Dear Dr. Boli: In light of the current situation regarding the blockage of the Suez Canal, do you think it might be the proper time for suitable authorities to reconsider the route forged by General Chesney’s Euphrates Expedition? While I grant that towing cargo vessels via wagon across the Syrian desert might be a considerable challenge, the likelihood of ships being sunk by a hurricane strike on the Euphrates River remains an insignificant risk. If nothing else, it will probably be faster than the antecanalian route around the Cape. —Sincerely, Colin.

Dear Sir: It seems that every generation is doomed to have its Suez crisis. This should teach us something about canals and inland shipping in general. The clear solution, then, is not to dislodge ships when they become tightly wedged, but to send more ships after them, from both directions, until the entire canal has become one dense wad of ships. Then we can build a railroad across the decks.