DEAD RIGHT for the dance

By admin
08 October 2010

The vehicles are all polished to a shine for the big night - vintage cars, modern luxury sedans, even a traditional rickshaw. As each arrives it makes a fancy turn before delivering its elegantly dressed guests onto the red carpet.

Slowly a sparkling white panel van comes around the corner. Only as it pulls up to the red carpet do you see four sombre men walking behind the vehicle. Then you see the sign on the side: Egoli Funeral Undertakers.

The group of people gathered on the carpet at Hoërskool Hartbeespoort’s matric farewell dance start to whisper among themselves. The next moment the doors of the hearse swing open to reveal a black casket.

The suspense builds, people hold their breath. Then the coffin lid swings open - and a beautiful girl steps out.

For her matric farewell 18-year-old Danell Mienie wanted to do something she and her classmates would always remember.

“I’m not the kind of person who likes to be ordinary,” she says.

She first told her mom, Wendy, about her coffin idea two years ago but her parents didn’t take her seriously. It was only when she asked her undertaker grandpa, Japie, to make her a coffin for the matric farewell that they realised she was really going to go through with it.

For Danell and her family, coffins and hearses are an everyday sight so she had no qualms getting into that box. The coffin is covered with black cloth and decorated with pink bows. Inside there is even a little cushion so she could lie down in comfort.

“Not everyone gets two chances to lie in a coffin,” she says jokingly.

Her date for the evening, young businessman Ruan Thomas (20), laughs. He seems okay with the bizarre idea and sat in the front of the hearse along with Grandpa Japie, the driver.

He says it was quite a shock when he first heard of her plan but unlike the two guys Danell had asked before him he didn’t run off in fright.

The other guests have got over their shock, the hearse has been driven off and Danell sighs contentedly – her plan has worked. No one present will ever forget her dramatic arrival.

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