I always think that a genuine friend is like a genuine antique – you’d go a long way to find one and you’d do anything to stop one getting broken. When an Italian gentleman made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, stopping my friends from getting broken meant stealing a very valuable antique.
‘Somebody else has got my antique and I want it back,’ was how he put it.
‘Who has it?’ I asked.
Without a flicker of a smile he replied, ‘The Pope.’
If you think of the Vatican as a big church where the Pope lives, then think again. It is a complete walled city with its own shops, its own bank and its own armed security in the shape of the ridiculously costumed Swiss Guards. Look a bit daft, don’t they? But they’re well trained and well armed young men. Well, if stealing antiques from the Pope was easy, everybody would be doing it, wouldn’t they?