Incidents & Such Like: COFFINS

I read the other day Lise’s entry about the rude and inconsiderate use of the mobile phone in public places such as trains and even ladies rooms; and a memory of a most unusual kind came to me.

I used to daily take this bus going long distance and there always were rather colourful fellow passengers so that journey every time went rather quickly. One day a lady came in on the bus in the middle of nowhere, looking very non-descriptive and plunked herself down and started to make phone calls and getting them in return.

And guess what she was trying to sell while cruising in a bus: coffins!! Yes, you read it absolutely correctly. The rest of us were rather intrigued and fascinated. She was describing the colours of the coffins, types and styles of the same and then, of course, the prices came up in the conversations.

No, she was not giving an inch or a cent in reduction. We could hear that the customers on the other end were trying to ‘twist her arm’ but to no avail for she had the ready answer for each client as to why not in a very convincing way. I suppose, the coffin sellers do kind of have the monopoly on their trade; not so easy to do DIY on that line, eh?!

She must have clenched the deal in about four coffins and had a few enquires to boot while on the bus; so one must conclude that the business was booming and that she did extremely well.

As she had entered the bus in a no-place in the nowhere, she exited the bus in a similar kind of place, never saw her again in my travels on that route thereafter. It would have been interesting to know if the deals went through, what her commission was, and how the enquires went as well.

This for now Riihele xx

There is an Irish take on this theme of coffins that used to be a very popular item to buy while in Ireland for tourists. Ireland, and particularly, the Northern Ireland, is famous for its linen did you know? Anyway, there were zillions kinds of printed tea towels with all sorts of motives and whatnot; my favourite was the Irish mother’s letter to her son abroad that went like this:


Letter from an Irish Mother to her Son

Dear Son,

Just a few lines to let you know I’m still alive. I’m writing this letter slowly because I know you can’t read fast. We are all doing very well.

You won’t recognise the house when you get home – we have moved. Your dad read in the newspaper that most accidents happen within 20 miles from your home, so we moved. I won’t be able to send you the address because the last Irish family that lived here took the house numbers when they moved so that they wouldn’t have to change their address.

This place is really nice. It even has a washing machine. I’m not sure it works so well though: last week I put a load in and pulled the chain and haven’t seen them since.

Your father’s got a really good job now. He’s got 500 men under him. He’s cutting the grass at the cemetery.

Your sister Mary had a baby this morning but I haven’t found out if it’s a boy or a girl, so I don’t know whether you are an auntie or an uncle.

Your brother Tom is still in the army. He’s only been there a short while and they’ve already made him a court martial!

Your Uncle Patrick drowned last week in a vat of whiskey in the Dublin Brewery. Some of his workmates tried to save him but he fought them off bravely. They cremated him and it took three days to put out the fire.

I’m sorry to say that your cousin Seamus was arrested while riding his bicycle last week. They are charging him with dope peddling.

I went to the doctor on Thursday and your father went with me. The doctor put a small tube in my mouth and told me not to talk for ten minutes. Your father offered to buy it from him.

The weather isn’t bad here. It only rained twice this week, first for three days and then for four days. Monday was so windy one of the chickens laid the same egg four times.

We had a letter from the under-taker. He said if the last payment on your Grandmother’s plot wasn’t paid in seven days, up she comes.

About that coat you wanted me to send you, your Uncle Stanley said it would be too heavy to send in the mail with the buttons on, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets.

John locked his keys in the car yesterday. We were really worried because it took him two hours to get me and your father out.

Three of your friends went off a bridge in a pick-up truck. Ralph was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your other two friends were in back. They drowned because they couldn’t get the tailgate down.

There isn’t much more news at this time. Nothing much has happened.

Your loving Mum

P.S. I was going to send you some money but I had already sealed the envelope.