Bah bump. Thunk-a-thunk-a-thunk-a. Screeeeeech.
“Crud” Pauly barked as he slammed his hand into the horn and his foot into the brake pedal.
A trail of lit cars pulled off onto the sides of the road. One by one men retreated from their cars and family. They popped up their umbrellas and walked up to Pauly’s window. Each asked near the same question and all got the same answer, “I haven’t a clue what’s wrong with it” Pauly said tossing his hands in the air each time. He then reached for his rain jacket and flashlight. He popped open his hood and slide his fingers underneath and lifted up. A burst of steam burst up into the air. Pauly heard a crackling noise. Not able to get a closer look due to the steam he sighed and commented, “Look, I don’t know how safe this is so we should probably take the body out.” Some men nodded in agreement.
“I’ll call the funeral home and have another hearse drive out here” Pauly informed them. He reached for his cell phone and dialed.
“Hello, this is Riverside Funeral Home, how may we help you?” asked the women on the phone.
“Hey, this is Pauly, my hearse just broke down so can you have somebody drive another one out here. I’m on the corner of 103rd street and Plum Avenue.”
“Alright, I’ll go get Carl to go out there right now.”
Some of the men had opened up the back and taken out the casket. As they held the casket their grim faces and tired eyes stared at Pauly wondering what they were going to do with the casket until the other hearse arrived.
“Maybe we could put the body in one of these people’s houses while we wait.”
He led them up the stairs to one house and knocked on the solid oak door. A large middle-aged bald man wearing a flannel bathrobe opened up the door slowly. His name was Bill, or so it read on his nametag.
“Yes?” Bill questioned as he cracked the door open.
“Hi, my hearse broke down and we need to put this coffin somewhere until the next hearse shows up.” Pauly motioned towards the hearse with one and smoothed his wet hair back with the other.
“Um, let me check with my mother” Bill said hesitantly. He closed the door gently and let the situation process. He came back after a few minutes and said regretfully, “my mother refuses to have a coffin in her house until she dies. Would you mind putting it in the dog house?”
“Oh, ok, yeah that should be fine; the other hearse shouldn’t be long.” Pauly said.
“Alright let me go get Sadie,” Bill said. He closed the door and returned quickly with blue sweats and clunky brown boots on. He squished through the wet grass making very distinct foot prints. The pit bull began to growl viciously. Bill tried to reassure it as he picked up the clearly heavy dog. He began to squish back through his flooded lawn. Pauly and the others just looked on because there was nothing else to do. Nearing the walkway Bill slipped on his untied shoelace and fell right on his back. The dog naturally leapt from his arms. The pit bull bolted into the street; the new hearse arrived at just the wrong time. Bah-bump. Thunk-a-thunk-a-thunk-a. Screeeeeeech. Bill saw it all and his neck gave up on holding his head up. He let it plop into the grass. Pauly who had watched it all unfold puked all over the casket. Shocked, the men’s wet grip let loose. The coffin dropped onto the cement steps. The men bent down and picked the casket up again. The casket went up but the body did not. It fell to the ground with a thud. The bottom of the coffin had split in two. Pauly, who had sat down on the wet steps after seeing the body, fall looked up just to see his hearse explode into a blazing mess.
“This is the worst Monday ever.” Pauly proclaimed.