COLUMN: Only bulletproofing needed is on my house

It’s so warm in Prince George, during the ongoing Canada Winter Games in that city, they had to shut down the outdoor speed skating oval...

It’s so warm in Prince George, during the ongoing Canada Winter Games in that city, they had to shut down the outdoor speed skating oval, and ship those athletes a few hundred miles north to Fort St. John, to an indoor oval.

And down here on the truly balmy coast, for the first time ever I had to cut my lawn in February. Truly unprecedented . . .  the earliest I have ever fired up the mower was March 1, and it’s usually not until the middle of next month when the grass growth kicks in.

Not only is the green stuff pushing forth; magnolias are blooming in Vancouver, my plum trees are about to flower and the wood ducks that usually arrive in March were here on Feb. 4. Coastal ski hills, for the most part are closed. Even Mt. Baker, which a few years ago recorded the world’s greatest snowfall, has all but a couple of runs completely devoid of snow.

While I’m certain many in the doom and gloom global warming community are busy declaring “we told ya so,” this early onset of spring weather has to be an anomaly – too warm too quick to be part of a trend. And who knows, March could come in like a lion (remember, the groundhogs predicted six more weeks of winter).

However, I’ll take 30 degrees C in the sunshine when I can. It’s so warm even the dog is stretched out in the shade. The west coast too is blessed with the Pacific Ocean, not the cold Atlantic that still has winter in store for the eastern seaboard.

If there’s a downside for me in this week’s weather it is that once mowed the lawn will require tending at least once a week, and that means a new lawn tractor to replace my old JD which is well past its best-before date.

So while a new ride for garden chores is in my future, there is one rig I won’t be buying: a bulletproof, grenade-proof and land-mine resistant Lexus LX570 SUV.

First of all it is against the law in British Columbia, unless you have a permit, to drive an armoured vehicle for pleasure. Secondly, why on Earth unless you are a criminal (and who among them gets permits) would you want such a beast . . . and beast it is with windows thicker than a hockey puck.

Built in Ontario by a company named INKAS Armoured, not only are these vehicles bulletproof, they come with handy-dandy options like smoke and road spike dispensing systems.

Okay, I must admit, it would be ‘fun’ to have thee features to discourage road-raged tailgaters on the freeway. But otherwise folks, who and why would anyone want or need this stuff?

Although the story I read didn’t clarify which options were chosen, the company that builds these urban tanks states that 65 per cent of sales are to the public sector. Which means 35 per cent are to individuals in the private sector: “celebrities” rock stars, athletes, CEOs and, as INKAS described them, “rebel billionaires!”

However, if you are so inclined and have far deeper pockets than I, you can have one built for a mere doubling of the price of your standard luxury ride (the Lexus mentioned above is available for roughly $175,000, without smoke or spike dispenser).

For me,  the aspiration is held to a new John Deere. With it, the only ‘bulletproofing’ required would be for the house windows when the blades fling stones after inadvertently mowing a molehill.

markrushton@abbynews.com

Abbotsford News

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