Trapped in a Cemetery, Pt. 1. Or: The time the internets kept me from getting eaten by zombies. Literally.

This Sunday I was living in my own little yuppie paradise. I started things off with a darling little brunch at a new French spot in the West End. Then i got our papers together for our accountant to do our taxes. I took Baby Beez to a kid’s yoga class, and even treated myself to a fancy pour-over. The only thing missing from this nice little weekend was a visit to the Home Depot.

The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and it was a perfect afternoon to take a nice little jog in the Allegheny Cemetery. If you haven’t been there before, it is enormous and gorgeous. I zipped up and down hills, marveling at families of deer lazily grazing and gaggles of geese waddling through the grass. The crypts were breathtaking in their size and richness in history.

Photo credit to FatherPitt.wordpress.com

Photo credit to FatherPitt.wordpress.com

My run was relatively undisturbed. I passed a few people out for a stroll, and one particularly grim looking man who may have hacked someone up with a machete behind a mausoleum. Nothing could break my stride. The weather and scenery were perfect for a leisurely jog. Groundskeepers even drove by a few times in their little service cars, and I had never actually seen groundskeepers out and about before. This cemetery was so attentively maintained.*

It was the late afternoon, and I was careful to mind that the cemetery would close at dusk. I am still traumatized by the time I got lost in Homewood Cemetery and then it got dark and then IT WAS DARK AND I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO GET HOME, BUT THEN I JUST RAN FOR ANY BUILDING I COULD FIND, DEAR LORD GET ME OUT THERE ARE GHOSTS IN CEMETERIES. (I eventually got out of the Homewood Cemetery.)

But the sun was still shining, the air so crisp, and I had plenty of time. I made a few zigzags back and forth on the paths to even my run up to 3 miles, and made my way back to the Allegheny Cemetery’s magnificent Butler Street gates.

Photo credit to FatherPitt.wordpress.com

Photo credit to FatherPitt.wordpress.com



They were locked because the like 4 signs I ran past and paid absolutely no attention to all notified me that the cemetery does not close at dusk. The cemetery closed at 5:30. And it was 5:48. Those groundskeeper cars I was so impressed with before: nowhere to be found. I ran over to the groundskeeper house and knocked there: No answer either. The place was dead. (NOT FUNNY) I was LOCKED INSIDE.

Of course, the cemetery would not want car traffic all day and night, so it makes sense for the gates to be locked for the night. I reassured myself that they surely would leave a pedestrian door open. I tried the pedestrian door. Locked, too.

I called Mr. Beez. His response: “Oh.” Because me getting locked in a cemetery does not surprise him in the least. Also, he was busy working, and he saw it like this: either I was going to find a way out, or I was going to die in that cemetery. He’s the beneficiary on my life insurance policies, so what difference does it make to him? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I briefly imagined myself deftly hopping over the gate. Yet I am both fat and old, and the grace with which I imagined catapulting myself in the air was not unlike the grace with which I have imagined myself able to gracefully ride a galloping horse into the sunset. (The last time I was on a horse, it just walked, and I was so scared that I cried.)

It was time to devise another option.

I retreated to the resource for the answers to all life and death questions: The Internet.


And I began racking my brain for who on my twitter feed might possibly have this vital information:


Ultimately there was some progress. I got some critical information from my fbook friends and from Tony Ceoffe (who I do not know in real life, but I knew he ran for City Council for the L’ville district, and he tweets about L’ville all. the. time. so why NOT ask him?) The news: THERE IS A BREAK IN THE FENCE NEAR LESLIE POOL! YOU CAN GET OUT NEAR LESLIE POOL! But….. I HAD NO IDEA WHERE LESLIE POOL WAS.

The tears were starting to come. I started my woeful walk back into the middle of the graveyard, hoping I could find an unlocked crypt and pile up Canada geese into a makeshift mattress, and maybe, just maybe, I could use my sweet kung-fu moves on the zombies and survive the night!

My gait began to drag as I envisioned the long, cold haul ahead. When, what was that? What did I see round the bend up ahead? A vision in classic L’ville, she with her nose ring and he with his beard and cardigan! So carefree and enjoying the crisp fall air! I would have offered them some of my delicious pour-over, but alas my provisions were long spent.

And who knew where to find the Leslie pool? THEY KNEW! They cheerfully pointed me off in the right direction (and as I stomped through the mud, I suspected that they were relieved to get away from this sweaty, tearful mess).**

A few moments later, I found it! The hole in the fence was real! And I WAS FREE. Husband’s gotta WAIT to cash in on those policies! I almost kissed the sidewalk, but this is Lawrenceville and if there is one place you do not want to kiss the sidewalk, it is Lawrenceville.

Sweet, sweet freedom.


* In retrospect it occurred to me that these groundskeepers were likely warning people that the gates were going to close, and probably shouted out a warning to me personally. However, with my music at near-deafening decibles, I was oblivious to all but (1) my pace, and (2) my internal debate on whether listening to “The Thong Song” in a cemetery was going to score me eternal damnation (remains unresolved). Alas, their efforts went unheeded.

**They also informed me that there is a pedestrian gate at the Penn Avenue entrance that is always open. So I was never really locked in to begin with.

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