A Distress Signal in a Bottle

It’s a beautiful Friday afternoon on Monterey Bay. I am motoring back slowly from fishing. Incidentally, when I say “fishing” I mean the activity objectively described. Whether it poses any danger to any fish is another issue.

About one third of a mile from the Santa Cruz harbor mouth, I detect a bottle floating in the low surf. The distance may be important. Skillfully, if I say so myself, I maneuver my boat  next to the bottle and I scoop it up with my  large net.

I open it at home perhaps because of an obscure wish to have witnesses. It’s a small Miller beer  bottle. It’s shut by a plastic wine bottle cork. Inside are five objects:

Another plastic cork;

A small purple plastic object of no obvious use or origin;
A Polaroid picture of two young guys. It’s taken in a room. The guys have small smiles on their faces like people  caught unaware by someone with a camera. They are sitting at at table seemingly doing nothing in particular.

A half-erased note scribbled on a scrap of yellow paper. It’s damaged by slight contact with sea water. But you can still read that it describes two young men drifting at sea. They say they left from Oregon but you can’t read from where. They says they are drifting South and they think they are off California.  They declare that they don’t know their coordinates. They ask for help in clear terms;

A pinch-full of cannabis in good enough condition to be used after drying.

What would you have done?

What would Obama do?
What would Romney do?

Are there any questions I can answer for you?

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About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English. When I write in French, I often use my middle initial “J” to avoid confusion with another blogger with views very different from mine. I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!)
This entry was posted in Commentaires politiques en Francais, Socio-Political Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Distress Signal in a Bottle

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    I would call the police and smoke the cannabis later. Obama would send out the coast guard. Romney would blame their problem on ‘the Kenyan in the white house’ and call for a tax cut on ‘job creators’.

  2. Bruce Whetstone says:

    I would have determined that the likelihood of them still being adrift AND alive was near zero, given the distance from Oregon to Santa Cruz, and the time for the bottle to drift in the currents could be in the range of 2+ years. If search was attempted, it would have been long ago and based upon missing persons filings. I would then have contacted law enforcement in Oregon, to determine if they were interested in the photo and note, on the chance that the individuals were rescued (or not), to match against any open or closed cases. Reaction from both Obama and Romney would be similar – delegate the response to some lower-level functionary – after all, they have campaigning to do.

    What kind of help did the note ask for? Search and rescue? Smart pills? Foreign aid? Navy Seals? Trained dolphins to pull them back to shore?

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