Tuesday, September 24, 2013

testing the lyrics of Harry Nilsson, part 1 (of 1, probably)

hi there

well, for this blog post to make any sort of sense to you at all you probably need to be reasonably familiar with the song Coconut by Harry Nilsson. i would imagine that most of you are, for it is a splendid song, but if not or you would simply like to hear it again (and enjoy the peculiar video), here is a link to it over on that youtube thingamajig.

yes this is all partially inspired by my efforts to get you to sign my ace petition about getting The Stone Roses to do a cover of a Harry Nilsson song, a petition that 13 have so far signed. why not join them? other than that, rather flattering comments have been made that i look a bit, in passing, like Harry Nilsson. to that i would say thank you, but Harry doesn't look that bad and i can assure you i have none of the immense talents the man had.



right, onwards then. assuming you clicked the link to the song above, you will be aware that Coconut speaks of putting lime in the coconut to relieve your bellyache in particular and to make you feel better in general. i am sure someone somewhere has undertaken to try this out before, but quite frankly i cannot be bothered to google to see and anyway you are here now reading this attempt.

up front, if you are going to have a go at this, there are two things you need. three if you include an irrational wish to attempt it, but presumably that's a given, so let us stick with just the two. they would, of course, be a lime and a coconut.

and here they are. on a red tray, no less, to avoid any confusion about this possibly being a Blue Peter type of thing. although maybe they did it on Blue Peter, i don't know. doubt it.



why exactly was it called Blue Peter, anyway? i assume something to do with sailing, since a ship was the logo. probably the name of the ship that first discovered double sided tape and pipe cleaners on an exotic island, no doubt.

beyond the lime and coconut (and straws, yes), one also needs to take the following on board before conducting a Harry Nilsson experiment of this nature. these include, but are not limited to, the following points :


* that the lyrics are literal and not euphemistic (dangerous assumption)

* that a doctor has not been consulted

* that you have a (literal or euphemistic i suppose) bellyache

* thay you will need to call someone in the morning to tell you what to do


i did not, i confess, have many or any of the above in place. i did, however, have the Commodore 64 camera app thingie on hand to take a picture of how the lime and the coconut would look on a superb Commodore 64 machine. i would imagine Harry, or a Harry enthusiast, did something similar in the 80s anyway.



yes, that's right, i used the iTwat touch camera to do all of this. it is the only device to feature both a Commodore 64 option on the camera bit and the songs of Harry Nilsson on it. as you will see, though, using the iTwat technology has accidentally given me the chance to test a theory of mine out. but more on that later.

the first thing to do in meeting Harry's instruction was of course to open up the coconut. for this task i briefly considered taking my class drill, the one which i have not really had much use for of late, to it. i thought that could be the best thing to do, as it would allow for a hole to put both the lime in and indeed a straw.

in then struck me that using a drill, in particular a powerful, motor driven electric powered one, to open up a coconut was irresponsible, reckless and possibly dangerous. it was also unlikely that Harry used one either, since there is no mention of it in the song. i thus decided to have a go at it with my hacksaw instead, since my (considerably) better half did not object to me using that anywhere near as much as she did when i mentioned the idea with the drill.



yes, that is James watching on. he was fascinated by all of this.

it is the presence of my (considerably) better half in all of this which has allowed an unusual experiment to take place here. she is not as comfortable with the wiles and ways of the touch screen on the iTwat touch as she is with her blueberry thing, and thus got confused and bewildered by the controls. this meant that a moment of film footage was taken on the iTwat. here it is.



for some reason a number of people visit my blog on their iTwat device. no idea why, but of the observations they make, one is that the videos do not seem to work. i am pretty sure that was is required is some sort of "app" to be installed for it, for that is the iTwat way. on the off chance that it is a format thing, however, and the people of Blogger do not convert the video as it uploads, give this one a try then. if a video shot on an iTwat does not wok on an iTwat, well, there is not a great deal else i can do to assist. it's a wonder i have done this much, but i suppose i have not really.

onwards, then, and i suspect it was the case that Harry didn't use a hacksaw on his coconut. this was because the coconut proved to be somewhat resistant to the power of the hacksaw. this is quite impressive, really, since it is the same saw i randomly take branches down from the trees in our garden as and when the mood takes me to do so.

my (considerably) better half then suggested i have a go at it with a big massive knife. alas, no machete am i allowed to own beyond the fine film of that name, so a big bread knife was called on.



the bread knife too seemed to be far from successful in accessing the coconut. my word, these coconut things are jolly difficult to take apart. they should make them with a button or something.

it was around the point that i was close to just stabbing the cocount that my (considerably) better half opted to step in and have a go at taking it apart. this she did, with some qualified success, without any sort of heavy duty tool or bread assaulting device. instead she just bashed it about a bit in a most barbaric way, perhaps showing off the less than smooth origins of her place of birth.

happily, this resulted in an open coconut.



less than happily, as you can perhaps see above, it led to discovering that the coconut did not look at all good on the inside. i am no expert in the stuff or what a coconut should be like, but what we saw seemed to me like it was not as right as it should be on the inside.

to illustrate this, i of course arranged for a picture to be taken of the insides in Commodore 64 mode. i trust this image further enhances your interpretation of the circumstances i faced, that being that the coconut i had selected (and not just bought at random) was far from suitable.



oh dear. does this mean that the experiment had fallen? was i destined not to try out that which Harry sung of in his song? no, of course it does not mean that. i put a back up plan in place on the basis of my lack of knowledge of coconut stuff. here, in the last Commodore 64 styled picture for this post, is that very back up plan for you.



yep, the stuff inside of a coconut, be it the milk or the cream, depending on your perspective and what you prefer to call it. as far as i could work out it was one in the same, the names being different purely from some sort of branding thing. if it isn't that, and coconut cream is a different thing from coconut milk, and you know the difference, well then there you go, you know more than me.

not wishing to go through the whole drill, saw and knife business again (so eager she was to see this, apparently), my (considerably) better half had taken one of them opulent tin opener type devices to the coconut milk/cream before i knew anything about it.



all that really remained, of course, was to take the lime apart and shove it in the coconut.

i had to use some sort of poetic licence in this regard, as Harry was not clear on exactly what form the lime should take. i presumed it was lime squeezed in to it. if i am wrong in this, well, there you go, but shoving a whole lime in did not seem practical, and slices would have meant an umbrella too. i really rather like umbrellas in drinks, as any number of people can testify, but i did not have one at hand and anyway one was not mentioned in the song so probably not.

squeezed lime it was to be then, after i had taken the knife to the lime itself.



yes, remarkably, the boys remained interested in all of this. a mixture of being curious and baffled, i suspect. although it might just be that James really wanted to try coconut milk and William really, really likes the idea of breaking things.

the lime proved unworthy of the challenge of a knife, it somewhat cowardly being cut in two with but the work of a moment. we were getting close, then. we would be close to the pictures of what happened too, i suppose, if i did not feel the need to put quite so much text here.

i did my best, then, to channel the ways in which Harry would have done this. if he ever did it himself, of course. i would like to think he did it surrounded by the many social activity enthusiasts he had in his life, like Keith Moon, Ringo Starr and selected members of the Monty Python team. i squeezed, then, dear reader, i squeezed the lime into the coconut.



and then, when it was squeezed in, i mixed. it is probably at this point that an umbrella would have been at its most significant, for i suspect that is what you are supposed to use to do it. if a doctor at any point did indeed suggest to someone to put lime in a coconut to feel better, it stands to reason that they have gone that far, they might as well say use an umbrella too.



hmn, that does not look like the most appealing thing on the planet, does it? not me, you cheeky things, the coconut milk (or possibly cream) with lime mixed into it.

enough, then. the journey had reached the final stage. well, final stage excluding the bit about calling someone in the morning, as is mentioned in the song. so not the final stage as such, but the last bit i was going to do.

i drank the lime in the coconut.



now is probably the best time to discuss a certain matter, something that people who know me rather well have been saying "but, hang on....." in respect of ever since they started reading this. no, i do not particularly care for coconut, and it certainly does not care for me. i have a never quite officially diagnosed sort of "allergic reaction" thing to the wretched stuff. a reaction of such a nature that i have learned it to be far, far better, for both myself and the coconut, to have no association with them.

but this is Harry Nilsson we are speaking of. if i am fan enough to admire his records, buy them and indeed set up a petition to get The Stone Roses to do a cover of one of his songs, then i felt an obligation to put aside my feelings for coconut and give this a try.

it did not, alas, go down particularly well. at all.



i will save you from the rather more graphic images of my reaction to this mix of lime and coconut. you can use your imagination, an imagination that i suspect Harry Nilsson might have employed when he wrote the song, instead of trying the combination himself.

but you don't know, maybe Harry, Keith and probably Graham Chapman did mix lime and coconut whilst they were out on the lash one evening, either to drink because they thought it was class, or simply to give to Ringo. i would probably give it to Ringo to drink.

my conclusion, then, is that putting the lime in the coconut to drink it all up, to make you feel better, is quite possibly a euphemisim for something else, or it is an indication that not all things that make you feel better taste good. or it's just something that Harry liked. or Harry tried, didn't like, but shoved it in a song to see if anyone would try it some, what, 42 years after he recorded it.

feel free to give it a try, or if you like please sign my petition if you have been amused or impressed by my efforts here. now if you will excuse me, i feel the slightest of bellyaches, so i am going to call a doctor.




be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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