Catholic Tastes

Well, it could happen. Writing in the Jan. 17 issue of The New Yorker, humorist Paul Rudnick imagines how bowled over Pope John Paul II must have been to meet teen country sensation LeAnn Rimes. Rudnick spins off his fantasy from Rimes’ own account of the papal meeting as it appeared in People magazine. “I am such a fan,” Rudnick depicts the bedazzled pontiff as saying, “especially of country/pop, because it’s less twangy — LeAnn and Shania are my faves, because they’re country, but not too Opry. I like country with a midriff.” Later, Rudnick has the pope burbling, “I kept telling her, over and over, that her version of ’How Do I Live’ beat the socks off Trisha Yearwood’s, even if Trisha got the Grammy. I kept saying, ’We researched it in the Vatican archives, and ’Trisha’ is definitely an ancient Coptic term meaning ’prom date of Lucifer.'” When Rimes smiled, the imaginary pope asserts, “she was like Mother Teresa, only, how can I put this, less infinitely careworn and radiant with inner grace, but technically way cuter.” Rudnick’s piece is called “Totally Amazing Grace.”