Posted by: thefitacademic | August 18, 2011

Meet Charlie

I’ve wanted to do this post forever (seriously, for like 6 months now), but have been unable to attain the appropriate collection of photos. Finally I bit the bullet and got it done – partially by tracking them down through friends, and partially by taking pictures of pictures (nice technique in a pinch!). So you may notice that some of the shots are actually pics of pics hanging on a wall. Just go with it Smile

This is Charlie.


Charlie is a coconut from Dominica. One of my lab-mates brought him back after a research trip to the country to present as a gift to our boss.

Our boss didn’t seem too enthusiastic about the present and he said that the coconut could “live” in our shared lab space, where we hold all of our meetings. At first my lab-mate was sad and felt like his present had been rejected. But the rest of us saw Charlie’s inner beauty and from there, he was adopted as our lab mascot.

Charlie started coming with us everywhere.


To dinner parties at friends’ houses


To meet new furry friends



To nights out at fancy restaurants


Even making appearances at Halloween festivities (though there were no togas available in his size)


He also likes to swim


and to enjoy the occasional adult beverage


and to sight-see in foreign lands (in Montreal, above).

He became a full-on bonefide  traveling gnome.

Eventually we found Charlie a girlfriend…a rotting pumpkin (it only seemed fitting)


But, alas, Charlie was meant to be FREE! His girlfriend was too clingy to allow him to do the traveling he desired (well….that, and she started to stink and attract knats).

Charlie has been to 3 countries (United States, Canada, and Dominica) and who knows how many more he’ll see in his days.

Have you ever had a traveling gnome (or anything else similar?)



  1. This cracked me up. I kind of love Charlie. Maybe I could send him love letters. And someday he could fly out here and meet me in person.

  2. No traveling gnomes here. But I am such a fan of lightening up life in any way possible….gnomes make people laugh!

  3. That is too funny! I’ve never had a travelling gnome…I’ve been in a few “Flat [insert name here] ” photos though!

  4. I LOVE Charlie!!!!!!!! That’s awesome 🙂 We don’t have a travelling gnome, but my daughter has a Yoshi backpack that has gone on many plane rides and several cross country destinations with us. 🙂

  5. Nice to meet u Charlie!!!

    We newer had a friend like that… the closest think that came into my mind right now is: We have a little pocket book, with short love poems, that is the birthday gift for everyone in our group… the same book passing from one to another 🙂

  6. Omg, I loved this!! Charlie is quite the looker too I might add! 😉

    I’ve always wanted to do a traveling gnome sort of thing, but in my history class in high school, our teacher would kill us with overhead projection slides/lectures so one of my friends cut out a little gingerbread-looking man and he was our class mascot making occasional appearances on the projector during classes. Good times, good times!

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