and thought I was going to have a coronary. No, this is not a chicken story so relax. My day started as usual doing the chores and so forth before checking the shop schedule. Looks like our little 96 Ford Ranger was scheduled to have the front-end checked by the alignment shop. So I took the keys and told the hubby I'd do it. Although the little red truck had some age, the 4 cylinder engine ran like sewing machine as we navigated the small country roads. I made a mental note of the steering wheel placement and at what speed the truck began to vibrate. The shop was busy but I was in time for my appointment and the truck was driven in almost immediately. I sat in one of three chairs designated for waiting customers. Immediately, I noticed a gleaming black hearse in the next bay. Too long to fit on the lift, the hearse was on the floor, quiet as a killer whale in calm seas. I wondered why the windows are blackened in a hearse? Are the blackened windows for privacy? Why does a dead person need privacy? As I pondered this, an elderly man tottered in and I let him have my chair as the other two were office chairs whose wheels pivoted like the skates used by roller derby queens. I didn't want the gentleman to scoot across the floor in a office chair. The old man noticed the hearse, too. "I'll be riding in one of those one day," he said and crossed his legs. "So will I," I replied. He smiled. "I bet I'll beat you." I smiled back. "Maybe. You never know. I might get killed on the way home." A sound came from the hearse. A thump. "Did you hear that?" I asked. The old man shook his head. "What? No. My hearing's not too good." There was another thump. Louder. I stared. "I heard that," said the old man, and put both feet flat on the floor. The hearse rocked one time. The killer whale had awakened. Suddenly the hearse rocked and dull pounding could be heard from within. The killer whale was now thrashing. "Dear God!" cried the old man beside me. The mechanics stopped in their tracks. One held his pneumatic wrench like a gun. I clung to my purse like a sissy. I was horrified. I have never seen a hearse act like this. I always thought they were well-behaved vehicles, not prone to stump-jumping like Jeeps are. The hearse appeared to come alive as muffled screams filtered through the dark glass. "Somebody's in there!" shouted a mechanic. "Nobody is in there!" shouted another. "We haven't been authorized to do the repair!" "Dear God!" the gentleman beside me shouted again. For some reason my chair chose that moment to roll toward the hearse. I stared in horror as I rolled closer. Just as I jumped up, the back door of the hearse flew open as if to invite me in. The office chair spun madly at my quick exit. Feeling my bladder lurch, I took a step back. Something burst from the back of the hearse. Screaming and charging toward me. I screamed louder and smacked the creature with my purse. The creature of the black hearse stopped and I saw it was a man. A scared man. He was wearing some sort of uniform. Spit flew as he sucked in air and spat it out until he could manage to speak. "I fell asleep," he eventually admitted. "I work at the funeral home at night, and I occasionally take a nap in the back of a hearse." He was escorted to the office where I assume his story was verified. I escorted my chair back to its proper location and sat down. As I said, I was rather frightened.