Indeed, looking spiff and trim, that is his high holiness Cardinal Roger Mahony smiling benevolently (we hope) upon my Russian tortoise Buster and only a fraction away from benedicting and flinging real-deal holy water upon me, my girlfriend Susan, and said reptile who’s in the basket Susan’s holding.
It’s all part of the annual Blessing of the Animals at Olvera Street, and the turnout was huge. Susan’s a veteran of past pilgrimages, but me I was a virgin visitor (and a card-carrying Protestant, no less) and we were awed and amazed by the camped-up parade of birds, rodents, cats, dogs, and reptiles that Mahony dutifully piddled on before and after us.
Buster was a big hit, drawing questions and interest from young and old. But what I need to know is if I should be worried about the searing of my flesh where the holy water hit it!? It burns!! It burns!!