We were trudging along a black sand beach on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii. It was myself, Dr. Wife, her mother, three kids, and my brother in law. We had elected to go snorkeling at a place that required about a mile walk down the beach because the beach in front of us was far too easy and, while sporting a few sea turtles and fish, we were sure this other place would be infested with swarms of turtles and schools – nay, universities! – of rainbow fish. And, of course, I had promised my kids a swarm of turtles perhaps even a “turtlecane”.
While on our walk we came upon an amazing house, known as the Bali House, in Kiholo Bay. According to a tourist guide book, I’d read on a previous visit the founder of Paul Mitchell hair stuff had built the house in Bali and then had it shipped to its current location in pieces.
I told everyone the story of the house’s creation as we walked towards it. A fun fact being that the crew in Bali had used green wood and so, when they got it to Hawaii, it warped and split all over. I love memorizing weird trivia and then boring the crap out of anyone within earshot whilst sounding like a know-it-all. I live for that.
While we were admiring the house, our son and my brother in law found a coconut and proceeded trying to crack it open with a rock. An older gentleman was watching them in a bemused fashion.
“Is that Paul Mitchell?” Dr. Wife asked.
“I think so. There’s that trademark beard and pony tail,” I remarked. “The guy you see in the commercials? Has to be him. Definitely.”
After a few minutes the guy walked out from his house, came over and handed my brother in law a green coconut and said, “if you’re going to work that hard at something, it should at least have a payoff.”
“Uh thanks,” he said.
“Is this your house?” asked my mother in law.
“Nah, I just work here.” He replied and walked back onto the property.
After he left I said with confidence. “That was totally Paul Mitchell!!!! He gave you a coconut!” We even got it open and ate it, too. We searched Paul Mitchell on our phones. Same dude’s picture came up and everything. What a cool vacation moment.
I’ve told this story with varying degrees of embellishment to lots of people.
So here I sit writing this story today and, naturally, I googled Paul Mitchell to get a good picture. Turns out he’s been dead for almost twenty years. My bad.
It was totally not Paul Mitchell. Now I have to tell everyone I was totally wrong. It was Paul Mitchell’s co-founder John Paul DeJoria, who also makes Patron tequila (yum). So even though the story sounds better the old way, a billionaire still gave us a coconut.