October 22, 2011

Bagpipes at a Funeral: Men and Directions

Mom's back, and interesting and humorous as ever. Enjoy her post!

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.                                                                   Francis Bacon

Bagpipes at a Funeral (author unknown)
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back county.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and being a typical man, I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down. The vault was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played my heart and soul out for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.
And as I played Amazing Grace, the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. My head hung low, my heart was full as I walked away.

Opening the door to my car, I overheard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for 20 years.”

Apparently I’m still lost… it’s a man thing!

After I read this and laughed my head off, I thought of all the times my husband and I were on trips, got lost and drove in circles because he refused to ask for directions. At this point, I knew I had two options: I could keep my mouth shut and let him figure it out or speak up and see his ire flame.  Either way, I would probably lose, but maybe if he had had a “bagpiper” experience, his future reactions might have been different. Probably not. In fact today he would probably say it never happened, but these events are indelibly imprinted on my mind.

Please tell me I’m not the only woman who seethes over this one.


Anonymous said...

OMG that's hilarious!

Amazing Grace on the bagpipes is extremely moving. In fact my favorite piece to hear on the pipes :)

And That Man's refusal to ask for directions is why I print out Google directions before we leave, LOL. That being said, though, My Guy has a pretty good sense of direction. Both of us have a knack of finding a place again if we've been there just once before.

Laura said...

Hilarious! My brother has been installing septic systems for over 30 years, I have to send him this post!!!

bookworm said...

Thank you; I needed the laugh. And the worst incident of "I don't need directions" was the time, years ago, when we flew out of Syracuse (an hour from our house) from the first time. A work associate, a native of Syracuse, gave us explicit (and, it turns out, accurate) directions. Of course, my husband, never having been to Syracuse, knew exactly where he was going, ignored the directions, and we got hopelessly lost. He wouldn't stop anywhere to ask. We nearly missed our flight!

Nana said...

I just had to share this one. I laughed for days! Over 41 years of marriage, we've had one row after another over my husband's resistance to ask for directions. One time we ended up in a horrible section of Philadelphia. While stopped at a light, scanning a map for help, we witnessed two young boys ripping the hub caps off a car with a crowbar. The girls were in the backseat, screaming. The words that spilled out of my mouth were scandalous!

Thank goodness we can laugh about it today!

Julie Glover said...

I hate asking for directions. I avoid it as long as possible. My husband would stop to ask directions long before I would. I always think I can somehow figure it out (even though I once drove the wrong way for two hours before realizing it).

That being said, the GPS has been great for me. No asking directions, but I can find my way!

Tia Bach said...

I'm always new to a community, so a GPS is a must. I ask directions, but hate when people say NSEW. I want someone to tell me to drive 2 miles and take a left at the McDonalds, so GPS were really made for people like me. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by, Julie.

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