Firstly, do not idle about in the sands beneath a coconut palm. This is only inviting the favorite sneak attack of the coconut. The coconut lives only to fall from the sky with the brisk, erotic graspings of gravity and smack you in square in the noggin. If this happens, there will be a hollow coconutty sound of the large nut thumping you in the head, but you will not be able to discern if it was the nut or your head that made the sound, and not just because you've been bonked silly. Try it. Open your mouth and thump yourself in the top of the head. *pok-pok-pok* Like a ripe, hollow melon.

Secondly, never, ever impale the thick green rind of the nut on a sharpened steel stake stuck pointy side up in the ground to pry off the fibrous sheathing and reveal the little monkey-face inside. That little monkey-face is most certainly a small fragment of the devil himself, just looking for trouble and woe. Doing so gives the nut the gifts of sight and speech. The nut can now see you, and unleash torrents of sublingual neurolinguistic programming on your entirely unshielded palpitating fore-brain. The nut will try to convince you to open it and partake of the poisonously psychedelic nectar inside. YOU MUST NOT DO THIS! The nut does indeed open easily if you know where to push the recessed access panel aside and open the relief valve, but it will convince you that using dangerous tools, even power tools, is the only way to get at the nectar inside.

Never, ever sit on the tiny concrete back porch on a hot summer day with a hammer and a chisel attempting to open the nut. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are hospitalized, often with missing digits and even limbs, due to the baleful siren of this devil's nut. They do so under the hypnotic mind control powers of this evil, evil nut. Did you know palm trees aren't trees at all, but gigantically fearsome prehistoric grasses? Real nuts don't come from grasses. Remember that.

If you already have a hammer and screwdriver or chisel in hand, or worse, a Ditch Witch, 56" 25 HP gas chainsaw, or truck-mounted 24" bore earth auger, and you are only now thinking of how to defend yourself, I'm afraid it is likely far too late. The nut has already planted its malicious seed of destruction deep within your hindbrain. You can attempt to flee, but in all honesty such efforts are futile. If you do not follow through with the cracking of the nut, with all of its dangers inherent, you will swiftly go insane. You will imagine chiggers eating your bum. You will see the sky turn pink, and the ground beneath your feet will crumble into cake flour. Make your choice. Bum-chiggers and cake flour, or maiming and dismemberment.

You will get the nut open, of course. You may have 1/5th the fingers you started with, but you will open the nut. How can you choose otherwise? Your lizard hindbrain demands it. You will open the nut, and any of the pearly juice spilled will be as though your own blood was lost, for naught. Carefully collect the juice in a glass or three. There will be friends there, friends you will betray to the devil himself through the will of that nut. You will drink nature's Kool-Aid. Drink the Kool-Aid. This is certain. You will not notice the juice of the nut etching the inside of your finest glass tallboys. You will drink the juice, and it will burn like a fire-ant, glass-shard and wasabi sammich on week-old garlic bread. It will eat you up like gasoline on styrofoam, eviscerating you from within like a thousand-million scrubbing bubbles.

And you will like it. The nut is crafty and quick, the nectar potent. Through the irresistible force of sheer willpower, the nut lies to you, tricks you into believing that all is well, and its fruit, sweet.

Most importantly - you should just avoid the coconut. The best defense is a good offense. If you see a coconut, run like the dickens. If you are coerced into visiting the south seas, those polynesian pantries of the devil, slit your own throat with a broken shell. If your ship is going down near the palm-laden archipelagos, hang yourself to death on your underpants from the nearest gunwale. Dive deep and breathe the salt water. Choke on your own socks. If by plane, be sure there are no survivors, aim straight for the ground, throttle 100%. If you see them at the grocers, burn the place to the ground. Kill everyone in the store if you must, the nuts must not escape. This is imperative, for the very survival of humankind is at stake.

Do not ever taunt the coconut. Never. The coconut is vindicative, and it will be our final doom.

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