Message in a Bottle
The Laguna Bluebelt Coalition is an advocate of marine conservation. A recent Indy article, “On the Hunt for Water Wasters” explains the coalition is expanding its mission inland. Holy Neptune. Adjust your sexton readers. The Bluebelt organization is making an evolutionary leap to dry land. What’s to be made of this Darwinian development? Conspiracy theorists abound. One basement dwelling theorist phoned in, “The Ocean is way polluted. Sharks have developed feet and are coming on land. Bluebelt volunteers are in hot pursuit. I’ve heard…” Then dead air. “Hello? Hello? Are you still there?” Harold come up to dinner. A doorbell rings. “Oh goody. It’s a candygram.”
Holy Poseidon. Grab a Trident spear, the land sharks are at the gates. Or are they? I decide to investigate. A Bluebelt volunteer explains, “No, there are no land sharks with feet. Let me assure the public that our inland mission is to educate inland communities about pollutants making their way into streams that empty into the ocean.” I think, so boring. So, I ask, “You’re sure sharks haven’t developed feet?” Door bell rings. “Hold on a sec.” Patter of feet. “Candygram.”
Oops. The jawboning ends with Bluebelt Volunteer #1. On to the next. “Hello. I’m an investigative reporter with the Indy. I understand you are a Bluebelt volunteer working on stream pollution from inland communities. I have a question for you. There’s one condition though. Don’t answer your door until we finish this interview. Yes, okay then. Here goes.
What put you on to the upstream pollution in the first place?” Volunteer #2 answers, “I’ll tell you, if you promise not to use my name.” I answer, “You have my word. Please spell your name for me.” Volunteer #2 goes on. “Well, it all began when we were cleaning up the estuary at Aliso Beach. We found a bottle with a message in it.” I got the tingle. I could feel the truth coming. “What did the message say?” Door bell rings. I scream, “Don’t answer. Tell me the message first.” Volunteer #2 says, “Fine. Quit yelling at me. It read: Dear Laguna Bluebelters, I hope you find this message in time. I’m being held against my will in a condominium complex near the 405. I can’t escape. Between the mortgage, condo assessment, parking garage charges, golfing fees, meal charges and social fees I’m trapped. I’ve been sending bottles and cans downstream to get someone’s attention. Please set me free. I heard, if I work for your fine city, there’s a relocation program that will subsidize my housing. I’m a good worker who deserves to live in a multi million-dollar home on the ocean. My resume follows in a can of Bush’s baked beans. Mine is the Southern Pit Barbecue. Throw away the maple cured bacon can. That’s my neighbor who’s copycatting. She doesn’t deserve a multi-million dollar home like me. Please send a search party. Sincerely, Mia Wayouttahere.
“Wow. That’s quite a story,” I remark. Door bell rings. Volunteer #2 says, “Can I answer now?” “Well, I don’t know. I guess if you don’t believe in land sharks. But be better safe than sorry. Ask who’s there?” “Okay,” agrees Volunteer #2. “Who’s there?” There’s a clearing of the throat. “Citygram. You’re sprinklers are watering the sidewalk. You’re in violation.”
Crantz tells the Indy that he never answers his door. He’s realized late in life that nobody’s there to give you money.