Monday, January 18, 2010

Olympic Economics

This column will appear in the Okanagan Business Examiner magazine in mid February. It will also be distributed in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics...

I’m getting excited about the Winter Olympics, and not just because of the free sawmill you get with every pair of tickets.

I’m also happy for the homeless people who will get new housing just as soon as the new appliances get unpacked at the Athletes Village.

Business people all over B.C. can’t wait for the zillions of tourist dollars about to fall from the sky like avalanches across the highway to Whistler.

Speaking as a business people myself, I must say I’m impressed with all the jobs that are now available. What a change from the past year, a year in which many of us acquired a taste for used dental floss soup. It’s nice to see the unemployment ranks shrinking, what with careers like ‘Portable Toilet Swabber’ and ‘Snowboarder Pants-Puller-Upper’.

Thousands of traffic control flaggers will be hired too, as will ambulance attendants who will be picking up the pieces of the former flaggers who get splatted by the foaming-at-the-mouth drivers trying to get somewhere in all the Godforsaken traffic shouting, “GET OUT OF MY WAY I HAVE A MEETING!!!” Ha-ha, I’m just kidding! Traffic will be flowing smoothly as always with no interruptions whatsoever, la de da!

You’ve no doubt seen by now the new advertisements used to promote our province to international visitors during the games. ‘Please Buy Some Lumber’ does have a certain ring to it doesn’t it? ‘Blue Wood is Good Wood’ did not test as well, according to government advertising officials. Same with ‘The Downtown East Side - Nothing to See Here, Move Along’.

While some people decry the cost of all this promotion, not to mention the cost of the games themselves, government spokespeople assure us all is well. “We took out a line of credit on the legislature so it’s all good,” they report. This financial strategy is similar to how we fight forest fires in this province, which is to pour vast amounts of money on them until it rains.

I also think there are business lessons to be learned from the sports themselves.

Figure skating, for example, is where scantily clad females are used to drill holes in the ice for hockey goal posts by spinning around and around.

Men enjoy watching the women in these events, mainly because they wear revealing outfits that may malfunction at any time, and also because many of them get hoisted up by their who-ha’s by their skating partners, which is always entertaining.

Actually, one lesson we can take from figure skating is the art of competition. This is a sport where panels of international judges snipe at each other with AK-47’s because one judge did not give high enough marks to another country’s competitor as planned six years earlier at the World Championships. Which is fair.

I have to admit I’m READY to admire this competitive AIM, if not the actual FIRE of the competitors, as the sport RELOADs for a new era of peace and harmony.

Figure skating (like AK-47 shooting) is a test of skill – just like business. You’ll see the competitors execute such daring maneuvers as your sour cow, triple rexall, klutz jumps, camels, spins, loops, 3-pointers, and forced plays-at-third because of the infield fly rule.

Think about it - skaters wear slinky clothing (marketing), execute daring pirouetteings and triple hoops (uh, engineering), spin until they barf (or ‘give feedback’, which is really public relations), win gold medals (achieve sales goals), and then retire to the Ice Capades circuit where they skate around in Panda Bear costumes for money (prostitution) (excuse me! Exit Strategy).

See? It’s all business.

So! It should be an exciting, profitable event. Have a great time!

And don’t forget about the lumber…

No comments: