Friday, March 29, 2013

If you like pina coladas

  I have three small children. (If you are surprised at this you have clearly not been reading this blog well.) My furniture and walls, despite my best efforts, are "loved." So while our living room sofa had decidedly seen better days, I was hesitant to shell out any kind of money for decent furniture, at least until the smallest ankle biter is past the "crayons for all surfaces!" stage. My fear of bedbugs keeps me from buying used unless I know the person already, so I had resigned myself to our living room furniture.

Lucky for me, my parents, having no ankle biters in the house and only well-behaved animals, decided to replace their family room furniture and today my dad drove up, leaving me the proud recipient of two extremely comfortable pieces of seating and making the girls thrilled at the visit from Boppa. In fact, the couches were scarcely in place and lunch had barely been eaten before they were begging my dad to take them for a walk. 

"That sounds fun," I said. "I'll put Lily down for a nap and you guys can have fun." I took the baby into my room to rock her and the girls headed out. 

In no time, Lily was fast asleep and I ventured out into the main part of the house, where I saw a CVS bag on my dining room table. Next to the bag were, in no particular order, a whole coconut, a small awl and a Gymboree coupon my mother had received in the mail. I smiled at the sheer randomness of the items and waited for the kids to return.

"Boppa said he has a treat for us!" the girls squealed as they ran up the front steps. We made our way inside where my dad proceeded to use the little awl to poke holes in the coconut and drain the milk. I actually like drinking coconut milk, but this looked a little cloudy to me. Thinking nothing of it, we made our way outside with a hammer, where my dad proceeded to sit the now-drained coconut on the front step and bash it with the hammer.

Immediately, the outer shell flaked away, the coconut split in half and the white, round coconut slithered out of the shell.

Yes, you read that right.

No, coconuts do not "slither" under normal circumstances, in fact, one of the ways you can justify consuming all those "good fats" is the fact that you have to perform an aerobic workout just to get to the meat normally.

"That doesn't look right," my dad said. He hit it one more time, the rest of the shell flaked (yes, flaked) away, revealing a greenish gray mottling on the white meat.

"Ew," I said.

"COCONUT!" the girls cried, clearly knowing no better but trusting their mother and grandfather would not give them the runs just in time for Easter.

"Sorry," my dad said. "We can't eat this. Boppa wanted to bring you a nice treat but this one is no good. We'll try again another time."

I looked at the dismal faces of my two oldest and decided to play Supermom.

"Dad, watch the kids for two minutes," I said. "I'm going to the grocery store."


I go to the car, drive to the store, fight the Good Friday crowds, remember I needed apples for a baking project, grabbed an on-sale pineapple because I am horribly easily influenced, selected a coconut and got out of Dodge. 

"Homemade pina coladas tonight?" the cashier asked, seeing my purchases. 

I walked into the house and the girls cheered - quietly, because Lily was still somehow asleep.

We went back to the kitchen, Dad cleaned the awl and jabbed at the coconut. 

"That went in awfully easy," he said. He tipped the coconut and a few drops of cloudy liquid dripped into the glass.

"Hm," he said. I sniffed it.

"God, that's pungent," I offered diplomatically.

"Round two," my dad said, and we headed out to the front steps, where by this point the neighbors were glancing at us sideways. My dad struck the coconut.

My dad struck his thumb.

My dad managed not to introduce my kids to any four letter words (I would not have been so controlled) and struck the coconut again, which split easily, cracked easily, and revealed a gray-green fruit.

"Ugh," I said.

"Sorry kids," my dad said. 

"Screw that, I'm returning it," I announced, grabbing the putrid fruit, ignoring the glass of what I was now calling "coconut vodka" and trying to find which plastic Shaw's bag under the sink had my recipet before deciding it didn't matter and heading back to the store.

This time I walked up to customer service.

"Hi," I said to the twelve year old behind the counter (okay, I'm just getting old, she was probably 19 or something obscene like that). "I just bought this, I don't have a recipet, but I need to exchange my coconut," I announced, handing her the bag.

"You...just want a new coconut?" she asked.

"Right, because this one looks like this," I said, yanking back the shell and peforming a Phantom of the Opera-esque reveal. She recoiled.


"Right, I can't cook with that," I said. She told me to get another, and when I returned, a small crowd was gathered around EbolaNut. 

"She just bought it," one whispered.

"Ew," echoed another.

"Have a nice day," the girl said, bagging my new nut.

Return home, Dad finds it harder to get the awl in the coconut, which we find reassuring. We return outside, where Dad has a hell of a time getting the shell to crack, and hey, who'd have thunk it, non-rotten coconuts don't slither.

Back inside with our prize, the girls proceeded to eat it like it was going out of style. 

But I saved enough for a homemade pina colada.

We earned it.

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