From Our Listeners

Letters: Eurozone Lifeboat; Buffalo

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Melissa Block reads emails from listeners.


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 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 and click on Contact Us.

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