So, good for him, he’s got some coconuts, you might be thinking. And if you are, you’re probably not well-versed in early-to-mid-20th century British street fair terminology. That “roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch” is a pitch of a different sort, from a barker or “carn-y”. You know, they of the pingpong ball/goldfish bowl or balloon-dart toss. The game in question is a “coconut shie”, where, for a penny you could pitch a ball at a coconut on a post. Knock it off, win a prize.

Games like these are where we get “close but no cigar”. It was a popular refrain from the barkers, as cigars often served as prizes. Not for the kids, who got… the leftover coconuts. Dumb kids.

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