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The Impatient Pirate of Cornelia Street

November 7th, 2010 · 72 comments

Jess found this amazing treasure trove of notes — beginning, middle, and (sort of) end — while walking down Cornelia Street in New York’s West Village.

I have misplaced an old, wooden chest.


Someone must have seen or heard something about a wooden chest recently!!




related: Rene’s letters, nothing but lies!

FILED UNDER: CAPS LOCK · most popular notes of 2010 · New York · saga · WTF?

72 responses so far ↓

  • #1   marathonmom

    those are awesome!

    Nov 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #2   lagne

    I love how even the masking tape on each note became progressively more enraged.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm   rating: 175  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Canthz_B bang

      True. The last one even has crossed-bones!

      Nov 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   lagne

      I know, right? Brought the whole “pirate” analogy full-circle. Amen.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #3   ClearlyDemented

    These are the rantings of a crazy person. I know because this is what goes through my mind whenever I can’t find something in the fridge.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm   rating: 70  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   shwo! bang

      Is your roommate Michael Calvez?

      Nov 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

  • #4   Wow

    If I knew this person, this would make me want to steal random items of theirs.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Jesso

      Or just hide their belongings inside their own house. I used to do that to my brother when he got on my nerves. He never figured it out.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm   rating: 39  small thumbs up

  • #5   zenvelo

    When I googled Michael Calvez, it turns out he’s in Philadelphia! No wonder he hasn’t seen the notes.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 6:47 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #6   farcical aquatic ceremony

    Putting up lost dog/cat posters up and down the neighborhood streets I get, but I think passers-by are unlikely to have seen a wooden chest scampering about…unless it’s an animated piece of furniture, a la ‘Beauty and the Beast’..? If that’s the case, & that little sucker’s got an irresistable-little-British-kid-accent, there’s no way the note writer’s ever getting that cutie back!

    Nov 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm   rating: 52  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   harmonicpies

      Unless it’s made of sapient pearwood, in which case it has probably eaten Michael Calvez.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 1:03 am   rating: 52  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Crystallinediva

      Discworld FTW!!

      Nov 8, 2010 at 7:37 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   The Elf

      If it is made of sapient pearwood, and has hundreds of tiny legs to allow it to scamper about, DO NOT APPROACH THE LUGGAGE.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 7:39 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #7   Go Phillies!

    I live in Philly. I’m going out to buy a roll of masking tape and I’m going to hunt down Michael Calvez!

    Nov 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Canthz_B bang

      I’d go with duct tape for that adventure if I were you. :-)

      Nov 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   pony girl

      Yes, definitely duct tape.
      And don’t forget the adult diapers, the wig and the steel mallet.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Woman on the Verge bang

      You might want to take Claw with you. I don’t think this is for novices.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 7:33 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Canthz_B bang

      Yeah, I think claw already has little Michelle Calvez in his lair…the addition of Michael would enhance the value of his collection!

      Nov 8, 2010 at 8:27 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #8   Elsajeni

    By the third note I would be pretty sure there was a body in that chest.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 7:05 pm   rating: 64  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   pony girl

      I’m thinkin’ maybe his meds are in that chest.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm   rating: 50  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   notolaf

      I was thinking either a body or the Ark of the Covenant.

      Nov 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #9   Twez

    I was hearing those last few notes in the voice of Shirley McLaine in Terms of Endearment. GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!!!!

    Nov 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #10   Canthz_B bang

    Maybe it’s a full rack of antique breast prostheses that matches their peg leg.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #11   frankenmouse

    This is, frankly, amazing. I can’t even tell if it’s the rantings of a lunatic or someone pulling an elaborate prank. Either way…great post.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #12   Canthz_B bang

    Looks like someone took “Facebook Wall” a bit too literally.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #13   QuikLives

    On my first read through in my RSS, I assumed this must be a joke. Isn’t it?

    Now I feel unsure.

    Also, comment #2 is hilarious, I had to scroll back up to examine the masking tape.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #14   Canthz_B bang

    A man was found dead in the West Village today.

    Authorities say the body of Michael Calvez was found in an alley, stuffed into a wooden chest with nondescript carvings upon it.

    No motive was given for the slaying, but a note reading “My chest…Your coffin” was found pinned to the victim’s clothing.

    Please call 1-800-CRIME-STOPPERS before we lose our patience.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm   rating: 100  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Resident Grammarian esq bang

      Authorities also say that Mr. Calvez seemed to have a wad of masking type shoved up his arse.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Susann

      @ Canthz..Hahahahahahahahaha….deep breath….hahahahahahaha. Thank you for that laugh. I needed it. :~)

      Nov 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   Kate V.

    I’m reminded of a ‘Kids in the Hall’ sketch.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   argyle

      LOL, that’s exactly what I thought of too! :D

      Nov 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   FeRD bang


      Nov 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #16   Canthz_B bang

    These cries for help need to be answered. Perhaps someone could leave the phone number for the Psych Ward at Bellevue Hospital on the sign.
    They may not be able to provide a wooden chest, but they have plenty of padded rooms there.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:40 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #17   pony girl

    So, is that slander or libel? I always get those mixed up.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Canthz_B bang

      I think the legal term is “bat-shit crazy”, but don’t quote me on that.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm   rating: 35  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   pony girl

      So, if I do quote you on that, is it slander or libel?


      Nov 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   banneduntilmonday

      I always remember it as “libel is written slander”. . .

      Nov 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #17.4   Canthz_B bang

      It all depends. If Michael Calvez actually has the chest, it’s neither.
      If he does not, the note is libelous, but only if it has caused him some demonstrable harm.
      No harm, no foul.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #18   aaa bang

    Did they ever stop to think that maybe the wooden chest wants be missing?

    Nov 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #19   wheezeew

    Of course, “Michael Calvez” is an anagram for “Mac leave zilch,” therefore an obvious reference to Foucault’s Pendulum.

    Nov 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   Canthz_B bang

      Yeah, but can you tie Foucault’s Pendulum to Kevin Bacon?

      Nov 7, 2010 at 11:02 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #19.2   Rattus

      Le Pendule de Mme Foucault featured Alfred David, who appeared in Shopping which featured Marie Trintignant, who appeared in The Islands, which featured Maximillian Schell, who appeared in Deep Impact, which featured Ron Eldard, who appeared in Sleepers, which featured – you guessed it – Kevin Bacon.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 8:15 am   rating: 31  small thumbs up

    • #19.3   Canthz_B bang

      I hereby turn over the $5.00 gift card to a local Rolls Royce dealership to you.

      Well done, pass it on when you see a worthy comment.
      No, it’s no unitard, but perhaps we can start something new! :-)

      Nov 8, 2010 at 8:34 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.4   Rattus

      Part of me feels that I should join you in the philanthropic endeavour of passing along the RR gift card to the next worthy recipient, but the greedier (and, I admit, more powerful) element of my character is insistent that I keep it until I accumulate enough to acquire my own Spirit of Ecstasy. It will look awesome wired to the handlebars of my Schwinn.

      So…thanks for the card.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 9:50 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #20   LainTexas

    Canthz wins!

    Nov 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Canthz_B bang

      Great, another $5.00 gift card to my local Rolls Royce dealership! :-P

      Nov 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #20.2   wheezeew

      Belbo swings, a pendulum that is not Foucault’s. Casaubon, foreknowing that the Conservatoire, because of an obscure connection with Sir Francis Bacon, would be the locale of the kind of ceremony he has seen before, particularly in Brazil, witnesses all from his hiding place among the artifacts of the technical museum.

      Nov 7, 2010 at 11:41 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #20.3   Canthz_B bang

      Damn! I knew I should have specified that it be comprehensible to the common man! :lol:

      Nov 8, 2010 at 12:10 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #21   Canthz_B bang

    This whole thing is giving me chest pains.

    Dude is having a heart attack over an old box?


    Every box has value inside…you just have to know how and where to find it!! :-P

    Nov 8, 2010 at 12:36 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #22   Daniel

    “It has a black iron hinge with a padlock and some weird, meaningless symbols engraved on it. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRANSLATE THEM AS CUNEIFORM AND SUMMON THE DEMON ABEZETHIBOU … ”

    BTW, how do you “misplace” a chest?

    Nov 8, 2010 at 2:11 am   rating: 29  small thumbs up

  • #23   Pylgrim

    How do you misplace a wooden chest to begin with? I can only summon the image of this crotchety old pirate in the middle of one of many relocations of his treasure chest, whose hilariously incompetent lackey left on a departing truck while stopping to tie his shoelaces.

    Nov 8, 2010 at 3:28 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   The Elf

      Thankfully, there is a tried and true way to recover the crotchety old pirate treasure.

      1) You have to escape from prison, where you’ve been held for 20 years hard labor for tax evasion.

      2) Find your son, who has the map tattooed on his head.

      3) Go on a “botantical expedition” (arr, killin plants) to the remote island where your treasure is buried.

      4) While the rest of the crew is distracted by the inhabitants of the island, who not so incidentally are your enemies, you find the beach and the tree you used as a marker.

      5) Remembering that you were drunk when you buried it, stagger, stagger, crawl, crawl to the spot.

      Easy as pissing on an imported hedge.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 7:48 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #23.2   Canthz_B bang

      6) Cry like a bitch when you find there is now a Club Med on that exact spot!!

      Nov 8, 2010 at 7:51 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #23.3   Captain Calypso

      And then he’ll cry even more when he sees the fat men in speedos. Ah, Club Med.

      Nov 9, 2010 at 9:24 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #24   Laurie

    …..and in that wooden chest was the key to her chastity belt.

    Michael Calvez had been entrusted with the task of making sure she never got her hands on it. For if she did, the devil’s minions would be unleashed.

    Nov 8, 2010 at 4:18 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #25   chesty mcgee

    As I was reading this, I kept picturing the note writer as Jack Nicholson from “The Shining ” getting progressively crazier till he breaks down poor Michael’s door with an ax…

    Nov 8, 2010 at 6:12 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #26   anglophile bang

    That box was made from the wood of a certain tree that grew in a certain garden in London. That tree was planted back in the time of our great-great-grandfathers by a boy named Diggory. He planted it from the seed of a delicious apple he brought back from his travels to a strange world. The chest was used to store old fur-lined boots and kept in a room in Diggory’s old country house, a room which held only one other thing: an old wardrobe where Diggory inexplicably kept dozens of old fur coats. If you happen to be staying in the old country house because bombs are falling on London, you might be tempted to hide in the chest when you play hide and seek with your siblings.

    I wouldn’t. Those boots stink.

    Nov 8, 2010 at 6:18 am   rating: 32  small thumbs up

  • #27   Habitual

    This is outstanding.

    Also (and I could be wrong about this) I’m fairly certain it was a Seinfeld episode. Apparently wayward wood chests are not uncommon on the ol’ isle.

    Nov 8, 2010 at 6:56 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #27.1   Rattus

      If not a Seinfeld episode, I am certain you could find some reference in either the Bible or the works of Shakespeare. Those three sources cover nearly every eventuality known to man.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 9:55 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #27.2   Meesh

      Also, the Simpsons.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 11:35 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #28   Woman on the Verge bang

    I really can’t help but wonder if Michael Calvez returned the chest within the deadline and what became of him, the notewriter, the chest, and the masking tape.

    Nov 8, 2010 at 7:38 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   The Elf

      I know! It was Michael Calvez, in the chest, with the masking tape.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 10:49 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #29   ClearlyDemented

    Did Notewriter ever stop to think that, perhaps, Michael didn’t want to leave his number, for fear that a common chest thief would call and con him out of the chest that is rightfully Notewriters, and no one else’s?!

    Nov 8, 2010 at 9:45 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #30   Savannah

    Well, they definitely convinced me that this chest is not important. They clearly only want it back for sentimental reasons.

    This is the most intriguing series of notes I’ve ever seen.

    Nov 8, 2010 at 11:29 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #31   TippingCows

    I’m so glad I’m not Michael Calvez.

    Nov 9, 2010 at 12:28 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #32   Captain Calypso

    Inside this chest is a portal. A portal to another world. A world of meaningless symbols and strange occurrences. A world that exists only within the mind of Michael Calvez. A world we call…
    The Twilight Zone.

    Nov 9, 2010 at 9:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #33   divaandwriter bang

    Who is Michael Calvez and why is he hiding in an old chest?

    Nov 9, 2010 at 9:34 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #33.1   Canthz_B bang

      Because he couldn’t score with a young one?

      Nov 10, 2010 at 12:38 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #34   DC

    The unconvincing reassurance that THERE IS NOTHING IN THE BOX DO NOT OPEN IT and vague reference to weird lettering makes me wonder if there is perhaps a copy of the Necronomicon inside? Sounds a little Lovecraftian to me.

    On another topic, Brad Pitt sez (frantically): “What’s in the box???”

    Nov 11, 2010 at 5:10 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #35   xhielle

    Lolz.. XD He/She seems really mad at the last image.. poor tape

    Nov 23, 2010 at 3:08 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #36   paranoidandroid

    alright, alright, who gave the deranged person on access to a computer, printer and masking tape??? lol

    Dec 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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