Kirsty Blake Knox: Who will put on a better show: El Papa or Britney?
Look busy! The Pope is coming! Yes the Pope, not some old bishop you've never heard of. But good old Pope Francis himself!!
After months of build up, it was announced that Francis will be doing a whirlwind whip around the country within 36 hours.
As fate (or the good Lord himself) would have it, his Holiness will be here just a week after Britney Spears brings her Las Vegas residency show Britney: Piece of Me to town.
Which inevitably leads to the question; who will put on a better show Brit-Brit or El Papa?
It's true that Pope Francis is less dependent on autotune, but Britney has better costume changes. On the other hand, there's the promise of plenary indulgence at the Pope's Croke Park gig - but not the one in Knock or the Phoenix Park. Sadly, Princess of Pop Britney cannot promise access to heaven in the next world - although I've heard rumours that Madonna can.
Since the announcement, there have been lots of think pieces about how different today's Ireland is compared to the Ireland that Pope John Paul II visited 40 years ago.
There won't be as nearly as many people knocking around Knock, we've been told, and the Pope will have to answer a lot of tough questions.
Despite this, a good dose of blind hysteria already seems to be building up. Hotels have already put a 'Pontiff Premium' in place and jacked up prices. Trend forecasters are predicting a spike in the number of baby Franks christened, and Dana and Crystal Swing are supposedly teaming up to release a single to follow up to 'Totus Tuus'.
He may not have the same Popestar status as JP but timing is everything. The last week of August is peak silly season with everyone looking for distraction as the summer fades away.
The past may be a different country but some things never change, and our need for water cooler conversation fodder in late summer remains constant.
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