Funeral Fun - The Gloved Man & Stolen Flowers

    It had been a long day before I encountered a strange person on a strange funeral.  I had just finished working a short job in the city, everything had gone well, on the way to the next job I had to collect and take another staff member with me, not an issue as we had a good chat on the way.  So far it was turning out to be quite a fun little day.  The only problem is that we had not eaten since 7:00 and it was now well after 14:00.

    With rumbling stomaches we arrived at the next funeral and met up with the conductor.  We had just finished setting everything up when the family arrived so we stood by the condolence book encouraging signatures.  The book was inside the church as it was raining outside and there was no cover, now I should also not that this church had a habit of echoing.  So it was quite surprising, and amusing, that one of the staff let out a fart right there in the church.  Nobody was right by us or even close but the sound echoed softly through the church.  Not very loud, but just loud enough to be noticeable.  The staff member stood there and said "hmm, didn't think that'd echo" as the rest of us stared at him with embarrassed amusement.  Not 20 minutes later he did it again!! However this time he said "oh, it still echoes", a couple of us had to leave the church in amused embarrassment.

    This is when I noticed gloved man.  He was tall and slender wearing a light brown cowboy hat with his dark suit, looking like a well-to-do farmer at a funeral.  What stood out was his gloves, there was nothing special about the gloves themselves.  However where he was keeping them was quite strange.  He had wedged them down his belt at the front of his pants making it look as though he was constantly holding his crotch.  Turns out he was the person I was suppose to drive (along with some other family).

    While driving him I discovered that he was as strange as he appeared.  He told me how he drove an electric car, for various reasons, and that he got something like 10 kilometres at 7 horsepower.  I also found out that he did indeed live in the country, so I wondered how useful it would be to go 10 kilometres in the middle of the bush.  This is not the strangest thing he told me, but I cannot say the really odd stuff as it may giveaway his identity.  So just know, he was weird, I must say he was actually a nice guy and not difficult to deal with but so strange that it made dealing with him a strange affair.  He did tell me as we were driving that he dealt and worked with a lot of funeral directors over his life so he knew about the industry.

    As we pulled into the cemetery he said how I would not mind waiting for him to get a coffee before I drove him home.  This was because I would be busy burying the coffin.  That's right, he was convinced that I as an undertaker had the job of burying the coffin.  Anyone with even a bit of experience in the industry knows how wrong this is, the gravediggers do the digging.  So this guy, with his years experience with various funeral directors should have known better.  I have no idea where or why he thought what he did.

    After we arrived at the cemetery the other staff and I gathered around the back of the hearse and got ready to carry it over.  Just as we were about to open the hearse an Asian guy came over caring a casket cover (a specific arrangement of flowers meant to sit on the top of a coffin).  He showed it to us before asking where to put it.  In such a straight and serious mannor the hearse driver said "those aren't for this funeral.  That's why we didn't bring them".  The guy's face started to sink as he explained that they were at the church and so he had brought them.  The hearse driver confirmed that no, they were actually for another funeral and not this one.  I just had to walk away to compose myself but I turned back to see the poor Asian guy go back to the family.  He obviously explained the situation to them as they all walked away from him, he tried to approach people but they just moved away, wanting nothing to do with flowers stolen from another funeral.  The guy then sheepishly put the flowers down on another random grave before sneaking over to his car, getting a couple more flowers out and placing them quietly on another grave.  It was so funny how bad he obviously felt that he had basically stolen the flowers from another funeral and that nobody else in the family would talk with him as a result (the rest of the family were not Asian).

    The funeral started up and the service when according to plan.  As the coffin was lowered with the gloved man, who was now sitting in a chair, let out a rather large and loud yawn.  He then causally yawned again.  Later as some children were throwing petals into the grave he loudly said "take a fucking bunch" commenting on how many she had taken.  She had not actually taken that many and luckily did not notice the comment.

    Just as luckily I did not have to drive him home as he decided to go with a friend while I buried the coffin.


1 comment:

  1. Oh dear - that would have been a pretty awkward moment with the funeral flowers! We've seen quite a few 'mix ups' with funeral flowers at our shop too. Quite often customers are adement they purchased a different wreath or cover which is bigger than the one they did order!


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