Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Coconut Situation - Part 1

There are just some things that are unique to life in South Florida. Well, as I wrote that I realized that millions of other people in other countries have to deal with this too, but what I mean is that in comparison to the rest of the US, we have to deal with things here in South Florida that would be quite foreign and unheard of in, say, Ohio. Or Iowa. Or Washington State. One of these things is coconuts.
I hadn't thought about coconuts in a while. I had other things on my mind and coconuts weren't a priority. Then while in the backyard I looked up and noticed that the palm tree was loaded with literally hundreds of ripe coconuts and all of the ominous warnings I had ever heard about coconuts began to thunder through my head until I just about worked myself into such a panic attack that I needed to breathe into a paper bag until it passed. See, you people in other states are going "What in the hell kind of ominous warnings about coconuts is she talking about? Whoever heard of a coconut needing a warning?"
According to all sorts of crap I've looked up on the Internet, 150 people every year are killed by coconuts falling on their heads. Coconuts supposedly kill more people than shark attacks. But see, because I am totally neurotic I begin to imagine things and extrapolate the statistics. 150 people are killed. Dead. But what about the people who get conked on the head and don't die but are just severely injured? How many people are quadriplegics because of coconuts? How many people are brain damaged by coconuts? Surely it must be way more than 150. So in my mind I begin to picture thousands of people all over the world who are victims of coconut attacks and then of course I start to worry that one of those thousands of people killed, maimed, blinded or placed into a persistent vegetative state, by coconuts will be killed or injured in my backyard and it will be all my fault.
I stood in the yard and looked at the coconuts for a very long time, envisioning a lot of bloody carnage, but I made sure that I stood several feet away from the tree in case one fell while I was standing there thinking about them falling. I pondered how to get the coconuts down from the tree.
Then I remembered more terrifying statistics about how coconuts become dangerous projectiles during hurricanes and how, oh my God, and I don't even want to talk about this, Hurricane Seasons starts tomorrow. You wouldn't believe the damage a coconut whizzing by at 150 miles per hour can inflict on a body or a structure. So now I had a whole new level of worry. The coconuts had to come down.
There are many local services that charge hundreds of dollars for people to get up on ladders or even simply climb the tree with their bare hands and feet, to cut down coconuts. I don't have hundreds of dollars to pay someone to just cut down some stupid coconuts and haul them away. That's a rip off and Husband and I like to do things ourselves, so when I told Husband that the coconuts needed to come down, before I had even finished uttering the sentence, he was already in the garage looking for something tall to stand on and something sharp to cut with. He was also imagining all of the uses for coconut flesh and coconut water and trying to find recipes using coconut and I guarantee you, he was also trying to think of how to make a profit out of this.
My husband and I each have fundamentally different world views. We can each look at the same object and see it in completely unique ways. I look at something and imagine all the ways that it can kill me, the cat or other people. Husband can look at something and imagine all the ways that he can either eat it or sell it.
The coconuts became a major saga this week, and since I have out of town guests, I'm going to cut the story short and finish it later. Also it's because I don't know how to successfully post more than one picture at a time without screwing up everything and making the alignment go insane. I guarantee you that even this picture will mess up the alignment and not let me put spaces between paragraphs. Why is this happening? I look at plenty of other blogs and their photos are posted just fine and they have spaces in between paragraphs. What am I doing wrong? Can anyone help?


Kandace said...

First of all, I suggest helmets until you've successfully removed the coconuts from the property!

The only way I've gotten around the crazy paragraphing situtation surrounding pictures is to upload all picture first and write after they are in the body.

Seriously, if there is a better way I'd love to hear it!

chasmyn said...

There are LOTS of raw food recipes for young coconuts, and they are ALL delicious!

If you go here:

or here:

You will find tons of recipes. I'm so jealous of all those coconuts! Maybe you can ship them to me for a profit :)

Monda said...

I have your layout answers.

On the pictures, load them first. Once you've added text you can move them around anywhere you want by clicking and dragging. Just be sure to move these around after the spacing issue is settled.

On the spacing between paragraphs, just type in (or copy and paste) your text, then "save as draft." Click on "view blog", then come right back to edit, open it up, and things should be mysteriously spaced.

I do this every time I post. If you want another way, just go into html mode and add spacing there by just hitting "enter" wherever you want it. Take a peek at it in "preview" first, though, just to make sure everything took.

Since I'm a tecnological failure who still uses a typewriter, this is the best I've come up with.

Good luck with the hanging nuts!

misha said...

i lived in coconut grove and read that statistic in playboy. Then I thought, great, I live in death grove.

Anonymous said...

Hi there: try making the images smaller with a photo editor. I've used Adobe and adjust the "pixels" which is simply choosing the measurements of the photo. The wider the photo, the more space it takes up on your blog - that changes the alignment. Maybe the free one offered by Google might work for you? Love the blog!


Green said...

You can move the pictures once you've put them into your post, you know that, right? I just found that out a few months ago. Easiest way to do it is to do what Kandace suggested though.

There is a thing that's like a pair of heavy duty pliers but has a VERY long handle - that is what you can use to get the coconuts down. Can you work out a trade with your Tomato Man?

Jeannie said...

One coconut would be great say once every couple of months. A slew of them all at once? Possibly profitable but not likely...unless you have an awesome recipe for macaroons that you can sell to some cafe that can serve them to tourists along with vastly overpriced coffee.

Anonymous said...

I used to live on a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean. It was so disconcerting to be walking along a path and hear a "thud" behind me. I'd turn around and there would be a coconut where there hadn't been one just three seconds before. It was a joke on the island that you knew you'd been there too long when you stopped being afraid of the coconuts!

And to add, when watching Survivor, and seeing the way they hack those coconuts to death to get to the nut in the middle, just cracks me up. There is such an easy way to open them - smack one end on a hard surface and the hull splits in two. I didn't have the upper body strength to do it, but all of my guy friends could. No machetes for them!

Love your writing. I've been reading your blog since 2005 and you never disappoint. Thanks!

Epiphenita said...

I know, combating phobias with logic is futile. I mean, they're irrational, right? But seriously, getting in an automobile or living through hurricane season is more of a threat than coconuts!

You have food growing in your back yard! Spontaneously. I sound like some urban freak but that is so appealing. Food growing in your backyard that you didn't have to farm. Makes me want to find a butter churn.

Anonymous said...

I don't have coconuts in NC, but I did have sugar baby watermelons in my garden that became missiles in Hurricane Floyd. My husband and I could hear them smashing against the wall during the worst of the wind. I guess that doesn't alleviate your coconut anxiety, does it?

Although, I bet if you put the 150 people into a percentage point scale, it's probably on the same scale as being struck by lightning. Does that redeem me?

State of Grace said...

i agree with monda. works for me!!


Hilary said...

Hmmmm think of all the piƱa coladas...

Monda's Method has worked all along for me too. Spacing issues can get pretty annoying.. you just have to fight back.

Anonymous said...

Not to add more to your worries, but has that "yellowing" disease that has killed a number of palm trees in the Caribbean hit Florida yet? The reason I ask is I remember five or six years back when I was working on the Gulf Coast in Central America, and a lot of the palm trees had it...the fronds all turn yellow, and bit by bit drop off to the ground.
I remember sitting under one tree and literally hearing a huge THUD and looking to my right, about two inches away, seeing a massive yellowing, dry palm frond...which I found when I tried to pick it up was just as heavy as a coconut! Another example of how I got away barely with my life!

Sinclair said...

Did you let Husband climb up the tree and cut the coconuts?

Do you have any idea how many people die every year trying to cut coconuts? And how about the ones who don't die but either slip and fall and end up in a vegetative estate or they cut themselves with the cutting object they were using!!!

Just kidding girl and adding to your paranoia!!! I'm good at that. BTW thanks for the pictures ~ I love your pictures and your drawings are awesome!!

Robin in Ohio said...

All I can think of as I'm reading your blog entry is that goofy song, "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts". Here's a version of it by Merv Griffin, but my favorite one is done by the Monty Python gents. :-)

Caroline said...

So funny....there are over 300 million people in the US. The odds of being killed by coconuts is 0.0000004%
I think you're safe.

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