CONNECTICUT (NBC/WVID) - You've heard of a message in a bottle, but how about a phone number on a pumpkin?
This is a story of survival from Hurricane Sandy, one where the stakes weren't very high.
"We weren't expecting anyone to find them or where they'd show up," said John Chambers, Shelly's Garden Center owner.
With no customers on the Monday of Hurricane Sandy and more pumpkins than they knew what to do with, Shelly's Garden Center decided to try something.
"Well, we know pumpkins float, so we put a message on the pumpkins," said Chambers.
The family left six pumpkins along the Branford shore, inscribed with a message asking anyone who found the pumpkins to call the store.
And already five have been found -- some as far away as Milford and West Haven. That's where Angelo Nista found a tide-tossed gourd.
"My little granddaughter said, 'Oh, Papa, look! There's a pumpkin,'" said Nista.
"This is the equivalent of a message in a bottle -- only on a pumpkin," said employee Taylor Chambers Scussel.
Hurricane Sandy reminded us of the devastating strength of Mother Nature, but I guess it also reminded us of the amazing strength of the pumpkin and the Sharpie.
"Pumpkins bounce and roll, and they float," said Chambers.
But they can also apparently take a water wallop, a surf shellacking, a tidal tirade -- while only sustaining a few gourd gashes.
"Message still on the pumpkin and in great shape," said Chambers. "You could still make a pumpkin pie out of this one."
While a pie might not be the best call -- with who knows what polluting the water from Sandy -- these pumpkins are providing a small, silly diversion from an otherwise difficult last few weeks along the Connecticut coast.