For The Someday Book

Worst Car at the Funeral

Posted on: May 27, 2010

Most of the time, I ride in the hearse or the lead car with the funeral director for the journey from the funeral to the gravesite. This is always fun, because contrary to their dour image, funeral directors can be quite funny. They are usually willing to regale you with outrageous stories from the death business, if only you are willing to inquire. But the far more important and advantageous reason for riding with the funeral director is that I do not have to drive my car in the funeral procession.

I do not drive a nice car. I have grown up enough to no longer drive a car that is a complete and total embarrassment, better suited to a high-schooler than an educated professional, but I still drive a car that is small, cheap, used and usually unwashed. I drive this car partly by choice and partly by economic necessity. Contrary to popular belief, pastors are not usually wealthy people. I do not choose to use my limited resources on purchasing and maintaining a sweet ride. I am fine with that. I like my car, its reliability, excellent gas mileage and low price tag. I do not have car envy. I do not secretly wish for something bigger and fancier. I feel no shame or embarrassment over my car or its condition.

Except on those rare occasions when I don’t get to ride with the funeral director, and I have to insert my small, cheap, unwashed, well-worn automobile into the funeral procession.

And not just anywhere in the funeral procession. They always want the pastor up front. Usually either directly behind the hearse or between the lead car and the hearse, where my battered little ride sticks out like a pimple on the prom queen.

That means that the whole funeral procession is behind me, fixing its eyes on me and my automobile. Even the grieving family rides behind the pastor. Today, there were three stretch limos involved. So the procession went:  Cadillac, Hearse, me, Limo, Limo, Limo. One small, dirty, four-year-old Kia in a sea of beautiful, shiny, black luxury. I climbed out of my car at the cemetery feeling like I’d just shown up to New York’s Fashion Week wearing something from the clearance rack at Old Navy.

Oil Stain Optional

Would anyone be interested in a clergy car co-op, where we purchase one shiny, new black sedan to take turns driving in funeral processions?


2 Responses to "Worst Car at the Funeral"

What a great article. Very funny.

nice article!!!!!!very funny

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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