Family Funeral 2
The vicar followed by Mr Froggatt and the six men bearing Uncle Bertie`s coffin, lead us through the old graveyard and down the road to the new cemetery
and on to the side of the freshly dug grave where Uncle Bertie`s late wife Prunella, had been laid to rest. The Reverend Bessamer sneezed three times, blew his nose and had no sooner started graveside proceedings when a man`s voice at the back shouted out “This is the wrong grave!” Someone else asked how he knew & he replied that he had also attended Pru`s funeral “Unlike most others here today!”
The vicar stood there looking helpless and blew his nose again then Mr Froggatt suggested that a churchyard plan be obtained from where the records were kept.
“But what about the mourners?” moaned the vicar? Mr Froggatt suggested that we all retire to the Bull`s Head across the road where a funeral supper had been arranged, Meanwhile, he and his assistants would dig the right grave with shovels they kept along with their other tools under the hearse..
Some decided that enough was enough and left, while the rest of us slipped along the muddy path and crossed the road to the already crowded pub. Because of the number of unexpected mourners it was obvious that the catering was going to be inadequate as most of the sandwiches had already been demolished, mostly by people we had never seen before, this resulted in an upturn in sales of crisps, nuts and pork scratchings. The landlord was delighted with the brisk sale of alcoholic beverages, so busy was he that he had to wrench his wife, Norah, away from afternoon TV in order to give him a hand.
There were two camps in the lounge bar; Uncle Bertie`s known relatives and a few friends and the strangers most of whom were those responsible for seeing
off the refreshments. As the booze was flowing at a pace, people were treating people they’d never seen before so the atmosphere became more relaxed and the high spirits and jocularity increased in the `strangers` camp while the subject of The Will and its contents was muted among some of the relatives in the other.
Cousin Gerald was overheard praising Uncle Bertie and announcing that his newborn daughter was to be named Bertina as a tribute. Aunt Agnes, whose dentures were now wrapped in a tissue in her handbag after a losing battle with pork scratching, reminded Gerald that he hadn’t set eyes on Uncle Bertie in five years, nor had he invited him to his recent wedding.
Will Bradall, one of Uncle Bertie`s executors, felt it was his duty to inform everyone that the reading of The Will would take place on a date to be announced. The delay was due to the indisposition of Mr Wellington, the solicitor. Before any further discussions could take place, Mr Froggatt appeared, wet through and mud bespattered, to ask if everyone would please re-assemble at the side of the new grave. Continued.....
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