Thursday, June 7, 2007

I felt like a...


This was when I was working in a small town where everybody was friendly with each other. We couldn't have all been friends but we were friendly.

The funeral precession pulled into the local cemetery, Lead Vehicle, Pall Bearers, Hearse, Family cars and what looked like the rest of the town. It was a damp overcast day. Everyone had begun to get out of their cars and head toward the grave as the pall bearers lined up behind the hearse. I had left the lead car and was standing with the family when I nodded to the hearse driver to start. He was to open the rear of the hearse and guide the casket into the waiting arms of the pall bearers. They would then proceed to the grave and we could commence.

I saw the hearse driver try to open the door, then again with the other hand and then turn and look at me. I nodded again thinking that perhaps he hadn't seen me. Once again he pulled at the handle and looked at me. I knew we had a problem. It was obvious to everyone that the door was locked. He scurried around to the drivers door and tried to open this door with no luck.

At this point I excused myself and calmly walked over to the hearse driver and asked him through a smile "where are the keys!?" The poor man looked like he was being led to the slaughter as he pointed into the hearse toward the ignition. I now knew where the keys were.

Apparently he had left the keys in the ignition, intentionally, but he didn't intentionally lean on the button on the door that automatically locked all the doors.

So here we are in the middle of the cemetery with a casket locked inside the hearse and what seems like the whole world including some of the family pointing and giggling. I sent him immediately back to the funeral home to get the spare keys. Luckily the town was small and the funeral home wasn't 3 minutes from the cemetery. Luckily, while he was gone the family actually started laughing out loud proclaiming that this stunt was perfect. The deceased would have loved the fact that he kept everyone waiting. I smiled along with them but inside I was just relieved.

This never happened again. Right after the service I had each set of keys equipped with keys for every vehicle; I guess that would have been the thing to do before this happened but you've heard about shutting the barn door after the cow has escaped. It took us almost six months to stop constantly hearing about the incident and every now and then it would come up and everybody would laugh...well, almost everybody.

No comments: