• Jeff South

Cincinnati Chili: Enchanted


Grover Cleveland Alexander was a man with no identity, no discernable personality. He knew it, too. Even his name belonged to someone much more prominent and noteworthy. He sought fulfillment and a sense of purpose. He listened to motivational CDs and podcasts. Self-help books lined the shelves of the study he converted from the third bedroom in his small but exquisite three-bedroom home in a gentrified neighborhood. He kept a bowl of smooth stones in bowl on his dining room table that had words like success and vision on them. None of it helped. He had hoped his job at Corporate was the beginning of an enchanted journey. He existed.


Three sleepless nights after Gwen told him in that weird voice to leave Cincinnati Chili alone, Grover sat up in bed with his tablet searching the internet for quotes on the meaning of life and saw this from Charlamagne tha God:


When I’m sitting around, I’m thinking about how I can make my next professional career move, but more than anything, I’m thinking about the meaning of life and how fleeting it is.


He searched who Charlamagne tha God was because he had no clue and this led him into an hour-long internet rabbit hole that hopped from Charlemagne to the Italy Runestones to, ultimately, ABBA.


Grover took this quote as a sign. He wasn’t sure if Charlamagne tha God meant that the meaning of life was fleeting or that life itself was fleeting. He did know his next career move, though. And Gwen wasn’t going to deter him.




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