Last week, I was just about to ask the hospital security guard where to check in for my out patient procedure, when both of us looked at a man walking purposefully through the lobby with a very strange smile. He had left his car on the drop off horse shoe and the guard yelled to stop him.
“Sir you can’t leave your car there. You have to park it in the garage.”
The man halted and then started walking toward the elevator.
“You can’t park there that is for drop off and pick up” The guard shouted.
I was mesmerized because there was just something so odd about his wrinkly khaki pants and the fake smile. He looked like gamblers that I have seen coming out of Atlantic City. There was something unsavory and stale about him. He walked back to us and said
“OK I’m here to take out a body. You asked for it I didn’t want to say it.” The man continued walking. The guard quickly said “sorry” to me.
At the time I doubted that the man really was picking up a body in such a hurry. I have never yet seen a body carried out of the lobby before. I suspected that he was hoping that we would be too shocked to stop him. Besides, he had some SUV or something. Was he going to crumple a stiff in his back? When my husband caught up with me (after dutifully parking the car in the lot),I asked him what kind of car the man in back of us had and he said, “Dodge Caravan” .
The next day I called the hospital and spoke to security. I asked them about their policy for body removal. “Well, usually the morticians take them out of the back”. The guard told me. I pressed and asked if any families just dispense with the morticians an stuffed them in their cars. “Well not usually but sometimes I have seen people using Dodge Caravans.” Hmmm. Today I spoke to a security guard of another local hospital and he told me that they have never allowed corpses through the front door. People collecting bodies need to go to the hospital morgue. We agreed that the body collector that I met was just trying to get over and avoid parking.
But if I did want to collect my own body, what kind of car would I need? I have noticed that this year’s 2011 Honda Odyssey looks like a hearse.
I was recently at a red light with a new model Chrysler Town and Country hearse and noticed that it was very compact- maybe even smaller than the Odyssey.
Previously Published on Open Salon 2011