We were standing around in the pub of choice, debating the thorny matter of Vatican diplomatic immunity. And when I say standing around, I mean of course that some were sitting around and one or two were lying around. You know who you are!
What the fuck does diplomatic immunity mean? demanded a voice, from somewhere at my feet.
Sir, you have the floor, I conceded.
It means, said someone else, that if the Papal Nuncio runs into a shopping mall with a chainsaw and dismembers twenty or thirty young mothers and old-age pensioners, he can’t be prosecuted.
Because he’s a diplomat. He’s immune. You can’t arrest diplomats.
I didn’t think he was very diplomatic with the shite he was talking last week, said someone else.
You can arrest diplomats if they don’t reach their car in time.
The embassy limousine is considered to be foreign soil.
The car? The car is foreign soil?
Yep. If the registration says CD, nobody can touch him. That stands for Corps Diplomatique. It’s French.
No it’s not. But he must have a chauffeur and the engine has to be running.
So if the engine stalls, the car stops being foreign soil?
Yes. That’s the law.
No it’s not. Look it up.
What if the Papal Nuncio pulls down his pants and waves the Apostolic Appendage out the window?
Same thing. Cops can’t touch the prick.
How about if he had a diplomatic bag? Could he jump into it?
He could, and he’d be safe from arrest provided he made sure to zip it up.
So the Papal Nuncio, in theory, could run around a suburban shopping centre, dismembering small children with a chainsaw while waving his bollocks at the public and as long as he jumps into a bag when the slaughter is ended, there’s not a damn thing the cops can do about it?
Not a damn thing.
Fuck. That’s amazing.
Not only that, but he doesn’t even need a bag since we all signed the Groenhavningen Convention. All he has to do is pull on the Diplomatic Hat and in the eyes of the law he’s on foreign soil.
Deadly serious. A beret will do. Or a Panama hat. A monkey cap. Anything at all as long as it has a little badge on it that says CD. That’s Chapeau Diplomatique. It’s French.
How about a Yarmulka?
Yes, if the Papal Nuncio happens to be Jewish.
I heard it doesn’t even have to be a hat.
That’s true. Technically, it could be a sock. Or a bra. Or a strap-on dildo. Or a tutu.
How about a glove?
An apron? With a gimp-mask?
At a sneeze.
Or a condom?
No. The Vatican forbids condoms.
How about a willy-warmer?
Yeah. That would work.
So let me get this clear. If the Papal Nuncio, in theory, happened to go berserk in a shopping mall with a chainsaw, while wearing a diplomatic hat, gloves, sunglasses and jockstrap, there isn’t a thing the cops could do.
Suppose, said a voice from the floor region, suppose he had a diplomatic chainsaw?
Or a diplomatic machine-gun?
Well, strictly speaking, as long as he could wear the chainsaw or the machine-gun as a hat …
They can’t shoot him?
Even if he happens to be mowing people down at random?
Even if he happens to be dismembering members of the public. They can’t shoot him.
No. He’s on foreign soil. It would be an act of war against the Vatican.
They’d probably send in the Swiss Guard.
Oh God, you couldn’t have that.
No. No. God no.
No no no no. Certainly not.