07 June 2008

The Coconut

Once upon a time, in November of 2001 to be exact, W. and I went to Florida for the weekend. We had unused airplane tickets from the year we didn't go to Chicago for Thanksgiving because the cat had suffered a "degloving" incident when he got his tail caught in the door to the apartment. We finally got around to trading in the tickets and set out for Florida instead. W. lived there once upon a time, so he knew the lay of the land, and we spent most of the time driving around in a rented convertible. It was great. It was like visiting a foreign country.

At some nature preserve somewhere, I found a coconut in the parking lot. It had fallen out of a tree. I scooped it up and tossed it in the back of the car, because I just needed it. Later in the day, we passed a Mailboxes Etc. and I shrieked "stop the car!" I ran in, asked for a box, sealed the coconut inside, and mailed it to my sister. No note. No explanation. And we went on our merry way.

At Christmas the following month, I opened a box. Inside was the coconut, now adorned with yarn hair and Sharpie eyes. And with that, the coconut began an international journey of subterfuge and deception. It's been left under the seats of cars, hidden in closets. It's been passed on to other (innocent) people with the instruction "wrap this and give it to my sister". It's been shipped across the country. It's had a few more makeovers - including glued on googly eyes and new brown hair and earrings.

Last Christmas, my sister had possession of the coconut. She mailed it to our sister-in-law's sister in Canada, and asked her to wrap the box (without opening it) and give it to our sister-in-law when they opened their presents. Shock and hilarity ensued.

The coconut spent a couple of months in the guest room at my mother's house; it's now living in Brooklyn with my brother and sister-in-law. I don't know where it's going to turn up next. I only wish that we'd taken more pictures of its travels.

19 comments:

Julia said...

This is so cool.

alejna said...

I love it! Your family sounds so cool.

(This reminds me a bit of your fruitcake story.)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That is great. You definitely need to document its further travels.

Angeline said...

So cool! Super!

the mama bird diaries said...

That is a riot.

One of my bestfriends from college and I are always sending my wisdom teeth back and forth and hiding it in each others homes.

Kind of gross but funny.

LAS said...

I LOVE THIS! This is hysterical!

Melanie said...

I know I've said this before, but the similarity of our respective families is SHOCKING.

We've had something called "Coconut Gal" (a touristy coconut carving of a monkey/humanoid wearing a bikini and grass skirt) in gift circulation for the past fifteen years.

Uncanny.

RuthWells said...

You make me wish I had a sister!

womaninawindow said...

Has someone packed that coconut a hygiene bag...with all that travelling...man, that hair looks unruly!

Aunt Becky said...

High-freaking-larious.

flutter said...

HA! it's like flat stanley only not flat, and clearly a girl.

Ok so it's nothing like flat stanley.

furiousBall said...

that's awesome, i want to make one now, like right now

Mental P Mama said...

I love these traditions! So funny!

jen said...

a coconut AND a fruitcake? i love it.

ALM said...

Omigod! That is the funniest thing I've ever heard!!!

Stacey said...

That is so funny. I love it!

Maggie, Dammit said...

My mother-in-law has something like this with her sisters. This little brown doll has shown up in suitcases and packages all over the world, it's hysterical.

I love that you were just inspired to grab the coconut and then again inspired to ship it off. Makes me feel like the Universe loves itself some funny.

painted maypole said...

it would make a fun book to have pictures of all its transformations and homes.

Cactus Petunia said...

I love crazy stuff like that...it starts on a whim and takes on a life of its own. We have a traveling penguin. I posted about him here: http://buenosburritos.blogspot.com/2008/03/its-easter-penguin-charlie-brown.html
You never know where the little guy's gonna show up.