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Not Quite How It Works: This Funeral Home Has A Little Italian Chef Statue Out Front

A local business in West Hartford, CT has made a bizarre decorating choice that is leaving pretty much everyone who walks by utterly bewildered: This funeral home has a little Italian chef statue out front.

Huh. These little chefs are really fun to see outside of Italian restaurants, but it’s unclear why you’d ever put one outside a funeral home.

For the past three weeks, the front entrance to the Strauss & Sons Funeral Home has featured a plaster statue of a small Italian chef. The chef is holding a chalkboard that is usually used by Italian restaurants to display the daily specials, but for some inexplicable reason, funeral home owner Dennis Strauss has chosen to write “Sorry For Your Loss” on the chef statue’s chalkboard. It’s very jarring, because the Italian chef statue is smiling broadly, as if he’s happy that your loved one has died. It’s in pretty poor taste, to be honest. That’s not what you want to see when you’re grieving.

Seriously, what are these people even going for here? Are they suggesting that this chef is the guy who’s going to bury your loved ones? Are they hoping that it’ll help bring people in from off the street who otherwise wouldn’t have sought out funeral services? Are they under the impression that it’s comforting somehow? Whatever they were going for, they definitely missed the mark.

Also, for what it’s worth, the Strauss family isn’t even Italian. Their relatives came to America from Austria in the early 1920s. There’s absolutely no reason for them to have this Italian chef statue outside their funeral home, as it has absolutely nothing to do with death. No one who’s mourning the passing of a spouse or a child wants to be greeted by a mustachioed little pizza chef grinning like it’s the happiest day of his life—if anything, it’d just make them more upset.

The whole thing is a truly bizarre mystery, and it doesn’t look like the Strauss family is planning on offering an explanation any time soon. They just don’t understand how those statues are supposed to work, and they don’t seem interested in learning. It looks like citizens of West Hartford are just going to have to deal with the fact that their local funeral home has a little Italian chef happily welcoming them inside for the foreseeable future.