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Sunday 1 April 2007

Neil Gaiman One Step Closer to Sainthood

by L. Ron Creepweans

VATICAN CITY - Today the Roman Curia announced that the beatification of Neil Gaiman had been completed, putting the writer one step closer to the official recognition of his sainthood. These steps were carried out despite the fact that Gaiman himself has repeatedly denied being a saint, pointing out that he was not Catholic, not really religious and, most importantly, not dead.

"Really, I'm not dead," said Gaiman when reached at his home. "Not even the slightest little bit. This whole sainthood thing has become something of a bother, with little old women with rosaries joining the usual contingent of Goth girls holding vigils on the west lawn. If you happen to run into Pope Benedict XVI, please tell him that the whole thing is quite silly and somewhat inconvenient."

However, Vatican spokesman Cardinal Bertoli insisted that Gaiman had met the church's stringent requirement of three miracles necessary for sainthood. "First, we have a report of a signing at DreamHaven Books, where by mistake his publisher had only shipped one 20 book carton of Anansi Boys, but into which the Venerable Gaiman had reached his hand again and again to pull out book after book, until all 500 patrons had received their copies, all of which were first printings and entirely free of shipping damage."

Bertoli noted that the second miracle involved a girl in Los Angeles who had been cured of her terminal cancer after a copy of Volume 9 of The Collected Sandman (The Kindly Ones) had been laid against her brow. Finally, Bertoli said he had documented proof that Gaiman had single-handedly fed all of Paraguay in 1987.

"Truly the Holy Ghost works though the Venerable Gaiman's hands."

"I do wish they would just drop this whole saint thing," said Gaiman. "It's quite a distraction to always have people wanting to touch the hem of your leather jacket or try to pluck out hairs for relics. It's gotten to the point where it's starting to interfere with my hectic schedule of writing books, signing signature sheets, writing comics, going on book tours, writing movies, filming movies, writing song lyrics, cashing large checks and healing the sick." Gaiman paused. "Wait, did I just say healing the sick? Strike that. No sick comma healing of going on here.

"Now you'll have to excuse me," he said politely, "I have to finish a miracle. Uh...that is...a script. Yes, that's it."

Though it won't be made official until his canonization is complete, Vatican officials were leaning toward making Gaiman Patron Saint of Relieving Hand Cramps.

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