Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dope-inspired miracles

Maybe it was unwise of me, in this morning's article entitled Guinea pig [display], to rave on jokingly about pills and miracles. You never know. French gendarmes might drop in here unexpectedly and carry me off handcuffed and kicking, in front of all my shocked blog readers. Even if I were to scream out in self-defense that my blogging performance is never enhanced by anything more powerful than a few glasses of wine, are people going to believe me? Maybe the Internet authorities should look into the idea of asking bloggers, at the end of particularly grueling and spectacular posts, to upload a urine sample. I'm sure that this must be technologically possible, maybe using webcams in the style of porn artists. As we've been saying for years, unless a draconian approach of this kind is adopted, the whole great blogging system might soon fall into disrepute.

Most people have heard of famous places such as Lourdes where medical miracles are brought about [if I understand correctly, which I don't] through the divine intercession of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, I'm not sure that many Catholics are aware of the existence of explicit patron saints of medicine and pharmacy.

Their names are Cosmas and Damian. They were third-century twin brothers, of Arabic descent, who generally operated together. Cosmas was the physician, while Damian was primarily an apothecary. The ancient archives fail to make it clear whether the Cosmas/Damian tandem intervened in the specialized domain of sporting medicine. To my mind, this is highly unlikely. Cosmas and Damian are celebrated in that they asked for no fees, and that doesn't sound like typical behavior in the world of sport.

One thing, in any case, is certain. In the Roman and Greek directories of patron saints, nobody stands guard over the domain of dope. This is all the more surprising in that one of the fundamental requirements of sainthood, the power to perform miracles, is an everyday phenomenon in the spheres of dope in sport. Just look at the way that Riccardo Ricco has been flying up the mountain slopes over the last week or so. If that's not a miracle, what is?

Now that the young Italian is out of work, probably for the rest of his sporting existence, his manager might look into the idea, with the help of the pope, of recycling this cyclist into a candidate for canonization, maybe while he's still alive... because the fast-track process is becoming faster and faster. The charming Cobra, already as famous as a rock star (like the pope himself), would become the future patron saint of dope, and he could spend his days, attired in a saintly jersey, pedaling around Rome, Italy and even Europe at large distributing free samples of the latest cocktail of the EPO hormone.

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