(Non)Fiction Friday #5

SnowboardYou know … sometimes the most apparently ridiculous occurrences have a perfectly logical explanation.  You just have to be there to see it in the correct context … Or know someone who was …


Snowboarding Island Style

by Jim Scott, Poet. Author. Sojourner.

“So tell me again about the picture.  Where are they really snowboarding?”

“In the Caribbean.”

“They’re snowboarding in the Caribbean?”


“How?  It’s too close to the equator.  It’s tropical.  There’s no snow.”

“Kilimanjaro’s much closer to the equator ….. less than 200 miles ….. it has snow year round.”

“Kilimanjaro’s nearly 20,000 feet above sea level.  That picture is at sea level.  You can see the sea right next to the snow.  You can also see palm and sea grape trees.  Don’t normally get either anywhere near the snowline ….. anywhere in the world.”

“Except the Caribbean.”

“There’s no snowline in the Caribbean.  There’s no snow in the Caribbean.”

“There is in that picture.  Must be true.”

“That’s not real snow.”

“’Tis too!”

“How do you know?”

“I was there.  Stood in it myself……… In my sandals.”

“You were snowboarding in sandals?”

“Don’t be silly …..  I don’t snowboard.  You know that.”

“So what were you doing standing in the snow …….  in your sandals?”

“Shovelling it.”

“You were snow shovelling in the Caribbean?”

“Yup. …….. In my sandals.”

“Where exactly in the Caribbean were you snow shovelling?”

“Marina Cay.  British Virgins.”

“OK.  I’ve been there.  The highest point is about 50 feet above sea level, and that’s the top of a palm tree.  It doesn’t snow at Marina Cay.  It can’t snow at Marina Cay.”

“Didn’t say it had snowed.  Just said I was shovelling snow.”

“So how the heck did it get there if it hadn’t snowed?

“40 foot refrigerated high cube container.”

“Ah.  OK.  You shipped it in.”

“Of course.  How else would it bloody well get there?”

“From Canada?”




“Snow from Florida?”


“Dare I ask?”

“A film company that has a machine for making snow for movie sets.”

“OK ….. It’s coming together.  So that’s how.  Now can I ask why you shipped in a 40 foot refrigerated high cube container of Floridian man-made snow to Marina Cay?”

“Customer wanted us to.”


“So those guys could go snowboarding.”

“OK.  Why would those guys even want to go snowboarding anywhere there’s never any snow, let alone at Marina Cay?”

“Winter Olympics training camp.”


“That’s what it was.”

“Winter Olympics training camp…”


“How long did the snow last before it melted?”

“About 40 minutes … give or take… mostly take.”

“So what all happened?”

“Well we kept it in the refrigerated container until just after dawn when it was light enough to shoot but the sun was still really low so not so hot; shovelled like buggery to cover the slope for them to snowboard on, and took pictures of them doing so until it started melting.”

“After 40 minutes.”

“Well … a lot less actually.  It started melting as soon as we put it on the ground.  It was pretty much gone in 40 minutes.”

“What kind of training camp is that?”

“A very short one.”

“OK … So what’s the story behind this photo shoot?”

“The island was leased by a big tequila maker and they unofficially named it The republic of their brand name as if it was an independent tropical country named the same as their product.  So… they use it for advertizing and marketing purposes.  So… this was a promotional shoot for their tequila based on the concept that the Republic of Whatever, which of course is not a real country, was putting a team in the Winter Olympics next year, which they obviously weren’t.”

“And so they wanted to snowboard at Marina Cay.”


“Why not go where there’s normal snow?”

“Palm trees.  The Republic is tropical.”

“Of course …  Palm trees … In the snow.”


“Well, I suppose Jamaica did have that bob-sled team one year.”

“And the BVI had a speed skater one year too.”



“Didn’t know that.  Do any good?”

“Competed … That’s an achievement.”

“That it is.  Dare I ask where they found the ice to train?”

New York.”

“New York.  Of course … Not very tropical … New York.”


“But they got ice.”

“Yup.  But not many palm trees.”

“How did the snowboard team do … From the Republic of Whatever?”

“Apparently tequila sales were quite strong that year.”

“So they done good.”


How many times have we observed the apparently absurd and passed our negative judgements according to the limit of our own knowledge of that particular situation, only to find out later it was our own reading of it that was irrational?  The story above is completely true, although the conversation is adapted to suit the point.  After moving to Canada and remaining in the shipping industry I repeatedly shipped multiple container loads of snow to Puerto Rico where a benevolent supermarket chain, every Christmas, turned one of its refrigerated warehouses over to be used as a northern winter environment where Puerto Rican kids (in the tropics) could have snowball fights, toboggan, and build snowmen.  But when I tried to explain to our commercial department in Florida that I needed a competitive rate to ship Canadian snow to the Caribbean …

 *    *    *

Jim ScottBorn in England, raised on the banks of a river in the Sussex countryside, Jim Scott from a young age developed strong spiritual connections with the natural realm. He wasn’t to understand this until much later in life when this realization explained the somewhat unique atavistic philosophies that evolved from his extensive travels and often ran against the grain of mainstream thinking.

A single father of three, Jim now lives in Canada and spends as much time as he can in the British Virgin Islands where two of his children were born and where, out of all the places to which he has wandered and in which he has sojourned, he feels most at home.

Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Wanderings-and-Sojourns/209257989178793

Book Sales site  www.wanderingsandsojourns.com

Website  www.caridiangroup.com

Twitter  @tortolajim



Categories: Fiction

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