As I was pouring my second cup of coffee this morning, a friend of mine came up to me with a beaming face and ear to ear grin and said: “Black Smoke!”
Thinking it was appropriate to join him in his enthusiasm, I gave him a hearty fist-pump and belted out a stentorian “YES!!”
Afterward as I was savoring my hot cup of black gold, I thought to myself why was that appropriate?
What’s so hot about black smoke, anyway?
I mean, if he had said White Smoke, I would have jumped out of my skin and doused him with coffee. So, what’s so hot about Black Smoke, anyway? It’s actually kind of a downer, isn’t it?
No, not really. There’s something insanely thrilling about black smoke. For instance, if you google “black smoke” right now you get “about 251,000,000 results” — that’s roughly 100x the population of Rome, Italy, in google results.
I can’t imagine how many tweets there are right now for “black smoke” (it’s so hot, even Twitchy picked up on it, Yes, even Twitchy), but the top hit for #blacksmoke on Twitter has over 3,000 retweets — for just one tweet tweeting “black smoke!”
So what is it in the heart of man that gets a rise out of seeing or hearing the just the words “Black Smoke”? It must have something to do with this.
Of course what we want is White Smoke — not black smoke — and we want it now. It’s been (slightly less than) 24hrs already, and the anticipation is thrilling us (not killing us). For sure, we realize that sooner or later the Vatican chimney will give us what we want — Our next Pope, or the facsimile thereof, in the form of….
The situation is totally out of our control! Isn’t that what’s so thrilling about all this? For a Catholic this is one of those elections where we have everything to gain and nothing to loose (unless you put a wager on one of the cardinals, in which case, I’m betting you will lose). We have no responsibility in the matter, other than to pray and watch the chimney for black or white smoke.
All the while, we cling anxiously to our twitter or whatever other feed we might use to be the very first to be in on that moment when we can finally jump out of our skin and douse our friends with scalding coffee, that joyous moment when we learn the name of our new Pope — that’s what I’m excited about.
So, as regards all the black smoke. There’s really only one appropriate thing to say…
Sing it, Carly! Sing it loud!