Last week my brother and I caught a screening of “All Is Lost,” the new Robert Redford movie about a man lost alone at sea. It’s a superb film, and well-worth watching. The only disappointment my brother and I had was that there was no tiger on board. From now on whenever I watch a person-alone-on-a-boat movie I expect to see a tiger or a likewise deadly feline. There’s my quick one paragraph review.

In the film there’s a scene where Redford’s character, simply credited as “The Man,” scribbles a message, puts it in a large plastic jar, and throws it into the water. You know, a message in a bottle.

Does anyone do the whole message in a bottle routine anymore? I never have. It strikes me as an activity enjoyed in a world predating computers, the internet and smartphones.

So I’m going to do myself favor and write some notes, shove them in a bottle, and send them out to sea. Hopefully they’ll sail away to some faraway exotic lands like Bali, Galápagos or Portland.

The notes are below. Wish me luck. And yes, those aren’t bottles. They’re jars. I don’t have bottles. I don’t have bottle money. Just jar money. Jars do it for cheap and they’ll do the stuff bottles say no to.  And does it really matter that they’re jars? I mean, when I launch them off the Santa Monica Pier they’re probably just going to hit some hapless tourist in the head, thus negating this fool’s errand.

The notes and jars.

Dear Boater, My fellow dolphins and I have evolved and learned to write. We would like to inform you that our school plan to kill you, eat you, and then let what remains fall to the bottom-feeders. Screw off. — Flipz from the P.O.

To Office Manager: I’m the one who stole Eddie’s Diet Coke from the office fridge. I have no intention of telling him or replacing it because Eddie’s always been kind of a dick. — No Longer Thirsty on the Third Floor

Dear Kind Stranger, Even though we had plenty of provisions on the lifeboat I immediately turned to cannibalism. Because I’m a leader, not a follower. — No Longer Hungry on the Lifeboat

Dear Gertrude, We’ve known each other for so long I can’t even count the years. I’ve always wanted to tell you that I… (bottom eaten in lieu of food)

Dear “Best Friend,” Remember when you said you’d help me move/take me to the airport/let me crash on your couch for a few months? And then you flaked at the last minute? I remember. And so does your God. — Your Former Roommate

The dolphin in me says “yes,” but the shark in me says “no.” — Sharkfin

I was the shooter on the grassy knoll. — Sniper Rifle


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