Monday, February 06, 2006


55-year-old Harvey Bennett was a curious boat captain. Not bi-curious in a “I wonder what that would feel like” kind of way. But more like, “I wonder what would happen if I let sail five plastic bottles in the ocean off the coast of Long Island, NY.” Just your average, everyday curiosity about life and the world around him.

So last August, Harvey did just that – he let sail 5 plastic bottles in the ocean off the coast of Long Island, NY. And inside each bottle he included a message along with his address, asking for a reply.

Last month, believe it or not, Harvey actually got one! It was a letter sent all the way from England. Here’s what it read:

“I recently found your bottle while taking a scenic walk on the beach by Poole Harbour. While you may consider this some profound experiment on the path and speed of oceanic currents, I have another name for it, litter. You Americans don't seem to be happy unless you are mucking about somewhere.”

The letter was signed by Henry Biggelsworth of Bournemouth, Dorset. A fucking prick if ever a fucking prick there were.

“I kind of felt like no good deed goes unpunished,” said Harvey. It’s true, Harvey – not that your relatively harmless act of curiosity could be considered a good deed. Still, it certainly deserved a better reception than the venomous reply you received in the post. We have another name for uninspired cynics bent on ruining memorable life experiences for other people: asshole. That he took the time to scold you, and all Americans, in a thoughtfully crafted reply is a sad reflection of his dreary life.

If I were you, I’d return to your spot off the coast of Long island with a truckload of empty bottles, stuff them with cigarette butts and fast food wrappers, and send them off to your “friend” beyond the sea to thank him for his reply. “I recently received your reply and wanted to send along a token of my appreciation – several hundred glass castaways you can shove up your fucking ass, you cheeky bastard. Your friend, Harvey.”

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