A series of coiled metal spikes have been strategically positioned on Northam Burrows Beach in Devon amid speculation that Pope Francis will be invading the South of England with his entourage to do a pilgrimage thing.
Although the rumours are yet to be confirmed, it is thought the coils have been erected specifically by anti-Pope experts from Hampshire to deter his Holiness from 'wreaking havoc with the summer bird watching tourists.'
'We've examined the dimensions of the Pope-Mobile and the Catholic landing craft and think we have a pretty robust defence against any invasion,' smiled Damian, a level one anti-Pope expert and member of the team that prevented a secret Pope Pilgrimage to Brighton in 2011.
Northam Burrows beach goers are regularly surprised by the similarities to Copacabana beach in Rio. 'We've kept it a secret for ages, and managed to limit the numbers of partygoers and rowdy Catholics, instead encouraging people who collect pebbles,' claims the man that rakes the sand. 'Although they are always disappointed when the pebbles dry and stop looking shiny, they have a good time and we don't want to spoil the atmosphere for them.'
According to one zoologist, Northam Burrows Country Park consists of 253 acres of grassland and riverbeds and the variety of pebbles is unparalleled. 'Even the great North Devon Pebble museum down at Barnstaple can't match it. Can you imagine the damage that two million Brazilian pilgrims would cause if they came with their footballs, harvesting all the pebbles with Jesus faces? Those crosses they take everywhere are a real threat to the wildlife if they get left behind.'
The anti-Pope spikes are borrowed from anti-tank designs used in World War 2. A military historian claims that, 'The spikes were initially designed to defend our shores from the Devil, so it's ironic that they are now being used to stop the God Brigade. But I could see how they could be very effective, particularly if they add some decorative condoms, which they seem to be adverse to.'
But some locals are worried; 'There's loads of those Catholics and they've got a pretty good track record of self-sacrifice on poles sticking out of the ground. It'd only take a bunch of them to selflessly impale themselves and neutralise the threat. The Pope landing craft could land safely and that would be the end of Pebble Heaven.'
However, Jim Jackson, lifeguard at the beach is unfazed. 'We've banned small children from the beach unless they are fully clothed, so we can't see any real motivation for a visit from Catholic priests. Plus we are pretty confident the spikes will be the nail in the coffin; the stakes are just too high.'