Inexhaustible Coconut - Revisited

by Professor Spellbinder

Before we can revisit the Inexhaustible Coconut, we'd better visit the old, old Illusion from the heydays of the Big Stage Illusion show.

The Illusionist displayed a large basin on a stand in the middle of the stage, shaped like an over-sized bird bath. There was water in the basin, which the Illusionist demonstrated by dipping a half coconut into the basin, filling it with water and pouring it out back into the basin. He did this a few times just to get the audience used to the idea, and on the last time, the coconut began to gush forth water on its own. The water filled the basin up to the top, then the water overflowed into a second larger basin on the floor. It looked as if it would never stop.

This Illusion did not do well standing alone, so usually more water was added to the ending. The magician dropped the coconut into the basin to end the flood. Then he dipped his wand into the basin and a stream of water squirted up from his wand. He held the wand in the middle and water began streaming up from both ends. He put his finger in one stream and now his finger began streaming water into the air. Every object he touched with the wand began to shoot a stream of water into the air. By the end, the entire stage was filled with these impromptu fountains of water streaming out of assistant's heads and fingers, etc. It was a good act to end the show, because all you could do afterwards was mop it all up from the soaking wet stage floor. It also made the stage electricians very nervous.

Because it was so messy and so dangerous around electricity, it had a short life and that's why I felt it was necessary to explain the old version which is rarely seen these days. So why would I want to revise such a messy, dangerous illusion? Because in the bad old days, they didn't have what we have!

Today's Effect:

The Wizard shows a whole coconut that he says came from a coconut tree on Devil's Island. The water from this coconut contains a powerful potion used in the dark arts. On any other island, stranded sailors would be glad to find coconuts to get the fresh water they contain inside. But on Devil's Island, the coconuts are deadly. He offers to demonstrate. He waves his wand at the coconut to open it, and it splits into two halves. He pours the coconut water back and forth from shell to shell, showing that it appears to be ordinary water.

Now the Wizard picks up a bucket, and tossing away one of the half-shells, he pours the water from the other into the bucket. Then he scoops it up and pours it out again, several times. The last time, the water continues to flow from the coconut without having to be dipped back into the bucket. The Wizard explains that this surprising ability of the coconut often caught sailors off guard and some were known to drown in the unexpected water gush. If they had brought any of these coconuts into their row boats to take off the island, the boats would fill up with water and sink, leaving the sailors at the mercy of the sharks. By now the bucket is over flowing with water and the Wizard holds it over a large wash basin to catch the overflow.

What sharks? Why sharks drawn to the blood that then began to flow from the evil coconuts. The Wizard shows that blood is now pouring from the coconut. If the sailors had not gotten off the island, the blood would attract predatory birds which would attack the sailors, but the sailors would have been able to kill the birds with their swords, so the coconuts had more magic to work. The flowing blood would change to brown swamp ooze, filling the whole island with a terrible odor of filth and decay worse than any cesspool. The ooze would attract flies and mosquitoes, which would in turn bite the sailors and give them terrible diseases. The sailors' swords were useless against this new plague.

If any sailors survived the first two plagues, the coconuts had yet one more terrible penalty. The brown swamp ooze would change to crude oil. Today we would be happy to have coconuts that make oil, but in the old days, sailors had no use for the stuff. The oil slick continued to gush from the coconuts covering the whole land, sickening all creatures and killing fish and marine life that live in the ocean surrounding the island. Sooner or later, there would be a flash of lightning, or a spark from an electric eel and the oil would begin burning, turning the whole island into a hellish scene. That's where it got its name, Devil's Island.

What the sailors failed to realize was that there was a simple spell they could say to turn off the coconut. All they had to do was say the word coconut backwards: TUN-OC-OC (ton-ok-ok)! When the Wizard says the word, the flow of black ooze from the coconut stops and the Illusion is over. If you wish to do the alternate ending, the water changes back to pure water again before saying the spell words and ending the flow of water.

Inexhaustible Coconut- Revisited
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