Step right up folks, we’re back in business!
I know it’s been a while, but I admit it, I was bitter.
Who wouldn’t be, after having his business shot to pieces right out from under him, not just by the federal government, but by the prime minister himself, Pierre Elliott Trudeau?
It wasn’t a big business of course, but it was mine, me and a couple of my Green Party buddies in Vancouver back in the ‘80s.
The issue de jour was cruise missile testing and we came up with a plan to make T-shirts and sell them at demonstrations.
Not to put too fine a point on the details of the design, suffice to say it included cartoon images of Pierre Trudeau, Ronald Reagan and a cruise missile, with the legend; Don’t Blow it, Pierre!
They were silk screened, high quality work, the art done by a really talented guy. We laboured in a basement night after night, printing and printing.
And then one morning, I got the call.
“What do you mean, he went for a walk in the snow? He quit? What are you talking about? I’ve got 300 T-shirts here. He can’t quit!”
And just like that, boom, another B.C. business in the toilet because of the darn federal Liberals.
I lost a couple of hundred bucks on that one, but I learned a golden rule.
It’s all about timing.
From that point on I would bide my time until just the right idea came along at just the right moment.
That’s why I’m so excited about the current electoral contest in Parksville.
Not since cruise missile days has my entrepreneurial radar screamed so loud as when I first heard that Paul Reitsma was running for mayor.
“Are you kidding? Betanko? Seriously?”
Sure enough, even though he falsely identified himself in poison pen letters to the editor, even though he had to resign as MLA just before the only successful recall campaign in the province’s entire history kicked him out, it seems Mr. Reitsma is ready to move on.
He’s had a soul-scrubbing, you see.
Is that opportunity knocking?
Whatever kind of soap he was able to use to scrub that disgraceful record from his soul must be really, really powerful stuff.
I would have left the city with my head hung in shame if I was caught playing that game, not run a campaign to be mayor of it.
If this stuff really works, I want a piece of that action. I want the recipe.
I don’t know what’s in it, but like most soap, I bet it’s based on lots of lye.
Betanko’s Soul Soap I’ll call it. I’ll get on some miracle circuit and sell truckloads of the stuff. I’ll be offshoring before you know it! I mean, the Vatican alone …
Kind of makes me want to root for the guy after all.
I can’t overlook the fact that you do get two for one with the Betanko ticket.
If I happen to make a few hundred million bucks with BetanKorp Soap Products and retire to a nice house in Eaglecrest, well, that’s just a bonus.
Could this former provincial Liberal make up the damage done to my entrepreneurial career by that federal Liberal of so long ago?
Hard to say.
I have no idea if this soul-scrubbing soap really works and I certainly don’t want to invest a nickel until I know it does.
After all, as I’m sure Mr. Betanko is aware, some stains just don’t wash out.
Neil Horner is the assistant editor of the Parksville Qualicum Beach News and a regular columnist