With free time on his hands, the once Cardinal George Pell discovers he has a facility as a social media influencer and pens a letter from gaol for his followers.
Dear Christians and others,
How are you? I’m okay considering my current predicament and rather inelegant lodgings. The paucity of creature comforts I endure in my daily life is, quite frankly, un-Christian.
No smartphone. No smart TV. Trying to get Netflix or Stan — forget it. Not a hope.
Nothing more than a second-hand bar fridge to store vittles and beverages. I use the word beverage loosely: I’m lucky to score a solitary glass of green ginger wine once a week. Salt, pepper and American mustard are the only condiments they allow me. I’ve only got a fridge – as pathetic as it is – because one of the guards is a true Christian.
I daren’t mention my immediate neighbours. Frightful beasts on either side of my little cubby house. Not the sort of people you’d trust with your children or grandchildren.
Speaking of our young ones, I have requested I serve the rest of my time at a juvenile detention centre. I believe I presented the appropriate authorities with a compelling argument. (Notice the "pell" in compelling. Pretty good, hey?)
I’m sure you will all agree that most people develop maturity by confronting and learning from vicissitudes any loving, adult, sexual relationship and all that may follow from that, present on a regular basis.
Now, look at me. I’ve never been engaged in adult sexuality, or a monogamous relationship with another individual, where I make myself vulnerable to their mood swings. That means, despite my advancing years, I am emotionally still a child.
I have been told not to get my hopes up, but I think it would be really unfair on me if they reject my request. I am sure it would be beneficial to the incarcerated boys to have a role model like me to spend quality time with.
Some of you may think I am just too old to have anything in common with boys in a youth detention centre. To those who feel that is the case, I say, I am young at heart and share many of the same interests that concern our youth.
I love music. Always have; always will. I am not referring to some of those ghastly hymns my Church has inflicted upon you. No, I am an old rocker at heart. I just love Choir Boys, my favourite all-time band. Been a fan since their first gig in '79. I can honestly say I can’t get enough Choir Boys. I go to as many of their shows as time allows me. I love the fact all the original Choir Boys are still in the band. You could say I have run to paradise because of Choir Boys — or The Choir Boys, as they are now known, on many occasions.
My common interests with today’s youth do not end with my love of rock music. Far from it. Seems I am quite a dab hand at social media and I am becoming what is commonly referred to as an "influencer".
My last posting received thousands of likes from all parts of the globe but so far, none from Vatican City. Geez! When I think of all the things I did for those ingrates and this is how they repay me! Believe me, I know where all the treasure is buried and how much it's worth. Those tight-arses haven’t even provided me with so much as a crust, let alone my daily bread. (I probably shouldn’t have used the term referring to the part of our body that works as a waste disposal unit.)
I’d better stop now. I’ve been told you have less impact on social media if your post is too long. Tomorrow I’m posting it on Facebook and Instagram. I am too wordy for Twitter, but I’m working on it.
Pray for me to be transferred to a youth detention centre.
Rocky Dabscheck is a musician/songwriter and front person for Rocky and The Two Bob Millionaires. He is also the author of 'Stoney Broke and the Hi-Spenders'.
You can purchase Rocky's book, 'Stoney Broke and the High Spenders' from the IA store here. The CD '42/68' by Rocky and the Two Bob Millionaires is also available from the IA store here.
Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.