Monday, October 26, 2009

Colder than a Corpse

Everything about the room said "money." Rich dark furniture, lavish paintings, plush sofas.

The guy who spoke to us looked expensive too--Hollywood haircut, three piece suit that cost more than three months of my salary. And shoes with those cute little tassels. His body was finely conditioned from the best gym money could buy.

I hitched up my jeans in a self conscious gesture.

Was he a lawyer? Nope. Bank loan manager? Nuh uhh.

He was a funeral director.

I was with the grieving family not as their minister, but as a friend. I made it my job to reassure them they did not have to take out a second mortgage to pay for this guy's next manicure and tanning session.

I picked up one of those decorative magazines from the coffee table in front of me, and for some reason that bothered him so much that I think it raised his temperature a smidge higher than the stiffs he kept in the back room. It was brief but his whole body twitched. Like a little bitty convulsion.

So of course I picked up another and sure enough, he twitched again. Then one more time. Same thing.

We finished with the arrangements and stood, but before he could leave, the man picked up all the mags I had handled, slammed them down on the table, and spread them as precisely as before I had desecrated them with my touch. And then for the briefest of moments he glared at me.

I gave him a big cheesy smile to remember me by. I resisted the urge to pass gas as I walked past him.

He was the tallest, handsomest, most well dressed prick I had ever met. But he was not the most entertaining funeral director I've known. He wasn't even third runner up. And he sure wasn't Miss Congeniality.

I'll tell you about some of the more entertaining ones later.


  1. Fortunately there are a lot of good people in his line of work too. :-)

  2. True. The one who expertly finessed my brother-in-law's funeral amid feuding relatives last spring was a prince.

    But then there's "Mr. Head," who was in charge of my dad's funeral in 1991. I don't know if his last name was really Head, but since his first name was Richard, it would have fit perfectly, if you get my drift. I brought the urn with my mother's remains and asked if it might be placed in the casket with my father. He patted the seat next to him and said "Put the old gal up here so we can all talk about this."

  3. That's terrible! Sounds like ole Richard Head's nickname is certainly appropriate. I'm glad you faired better with your brother-in-law's funeral. And I have known some good funeral directors, too.