The Exploding Coconut

If you’ll recall, some weeks back I had a bit of a temper tantrum because I lost a brilliantly-written piece when I attempted to post it. I stayed away from the blog out of spite. I finally decided to attempt recreating the post that I lost, but it’s nowhere near as amazing, witty and mesmerizing as the original had been. Oh, well. Here goes.

A little while ago, Michael brought home a coconut. No particular reason why. He just saw it while grocery shopping and bought it. I told him not to expect me to crack it open, but when he did, to save me the coconut water. He said okay and tossed it into the fruit basket we keep on the table.

Fast forward a few days. (I should explain at this point that Michael works at night, and when he comes home, he likes to stay up awhile in order to keep himself acclimated to the schedule. When I get up early to feed the cats, he’s still in bed.)

I wandered into the kitchen and noticed several things simultaneously.

1)      Pieces of coconut sat on the counter.

2)      The fruit basket was also on the counter, with a paper towel stuffed into the bottom.

3)      Chance’s nylon leash and harness were also on the counter, stiff. (Chance is our youngest cat, and yes – he’ll go outside wearing the harness. He’s not so good at walking around on the leash, yet, but he likes to poke around the landing and stairs. He hunts around for the leash and will drag it out from wherever I’ve hidden it. This time I had stuffed it into the fruit basket.)

4)      One of the magazines that had been on the table was in the fruit basket.

5)      There was no coconut water to be found.

I was a bit miffed that he’d opened the coconut without me, and either drank or dumped the coconut water, when I’d specifically asked him to save it for me. I bided my time until he got up.

When I asked him why he hadn’t saved me the coconut water, he told me the following story:

He’d gotten home at his usual time (around 2 am) and was poking around in the kitchen for something to eat when he suddenly heard a loud CRACK behind him. He whirled around and discovered that the coconut in the fruit basket had exploded. The coconut water flooded out and soaked the bottom of the basket, Chance’s leash and harness, and had spread across the table to soak the magazine.

A bit weirded out, he picked up the basket and put it on the kitchen counter. He pulled out Chance’s leash and collar and left them on the table, put a paper towel in the basket to soak up the water, opened the magazine and spread it across the basket to dry. Then he wiped the table down and took a look at the exploded coconut. Some pieces were moldy inside. He threw them away, left a good piece on the counter, and went to bed.

We were mystified as how and why the coconut had exploded – was it because the weather had been so hot? Or maybe because of the temperature change between the heat and the air conditioning? )

This is not an exploding coconut. This coconut is being shattered by a bullet. There are no pictures of exploding coconuts.

I did a little online research. It turns out that if there’s any kind of tiny crack or hole in a coconut, mold spores can get in. As the mold grows and expands, it can refill the hole, creating an air-tight chamber. But as the mold grows, it also releases gasses that gradually fill the coconut, increasing the pressure until – CRACK – the coconut literally explodes. It’s happened in homes, at fruit stands and in grocery markets. People have actually been injured by coconut shrapnel. I guess Michael was lucky!

So, I washed Chance’s leash and harness and wiped down the fruit basket. We tossed the now-wrinkled magazine. The remaining piece of coconut sprouted mold (well, duh) and we threw it away.

And that’s the story of the Exploding Coconut. Everything worked out fine.

Although now, if I see coconuts in the grocery store, I tend to make a wide berth around the produce section.



About dianeburrell

1. Woman. 2. Writer. 3. Weirdo.

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