Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

An Important Person

I was in Pennsylvania yesterday and this morning. Returning home was a challenge, what with all of the flooding, but I am now safe and sound back home.

Yesterday, en route from my morning appointment, the car in which I was sitting was approaching an intersection, and the driver, an old friend of mine, noticed a funeral procession approaching from the left, the cars bearing a suction-cupped purple "Funeral" flag. He said, "I wonder who they're burying now?"

I, of course, had no idea, but counted 7 cars after the hearse, and speculated, correctly, that they were headed to the well-known cemetery about 2 miles down the road which was at the next intersection.

The car in front of us turned on his lights and flashers and latched on to the procession. My friend wondered aloud whether he should do likewise, and thus be given pass to go through the numerous stop signs along the road to the cemetery.

I told him to go for it, which he did. We probably could have made slightly better time via an alternate route, what with the slow speed of the funeral cortege (but we got to go through the stop signs). But I think that we did the right thing.

First of all, at Jewish funerals (which this was definitely not), those who attend the services at the funeral home but who, for whatever reason, do not go to the cemetery afterward, often follow the hearse for three steps in order to participate, at least symbolically, in escorting the deceased to the final resting place.

Secondly, along similar logic, we and the car in front of us raised the number of cars following the hearse from 7 to 9, an increase of not quite 29 percent. Note that the more cars a bystander sees following the hearse, the more important they will believe the decedent was in life. Anyone who sees a hearse followed by a long string of cars in the funeral procession invariably thinks, "hey, I don't know who they are burying, but it must really be someone important!"

So our car and the other tag-along increased the decedent's importance rating by 29 percent.

May the decedent, whomever he or she was, rest in peace!

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