In honour of a friend’s uncle

There was nothing that could have prevented me from this. As I walk down University Avenue my cell phone starts to sing.

“Hello?”

“I am a “… lots of static and screaming car engines escaping the downtown business core make it impossible to catch the rest.

“You are what?”

“I am a horse!” my friend is screaming through the phone.

“You are a horse?” I ask in disbelief.

“No, I am a horse” it comes back at me.

Ok, fine, it’s not a horse, but what else…… hearse?

“I am a hearse” he confirms.

“You are a hearse? Sorry, given the recent events, that is not a funny joke” I complain, after all his Uncle had just passed.

“But I am, I am a hearse, and I am with my Uncle!”

“Which Uncle?”  My brain is having a hard time resigning to the horrible image in my head.

“I just picked up my Uncle at the funeral home, he is in an urn which I am driving home, therefore I am a hearse”.

You got to be kidding me!

But this is no joke. My friend’s excitement and laughter leaves no doubt.

“I  have to say, this is probably the most original phone conversation opener ever.”  I  mumble.And since my creative side is finally kicking in:

“That would be a cool  book or movie opener too!” I can just see it, the perfect IFC movie.

And then it hits me.

“Tell me you are really finding this funny, that you’re not having a nervous breakdown and are going to start sobbing in a moment!”

“No,  I just picked up my Uncle, had to ask for a bag to carry him in, and now as he is strapped in the seat belt, it just occurred to me ‘I am a hearse’. I had to tell somebody”.

There is no time to wonder whether I have to worry what it means to have been chosen as the recipient of this phonecall.

After a few morbid jokes and the reassurance that his uncle would find this just as funny as we are, we realise that there is another thing we have in common.

We are both of the belief that we should celebrate loved ones as long as they are with us,  ensuring that when they move on, we honour them by continuing to enjoy life as much as they would want us too.

I finish off with:

“I am going to let you go, you shouldn’t be driving while on the phone……… Having said that, it’s not that you could do anymore damage to your Uncle”.

And just as a voice in my head says: “Oh-oh, can’t believe I said that” , I hear my friend’s uncle laughing.

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~ by spasmicallyperfect on August 4, 2006.

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