Sunday, April 20, 2008

Official Correspondence of the President of the Republic of Estonia (a Reply to an Octogenarian American)

Irv Rastin
4884 M---------- Blvd., NW, Apt ---
Washington, DC 20007

President His Excellency Lennart Meri
Republic of Estonia
Weizenbergi 39, EE-0100
Tallinn, ESTONIA

24 November 1997

Dear Mr. President, Sir:

I recently spent two weeks fly-fishing in the Gulf of Finland (all I caught was a bad cold) and realized upon my return to these United States that I was missing my lucky bottle cap. Has it turned up?
It could’ve been lost at sea, but I suspect it may have fallen out of my pocket while I was visiting Tallinn. I vaguely remember hearing a metallic plink when I pulled some money out of my pocket to pay for some laxatives at the airport (I don’t know what it is, but I always, without fail, get plugged up when I travel). Perhaps what I heard was the sound of my lucky bottlecap falling to the floor, but I didn’t bother to check because all I could think about was moving my bowels, if you’ll forgive me.
Allow me to describe the bottle cap for you, should you have one in some sort of Estonian Lost and Found box. It has a golden hue and has “Blatz” printed on it in black ink, although the “atz” portion is mostly worn off since I rub it when I’m nervous or plugged up.

Why, you may ask, is this bottle cap considered lucky? Well, I’ll tell you why:
It was September of 1944. My country was at war (I couldn’t go because, sadly, I was born without a lap). I was an otherwise strapping young man who spent considerable time whiling away the hours at Mickey’s Bar in Dayton, Ohio. One night, there was a heavy-set lady sitting at the end of the bar, nursing a beer. She and I had been exchanging glances across the crowded room for several hours and, finally, I had the nerve to approach her.
I sidled up to her and ordered two Boilermakers. I winked at her and took the liberty of pinching her ample thigh, which I thought would be fine with her since, as far as I knew, we had made a “love connection.” She promptly gave me a sharp slap on my cheek. (I later realized that what I took to be her glancing over at me was merely her lazy eye. She came to forgive this misapprehension.) She stood up and wheeled round, heading for the door. A glint of light caught my eye. A bottle cap— the bottle cap— was impressed upon her rear end. She had sat upon it for so long that it had become stuck to her. It fell off her fanny just as she exited the bar. I stooped to pick it up as I pursued her into the parking lot.
The heavy-set woman, of course, is now my wife. Poppy and I have been married for 53 years, and I always treasured that bottle cap as a souvenir of our first, auspicious meeting.
As you can imagine, I’m keen to have it back. I’m enclosing US$2.00 for your assistance in tracking it down.

Drink and be Meri,



Mr. Irv Rastin
4884 M------------ blvd
NW #---

30 April 1998, No. 4-5.4/K-4100

Dear Mr. Rastin.

Thank you for your letter dated 24 November 1997.

We are very sorry that you have lost your lucky cork, but as you noted yourself, it is not clear where it could have happened. Unfortunately, the Office of the President of Estonia has no good news for you either, as it is impossible to find such an object after such a long time.

Hereby I return to you the 2 US dollars enclosed with your letter. I believe that your wedded happiness does not reside in this cork but rather in you and your wife Poppy.

We wish you long years with days filled with success, happiness and love.

Yours sincerely,
Andres Johannson
Deputy Director

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