Confession time: If you read the last A Writer’s Mind articles you got a taste of the creepy things that can go on in there. You also learned about thoughts that filtered through my mind at the funeral of a dear, sweet lady.Yes, a funeral. Could I be in a worse place for inspiration to hit? I mean people were all around me weeping. Sobbing. And I’m staring at the coffin, trying to figure out how someone could make the murders of a coed softball team look like innocent accidents. How morbid is that? There must be something wrong with my mind to be calmly contemplating those murderous ideas in such a heart-wrenching situation.
Oops. Did I go a little overboard? Yeah. I don’t rant like that. Nope. Never. Well, seldom. (But no one was sobbing.) That’s something I might have seen on a Seinfeld episode, though.
But the truth is, there was a little Seinfeld moment going on during the ceremony. You know what I mean. Each episode of the show would take some bit of minutia and inflate it to an obscene size, making the little detail into some embellished monster. Like the soup nazi. You have to laugh when Jerry decides to pretend he doesn’t know his girlfriend, just so he can purchase the delicious soup. Way over the edge of reality, but funny because we’ve all felt that way before even if we haven’t acted on the feelings.
I felt like I was in my own personal episode during the funeral. The guy in front of me couldn’t keep his head still. He was just a little to the right of a straight line to the minister from me. Trouble was, he’d lean a little to his left and I’d have to shift. Then he’d straighten back up and I’d have to shift again. Sometimes that just happens in chapels. Not such a big deal.
But this guy moved every 25 seconds. I’m not kidding, I counted. Okay, I am embellishing. A couple of times it was closer to 30 seconds and once he even stayed still for a full minute. I thought he’d gone to sleep. Meanwhile, every time he moved, I was shifting back and forth to see around his balding head like I was at some morbid tennis game.
After about 20 minutes, I was tired of the dance. Actually on the edge of annoyance, I recognized how ludicrous the whole thing was. I scooted over toward my daughter. My mom gave me a surprised, hurt look like I’d insulted her. I waved my hand in front of my nose as though she smelled. (Well, she should know better than to set up a perfect teasing opportunity. Like dangling a fish in front of a hungry cat and expecting it to walk away empty. Fat chance!)
By then, I practically sat in my daughter’s lap, but I had a clear shot of the preacher. I clued-in again, and enjoyed a scripture he used from Psalms. Then the guy in front of me leaned over again. Far over. I’m not kidding. It’s like he had a third eye in back to make sure he drifted into a direct line between me and the pulpit.
But I didn’t shift again. Didn’t scoot back over toward my mom. All I did was lean my head over, almost to my daughter’s shoulder. I shook her with my silent laughter and she joined me. Then the guy straightened back up and so did I. He leaned over another few times during the service. I swear he was struggling to stay awake, but he sure kept me on my toes. And full of laughter. Every time he leaned over, I matched him like a Tango.
Glad no one was behind me. They’d have broken something!
And I don’t feel bad about letting my mind drift a bit while I sat at the funeral. The 94-year-old lady whose life we celebrated was a reader, after all.
Your turn: Have you have found something humorous in a very unfunny circumstance?