Then there was the time I crashed a funeral …
It wasn’t my fault, I swear. Well, only a little bit.
I was driving downtown, on my way back to the office after a mission to visit a customer. There had been a thunderstorm all morning, with clouds so heavy that we all had our headlights on at about 10:30 am. I tried to turn onto Main Street and couldn’t believe how thick the traffic was. I’m usually fairly patient, but for some reason I was in a hurry this day so I seized a gap between cars and turned onto the street.
A block or so later, I noticed a policeman holding up traffic, not allowing anyone to turn onto Main Street. Odd, right? A few blocks later, the same thing.
It took much longer than it should have to spot the hearse only three cars ahead of me, and to realize why everyone was driving so slowly. About that time, it dawned on me that not everyone on the road had their headlights on – only me and the funeral procession I had just joined.
Sure, I felt stupid. But luckily I was only two blocks from my office when I noticed this. I flipped on my left turn signal, glad to be slinking away from the mess I’d landed myself in.
The guy behind me hit his signal. Ditto for the two guys behind him.
I came to a stop, waiting for a gap in oncoming traffic so I could turn left, very aware that the hearse and lead cars were still motoring on, ditching all of their mourners in the process.
At that point, it was blindingly clear that I had just hijacked a funeral procession.
I had about 10 seconds to make a decision. If I turned into my office, I could walk away from the mess, but those fools were trying to follow me. Worse, it was a cul-de-sac, which would create a traffic blockage of nauseating proportions.
With a deep sigh, I turned off my blinker and led them all the way to the cemetery. It was easy to guess which one they were heading for – the only one on that end of town. As we pulled up, the funeral director was looking frantic, having realized that the entire procession had gone missing.
I waited until I was certain the cars were all starting to park behind me before awkwardly maneuvering around the family to continue on my way. Good Samaritan that I’d become, I finally got loose. It took all my will-power not to peel out.
When I arrived back at the office, a good half hour late, my boss immediately asked what had took me so long.
“Stuck in traffic,” I replied. He didn’t buy it, but nothing have coerced that full, embarrassing story out of me at the time.