Streets of Fire

Some things written by Jeff Kelley, a man in Richmond, Va. He likes aircraft carriers but doesn't really know the intricacies of them (weight, length, etc.)

Coffin Face

After a long day that included a white chicken Crock-Pot chili that cooked for six hours and smelled amazing yet ultimately tasted like inedible garbage and ended up in it, I found myself in a bad mood. It all started earlier in the day, when I’d been, well, actually the rest of day was fine. Great, even, come to think of it. Honestly, the only reason I was in a bad mood was because the chili I’d been thinking about all day tasted like garbage. I guess there was also some heavy traffic on the way home, which I was not fond of. But mostly it was the chili-in-the-garbage issue. I also read that there has been abnormally bad smog in Beijing lately, so things really could have been worse.

After I dumped the taste-free pot of chili into the trash can, I laid down on the sofa. I let out a few audible sighs to get attention and claimed to wish I was dead due to the chili I’d so desperately wanted to eat; plus, claiming you want to die is a superb attention-getter, even if you don’t mean it. Yet as I laid there sprawled out we started wondering why dead people are always buried with the same face: serious, straight-laced, and rather sad looking, as they are dead. “Not my face,” I told my wife. “I’m want to lay there like this,” I said, unfastening my jaw and opening my mouth agape as I slapped my hands to my cheeks and widened my eyes. After a bad day that mostly involved a single instance of bad white chicken Crock-Pot chili but could have involved Beijing smog or, say, an escaped zoo lion entering our home and mauling us, we laughed.

We decided that, at my funeral celebrating a long, lustrous life that ends at age 111 and includes many opulent vehicles, I will lay in an open casket with my hands on my cheeks and mouth agape with eyes wide open. People will want laugh at my face, but, as it is a funeral, that won’t be allowed. “Please,” my wife will tell my last two remaining friends as she feigns sadness, “don’t laugh. This isn’t funny. He wanted it this way.” But of course, my coffin face will be our last little joke, born decades earlier amid a good day that ended with a bad batch of chili.

  1. ayeshamus said: So, how was the chili? You mentioned it early on but didn’t really expound on it.
  2. jephkelley posted this