Letters: Eurozone Lifeboat; Buffalo

Nov 15, 2011
Originally published on November 15, 2011 6:50 pm
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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's time now for some of your recent letters. First off, last week, we aired a Planet Money story about how a eurozone country might safely get rid of the euro and reestablish its old currency. A British businessman, Simon Wolfson, is offering a prize of $400,000 for a good answer to that dilemma.

Wolfson told us he doesn't want the euro to fall apart. This contest is just a lifeboat in case it does.

SIMON WOLFSON: And, you know, no ship ever sunk for having too many lifeboats.

BLOCK: Well, that caught the ear of listener, Ben Vernaugh(ph) of Chicago, who points out that a ship did, in fact, once sink for having too many lifeboats. He sent us this nautical note about an incident in his city in 1915. He writes, the S.S. Eastland, a passenger ship with a top-heavy design, made even more unstable by the addition of a large number of lifeboats, capsized while docked on the Chicago River. Eight hundred forty-four lives were lost.

Moving on now to something a bit lighter, weighing in at more or less 1,900 pounds, last week, we heard from Jim Sautner about his pet buffalo - yes, buffalo - named Bailey, Jr. Sautner told us that Bailey, Jr. is like a member of the family. He takes rides in the Pontiac convertible, frequents the local bar with his owner and is even allowed in the house.

JIM SAUTNER: Well, let's put it this way. How are you going to stop an 1,800-pound buffalo from going where he wants to go?

BLOCK: Well, George Gekas(ph) of Bass Harbor, Maine got a kick out of that. He writes this comment at NPR.org. After a week of grim and somewhat horrific news, I was about to call it a day - call it a week, really - but then I stumbled upon Jim and Bailey, Jr., nearly fell out of the chair laughing. Couldn't think of a better drinking companion. We should all be so lucky.

And we're lucky to get your letters, so please do keep writing. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.