Saturday, February 12, 2005

Battle Orders for the Saltspring Provisional Army (SPA)

As your Commander, it is my duty to inform all units that our independent state is about to be invaded by US forces now marshalling in Friday Harbour. Determined not to have “another Cuba, kitty-corner from Fidel’s”, they aim to crush our revolution before it begins - although intelligence is still sketchy and they may just be planning a crackdown on Cuban cigars.

We must assume that the enemy shall be attempting to land elite units in the Bay of Fulford, with naval intrusions into Ganges Harbour.


Enemy plans call for their commandos to be disguised as OAP operatives who will arrive on a string of tour buses, commandeering the ferry Skeena Queen as a troop transport. Since the catering facilities on the Queen are dismal, we must assume that they will first try to seize Rose’s Cantina, avoiding the Resting Company (a notorious gray bar in their eyes, and certainly no Starbucks), with their ultimate target undoubtedly Patterson’s store with its last few copies of the Globe&Mail.

As the first tour bus climbs the ramp, Captain Warner will lead the charge by leaping up and grabbing the windshield wipers of the bus, (providing it is not raining), then neutralize their driver with Gaelic expletives.

Our women regulars will then hurl patchouli-scented leaflets through their windows, announcing that the Saturday market is cancelled to demoralize their troops, then slash the bus tires with their tree-planting mattocks.

As always, in their trademark tactic taught to them by the Ghurkhas, they’ll be chaining themselves to the back bumper, after the muffler has cooled down a bit. This action should trap the entire contingent, delay the next sailing another fifteen minutes, and form a good subject for a local film.


Our best men, battle-hardened by years of conflict with RCMP helicopters, will be held in reserve, first emptying the liquor store to deny succor to the enemy, after which they will pick up their high tech weapons at Radio Shack and move north to secure the Vesuvius Inn and ferry dock from possible seizure. There they will throw up a smoke screen, while monitoring ship movements in Sansum Narrows and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

In the long summer afternoons, we must try to maintain esprit de corps, with a belligerent posture to defray unwise incursions by enemy formations and wives. I shall personally be visiting these main units to stand alongside you.


More buses will arrive aboard the Queen of Nanaimo, this time bringing our Chinese reinforcements from Vancouver. All B&B operators must be on duty there to see that these volunteers are properly fleeced at Hastings House and then bivouacked into the surrounding hills.

All such accommodations must be prepaid before being issued, and the Army accepts all major credit cards. I need not remind you that approved Gucci apparel must be worn on the battlefield at all times. Sunglasses are a must, but these events are no longer sponsored by RayBan.


Our B-152 bomber is now fully armed with a solution of Cusheon Lake water mixed in with undercooked Tofu and Sushi. It is to fly down to Bangor, WA and let loose its fearsome payload over the Trident submarine pens. Needless to say, sub crews with the trots will want to scuttle their ships before long, and we can expect them to be out of the war indefinitely. Yes, it’s germ warfare and not quite Geneva, but look at what they’ve done to our loved ones, our Canadian dollars.


Our observers have confirmed that the USS Gates, supported by a task force including the pre-war USS Streisand will arrive at the mouth of the harbour beginning with the long weekend, and we have deployed our Russian submarine from Victoria’s inner harbour to Ganges Marina (for the summer only) to lie in wait for them. Admiral Ross should have her refloated and operational soon, and my orders are for the Moskovskaya to then pick its way through the minefield of crab traps - right out there on the Ganges fairway - and confront the foe.

In the meantime our surface vessel the Queen of de Nile will engage their flagships by first offering to sell them electricity, then quickly pushing aboard with Thrifty’s foods flyers (all prices in Canadian dollars) to spread panic among the crews’ quartermasters.

Meanwhile, forty Realtors otherwise too ambitious for combat will nonetheless be waiting in their Ganges offices and listening intently to Major Black on CBC Radio Sooke, for the secret word that will tell them when to all flush their toilets simultaneously. The resulting brown wave out in Ganges harbour is expected to soil the britches and Sperry’s of every enemy Petty Officer and send their fleet packing.

In this dire time I remind all personnel that Saltspring expects every man to be a beauty, and to call forth our rallying cry: “Remember the Cy Peck!”


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