29 Jun 2007

Global Warming Update

Eskimos Spot First Palm Tree

In an especially inarguable event that global warming is proceeding apace, a group of Eskimos noticed – while hunting for caribou on the sort of unusually balmy day that they’ve been experiencing with ever-growing frequency – a tree they were not familiar with, growing high above the tundra.

Priding themselves on knowing the flora and fauna of their land, they puzzled over the strange growth.

“Look,” one said, “a tree I never saw before.”

“No branches,” another one puzzled.

“Even a bear couldn’t climb it,” a third one noted.

Then one of them pointed to the groups of large roundish green objects in the high and odd-looking leaves, known in warmer climes as palm fronds. “Look,” he speculated, “big fruit, maybe.”

Just then one of the ovoid objects happened to break loose and fall toward them.

Unfortunately, for the fellow who had just identified it as fruit, the object hit him on the head and, being rather heavy and hard, it knocked him out.

When he awoke, he felt the lump on his head, and concluded, “Not very ripe.”

Respecting the environment, as all Eskimos are famously known to do, except when poaching, they decided not to chop the tree down to take it back via dogsled for identification but to settle for returning with the unidentified object that had hit their unsuspecting fellow villager on the noggin.

When they got back to their village, they went straight to the village elder, who was revered for many reasons, one of them being that he was the only resident of the village who, one year when the salmon catch had been especially bountiful, had managed to wangle a trip to Florida.

When he saw the strange object, his brows fretted and he looked up, saying, “I thought you went caribou hunting?”

“We did,” one of the hunters replied.

“I did not know that there are caribou in Florida,” he said, questioningly.

“Florida?” another hunter asked, now even more mystified.

“Yes, because as far as I know, this thing only grows in Florida. As you know, once, in my younger days, I went there for a mid-winter break.”

“Then you know what it is?” the fellow who had been hit on the head with it asked.

“Yes, he replied. “It’s called a coconut.”

“Coconut?” they variously puzzled, passing it around for another look.

“Yes,” the elder confirmed. “Where did you find it?”

“In a tree we never saw before.”

“And where did you see this tree?” the wizened man questioned.

“In caribou country,” one of the hunters affirmed.

“I swear,” another added.

“Then,” he told them, “thanks to global warming, our way of life is about to change. You have found a palm tree in Alaska.”

“Palm tree?” they wondered.

“Yes,” he said, and whacked the coconut with a large knife.

He savored a sip of the nectar within and, passing the coconut around so the hunters might experience the milky delectation, he concluded, "And so, if I live long enough, maybe I will get to enjoy the climate of Florida without having to make another trip there.”


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