by Jennifer Chase

There was this one spry little man at the nursing home — in his nineties, I think. He was allowed to get his own snacks and coffee and all during the day. You know how they have those thin waxy cups for cold soft drinks and Styrofoam cups for hot tea and coffee? Nobody noticed it, but the little man had been using the wrong kind of cups; he’d been drinking hot coffee out of the waxy cups instead of the foam ones. One of the nurses said that when you pour hot liquid into that flimsy kind of cup, the heat breaks up the layers and makes wax chip off into your coffee or whatever. Apparently, the man swallowed too much coffee wax over the years; little bits of wax cooled and hardened on the way down and stuck to his esophagus and built up to the point that it killed him.


Jennifer Chase, of the Alabama Chases, wrote "Triptych Kudzu," unaffectionately dubbed "The Manuscript That Will Never See the Light of Day." (She's also the author of My Bad.)