Wednesday, October 08, 2008

“I’ll send an SOS to the world...”

It's the morning after the latest Presidential debate, and there is no better time to deal with some of the important issues of the day. From the pages of the Stamford Advocate, via USA Today, our attention is brought to a story spanning a generation:

A vacationer from Illinois found the clear glass Tab cola bottle -- sealed with a cork and an aluminum screw top -- on the island of Middle Caicos during a recent trip, the Connecticut paper says.

A note inside the bottle was dated Dec. 29, 1973.

"I am on the Vistafjord. Write back to Andrew Tallos," the message said in a child's handwriting, according to the paper. "324 Haviland Rd, Stamford, Conn. 06903."

The Advocate tracked down Tallos, who was 11 at the time he wrote the message and dropped it overboard...

It is probably well-known that cruise ships have very strict rules about throwing things overboard. But in the 16th century the English navy, among others, used bottle messages to send ashore information about enemy positions. Queen Elizabeth I even created an official position of "Uncorker of Ocean Bottles", and anyone else opening the bottles could face the death penalty.

Something I read once as a boy. We tend to remember those things somehow.

Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I'm not alone at being alone
Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home

Thanks, Sting.

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