The Wizard Of Coconut Grove

The Coconut Grove Farmers Market is really one farmer’s market. There are a couple other stands, but really only one of the stands sells produce. But what they lack in competitive pricing they make up with excellent prepared foods and an ideal locale for eavesdropping. All the temporary picnic tables are in close proximity so if you turn your ears the right way you can hear some amazing conversations.

As I was chowing down on a vegan strawberry shortcake (that is even better than it sounds) I tried to pay particular attention to the group to the left of me. There was an older guy with glasses, a white beard that would do Osama Bin Laden proud and a massive hat that looked like the top of a toadstool. He had a notebook that he was writing in. He was an oddball, but what made me want to overhear the conversation was the two guys sitting with him. They were twenty year old surfer dudes who appeared to have just snorted some glue. I particularly wanted to hear what was going on when my friend told me the blonde surfer dude was stroking his privates. The surfer dude’s shorts were still on but his motion definitely qualified as a stroke rather than a scratch as his hand went back and forth several times.

For some reason the acoustics weren’t that good. Was he their guru? Was he giving them advice about life? Love? Hair grooming? How to be more subtle when masturbating in public?

The surfer dude turned around and looked at me. Was I busted being a nosy Nancy? I turned my attention back to my dessert. The surfer dude kept looking around the vicinity. Then he asked the people at the table next to me, “Are you guys going to eat all that food?” The other diners quickly refused him. Like I said the food is tasty and expensive which is a combination which challenges people’s generosity especially when the beggar is a healthy looking kid with Nike sneakers.

The surfer dude turned back to the older guy, “What’s your name?”


“Your name’s Merlin?”

“It’s more of a title than a name.”

The surfer kid lost interest as he saw someone was going to throw away some food.  He ran towards them and brought back a container with salad in it. There apparently wasn’t much salvageable food because the kid dug through it and then got up to throw it away. On his way back he stood behind Merlin and mimed knocking off Merlin’s toadstool hat for his friend’s amusement.

This could not end well. I left before Merlin put a spell on the surfers turning them into shiitake mushrooms.


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