Friday, August 1, 2008

Easily Amused

There was a definite pecking order at the home. The funeral director was boss and we were his staff. Write ups after the funeral would thank the funeral director and staff for the compassion we showed. We referred to my cohort as “And” and I was “Staff”.

My partner was a good guy to work with but easily rattled. This is a bad combo with me since I am easily amused. Late one night we were embalming a body and I was preparing the trocar. The trocar, it should be explained, is a pointed instrument that when hooked to a vacuum is used to remove any unnecessary fluid from the body yet when hooked to a bottle of embalming fluid is used to help preserve the body from decay. In funeral home speak we refer to these procedures as unpleasant.

While he went outside for a smoke I turned on a lamp and pointed it towards the wall behind me. I then killed the lights, placed a box beside the embalming table and stood on top of it. Just like a scene from any Vincent Price film. When I heard him returning I held the trocar like a sacrificial knife and cast my gaze heavenward chanting quasi-religious mumbo jumbo. As he walked in the look on his face was priceless (definite Kodak moment). He froze and then proceeded to scream a torrent of vulgarities in my general direction. He mentioned the fact that I scare the hell out of him and if I ever do that again, he will kill me.

I don’t know if he would kill me. But for sure his heart is in good shape. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the most pleasing.

No comments: