…The truth behind the confusing smoke signals from the Vatican chimney has been revealed by one of the 115 cardinals who helped choose a successor to Pope John Paul II.
Adrianus Simonis, from Holland, said: "We needed two goes to get the white smoke going because the chimney just wouldn't draw. At one point the entire Sistine Chapel filled with smoke."
Simonis's comments revealed why there had been uncertainty and confusion, when the first puffs of smoke last week appeared to be black. Then, after several minutes, it turned grey and, finally, white.
It seems to me, what the vatican needs is a simple garden incinerator.
I've been doing some experimenting. Here are my findings:
- dry paper—white smoke
- dry garden waste—white smoke
- damp garden waste—copious white smoke
- soaking wet garden waste—no smoke
- smelly old rug—black smoke
- oily rag—black smoke
- christmas tree—whooooooosh!
- petrol—VOOOOOOOOM! No eyebrows
It isn't exactly rocket science.