Truth is stranger than fiction. Especially in police work. I mean seriously…most people wouldn’t believe some of the total weirdness that happens. You just can’t make it up. Grab some milk and cookies and settle in for tonight’s tale. I’ve titled it: Fill ‘er Up.
My guy was a motorcycle officer for several years. The motors squad was responsible for providing funeral escorts free-of-charge for just about anybody who wanted one. (Hey—it was the good old days.) Two officers rode their big ol’ Harleys over to the funeral home at the appointed time, quickly met with the funeral director and established the route from the funeral home to the cemetery. Once the funeral was over, standard procedure was for the two officers to “leapfrog” from intersection to intersection blocking traffic for the processional. It was typically a rather routine, mundane operation unless a little blue-haired granny decided at the last minute to turn left and leave the processional and run smooth over a motorcycle.
On this particular day, the funeral was at a two-bit mortuary where anyone with any sense might question their methods. And anyone with any money questioned their methods enough to use a different mortuary. But, I digress. Everything was right on track. The officers arrived, all the business was taken care of, and the route details were established. All that was left to do was wait on the hearse and the procession, which at this particular funeral home, could be quite some time because their services typically gave the deceased a proper send-off with a lengthy service full of pomp and circumstance and lots of testifying. The officers were in place at the intersection and waiting to begin their leapfrogging routine. They waited and waited and waited. Nothing really unusual. They waited a bit longer. They waited and wondered and then decided the funeral director must have gotten the route wrong.
One officer stayed at the intersection and my guy headed back to the funeral home to see what had happened. As he neared the funeral home, he noted the procession to the cemetery had indeed begun and was on the way. The only thing was, instead of following the route directly, the hearse had pulled into the corner Stop ‘n Rob, gotten out at the gas pump, and was filling up that beat-up-gas-guzzlin’-sittin’-on-empty hearse. My guy watched as the funeral director pumped, paid and pulled away pursued by the family car and all of the mourners. Every last one of the cars in that procession pulled into the Stop ‘n Rob, drove past the pumps, and circled back out onto the street, just like the hearse did.
Every. Single. Car. Drove. Through. The. Gas. Station.