A little-known statue of Speaker of the House John Boehner in Cincinnati City Hall has mysteriously begun to weep a red substance. Observers first believed that since Mr Boehner is a devout Catholic and a member of the Sodality of Our Lady Mother of All Agony, the substance might be blood, as is often the case with statues of the Virgin. Closer inspection suggests that it is an alcoholic grape-based product, probably a Chilean or Australian merlot.
Blood and wine of course are closely associated in Catholic ritual and theology and many of the Speaker’s Ohioan co-religionists have been pressuring the Archdiocese to declare the unexplained apparition miraculous. There’s also a petition before the City Council to remove the statue to a more appropriate location, where it would be treated with greater reverence. As one priest visiting with his suburban parishioners put it: “a building full of atheistic blaspheming bureaucrats is no place for the statue of a man God is telling us is a saint.”
Inevitably perhaps the sick and stricken, overwhelmingly people without medical insurance or ineligible for Medicaid, have begun to appear at City Hall to touch or kiss the feet of Mr Boehner’s likeness in hopes of a miracle. Some have even attempted to taste the merlot-like substance or catch drops of it in small containers. Access to the weeping statue has therefore been severely limited pending an examination by the appropriate Church officials. However many miraculous cures have already been attributed to the statue’s intercession, almost all of them involving massive weight loss. A skeptical visitor from New York who yesterday managed to kiss the Speaker’s left big toe before being removed by security personnel noticed a marked improvement in a long-standing reflux problem which has plagued her for years.