I knew instantly it was the purple phone ringing. The one I keep in a specially-constructed safe under my bed. Not the red one I use to speak to Bush, nor the blue one I call Chirac on. Not even the magnolia one I use for Blair. No. It had to be the purple one. Apart from anything else, it’s the only one of my phones that plays Tannhäuser. The rest just go beep beep.
That you, Ratzo?
Do not the familiar-making with me be. You from now on Benediktus to me you will the addressing make. Or else, Obersturmführer Ratzenhammer. Verstehen Sie??
Ratzo, gimme a break, ok? It’s four in the fuckin morning. Why are you calling me at four in the morning? I’m only in bed twenty minutes, for fucksake!
It is the matter of die schwierigkeit muslimische. So to speak.
I have the little speech gemachen, at the Universität, but Glück und Glas , I may have them off-pissed, by them the shower of Hodensäcker into their faces calling, you know.
Ratzo, how many times have I told you to keep schtum? When you were in charge of the Inquisition, that was one thing. You were the guy with the red hot poker. But now you’re the fuckin Pope and you can’t be going around pissing people off, except in the usual ways by opposing contraception in AIDS-torn Africa and buggering altar-boys in Ireland. OK?
OK, Bock. What great times we had in den Hofbräuhaus when we younger were, no, mein freund? Oh ho. Oh ho. Yuk. Yuk. Hmmm. Well. Hmmm. Bock, I have the favour from you to asking.
Ask away, Ratzo, ould stock.
Bock, let us not batter around the tree. I know, through my sources, let’s call them, that you the mighty religious weapon invented have and, something more, that you a military version produced have. For civilian use, you have the world the mobile consecrator given. No?
Well, I want the military version, the religious fanatics to fighting. I want your Mobile Desecrator!
You want to fight the Legion of Mary?
Do not the funny make. It is, as you know well, the muslimische issue.
Certainly not, Ratzo. It’s completely against my principles to use my mobile consecrator for military purposes. I developed that machine for purely peaceful uses, and I intend to keep it that way. If somebody untrustworthy ever got his hands on this technology, it could totally shift the balance of –