06 June, 2018

Welcome to the Inside of the Joke

You know how families are. There are jokes that no one gets except for family. The "You had to be there" kind of thing.

I have a big family, and there are lots of random inside jokes spanning decades, some of which apply more to certain family members than to others. Because "you had to be there." I want to share one of those stories.

A few years ago, at my parents' house in Indiana, my sisters, mom and I were working in the kitchen. Maybe it was Thanksgiving time or something. I was making a pie from a new recipe I found.  The others were working on different tasks.

This recipe called for toasted coconut to be sprinkled on top of the pie. Knowing there must be a set temperature and time for making the toasted coconut, as I spread it on the baking sheet I asked the room, "How do you toast coconut?"

Without missing a beat, one of my sisters raised her wine glass, said, "To coconut!" and continued what she was doing.

O.M.G. The laughter.

From that day on, whenever the family gets together, we always toast "To coconut!"

My brothers were both in other countries, so they missed the moment, but they participate now.

Fast Forward to 2018.
When my family shared a photo online of Easter dinner with everyone toasting coconut, I thought of buying 2 coconuts from the market in Beijing and sharing a picture of Brett and I actually toasting with coconuts, but it seemed extravagant since he doesn't really like coconut milk.
Now in Vietnam, coconuts are everywhere. Bars at the beach serve drinks in them. Bunches of coconuts rest in the doorways of coffee shops and tiny side-street restaurants, and the idea I had in Beijing is stronger. Now that one of my sisters is planning a visit later this year, the idea gained momentum.
Our view across the river in Hoi An at supper last night.

Last night, I did something about it. Brett had taken me down to Hoi an, an historic city that is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and we found ourselves grabbing supper and large tropical drinks in a river-side restaurant. Another of those places with a random pile of humongous coconuts sitting on the floor near the bar. When a small family nearby ordered coconut milk from the coconut and I saw just how huge it was, I had to do it.

It was the size of a basketball!

We ordered the giant coconut solely to get a picture of the two of us drinking from it so that I could share my "To coconuts" picture. (After a first sip for the photo, we had them add some rum to make it more palatable.)

No one else thinks this is a funny joke and I know that, but I love it. What about you? What do you do or say with family that no one else understands?


  1. I love your 'inside' joke. I thought it was funny. Those are huge coconuts. I can't think of any inside jokes in my family! But we are a bunch of jokers.

    1. A lot of my husband's family jokes are more visual. The "remember that time when" type thing.

  2. Your telling of the joke made me laugh. I'm still giggling. That is hilarious. You'll be toasting "to coconut" at funerals. As it should be.

    1. Yes! We will! My sister can be so funny.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.