do with me. I would think that with you this must also hold true."
The President guffaws. "Oh, come on, now. You don't think when people cheer me it's because they love their Gov'mint, do ya? They love me! Well, not all of 'em, we got a democracy. Half the people hate ya and the other half don't. Watch this!"
With that, the President steps out on the stage and the applause begins. The Democrats are on one side, Republicans on the other, politely clapping. The President looks back over his shoulder at the Pope. "Now watch!" he says, and waves one hand over his head as a signal. Suddenly the Republican side of the hall springs to life, whoopin' and hollerin' and carryin' on like the roof is gonna come down. The President grins at the Pope as the riot settles down. "And all with just a wave of my hand!" he brags. "Half the place goes nuts!"
His Holiness the Pope, not wanting to condone this openly blatant behavior, considers the proper reply. "Mr. President," he says quietly, "that was, indeed, very impressive. You have great command. But did you know, just one wave of my hand will make EVERY person in this crowd ecstatic with joy? And this joy will not be some momentary passing display, as we heard earlier, but will go deep in their hearts, and all the people of the world will be witness, and on through all time, they will remember this day and rejoice."
The President snorts in doubt. "One little wave of your hand. And all the people, rejoicing forever. Now that trick I gotta see!"
And so the Pope slugs him.