Use your coffin before you really need it

Some products practically sell themselves and Barry Coleman, of Winona, Minn., has got a killer idea.

It’s a coffee table. Use it, put all your junk on it, prop your feet on it, and when you go toes up, be buried in it.

“Handcrafted semi traditional toe pincher coffins,” his Craigslist and Facebook ad says. “They make an excellent conversation piece coffee table, with storage, until needed for official use.”

The Winona Daily News says he got the idea when his son went off to college in the Twin Cities to learn how to work in the movies and called his dad — a woodworker — to see if he’d make a coffin for a movie.

He acknowledged that he’d thought about making his own coffin, and this was a chance to try it his skill, the paper says.

“It was really creepy when our son stood up in it,” Barry’s wife, Peggy, said with an eye roll and a laugh.

Barry made sure to layer on several coats of polyurethane in case it was ever officially used.

“If you used it to bury uncle Fred, you don’t want him oozing out the top,” Barry said.

After Barry finished the coffin, he took it up to the Twin Cities in his van, drawing tons of looks which weren’t made better when Barry convinced his son to pinch his nose and roll down the window as people drove by. Barry ended up loving the process so much that he started work on another one.

It’s turned into a beloved hobby which very well may overtake his “first love” of taxidermy — he still has a few deer heads that have been sitting his freezer for quite a while.

“It’s a piece of art,” Barry said about the coffins. “And I’m ready to make the next one.”

He’s got a few made in the garage and is pushing the idea of a dual role for them to see if he can clear out some space. Book shelf. Coffee table. Storage for blankets, etc.

And then he’ll build another one.

“Hopefully the next one isn’t mine,” he said. “But if it is, I’m ready.