Friday, March 16, 2007

A Tough Nut to Crack

We got a coconut in the mail the other day — a gift from my parents, who had been in Florida.

“Open it,” Johnny and Richie said.

“Ooh ooh. Ahh ahh,” I said, remembering past attempts at opening coconuts, or even Christmas gifts, for that matter.

One year, it took me so long to untie a bow on a package that my brother asked me point blank, "Are you a monkey?"

I often asked myself that same question. I've since learned about multiple intelligences. Some people are good at music, others, nature, others, spirituality, others, language, etc.

Most people are on some kind of spectrum. For instance, if you can't make music, but still enjoy listening to it, then you have some musical intelligence.

When you can design buildings or rebuild cars, you have spatial intelligence. If you don't have it, you struggle with 25-piece puzzles of kittens and ducks, finding places in a city--or your nose on your face, for that matter, and, most of all, cracking coconuts.

On a spectrum of one to 10, I am negative infinity.

I've come to terms with my spacial unintelligence. But now my sons were testing me--and looking at me funny because of the monkey talk.

Clearing my throat, I said, “Excuse me. I meant that I’d be happy to open the coconut. I do, after all, have opposable thumbs.”

Laughing nervously, I added, "And it's not like I'm a monkey."

First, I climbed our back stoop and dropped the coconut onto our brick patio. No cigar.

Next, I threw it against a pile of rocks. No dice.

Our cement driveway. Nope. I hit it with a sharp rock. Nothing.

I was getting hungry, so I ate a banana.

Throwing the peel over my shoulder, I climbed down from my tree limb.

My sons and I decided to take a team approach. We took turns tossing the coconut into the alley, laughing like calendar monkeys at our failed efforts.

But I was getting frustrated. Finally, baring my teeth, I spiked the coconut into the ground like a football and sat down to pick insects out of J.J.'s fur, I mean, hair.

Soon, Justin came home from work.

The boys ran to him. "Daddy, will you open our coconut?" they asked.

"Sure," he said, disappearing into the kitchen.

He returned with something called “a hammer.” In a matter of seconds, he cracked the nut.

Apparently, 8,000 years ago, human beings invented metal tools and didn’t tell me or the other chimpanzees.

If only I’d known that before I started monkeying around with that coconut.


Anonymous Ma said...

That is so funny! I've never heard of spatial intelligence! You do have scads of the brainey type however, which is much more impressive to me - how often will you have to open a coconut? Next time, I'll send a bag of it already prepared1 I didn't even think of opening it - I thought it was just a cute painted coconut from and art gallery that they would display with their shell collection! Luke and Erin's kids still hadn't figured out how to open it last time I talked to them. You'll have to tell them about that hammer thing!

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

You should be on Survivor Bridge.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am laughing out loud, once again...i love it!! thanks for the smiles, Bridge!

9:18 AM  

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