Obsessed with Coconuts

There’s something really weird going on in South Florida. Maybe it’s been going on for a long time and I’ve never noticed until recently. For my entire life I’ve lived on a small island connected to Miami — Key Biscayne (aka Island Paradise). You may have heard of it in the original Bad Boys movie, where they are told to go to Key Biscayne, but don’t actually go there.

Bad Boys (1995) • Not the exact scene where they mention Key Biscayne, but I had to include something.

Key Biscayne has also been featured in Christian Finnegan’s stand up comedy about Florida and Albert Einstein.

“If Albert Einstein Was From Florida” • Christian Finnegan

Key Biscayne is a wonderful place to go for a run. I have multiple routes that I run depending on the distance I’m traveling that day. I can run the loop around the residential part for 3 miles, I can run towards the lighthouse for up to 5 or even 6 miles, but lately I have stuck to running through Crandon Beach. That run can be anywhere from 2 to 10 or more miles (10 is my longest run, back a few years ago). During the entire pandemic I have stuck to 3 or 4 mile runs.

My run from earlier in the week.

***Side Note: I usually run with no glasses or contact lenses on. So, if you’re a fellow Key Biscayne resident who has seen me and waved at me or tried to get my attention on a run, I’m not ignoring you. I just didn’t see you. The loud music in my ears doesn’t really help the situation either. When running with no glasses all of your faces look like I’ve just been sprayed with Scarecrow’s Fear Gas (Batman Begins).

Batman Begins • Fear Gas

Let’s get back on track and talk about the strange thing I noticed lately. The weird thing I noticed lately is that people (most likely tourists) love trying to get coconuts to fall from trees. And they love trying to break them open to drink some coconut milk (or coconut water). I’m not even sure what’s inside of the coconut. Since they’ve always been around me, I don’t even think about them. I kind of forget they even exist.

This leads me to my main question: Do they not have Coconuts on trees in other cities, states, countries? Are we the only place with coconut trees? Palm trees? Are coconuts indigienous to Key Biscayne or South Florida?

This past week I saw one kid filming his friend trying to break a coconut open and drink from it. Is that that interesting? Last week, I saw a bunch of dudes trying to throw objects at hanging coconuts. Attempting to get them down.


Side Story: My Coconut Experience
I guess as a kid I had a friend with a machete once. Why? I don’t know, we were kids and we found a machete. We found a coconut on the ground and tried to break it open with our newly acquired machete. Once it was opened we saw there wasn’t much liquid or anything useful inside. After that, I was never really interested in a coconut again.


Maybe it’s a macho thing. It’s only dudes that I ever see trying to pull down and break open coconuts. Sometimes it’s a group or two guys. Most of the time it’s a guy trying to impress a girl. Don’t you know how stupid you look? Has any girl ever been impressed by a dude opening a coconut? Maybe on a remote island where there is nothing to eat or drink.

In Moana the people of Motunui depend heavily on the coconut.

“Consider the coconut (The what?)
Consider its tree
We use each part of the coconut
That’s all we need

We make our nets from the fibers
The water is sweet inside
We use the leaves to build fires
We cook up the meat inside

Consider the coconut
The trunks and the leaves
The island gives us what we need
And no one leaves”

from “Where You Are” • Moana (Original Motion PicTure Soundtrack)

But I did not grow up in Motunui (as much as I wish I had). I grew up in Key Biscayne. And we have a Winn Dixie, so we don’t need to live off of the wild coconuts and all of its parts. It’s more of a decorative thing for us. So, stop messing with our coconuts you tourists!

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