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Personal Essay: Obese Aunt's Funeral
The Oval Casket
By Karl Stevenson
*Editor's Note: Orginally published on Life in 10 Minutes.
As a black person—no—as a person with common sense, I have learned to never make fun of the dead.
But every rule has an exception.
It was one of those summer days where the mosquitoes wouldn't even come out because the sun was so smoldering. I was forced to attend a funeral of my obese aunt, who didn't gain weight from a mental or physical disorder, but rather her digits that were similar to eating utensils, helping her rake in calorie by calorie. Due to this over-consumption, her casket was more oval shaped than rectangular, bursting from the seam. All her close family members and friends kept discussing her great love for Golden Corral and how she loved to eat while standing over her dead body. The short statured minister preached on how this “big sista” would praise the Lord. When she went to shout, dust would rise from the carpet after each step she took. I can still recall sitting in the audience looking down at the floor praying my laughter would be silenced from biting my tongue.
After escaping to the bathroom to relax my laughing reflex, I returned to see the 700 pound casket dangling in midair by a crane struggling to place the abomination into the hearse. And boy, did the vehicle resemble The Little Engine That Could. Once we all arrived at the burial ground, my older relatives were “volun-told” to transport the casket a mere three feet to the planks of wood laid above the hole that would soon be my aunt’s final resting place.
At first I thought all of my cousins had invented a new dance move, one where you take one step forward, five steps back while swaying side by side. With sweat rolling down their faces thicker than condensation on a glass of sweet tea, they got the corpse to its destination...several of them had to see a chiropractor afterwards.
How did the rest of the funeral go you ask? Well if you ask me, it was more fun than an open bar at a wedding. But if you ask the planks of wood that kept creaking and bending, failing to hold this elephant size corpse up, they would say it fucking cried for Jenny Craig.
#Real #FamilyAffairs #Funerals #Volun-Told
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