The Darkest Chocolate

August 11, 2009 at 7:38 am by  

Camden, NJ – In 1997 Vincent Smith II was probably told by doctors that he was in the ultimate good news/bad news situation. Maybe. Even if they had, chances are that Vincent didn’t hear a word – the poor guy was in a coma at the time. Vincent was in a car crash in Pennsylvania which ejected him out of the vehicle and sent him hurtling headlong into said coma. However, Vincent Smith II soon beat the odds when he awoke from the coma, virtually returning from the dead like religious icons Jesus of Nazareth, Lazarus and Tupac. The grim reaper himself had snatched Vincent up by the collar, muscled him over the threshold of life and death and then had apparently fallen asleep on the couch while Vincent crept back to consciousness on hands and knees. But he was back. A miracle-man. He was now a walking example of a human being who had triumphantly returned from the abyss. Then last month he drowned in boiling chocolate in Camden, NJ.

Vincent was a temporary employee working on a contract with Cocoa Services based in Camden when according to witnesses the poor bastard lost his footing while loading chocolate bound for Hershey’s into the vat and fell into the bubbling vat of not-so-goodness, where he was then hit and possibly pinned down by a giant paddle-like agitator. Chocolate and tear soaked workers told authorities that the machine was shut down immediately, but poor choco-coated Vincent was already dead. It seems so damned defeating, that a man who had cheated death twelve years earlier was now being scooped from the bottom of a cocoa vat while investigators struggled not to make “lick the bowl” jokes. Few of us really have a choice of where and when we die, I suppose. Or maybe we do. I prefer to imagine that when Vincent was in the coma, he and the grim reaper worked something out. What if death pulled his hood back, lit up a smoke and said: “I’ll tell you what I can do – and I’m doing this ’cause, I don’t know, I like your face. You’re not the only Vincent Smith around you know. There are heaps of you Smith folks, and I could you know, grab another one this time if you don’t mind switching ‘appointments’ with him? Let’s see, this guy goes in, July of 2009. Drowns in chocolate.

Really – says right here – ‘drowns in chocolate’. I don’t make these up, man. Listen, between you and me, says here this guy is a telemarketer, ok? That piece of shit doesn’t deserve a confectionery death, he should be smashed to death with an office phone! All I gotta’ do is make a call, you’re outta’ here in a couple months, once the paperwork goes through, mister ‘do you have time for a survey’ goes through his windshield and I’ll sweep all of this under the rug next leap year. You wouldn’t believe the wrench that leap year shit throws in the works on our end, heh-heh. Anyway, you want the chocolate thing or not?”

Or maybe not. Maybe it was just one of those things that we can’t change at all. My heart goes out to the man’s family. If I’d known him, maybe I’d say he was a sweet man. That he’d lived a rich life, and if that didn’t go over well, I would bring out a guest speaker, perhaps rapper Ice-T’s wife Coco. If you think I have a disrespectful attitude toward death, it’s only because I already know how I am to die. After all, I was once a telemarketer.


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