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Culture
  |  
Environment

Barney the Wayward Christmas Barge

An epic poem in the sea (not) going tradition.

Steve Burgess 26 Nov 2021 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

Barney the Wayward Christmas Barge,
Could not be towed, he was too large;
He parked himself at English Bay,
With plans to hang 'til Christmas Day.

While lesser barges came and went,
Big Barney sat there quite content,
He loved his spot there on the shore,
Where he had visitors galore.

Besides, Big Barney had a dream,
He’d heard of carol ships that gleam
With festive lights, an old tradition,
And Barney wanted to audition.

But local bigwigs did not care,
To answer Barney’s fervent prayer.
They summoned to the bay a boat,
And swore they’d make poor Barney float.

The tug boat tugged, it huffed, it wheezed,
But Barney languished at his ease,
For Barney was a weighty craft,
As big as William Howard Taft.

No matter how much they begrudged,
His presence there, he never budged.
He wants to share our holiday,
A Christmas spent at English Bay.

But hark! they cried, a King shall come!
Not Jesus — it’s a tidal one.
A rising tide that lifts all boats,
At last, they swore, that barge will float.

Now time alone will tell the tale,
If Barney can be made to sail.
But I for one would love to see,
Our civic leaders let him be.

It would be best for me and you,
A windfall for the city, too.
Make tourists pay a cover charge,
For photographs with Barney Barge.

Why not let Barney hang around?
A symbol for our seaside town.
A giant barge beached on the rocks,
Makes more sense than a vapour clock.  [Tyee]

Read more: Environment

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