To the dead guy who had it in for me
When we got the call at the funeral home that you had passed, I realize it's not your fault, but couldn't you have done it a bit earlier in the day or perhaps 30 miles closer? Nothing like a removal at a hospital on a Friday afternoon during rush hour. Seeing that I had plans to go out that evening, I could already feel that it wasn't going to get any better from this point on. "At least the body is in the morgue", I think to myself before I depart on my trip...
Upon arrival at the loading dock of the hospital (one and a half hours later) a security guard in a golf cart pulls up to the passenger side of the van to give me parking instructions. He signals for me to roll down the window, which is a pain because the owner of the funeral home is too cheap to spring for automatic windows, so I lean across to manually lower it. Little do I know that someone has decided to remove the pin in the fire extinguisher that is stored between the seats, and has also conveniently placed it with the handle to the floorboard of the van. So, as I lean over, I push on the extinguisher and before I know it, myself and the interior of the vehicle are blanketed with a white powder. Damn! A new black suit too! I am so embarrassed, and the rent-a-cop just looks at me like I'm an idiot. I park and get out of the van, knowing that I have white stuff in my hair and eyelashes, etc, but at least I know I only have to go to the basement morgue, so I won't have to wander the halls looking this way. I pull the cot out of the van and grab my paperwork as the guard escorts me to the elevator. I make stupid small talk with him, and he informs me that the you are NOT in the morgue, but rather in your bed on the 4th floor where your family is waiting to talk to me. Super. I always want to come off as classy and dignified and LOOK AT ME!!! How am I supposed to console your widow like this?
I do my best to brush off as much of the residue as I can, but it's a pretty poor attempt. We exit the elevator to the floor and your grieving family is waiting outside the room. I go to introduce myself, and try to explain my apperance, but they are simply too overcome with grief to care (or so I tell myself). I little later, I finally am allowed to go in and get the you on to the cot, but not before the security guy tells me doesn't "do bodies", so I'm on my own. No big deal, I'm a little woman, but I am used to going solo. Of course, the you are over 250 lbs, and the hospital bed is broken and will not raise up to the level of the cot, so I must drop the cot down and muscle you over by means of strategically placed sheets and leverage (no help from you!). I wrap the straps around you and tighten them so you don't fall off and get ready to pull the release and bring the cot back up to the proper level so I can go.
Now, this part really pisses me off, because #1 somehow there is a puddle of water on the floor where I am standing and don't realize it and #2 my employer requires women to wear skirts, nylons and heels regardless of the fact that we do A LOT of manual labor. As I try to raise all 250 lbs. of you up, my feet lose traction due to the above mentioned issues and down I go with the cot and your body crashing down on my knees and legs. Holy Crap!!! The pain is intense, and I am literally pinned under you. Since the guard doesn't "do bodies" I am forced to dump the cot/body on it's side, causing the your dentures to go flying across the floor and under the curtain where your roommate is awoken by the crash. Stunned, I look down to see my knee has been punctured by a bolt on the cot and I am bleeding and my hosiery is all ripped up. I get up, grab the dentures from under the curtain while assuring the roommate that "everything is fine". I am now crying, shaken and trying to turn the cot back over and get it back up. Amazing what shear terror and adrenaline can do.
Finally, I come out of the room limping, bleeding and red-nosed pushing the cot, and trying to act as though all is status-quo. I secretly hope that maybe people won't notice the white gunk anymore and focus on the blood and what-not. The guard escorts me back down the halls and to the van and never says a word. By now, I am just grateful to be hidden in the vehicle and on my way back to the funeral home, even in this traffic. I may end up being late for cocktails, but I hopeful nonetheless. Not once do you even apologize!
I get back, and am informed by the supervisor that the night embalmer called in, and I have been elected his replacement (I KNOW he must be out somewhere enjoying the drink I feel so entitled to!) I tell the sup. what happened and am told to "be more careful" as he meanders out the door. Jerk!!! This sucks, but I figure if I hurry, I can catch up with everyone later. Right? Oh no, not today, you have it in for me...
The embalming goes pretty smooth, you look peaceful and I am thrilled that the day is almost done. I go to aspirate you (a process somewhat like liposuction using a larger trocar and tip to puncture organs and suck out excess fluids in the body cavities), which is the last thing I need to do. To this day, I still can't explain how this happened, but as I went to reinsert the trocar into the abdomen, I somehow managed to stick it into the side of my hand by my thumb. The glove didn't do a thing to stop it, and now I have a small, painful hole in my hand contaminated with your dead body fluids.
Instead of the bar, I ended the evening with a nice trip to the local E.R. due to company policy and the fear of bloodborne exposure. I'm not sure what I did to you, Mr. Deceased, for you to treat me like that, but I guess I can find some comfort in the fact that, as you and all your dead friends look down on me and laugh from heaven, that I got you back by cutting your suit up the back so you can walk around for eternity with your butt hanging out. Enjoy your dirt-nap.