Monday, May 28, 2012

The Opening of the Coconut

Brain dead for material for my blog, I turned to my old journals and unearthed this story from when I was 16. 

A very funny thing happened while we were here [in Virginia] that I thought was worth of writing down. Have you ever seen someone crack a coconut? We have.

This story takes place on Tuesday, the second day we were here. A family had just recently visited Hawaii, and they invited several families over to sample some Hawaiian food they brought back. We went and had some. It was very different. Some of it we liked but most of it we didn't. The last item on the menu was a coconut they had brought back. A whole coconut. A whole, solid, round, brown coconut.

They had learned from the Hawaiians that to crack a coconut, you take a sharp rock, give it several hard, sharp jabs with the rock, and simply pull apart the two halves. So everyone gathered around to witness the opening of the coconut.

A little boy from their family tried first. He looked like he was about 8 years old, and his bangs with the rock onto the coconut were not doing any good.

("This thing must be as hard as wood," I thought to myself, as his continued tries to crack it only resulted in a few of the pieces of fuzz falling off the outside.)

Finally he decided the rock wasn't going to make it. "Get me a hammer!" he commanded the next oldest brother (about 11 or 12). The hammer was fetched and the boy proceeded to hit the coconut with the hammer. This strategy yielded no results, either. Then--aha!--a bright idea! Let's get a nail!

The boy who got the hammer went to get a nail and took over the opening of the coconut. But he couldn't get the nail to penetrate the hard shell of the coconut.

Then their biggest brother, a full-grown teenager, decided to show all these young kids how to proceed with the opening of the coconut. He took the sharp rocks and hit them against the side of the coconut.

"That won't work," piped up his younger brother. "I think you'll need a saw for that thing." Younger brother was right. It didn't work.

Time for big brother to try the hammer and nail. Bam, BAM, BAM went the hammer. Bend, BEND, BEND went the nail. Okay, that didn't work. "I think we'll need the saw," big brother said.

("This thing must be as hard as stone!" I thought to myself when I saw the nail fail to work.)

Everyone went outside to view the sawing. "This has got to work," everyone was thinking. But surprise, surprise, the saw didn't work.

("This thing has got to be as hard as marble!" I thought to myself.)

It was not until a long, curved, wicked-looking old saw with long, sharp, cruel teeth was brought out and used with extreme vigor and enthusiasm that the stubborn coconut finally opened.

We all celebrated and cheered for the long-toothed saw--though by now the coconut meat was rather distasteful, being contaminated by flecks of coconut shell and rust from the saw.


It wasn't until years later that I met a Brazilian lady and saw her open a coconut to realize that it wasn't really that hard. (Look it up on YouTube. It really isn't that hard. You really do just give it a few hard whacks and pull the two halves apart.)

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