He said he had left a message on my answering machine about the viewing (the night before apparently) which my machine failed to relay to me. This made me wonder how many other important calls my machine has not given me.
"Kelly? Ed McMahon here. You won the million dollar sweepstakes..."
Walt was unsure of the exact whereabouts of the funeral but he did know it was at 11. There are only 350 small churches in our community. I felt that I should make the effort to go, and besides, where two or more of my dad's family is gathered, usually a good time follows. I was sure I could find it.
So I raced to the shower (after I finished watching the Cullens defeat the army of newborns and discuss Bella's future with the Volturi) and was on my way. The first church I stopped at had only two cars in the parking lot, neither of which was a hearse.
I tried calling my dad on my sister's old trac phone with 29 seconds left on it. Since there is barely any service in our area I had to drive further down the road just to make the call. It went to voice mail. He was apparently already at the funeral which was surprising since he is notoriously late for everything. I kept driving. I even tried calling my gram to see if she had a newspaper with the obit in it. I think I got her out of bed. 10:50am is sort of early for her.
Three churches and 35 minutes later, I was getting uncomfortable. The vintage dress I was wearing (which fit 5 years ago but not so much anymore) was giving me the vapors from having to suck in my gut. My pantyhose (how OLD FASHIONED!) made me feel like I was wearing long johns because it was a very hot day. I should point out that the purpose of the pantyhose was to cover up the fact that I was too hurried to shave my legs and to give the appearance of a fake suntan.
I had pretty much given up on finding the funeral when I fell in line with some white cars doing about 20 in a 55 speed zone. Could this be the funeral procession? I was ready to turn on my hazard lights when I realized that it was just a string of old people driving. ARRRRRR!!!!
So I pulled over in a corn field and shucked off the pantyhose and unbuttoned the middle of my dress to let my gut hang out. Oh sweet relief. The white car drivers were going so slow that I caught up to them again.
I decided to call it a day and just head home. That's when I passed a church with a full parking lot AND a hearse. So I stopped. And almost got out of the car half dressed. It's a good thing I looked down to find my purse. I put myself back together but there was no way I wrestling the hose back on in a church parking lot. Houdini I'm not. No wonder no one wears those things anymore.
Quietly I snuck in the church, and slid into the back pew, hoping this was the right funeral. I decided that no matter whose it was, I was going to stay and if anyone asked how I knew the deceased, I was just going to say they used to be my Sunday School teacher. Even if he/she was the town drunk, that was my story and I was sticking to it. Turns out I was at the right church - I could see the back of my aunt's head.
While I was sitting there I also had an epiphany. This winter, when I'm tired of the ramen noodles, I'm just going to go to random funerals and stay for the meal. I could potentially be eating ham and green beans every day for free. Eventually someone will be clever enough to write a screen play about this and when they do, I want you to remember who came up with the idea first.