Thursday, November 19, 2009


The last run of my day I usually transport a half dozen people or so, give or take. Today I had one lone passenger, a young man who rides nearly every day. He observed as we drove through the abnormally empty streets of campus after dark, "Whoa, it's like the aftermath scene in a zombie movie... cause there's no one around, ya know?" I laughed. It's such a guy thing to say.

There's a group of special women I transport from the gym to the terminal every day, so they can catch their bus home. They work out and go swimming and soak in the hot tub before they come to my bus. They're lovely, cheery, chatty ladies. Yesterday as I was pulling up to their stop, one of them peered through the front windscreen, saw me, turned to her friends and said, "Oh good! It's her", while clapping her hands with glee. Made my day, I tell you.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my funeral director friend to ask him questions about his job. It was very informative, and of course, he took me on a tour of the facility. Did you know they have little mini urns, so that if more than one relative wants to keep Grandma close by they can divvy up her ashes and carry her with them? I find that a bit creepy, to tell the truth, but not as weird as funeral keepsake jewelry, which is exactly what it sounds like. (ew!) I had to smile because the flower shop that this particular funeral home recommends to it's customers is run by my ex-boss's arch nemesis. I just bit my tongue and kept on walking.

Naturally we looked in on the embalming lab. Edna was there, chilling on the table, waiting to be dressed for her service, which is tomorrow. She looked to have been in her 80s. My friend said they wait to dress them till just before the viewing because sometimes they leak, and that can be a problem if they're already dressed. He did tell me that the the whole bodies-move-during-the-embalming-process thing is just a myth. He said he's never seen anyone move. I was surprised how much the embalming lab did not smell. I was standing next to an embalmed body and I couldn't smell formaldehyde until he actually opened up the cupboard where the chemicals are stored. Then I got a faint whiff. Did you know the smell of formaldehyde sinks? The vents are all at floor level. I also learned that I don't actually have to go to school and get an embalming license to be a funeral director. If I don't want to do embalming, I can do an apprenticeship and take a test and get a funeral director's license that way. Seems like the weenie's way out to me :) Aren't you glad you're my friend and get to learn all these fascinatingly morbid factoids? Bet you're glad you logged on here today, eh?


  1. HEY, that's cool! Cool about the group of gym bunnies, cool about getting to spend time in the thick of the funeral industry. Good for you!

    I think it's kind of the weenies way out too. Go the whole hog I say!

  2. Yeah. Actually I have to do an apprenticeship whether I go to school or not, and unfortunately they are pretty thin on the ground here. I'll pretty much have to move somewhere else in order to find one. I'm thinking maybe Seattle.