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Monday, June 10, 2002

Ask Doug -- Coconut song

Q. My daughter, a teen, for some unknown reason, was trying to think of all the words to the song that starts out “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts...” Can you help?

— Abilene

A. First a response to your comment, “My daughter, a teen, for some unknown reason.”

Your daughter is a teen because she was born sometime on or between June 14, 1982, and June 13, 1989.

English songwriter Fred Heatherton wrote I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts in 1944 and in the late ’40s and early ’50s, both Merv Griffin, singing with the Freddy Martin band, and Danny Kaye had hits with it.

Now for the lyrics …

Down at an English fair one evening I was there
When I heard a showman shouting underneath the flair
I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts
There they are all standing in a row
Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head
Give them a twist a flick of the wrist
That’s what the showman said
I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts
Every ball you throw will make me rich
There stands my wife, the idol of me life
Singing roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch
Roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch
Roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch
Roll a bowl a ball, roll a bowl a ball
Singing roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch
I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts (they’re lovely)
There they are all standing in a row (one, two, three, four)
Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head (and bigger)
Give them a twist a flick of the wrist
That’s what the showman said
I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts
Every ball you throw will make me rich
There stands my wife, the idol of me life
Singing roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch (all together now)
Roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch (harmony)
Roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch
Roll a bowl a ball, roll a bowl a ball
Singing roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch


A nutty question

Q. You aren’t going to believe this, but I’ve got a strange pecan tree. This year, it produced a dozen or so pecans that were flat on one side. No, I didn’t just water one side of the tree. Last year, this same tree produced several pecans that were in perfect thirds, rather than the regular halves.

What’s up?

— Abilene

A. Let me ask you a few questions.

When you look in your backyard, is the grass mysteriously cut in strange concentric circles and other shapes?

Late at night, do you hear any whirring sounds or see any strange lights?

I tossed this nutty question to our new county horticulturist, Janet Laminack. She checked her sources and found that pecans in thirds are not all that uncommon. They are called “three-cornered pecans,” she said.

However, the flat-sided pecans this year are much, much more unusual. One local pecan grower suggested that you not enter them in the local pecan show.

Of course, a square pecan pie might be good.


How to hang Texas, American flags

Q. I just bought an American flag and a Texas flag at the Reporter-News. But, I don’t know which side of the front door to put which one. Can you help?

— Abilene

A. I thought I saw someone downstairs with a bewildered look … other than the bosses.

This was an easy one to find on the World Wide Web.

Several sources confirm that as you are looking at your house, you should put the American flag to the left side.

Hang with me and don’t get confused.

The right side has long been a position of honor, so the flag is on the right side, when you are leaving the house, or in other words the left side when you are looking at the house.

When you see the president speaking, the American flag is on his right side, or the left side when you are looking at him, unless you are looking at him from behind.

But it’s tacky to look at the president from behind.

The Web site for Quinn Flags and Banners revealed that the right-side honor position started when the right hand was the “weapon hand.” When the right hand was raised without a weapon, it was a sign of peace.

 

How to write to the White House Mrs.

Q. Oh Wise One, how could I e-mail or write to Mrs. Dick Cheney and Mrs. Barbara Bush?

— Abilene

A. You can e-mail Lynne Cheney at mrs.cheney@whitehouse.gov. If you want to get a message to first lady Laura Bush, her e-mail address is first.lady@whitehouse.gov

The snail mail address for either is: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500.

Barbara Bush and her husband get their mail at 10000 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77024. There is no public e-mail address for them.

Got a question? Send e-mail to williamsond@reporternews.com. Mail me at P.O. Box 30, Abilene, TX 79604. Leave me a message at (915) 676-6707. We can’t personally respond to all requests, but will try to print as many as possible. Ask Doug appears on the Life section cover Monday-Thursday. Doug also answers a question a week on the 6 p.m. KTXS-TV newscast.

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