693. I was driving along quite comfy

698hearse

I was driving along quite comfy, thank you, with the radio playing a bit of head banging stuff, and following this hearse that must’ve been heading for a cemetery or a crematorium or a funeral parlour or somewhere. And suddenly the back door of the hearse flew up in the air and out fell a coffin.

Well I stopped immediately before I hit the coffin, which I did just a bit, and the lid cracked, and a bit of the side, and out popped a leg and a foot in a pair of brown trousers with a well-worn cosy slipper with a tartan pattern.

I tooted my horn furiously but the hearse kept going, like it was being driven by a robot or something and like the undertaker didn’t care. He was probably texting his girlfriend or something anyway and didn’t seem to notice the difference.

All happened so suddenly, in the flash of an eye, and the next thing the truck following me went wham straight into the back of my car. My car shot forward flat out and knocked the coffin in the air a bit and it fell down and sort of shattered completely open in the middle of the road.

A couple of bystanders were already watching, and one looked horrified and the other was laughing. And the back of my car seemed to be a bit of a wreck. I hope the hearse was insured because I don’t have the money to fork out for a new car, or even to get the old one fixed.

All this was going through my head, and the next thing there was a police officer asking what had happened, and by now I didn’t have a clue. So I sort of repeated everything I’ve just told you now, and the police officer thought I was talking nonsense because I was shocked, and told me to wait over by the side of the road until he’d finished asking everyone else questions.

So that’s what I’m doing now; waiting for the cop to finish. The coffin’s still sitting on the road. Everyone is too busy telling the policeman what went on to worry about the body. It’s dead anyway. But I wish he’d hurry because I’ve got to sort out this mess about my wrecked car.

Here comes the hearse now. Maybe that’ll hurry things along a bit. And I hope no one believes the undertaker when he spins some cock-and-bull yarn about me starting the ball rolling when I hit the back of the hearse at full speed.

68 thoughts on “693. I was driving along quite comfy

      1. Bruce Goodman Post author

        It would seem to be a bit of a waste of good footwear. I remember when my father died and Mum had second thoughts about his footwear. I was sent to the undertakers with his old pair of slippers. His good shoes could be given to someone who might need them! The undertaker took the slippers and returned with the shoes. Whether or not he changed them I have no idea, but he wasn’t away for long!

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  1. arlingwoman

    I think these stories are a bit like poetry and they can benefit from your interpretations. Here’s this almost Kafka-esque happening, quite macabre, and this dude is completely focused on his car. Perhaps he’s only being mindful.

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  2. Susanne

    This is my new favourite! The present-tense telling adds to the urgency and then the off-kilter unreliable narrator at the end just kicked the chair away. LOVE IT.

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            1. Bruce Goodman Post author

              I guess I got used to the Boston and environs accent a few years back so I don’t notice your accent so much Cynthia. (It’s not as strong as President Kennedy’s! Kennedy’s is very clipped – the pak ya ca in havad yad…) We should be grateful that neither of us has an accent!

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              1. Cynthia Jobin

                Yes, I agree we should be grateful for that. 🙂 There are differences even between the New England states. When I first went to Boston, I noticed how different it was from Maine. But I did a lot of community theatre and teaching (which I regard as public speaking) so my accent is a mish-mash. What I find infinitely amusing are the people who think others from other places have “an accent” but they themselves don’t.

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                1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                  That’s fascinating. New Zealand doesn’t have a great variety of accents – down the bottom of the country they roll their rrrrrrrrs, and at the top of the country they end every sentence up a pitch as if its a question? That’s the way they talk? We, who live in the middle of the country – as you can hear from my readings – speak accentless – sort of like the trans-Atlantic movie stars!

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