My friend C is a church secretary. That means she sees some of the same people I do on a regular basis. Unfortunately, she has the added burden of being diplomatic in her dealings with them. She sent me an email today that made me laugh so hard I cried. Cried, I tells ya! Here is the story:
This morning C and her co-conspirators were buzzing around the office doing churchy things. Their offices are at the top of a little flight of stairs that bottoms out at a street door. A gawd-awful buzzer attached to that door blasts like a chainsaw with a chest cold every time it’s opened. It’s just like going to visit the inmates at the prison. (If this were a prison, C would be in charge of “the picket”. And she would be wearing a seriously unattractive uniform which would match the seriously unattractive personality adopted by your average prison guard. Thankfully, this is a church not a prison and C has a great personality to match her outfits.)
Anyway, late this morning, the buzzer went off and annoyingly heralded the arrival of a visitor. The visitor was a woman who requested help with gas money. The request was passed on to one of the ministers, Rick. I’m sure those of you in the ecumenical industry all have your policies for dealing with these requests and I’m betting very few of you hand over cash. This church doesn’t either. So Rick told the woman that he would meet her at the convenience store a couple of blocks away and see that her car was filled with fuel.
As he left, he had the strangest feeling that he was not alone.
The woman drove along behind him in her car. Behind her was a long line of cars, all seemingly following their every move. It was decidedly odd.
They made the short trip to the gas pumps. It was there that Rick noticed the hearse and a police car waiting at the intersection. The funeral director was “pitching a fit” and the police officer was pacing the intersection, shaking his head.
Rick took another look at the line of cars.
The woman who needed gas turned out to be the first car following the hearse in a funeral procession. They had been on the way out of town to a cemetery 15 miles down the road when she evidently rethought the fuel efficiency versus length of trip and decided she needed gas money. She made a quick and admittedly resourceful detour and managed to drag the rest of the mourners along with her.
Rick got the car gassed up and sent them on their way, all the while convinced he was being punk’d and no doubt scanning the surroundings for Alan Funt or Ashton Kutcher.
I think C is still laughing.