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MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE

THIS MAN’S NEW TWIST ON AN FORMULA HAS DELIGHTED YOUNGSTERS!

J.E. Stephens was born in a small coastal town in Canada, and still lives there. His whole life has revolved around the ocean. He has fished. He has boated. 

But his favorite thing about the ocean is the bottles. From time to time, he has seen them wash up on the beach, ringed with seaweed of covered with barnacles, and with messages inside them. “I always liked those,” said Stephens. “They are pieces of the past. You’d read them and they’d be like ‘Hi I am a lonely kid in England in 1955’ or something in Japanese.”

Last year, Stephens was walking on the beach when he came up with a new variation. “As much as I like messages in bottles, they are part of an era gone by,” he said. “Now everyone texts. Then suddenly I had a thought.”

His thought: put cell phones with text messages in bottles before launching them into the ocean.

NOT EVERYONE WAS ON BOARD

Friends were skeptical. “He talked to me about it, and I’m like, what?” said Tina Ratopa, who has dated Stephens off-and-on for two years but describes the two as “acquaintances.” 

But Stephens was determined. “I texted myself a message,” he said. “It said ‘Hi. I am J.E. Stephens, and if you get this message, text me back.” Then he put his phone into a jar—it wouldn’t fit in a traditional bottle—and threw it into the roaring surf off the coast. 

A moment later, he realized what he had done. “I might have realized it a minute before,” Ratopa said. “First of all, how is someone going to text you back when your phone is in the jar? Second of all, your phone is in the jar.” 

Stephens tried to jump in and retrieve his phone, but Ratopa stopped him. “The waves are huge,” she said. “And there are rocks. And there are sharks. And he can’t swim. All in all, not a well-thought-out plan.”

THE KIDS LOVE IT!

Still, some people liked the plan, including Stephens’ nephew Andrew. “It was hilarious,” he said. “I have never heard of anything that stupid. And he’s not a good uncle. Honestly, he’s a jerk. I’m thrilled that this happened to him. In fact, I can’t tell you how happy it made me. I’m delighted.”

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