Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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"We're on fire" light

Keep the cardinals safe.
  (+58, -3)(+58, -3)(+58, -3)
(+58, -3)
  [vote for,

Last month, as the world watched the Vatican chimney stack for signs that a new pope had been chosen, I spotted a flaw in the time honoured tradition of papal revelation.

The cardinals were cut off from the world, and locked in the building. In this modern age of Health and Safety, surely someone should be responsible for their wellbeing? What if there had been a fire?

One carelessly discarded incense holder, an unattended alter candle, or a deep fat fryer with a broken thermostat could have wiped out the higher echelons of the catholic clergy, while the world looked on haplessly, arguing about the colour of the emerging smoke.

Next time the world chooses a new pope, we should ensure there is a panic button installed and connected to a "Help, we're on fire" neon sign attached to the famous chimney stack.

Fishrat, May 19 2005

God does too have a sense of humor http://www.lyricsfr...che-mode/39337.html
[normzone, May 19 2005]


calum, May 19 2005

       Why not convert the chimney into a distress maroon, with a small solid rocket motor and some flip-out fins? [+]
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 19 2005

       ...now with stricter dogma and rapid beatification facility.
st3f, May 19 2005

       //rapid beatification// Maybe a light system stretching up the chimney could work as a gameshow-style "cannonizometer" for the previous Pope, st3f? It would be a shame if the lights were *only* used in an emergency.
Fishrat, May 19 2005

       You know, you're all going to Hell for these comments. *God* doesn't have a sense of humor. Read the scriptures. (Well, maybe in the 10 tribulations on the Egyptians there's a chuckle... ) Basically, humor is the Devil's work. Want to have some fun with that?
MauiChuck, May 19 2005

       //*God* doesn't have a sense of humor.//   

       Of course she does.   

       Not to worry. Protestants are far more flammable than Catholics. This was proven during the Inquisition.
ldischler, May 19 2005

       Nonsense! It's just that Catholic burnings took place in cold, Northern countries, while Protestants were burned in nice warm climates, with longer evenings and nothing much on the telly.
moomintroll, May 19 2005

       There you are. Inflamitory religious bickering. Forget the burnings and get on to the seriously stoopid parts.
MauiChuck, May 19 2005

       I must edit my comment> Re: *God* doesn't have a sense of humor. In light of the evidence, as posted thus far, *God* made mankind the funniest furry thing HE could think of. Unfortunately, by adding humor, he had to subtract logic (wasn't enough room ). Ah well, ya gets what ya gets. Didn't hurt Seinfeld, right?
MauiChuck, May 19 2005


Most spontaneous combustions occur in England, don’t they? Anglicans, if I’m not mistaken. They burn like candles.
ldischler, May 19 2005

       I think God probably has a sense of humor; it is readily apparent that the authors of the bible did not.
Soterios, May 19 2005

       Don't they have fire alarms even when cloistered?
contracts, May 19 2005

       Another problem with the cardinal rules of isolation: what if Satan, the Antichrist, Hitler, or Condy Rice were to show up right then? Do we need an internal chimney to send smoke inwards, a 'the world's on fire!' light?
RayfordSteele, May 19 2005

       //I think God probably has a sense of humor// One has only to look at a camel to see that this is true.
TolpuddleSartre, May 19 2005

       The idea is, of course, rather silly. The scenario it's meant to protect against is what has my sides splitting! [+]   

       The only people I know who think God has no sense of humor have absolutely none themselves.
sophocles, May 19 2005

       Funny - it's usually my idea which ends up flamed....
Fishrat, May 20 2005

       //God probably has a sense of humor// Yep, he built us in his image, so we probably have his warped sense of humor (ie - If He didn't want us to say this sort of thing, then, in the wise words of Bruce 'then Smite me, Oh Great Smiter!!).   

       And anyway, it's not Catholics or Protestants that burn the best... It's <pythonesque moment>WITCHES!!!</pm>   

       'Now, what do you burn apart from witches..?'
'MORE witches!!'

       This also reminds me of a discussion I had with a few mates of mine while we were packing folders for a maths teachers conference at the local university. We innocently implied that if one of us were to, say, put a few bombs in a few of the folders, then we could blow up all the teachers and Scotland would have a maths teacher crisis...   

       Now if we blew up all the church leaders...
*looks for a white cat to evily stroke*
froglet, May 20 2005

       I think that God has, among other things, a fantastic (perfect!) sense of irony. This has been demonstrated time and again. Humour, if delivered without malice, is not in any way sinful.
david_scothern, May 21 2005

       Given that the tradition seems to be that the cardinals communicate by means of colored smoke, perhaps rather than a light, this could be a different color of smoke. For example: white smoke = new pope, brown smoke = we're still thinking, red smoke = we're on fire. Also blue smoke = angry monkeys loose in here, green smoke = need more pizza, we will pay later, yellow smoke = bad plumbing problem, etc.
bungston, May 21 2005

       I thought blue smoke meant, 'send the technician.'
RayfordSteele, May 23 2005

       Simply travel back in time, get a Native American that knows smoke signals, come back to the present, dub him a bishop or something and set him in there with all the other cardinals. Using a wet blanket, our Indian friend can send out the colored smoke puffs with the play by play.   

       I don't have the energy to insert a humerous play-by-play puffy smoke anecdote, so just pretend.
macncheesy, May 23 2005

       No smoke: We need more ciggies.
froglet, May 23 2005

       I think that it's the Germans that have no sense of humor because didn't they invent the first printing press? They could've inserted any non-humorous thing they wanted in the bible and no one would be the wiser.
hobbitcoat, May 23 2005

       /aside/ UB - Did you ever see the wonderful footage of the inventor of the tetrapak trying to 'prove' how easy they were to open? He ended up with milk on his shirt and egg on his face, all live on national tv.
Fishrat, May 24 2005

       \\it is readily apparent that the authors of the bible did not\\   

       Um, "These men are not drunk as you suppose, it is only 9 in the morning!"   

       I'm sorry... but that's funny. As for other humor in the bible, well, there's plenty of stuff. A lot of it is wordplays that are only wordplays in the Hebrew.
Madai, May 24 2005

       I thought his name was Simon, but his gang nickname was Peter.
Is the "rock"/"peter" wordplay the same in Hebrew (Aramaic?) as it is in Latin?
coprocephalous, May 25 2005

       God does have a sense of humor. Otherwise he wouldn't be a human god! Humans are the only known species known to laugh! Have you ever seen a dog laugh? I think not.
EvilPickels, May 25 2005

       complexes in some animal brains have been shown to behave similarly to human's humor regions. When dogs play, this one particular area lights up and it mimics the areas that light up when your feeling jovial.
daseva, May 25 2005

       That's the sort of idea which could have saved Pavlov's lab assistants from getting dog slevvers on their clothes. I suppose you'd need to remove a portion of the dog's skull and replace it with perspex or similar. Not sure how you'd get the brain to light up. Some sort of electrically-stimulated algae, perhaps? Plus, you'd want a certain amount of dry ice smoke, I should think.
calum, Sep 05 2006

       Jesus obviously called Simon "Peter" because he was such a rock head.   

       The story of Gideon is also a highly humerous incident. (judges 7:9-14) God tells Gideon to sneak into the enemy camp to see how scared of him they are. He finds two guys standing watch, and one says to the other: "You know, I had the strangest dream, there was this big cake made of barley bread, and it rolled into camp, and knocked down the commander's tent." Then the other guy says: <GASP> "This can only mean one thing! You dream clearly indicates that that guy Gideon will come and destroy our entire army!"   

       Barley bread must be a very dangerous thing...
ye_river_xiv, Sep 05 2006

       The duck-billed platypus: Proof once again that God has a sense of humor.
Hunter79764, Sep 05 2006

       //Smoke detectors inside houses should be wired to a strobe light on the outside of the house.//   

       Not unless you want a bunch of law suits from people who got seizures or temporary blindness from smoke detectors that alarm when the Sunday breakfast's on the fryer.   

       //the Germans that have no sense of humor//   

       Yes they do! The Germans sense of humour is fantastic. Eg:   

       Patron: Waiter! This duck is only skin and bones!   

       Waiter: No problem, I can also bring you feathers!   

       Actually, it was a German who pointed out to me the similar appearance between the current Pope and the Evil Sith Lord from Star Wars. Very suspicious...
froglet, Sep 06 2006

       //Have you ever seen a dog laugh?//
Many times
If you'd ever been punched in the mouth by a dog who figured out that that is a great way of stopping you blowing on his nose you wouldn't have asked.
stilgar, Nov 23 2006

       And the anno of the week award goes to...
angel, Nov 23 2006

stilgar, Nov 23 2006

       From the title, I thought this might be an addition to the "No Smoking" and "Fasten Seatbelts" lights on commercial jets. Just so we're in the know....
swyves, Nov 24 2006

       Of course God has a sense of humor, otherwise we wouldn't have one.
Atriedes Duke, Dec 07 2006

       //Of course God has a sense of humor, otherwise we wouldn't have one.//
Maybe. Or maybe it's Satan with the sense of humor.
ldischler, Dec 07 2006

       I'd have to go with [hobbitcoat] and say that, apart from rare exeptions, the Germans truly do not have a sense of humour. Or perhaps they're just somewhat behind the times. Some of the young television comedians touted as being radical and alternative over here are up to about 1940. They get huge laughs by pulling their eyes out sideways, putting a lampshade on their head and pronouncing their Rs as Ls. This, of course, after first explaining that they are about to do an impression of a Chinese person and followed up by an explanation that that there was just an impression of a Chinese person . It's dire.   

       Oh. + for the idea.
squeak, Dec 07 2006

       Fishrat - hrmm perhaps this has just given the enemies of the catholic church a potentially unconsidered weapon. Bun for the burn.
sprogga, Dec 09 2006

       Fishrat in response to the original idea, the papacy has the swiss guards as their "protectors" at all times, they have been for centuries, and will be for a little while longer.   

       and i'm pretty sure that all swiss guards have to be able to deal with many different situations to be offered their positions.
Stork, Dec 09 2006

       Hmmm. Any way to couple this with the Da Vinci Code?
SledDog, Dec 09 2006

       "I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire... "
Zimmy, Dec 09 2006

       //Hmmm. Any way to couple this with the Da Vinci Code?//   

       "...it was then he saw it. The chimney; it was alight with the most fantastic glow, and it read out in symbols that said,   

       EAT CHEEZ-WIZ   

       'What does that mean?' he said to himself. He set off to discover the mystery of the glowing chimney that told him the secrets, but he would have to decipher it first."   

       I wonder if this could lead to a profiteering executive building a Vatican-related Las Vegas casino...
Abusementpark, Dec 10 2006

       God makes mistakes all the time, or else the universe would be perfect (100% efficient)! Of course an "Act of God" could easily occur in any building that poses a major threat of fire hazard, and the pope doesn't have any greater or lesser priviledges or exemptions over the laws of physics than any other man does.   

       Actually, I wonder if the pope floats on water or sinks into water. That's called the "catholic's witch test" and its validity is actually endorsed by the pope. I think that if witches don't have magical powers, well then anti-witches ought not have any particularly special powers either and therefore they also must burn when ignited.
quantum_flux, Jan 26 2008

       <Python> You have to compare their weight with that of a duck.... </Python>
8th of 7, Jan 27 2008

       Eight years of dithering, and I still haven't baked this.
Fishrat, Feb 12 2013

       There should also be a little semaphore flag, to indicate whether the "We're on fire" light is broken.
hippo, Feb 12 2013

       //Germans truly do not have a sense of humour.//   

       The translated lyrics to the German national anthem actually read "Gerrrrmans have a sense of hu-u-mour. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha-ah ha."
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2013

       //Of course God has a sense of humor//   

       Otherwise, we would not have hemorrhoids and chiggers, or hurricanes and tornadoes that strike primarily in the babble belt down South.   

       As far as the idea, toss a red smoke flare into the stove. Lots of smoke, nice red color...it *could* work.
Klaatu, Feb 13 2013


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