When I was a Senior in high school I began dating a guy named Marty who happend to be Mexican. During our courtship I got to know his family including his 96 year old grandmother who spoke little to no English. Marty was at my house one afternoon when his brother called to tell him that his grandmother had passed away. To my surprise, Marty seemed shocked. Not for nothing, but come on, she was 96, she took a nap and didn’t wake up, we should all be so lucky. So I guess I wasn’t as sympathetic as a should have been seeing as all my grandparents died before I was four years old, I did not understand what it was like to have a grandparent as a fixture in your adult life. The funeral service was being held at the funeral home and judging by the amount of cars and people there you would have thought that it was Selena’s funeral, not a 96 year old grandmother. Everyone was shoved into this tiny funeral home that had a window unit that was not doing it’s job. The casket was open which was fine, I guess. I always think dead people look so wind blown because of the make up that is put on them. I never understand why people just stare at dead rotting corpses then turn to one another and comment on how life-like the cadaviers look. I just want to scream, “they just look dead, in what world do they look life-like to you?!” This partcular dead woman had only weighed 90 pounds and looked gaunt, even when she was alive, so dead was not exactly a good color on her. I took a seat at the funeral home at the end of an aisle hoping to make a quick escape. I could not really see the dead body that well from my seat, which was just fine with me, it was not fine with the lady sitting next to me that was holding a disposable camera and taking pictures of the dead body. “Are you from the medical examiner’s offce,” I asked. “No, we went to the same church.” She said this so matter of fact, as if it is perfectly acceptable to take take pictures of a dead rotting corpse, I was grossed out. I looked around the funeral home and realized I was the crazy one without a disposable camera. Everyone was taking pictures of this dead broad. I noticed a very large woman sitting in the front row wearing head to toe bright red. I mean, hat, skirt suit, panty hose and pumps. She had the Kleenex gripped tightly in one hand and her disposable camera in the other. On either side of her were two small ladies that were there to comfort this Kool-Aid looking woman. From time to time she would let out a loud moan and cry and the two tiny ladies would rub her back and console her. The funny thing was I had never seen this woman and as far as I could tell neither had the rest of the family. I imagined her sitting at home reading the obituaries and deciding which funeral she would attend and make a specticle out of herself at. Once the funeral ended we were all instructed to drive to the cemetary for the burial. But, before that everyone was to walk up to the dead lady and pay their final respects. Seeing as her and I had never done anything other than smile at one another, I really didn’t have much to say. But, I got in line with everyone else. The family went first which was really messed up. People were actually leaning down and kissing this dead woman on the head and on the lips, I almost died, but that is not the messed up part. One of granny’s sons who was like 60 years old and had still been living with her looked pretty broken up. So much so that when it was his turn he chose not to kiss her but to pick this dead woman up and give her a bear hug. Stiff is a word I usually us to describe a penis not a corpse, but this gal was stiff, like a fence post that could be driven into the ground vertically, not laying in a casket horzontially. He hugged and hugged and finally layed her back down, I threw up a little bit in my mouth when I saw this. My nauesa quickly turned to church giggles when I was on deck. I knew that granny really enjoyed bingo, but I did not expect to see a bingo card in her casket with her. And not a bingo card that requires a ink blotter but the kind with the little red see through windows that can be slid over the numbers. The card was on blackout, how approriate given that she herself was on blackout.The bingo card wasn’t alone though, several tiny stuffed animals that looked as if they had been won from a grabatron machine were placed around the corpse. I stared at this setting not knowing what to say. Given her clothes, make up and accessories she looked like a deflated pinada with the prizes lying next to her. I shook my head from side to side in disbelief, but it appeared that I had done this in sorrow prompting people to pat me on the back while saying things to me in Spanish. I made my way to my car and followed this circus parade to the cemetary. The priest spoke a few words then a few family members walked up to the casket and kissed their hand, then placed the kissed palm on the casket, I have no problem with this, just to be clear. Then here comes Kool-Aid, with her two stick figure friends at either side of her. The two women looked like crutches on either side of this giant woman in bleeding red. The threesome made their way to the casket. Kool-Aid opted out of the hand-to-casket kiss, instead choosing to kneel down at the head of the casket, place her bloated hands on either side and put her bright red lips on the casket. What Kool-Aid did not consider was that the casket was not only on rollers, but on a slight hill. When she placed her mouth on the casket it began to roll off of the stand, several pallbearers and cemetary workers jumped into action catching the casket just in time. I thought for sure I was about to see stiff granny come flying out of the casket/carnival prize case she was trying to rest in peace in. It took the two crutches plus many others to lift Kool-Aid off of her knees, the family did not look pleased. How could they have been pleased when their beloved granny was nearly shot across the cemetary like a lawn dart? After the funeral I drove back to my house simply dying to tell my parents what I had just witnessed. After I got home I changed my clothes and sat down at the dinner table and shared my funeral adventure. My parents were laughing so hard I could hardly tell the story. My mom then said, “Had I have been there and that dead grandmother had flown out of that casket I wouldn’t have been able to resist yelling, Bingo!”
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