Hey, I decided to get off my fat semi retired ass and do another Top 6! “Fuckin’ Awesome!” I hear you thinking. I’m sure nobody’s life is affected one way or the other if I do or don’t do a Top 6, but if for some inexplicable reason it’s part of your Friday routine, I’m sorry it wasn’t here last week. Took a day trip to Cathedral Grove. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a provincial park outside Port Alberni that contains some of the tallest trees in the world. Pretty cool stuff if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.
That tree is almost 300 feet tall and 800 years old. You’re lying if you tell me you’re not thinking of cutting it down RIGHT NOW.
Now, even before I moved to Nanaimo, I visited the island a lot. My wife is from here and my parents retired to Chemainus. I’m intimately familiar with BC Ferries, so I was SHOCKED (can you hear my eyes rolling?) when they announced they’re going broker by the second and think they’re going to stem the bleeding by charging retired folks an extra 8 bucks to ride the ferry and cancelling round trip service from Nanaimo to Victoria. Now, I’m no businessman or economist, but I do have the occasional good idea, so here now:
My Top 6 ways to improve the BC Ferries Experience
6. Ban musical instruments
I don’t care if Eddie Van Halen is on the ferry, NOBODY wants to hear him play his guitar. Even more so, nobody wants to see a white guy with dreads that hasn’t showered in a week put his feet up and treat the Queen of the West End (I stole that boat name from TDM) to his rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Mother”.
5. BC Ferries Restaurant
Now, I know I said I’m not a businessman or an economist, but I truly believe I’m on to something here: Start a BC Ferries restaurant on land and put the profits back into the ferry system. Every time I have to take the ferry, I make sure to get on a morning sailing so I can take down an All Aboard Breakfast. I love that thing. It’s huge. Check out a photo:
That’s Lindsay’s hand trying to steal my bacon. Rookie mistake on her part. The star of that show is the hash browns that somehow taste like Manchu Wok even though (to the best of my knowledge) there’s never been a Manchu Wok on board.
4. A Bar
They’re putting slot machines on board. I don’t have a problem with that; I don’t think it promotes gambling at all. I think you’re already gambling every time you think your boat will be on time. Why not just get the revenue from an even bigger vice and open a bar on the ferry? I’m serious. You have a 2 hour cruise through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Who wouldn’t want a drink or two? I know a lot of people are driving at the other end of the voyage, but a lot of people AREN’T. There’s a LOT of money to be made if you can keep problem booze hounds in check.
3. Video Games
Get some up to date video games. Have you seen the crap they have on the boat? I shit you not, they still have Donkey Kong and the combo game where you can play Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man or SUPER Pac Man. That had a certain nostalgic charm 10 years ago, but who the heck is playing those games when even the crappiest Wind Mobile cell phone has better games than that? Better yet, why would I pump 8 bucks into a machine when I could buy the PacMan app for a buck? Top 6 within a Top 6 time! Old ass video games that would still be better than what they have now:
Paperboy (the one with the actual handlebars on the game)
Have you ever been on the ferry during a big game? Huge disappointment. Most of the boats don’t have tv and the ones that do always have it on the weather network or a Canadian news station. I heard of one guy (my dad) who was able to get the TV on a Canucks game, but most of the time you have to ask the chief steward who just looks at you like changing the channel will be the biggest hassle in the world. Pretty easy suggestion: Have at least one tv on sports at all times. If you can only be on the ferry tomorrow at 7, you shouldn’t have to miss the Canucks and Hawks. Ditto if you’re sailing Sunday when the Broncos take on the Pats.
1. Self-Serve Ice Cream
Come on. You knew this was #1: The soft serve ice cream policy. How can you have self serve ice cream for a set price and not expect jackasses like me to stack it up to ceiling height? YOU CAN’T. Yet for some reason, BC Ferries twitter says they want to see photos of the highest ice cream pile and the cashiers freak out and act like they just busted a 10 year old drawing wieners in a library book. TOTAL BS. Either embrace the pile or hire a guy to make my cone for me.
Paul DeBron is the former producer and on-air personality on the Team 1040. His popular feature “The Top 6″ now appears on Rob The Hockey Guy every Friday, except when DeBron is on “island time” (he lives in Nanaimo now). Follow him on Twitter: @MiltSeagull.
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