If you’d told me two weeks ago that Jed’s work ethic would lead to his death … I totally would have believed you.

It’s just the way that his work ethic led to his death that was surprising.

I figured he would have had a heart attack from all of the stress from all of the projects that he took on. I mean, that’s what happened to his friend not so long ago. He took on so much in his life that he suffered from a near-fatal heart attack as a result. All I can say is that it’s a good job that he had access to some refurbished AED devices in the place where he was, otherwise I could be telling you a different story.

Even though stress is not a direct link to a heart attack occurring, it can lead to unhealthy habits that could have a direct effect, like drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and eating food that is high in sugar and fat. That’s why I was worried about Jed’s stress levels. No one wants to see him have a heart attack.

See, Jed was always doing something. You know, multitasking.

The guy was always in a rush and always had something in his hands.

Today, for example, he’s carrying tons of files, right? He has all these stacks of papers in his hands, his laptop case over his shoulder, and a rolled up poster board in his armpit — for a presentation or something. You see, he was probably preparing for this presentation or project for months. Did I tell you that he has his own home office so that he could continue to work outside the office hours? I think he even decided to kit it out with something similar to these high quality office desks so that he had a decent place to work when he was at home. He was practically a workaholic, and he wanted to make sure that he was on top of everything. Even if it meant having to carry all of his stuff in one go. He’s even got his lunch on top of all these stacks of paper and a metal spoon in his mouth.

But what is most impressive about all of this is that he’s on the phone at the same time. And able to hold a conversation! Even with the spoon in his mouth and him walking with his arms full at lightning speed, he still has the multitasking prowess to be able to hold an intelligent conversation.

Never a dull moment with Jed.

However, with all that crap in his hands and his immobile neck (because the phone is sandwiched between his cocked head and shoulder), he doesn’t see the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet that is open, and he trips right over it.

His teeth clench down on the spoon and he falls face first into the floor. The spoon lacerates his larynx and he gurgles for a while and dies in front of all of his coworkers.
It’s why your mom tells you to never run with scissors, I guess. Though scissors would have been less painful than a dull spoon.

The worst part is that his wife is on the phone and she hears the whole thing. She just listens to him gurgling as he dies face-down on the floor, his legs still lying on top of the drawer of the filing cabinet.

Which is kinda funny if you think about it, you know? Even in death, he is still on top of his work.

-Youngman Brown

0 thoughts on “On Top of His Work

  1. Awesome, yet gruesome story here. As soon as you said a stack of papers and a spoon I felt that I knew his fate. It reminded me of two separate incidents.
    One was when I was but a wee lad. I had a handful like 25 of my favorite books in Hand and was asking my parents which one they wanted to read, did I mention I was on the steps? I dropped a few, stepped on me and slid and tumbled to the bottom and got stitches for my trouble.
    The second was a girl in my neighborhood fell outof a tree and landed on a small stick…in her mouth. She survived but had a weird scar and a speech impediment.

    Anyway, thanks for the memories, lol.


  2. Excellent story! Damn, I'm going to have to bring my A-game if I stand a chance against shorts like these.

    That's sure an imaginative, yet greusome, way to go. I love the final line.

  3. Poor dead Jed's bride…that gurgling was probably the longest conversation he'd had with her in a long time.

    Excellent work! Seriously, I know you say you don't have the attention span for a novel, but you really should make that happen.

  4. How did I end up chuckling at the end of this tale imaging his legs still on top of the drawer? Just plain sick but loved every minute of it! How do you get in a place to even think of this stuff? Nicely done!

  5. I will admit that I at first thought the first line said “Jedi's work ethic” and expected a very different story…

    However, this was an awesome piece, love the tongue-in-cheek gruesomeness of it. Sad how such a small overlooked detail could derail this dude's life, it really is the little things in life that matter. And the ending line was just gold.

  6. Totally the reason I no longer work in an office environment….

    You really have a thing for flinging these witty/smart pieces at your anxious followers! Love it!

  7. Once again, you da man. That was awesome, especially the last line. Having worked in offices all my life, I can vouch for how much stuff you carry at one time and the things you trip on too.

    Aloha nui loa

  8. Oh wow! That sounds like a scene right out of Final Destination!! Poor Jed… some of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but not many die that way!

  9. Omg!!! That was totally not expected, and very clever!! Message received. I'll be slacking at work tomorrow 😉

    Great piece and best of luck in the competition!!

  10. What a splendid closing line! Well done, my friend, well done. As always, your writing is not only beautifully executed, but also filled with emotion. It's a pleasure to read.

  11. Brilliant. If you can't work up to a full-length novel quite yet how about a book of your short stories? Go for it Youngman Brown. One life buddy, one life!

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