As Dan and I opened the door into the Funeral Directors office he turned to me and whispered, “this is the most surreal thing I have ever done.” We walked in and said hello to the lady behind the desk, and then we fell silent. We had no idea what to say.
Hello, I’m here to make a booking?
One funeral please?
Dan eventually said, “Er, we’re here.” The lady nodded encouragingly.“ Um, it’s obvious why isn’t it?”
“ You haven’t done this before have you?” she asked sympathetically, as she led us into a private room.
She was very nice and explained to us all that we would have to do, including choosing a coffin. “How do we do that?” Dan asked, “have you got a, er, catalogue or something?”
“We prefer to call it a brochure, actually,” she replied passing a folder to us.
We opened the folder, saw two examples and very quickly shut it again. “Just flick through it quickly, so you see a bit of everything, then maybe it won’t seem so bad “ I suggested to Dan. He flicked through and suddenly exclaimed, “Oh my God, what is that?” I leaned over to see. It was a photo of a large picnic basket. In a coffin brochure. I looked closer, it wasn’t a picnic basket, it was a wicker coffin. “It looks like a picnic basket!” I said, feeling unappropriate hysterical giggles coming on.
“Oh, that’s a nice way to describe it, I’ve always thought of it as a laundry basket!” said the lady.
“Do people actually choose that?” I asked, as Dan and I gulped back laughter.
“Yes, they do,” she replied, shaking her head in a who-knows-why way.
Later we went to a lakeside golf club to book the function room for the reception. The lady there showed us around, without asking what we would be using the rooms for. She showed us the bar and the terrace and then said, “there’s a lovely disco floor over there, will you be using it?” “Er, no we won’t be needing that,” I replied, catching Dans eye and trying not to laugh, in that bizarre way one does in most inappropriate moments.
“Oh, but it’s a very nice floor, and the sound system is great. You’re welcome to use it, it’s all in the cost.”
“We definitely will not be using the disco facilities.” I told her firmly.