The Pope and the Taxi Cab joke, two years ago...
The Pope has finished his visit to New York City, and steps out to the curb at the Pennsylvania Plaza Hotel, lifts his arm to hail a cab. Cab pulls up, formulaicly, and the driver glances up at his fare: it's the Pope!
Pope recognizes the surprise, and says "Yes, yes, yes. Can you take me to JFK? I need to catch a flight."
Cab driver, still blinking, says "Oh your Holiness, it would do me the greatest honor to take you to JFK. Please, by all means..." and the driver does the rare cabby behavior of getting out of his driver's seat, opens his door, and opens the passenger door to allow the Pope to sit in the back seat. This accomplished, both fasten their seat belts, and the driver pulls the cab out into very crowded Seventh Avenue traffic to head to JFK.
There is congestion, progress is slow, and the Pope says to the cabbie, "Umm, I am trying to catch a flight. Perhaps you could drive faster?"
Cabbie replies, in his humblest voice, "I am so sorry, your Holiness, but the traffic is very bad, it being rush hour, and I was just on Fifth Avenue: it was worse. A colleague radioed to say that Ninth is similarly abysmal. This is how we must go. I am so sorry."
The Pope's brow wrinkles as he says, "Before I was a man of the cloth, I drove a cab in Buenos Aires. Yes, truly. Would you mind if we traded places?" Cabbie can't believe he's awake, but agrees. Cabbie retreats to the back seat, the Pope sits behind the wheel, and encourages the cabbie to buckle his seat belt.
Pope guns the engine, runs the cab onto the sidewalk scattering pedestrians breaking legs toppling fire hydrants from their pipes sending gushers of water stories high cars are swerving to avoid the juggernaut UNTIL a motorcycle cop who has seen the carnage in the distance roars up alongside the cab to pull the vehicle over and stops short like a deer in the headlights when he sees the driver. He's speechless for a moment.
Catching his breath, he tries to behave professionally, and says, "Do you see all that has happened here?"
Pope says, "Yes, yes, yes. Can you be quick? We're trying to catch a plane here."
Motorcycle cop clears his throat, says, "Please excuse me, I need to radio the precinct." Calling the precinct, he says to the captain, "I need guidance. I have a special situation. I pulled over someone very important."
Captain, a little frustrated says, "You didn't pull over De Blasio again, did you?"
"Bigger? Governor Cuomo? Please don't tell me you pulled over Governor Cuomo."
"Bigger than Cuomo. Bigger than Cuomo."
"Bigger than Cuomo? Oh God almighty, you cannot have pulled over President Obama. Cannot have cannot have cannot have. PLEASE tell me you did not just pull over President Obama."
"No. Bigger than Obama."
"Bigger than Obama? Who on earth is bigger than Obama?"
"Chief, I don't know who this guy is, but his driver is the Pope."
The Pope and the Taxi Cab joke, now...
I've been telling the Pope and the Taxi Cab joke for decades, and the last part is suddenly really difficult to do with a straight face. He's ruined everything.