Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pontoon Lampoon

A new floating bridge has been built in my city, and everyone is fretting about what to do with the old pontoons. The current plan is to clean them up and sink them in 320 feet of water in the deepest part of the lake. I have other ideas...

I have been giving the old Kelowna bridge pontoons the benefit of my considerable insight and have come up with several practical and wonderful things to do with them. Some of them don’t even involve gunfire or explosives. I may have to take more medication.

Those of a historical bent could re-model them to resemble destroyers or battleships. We could use them as huge landing craft and have history buffs re-create D-Day by invading Penticton twice per day for the tourists. Perhaps Naramata could be dressed up as Caen and Summerland as Cherbourg for added realism.

I have this all worked out with the cities involved except for the paratroopers and the softening up aerial bombardment.

But then I had a better idea. We could moor the pontoons in the middle of the lake and bring in the Canadian Navy, and their gun, to use the pontoons for gunnery practice. For such a large body of water we are chronically under-served by naval forces in this region and I have written to the minister of defence on this matter several times. I’m sure his reply will be here shortly.

No military ships here you say? Well – let’s establish a large shipbuilding industry and build one! Vernon could be a new Belfast or other famous ship-building city whose name currently eludes me! I think a pocket battleship or aircraft carrier would suffice as a starting point (one that could fit under the new bridge of course)(perhaps in several sections that could be re-joined after passage underneath)(I am not a naval engineer).

Talk about tourism! Imagine sitting on a beach, binoculars to eyes, observing the shooting by our naval comrades. We could get the ships (well – ship) of the navy to circle around the lake on goodwill tours when they are not blasting the pontoons to bits. See? Efficient use of taxpayer dollars. I may have to run for office.

For added enjoyment, we could tie useless and annoying celebrities (sorry – redundancy there) to them and pepper them (the celebrities) with naval gunfire (preferably large caliber cannon). Imagine Britney Spears lashed to the side of a large pontoon, being blasted with grapeshot from passing frigates! Ahoy! Wouldn’t that be great?

OK OK – I know the sailors would probably untie her and hit her up for cigarettes and liquor – but it is still a pleasant visual, isn’t it?

In the same militaristic vein, the pontoons would make great anti-aircraft barges for aerial defense. In case of, you know, an invasion or something. Americans are starting to get twitchy about our water again – and this water is worth defending! Everyone to the battlements! Excuse me while I wipe the foam from my lips. No officer – I’m not finished yet. I promise I’ll calm down.

How about a real Exile Island for ourselves? We could use it as a destination for individuals who annoy us (well – annoy me anyway), starting with drivers who cannot merge properly, or annoying co-workers, or cabinet ministers, or people who chew with their mouth open – the possibilities are endless. Given the pontoons size we could accept annoyers from other municipalities too for added revenue.

Since drinking and boating seem to go so well together – why not a floating winery? If the vintage sucks then float the barrels out into the lake and let the Navy have at them with machine guns (see above). Better yet – let ME at the machine guns. I’d pay for that.

Do you sense a certain amount of aggression here? I’m terribly sorry.

Let’s put affordable housing on top of them and rent them out to hippies as waterfront property. Even better would be to attach the pontoons to a single cable and have them spin around (the pontoons, not the hippies). This would be an excellent drug re-hab program.

Let’s pile dirt on top of them, anchor them in the middle of the lake, and make gardens out of them. The Floating Gardens of BabbleOn!

Meh - I give up. If you are really going for highest and best use, lets look at them for what they really are – large grey slabs of concrete. The answer is obvious:

Government office buildings. Done.

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