The Sydney Iceberg

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On April 1, 1978 a barge appeared in Sydney Harbor towing a giant iceberg. Sydneysiders (as residents of Sydney are known) were expecting it. Dick Smith, a local adventurer and millionaire businessman (owner of Dick Smith Foods), had been loudly promoting his scheme to tow an iceberg from Antarctica for quite some time. Now he had apparently succeeded.Smith said that he was going to carve the berg into small ice cubes, which he would sell to the public for ten cents each. These well-traveled cubes, fresh from the pure waters of Antarctica, were promised to improve the flavor of any drink they cooled. The cubes would be marketed under the brand name ‘Dickciles.’

A radio station reporter kept up a live broadcast from the iceberg (christened the Dickenberg 1) as it made its way into the harbor. Excitedly the entire city waited to catch a glimpse of the curiosity. Boaters who traveled out to meet the berg were given complimentary cubes.

Then it began to rain.

The water washed away the firefighting foam and shaving cream that the iceberg was really made of, exposing the white plastic sheets beneath. In this degraded condition the Sydney Iceberg sailed proudly on, floating past the opera house and city skyline. Boaters who now joined the procession were still given free cubes… though the cubes actually came from the onboard beer refrigerator.

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