Friday, May 23, 2008

got milk?

Coconuts are interesting things but, as with everything else in this world, the interest indulged in depends on a given point of view. From the point of view of coconut consciousness, you're a seed. Your job is to grow, ripen and fall from your tree to the soft sand below. With any luck wind and rain see to it you're fed and protected long enough to let you sprout and be re-born as another palm tree and the gene pool continues. From the point of view of humans living in tropical climates, coconuts are a nutritious form of sustenance. The nutritional values of coconut water, coconut meat and coconut milk all answer in direct proportion to the needs of the humans living under the searing heat of the tropical sun and coconut butter helps you get a wonderful tan. But from the point of view of an insurance salesman, coconuts are a liability. I have a friend who had a coconut palm in front of her house. One day a tourist walked past that tree at just the same moment that a coconut decided it was time to fall from it's lofty height to make a new tree. So, instead of landing on the soft sand, it landed on the tourist's head and my dear friend was promptly sued for medical costs and damages. Now, with as many coconut palms as we have on our little island, your chances of getting beaned by a falling coconut are pretty good and it's more a question of the unlucky individual's karma than a malicious intent. The insurance adjuster knew all that, but still declined to pay on the claim unless, out of her own pocket, my unfortunate friend removed the perpetrator palm from where it had been living happily for at least 20 years. So out came the chainsaw and down came the tree. The tourist went home a few thousand dollars richer and the insurance company raised my friend's homeowner rates. But, at the end of the day, the marketing slogan on the side of the tree service truck said it all. . . "We're making America safer, one tree at a time!"

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