As I think I've mentioned in at least one other post (see "Ketchup (get it?)," Oct. 12, 2006), I've been in talks to take my highly successful "Loot the Church"™ fundraiser/interactive history lesson on tour.
Turns out the USA dates aren't going to work out. About half of them were set up at Episcopalian churches. We were negotiating the appearances in bulk at the diocese level (you can't get anything done going church-to-church), and when some of these congregations found out what was brewing, they got all huffy, broke off the national church and realigned themselves with more traditional Anglican churches in Uganda and Nigeria.
(You know, because no one's ever looted a church in Uganda or Nigeria. Right.)
Anyway, because of Episco-Schism-Gate we lost opportunities in three big revenue sweet spots: northern Virginia; eastern Pennsylvania; and Charlotte, North Carolina. After that a couple of investors pulled their money, and the whole US plan fell through.
But I don't dwell on bad news. I just poison the messengers and move on to the good news (kidding! I'm kidding, Mr. DHL Man! Have a tartlet. They're homemade.). The good news is this: we're on for the Euro tour this summer with Cirque du Soleil! The dates are set in stone, I'm told, and here they are:
June 16-18: Copenhagen
June 21-23: Helsinki
June 27-29: Riga
July 1-12: St. Petersburg
July 13-20: Moscow
July 24-26: Tbilisi
July 28-30: Kiev
August 3-7: Prague
August 11-13: Budapest
August 16-18: Dubrovnik
August 22-24: Thessaloniki
August 26-30: Athens
I don't know all the particulars as to the churches involved, but I hear there are some pretty terrific cathedrals in play in this part of the world, complete with reliquaries and crypts and everything. And the plan is to mix in a couple of monasteries, too.
I know some of you were hoping we could get something done with the Vatican, but it's not so easy to steal a minute to talk to this new Pope. Add to this that he's not the type to delegate the authority to bind the Church in contracts, and you end up having to stand in line along with all the other suitors, petitioners, contractors, and process servers. You thought it was a bitch to get to the Sistine Chapel: it could be another eight months before we get our audience with Papa Benedict. (You hope Peter manages the bureaucracy a little better at the Pearly Gates . . .)
I'll be announcing the All-Stars lineup a veritable who's who of friends and relations of Phutatorius's friends and relations! in a couple days. If I served up all the juicy bits at once, you wouldn't have to come back here for more, would you?