Monday, November 19, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI Scandal?

Pope Benedict XVI Off-Duty?
Tippling from the Holy Grail?
(Image from Expatriate Games)

This may be just a baseless accusation, but given my history of defending the Pope, I feel that I must report this recent, disturbing claim against His Holiness.

A baby living in Daejeon has identified Pope Benedict XVI as his maternal grandmother (see photo of grandmother above). The precocious baby girl -- whose name is "Hayden Lee" and who lives in Korea with her Korean father and French-Canadian mother -- made the claim on November 11, 2007, also known as Pepero Day (a Korean national holiday). According to the baby's mother:
"I was reading one of my favourite blogs -- Gypsy Scholar -- when Hayden spied a photo of Pope Benedict XVI. And gasped. And said "Nan-nee! Nan-eeee!"
The poor thing was attempting to say "Nanny," which is what she calls her grandmother. Here's the papal image that the child was looking at:

Pope Benedict XVI
(Image from Wikipedia)

Given that the young child's mother is the well-known KAIST blogger Melissa, of the fine blog Expatriate Games, I'm inclined to take this report very seriously despite the slight differences in appearance, age, and gender perceivable in the two photos above. I mean, do babies lie? Surely not!

However, honesty compels me to observe that the child's credibility might be doubted based on an earlier, similar accusation leveled against a refrigerator:
Since we left Canada in August, I have, by special request, been showing Hayden photos of my mom and my sisters and my step-father while saying their names. She can now recognize their faces and repeat (reasonable versions of) their names. Or so I thought. But. My mom's photo is on our refrigerator so when we go to the kitchen I point at the picture and say "Nanny. Hayden, that's Nanny". And she would smile and nod and say back "Na-nee. Na-neee". Cute as a button. But the other day as we were bypassing the kitchen to make our way to the bathroom, Little Miss Lee spied the fridge -- gasped -- ran up to it, patted the side of our LG Dios Digital and said "Na-nee. Na-nee". And nodded proudly. The child thinks our fridge is her grandmother. Sorry mom. At least it wasn't a kimchi cooler.
Hmmm.... It occurs to me that the child might have been identifying the Pope not as her grandmother but, rather, as a fridge. Here's an image of an LG Dios Digital fridge:

Spitting Image of Pope Benedict XVI?
(Image from

Right. Well... perhaps this little kid is not only mixed but even mixed up -- a bit of fusion confusion. Moreover, kids often say the darndest things! And they'll do the darndest things, too. Here, you'll find some kids posing for photos the way that the little boy in Calvin and Hobbes always did.

Speaking of that comic strip, go here for the latest idyllic image...

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At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like fan death and Korean grammar, this can never be completely explained or understood, at least by mere mortals.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Only children, still "trailing clouds of glory," can dimly understand.

For the rest of us, especially including George Carlin, "It's a mystery."

Like totally a mystery...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:41 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Hmmm...the future Baron, at that age, was "reading" a magazine with the Baron. He spotted a picture of Ronald Reagan and said repeatedly, while pointing to him, "mommy! mommy!"

Some years later, when Geo HW was running for office for the second time, the fB came home with a campaign picture of Bush '41, which he had us put up in his room.

He went with me while I voted, and the nice lady at the polling station told him it was against the rules to suggest who people should vote for...

The next morning, when I woke him for breakfast, he opened one eye and asked who'd won the election. I told him I was sorry, but...

He pulled the blankets over his head and wailed, "well what is there to get up for then?" I assured him President Bush was surely feeling the same way, but he was no doubt up and eating his cereal anyway.

The fB dragged out of bed, went into the kitchen looking like a little boy with a hangover and said, "how can he eat at a time like this??"

So we had a nice discussion of winning and losing and picking yourself up off the floor. At the end of our talk, as he finished his bowl of cereal, he said, "this Clinton is going to be trouble. I can tell."

Nope, he didn't grow up to become a politician. He is even now saving for grad school -- wants a master's in oenology...maybe losing gave him a taste for the grape?

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dymphna, thanks for the visit.

The future Baron, too? Interesting. Perhaps the successful public figures seem somehow maternal ... or grandmotherly?

Not that George H. W. Bush was especially successful...

Anyway, the future Baron has chosen a fine career, far better than one spent secretly lamenting 'sour' grapes.

I raise a glass to his future success.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Glad you are enjoying your time in Seoul. A delightful town despite its size.


There was only one question about Korean grammar to which I never received a satisfactory answer. It was why the two-syllable Chinese-origin term for "flower petal" is pronounced "goat-nip" when its writing suggests another pronunciation. Everything else seemed to follow a rule, just like the order-loving Koreans themselves.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hermione, good to see you here again ... assuming that you're the same Hermione who visited one of my Harry Potter blog entries (unless I'm imagining things again).

Anyway, yes, I am enjoying my time here in Seoul, but more because it is a big place!

And I always expected to be a professional hillbilly...

Jeffery Hodges

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