experts: real estate column Thursday, October 03, 2002

Men of Girth

When we first met our merry band of adventurers, they were eight in number.

By Marty Douglas

As published in REM - independent news and opinion for Canada's real estate industry.

We'll return to our adventure "Men of Girth" in a moment but first this message. Nakalat Lodge on Stuart Lake in the upper middle of British Columbia, is an ideal site for your next think tank of modest proportion. The Lodge is ideally suited for two dozen or fewer fishers or hunters or thinkers who want to team build and recreate in a remote but very accessible location. Moose or rainbow trout or northern lights can be the backdrop as you flip chart the future of your organization. Your mind and your waistline will expand, I guarantee it. On the web www.nakalat.com.

Now back to our story.

When we first met our merry band of adventurers, they were eight in number. Led by Prince McJim of St George and his bearlike companion Digby Willy, the Men of Girth included Robin of the Lower Region Hills, Hairless Gerald of Vanderhoof - hairless due to a lack of fish in his 82 year-old mother's diet - Clark of the Council of the West, Bacon of the Council of Flatlanders, Perry of the Purple Cranberry, able to cause all who saw him to howl at the moon, and your humble calligrapher.

Much wisdom flowed. Did I say wisdom? - I meant wine. And beer. And scotch. And vodka. And liqueur. But always in moderation and never before breakfast - although breakfast does come early in the north. And moderation, like ethics, is such a personal definition, don't you think?

The travellers' way to Prince George was varied. Perry arrived via Alberta thereby saving much gold bullion in the purchase of malt beverages for lo, in the land beyond the Blue Mountains, no tax is levied. Bacon, Clark and your scribe arrived on the national carrier and were forced to endure the indignities of rude servants and muffins with a half-life of strontium 90. Robin flew in on the magic cloak called WestJet and enjoyed low fairs and much good humor and was delivered in a timely manner. McJim and Willy travelled by four wheeled vehicles as befits those residents of northern latitudes, fitted with huge tires, plugs protruding from their grilles, gun racks optional. En route they spied Gerald and spoke thusly, "Forsooth, are those your legs or are you riding a chicken?" Humbly, he accepted the offer of conveyance. We gathered at Fort St James, former capital of British Columbia, just north of the centre of this great province, and boarded two vessels. There followed some debate as to whether the boats were of sufficient tonnage to convey our heft, "We don't need a bigger boat, we just need smaller administrators," commented Prince McJim.

For two hours we convoyed, arriving at Nakalat Lodge in the evening hours, before the fires were lit and dragons were abroad. Speaking of which, you may wonder why no fair maidens graced our journey for cooking, cleaning, and general merriment. None were needed. A few comments reveal why. On the quality of the banquets, an anonymous Saskatchewan regulator said, "Absolutely the best meal I've had since the last time my wife cooked." When the Black Forest cake was served, so much wine had gone before, several asked for their portions to be served rare. When one boat ran short of luncheon meat it formed a task force with a catchy acronym - EAT - to negotiate with the other boat. They starved to death, years later, having forgotten the original mission. Breakfast was two dozen eggs, two pounds of bacon, five pounds of spuds for hash browns but because we're health conscious, Becel on the pancakes.

On companionship, one opined, "My relationship with women has been like my fishing - catch and release." Nor were they needed for sleeping. When it came time to rest, one regulator asked a CREA representative an in depth policy question and thirty seconds into the answer - ZZZZZZZ! No maiden, fair or unfair, should endure Prince McJim wandering the campsite in his underwear, wondering what he'd forgotten - "Your pants!!!" we suggested helpfully. Nor would they look kindly on Digby Willy swimming in the thirteen degree Celsius water, leaving the hills echoing from his screams and a considerable wake.

Four days later, a blinking, bearded bunch emerged to resume their varied tasks in real estate, determined adventure anew north of sixty in 2003. Applications to join the expedition are being considered.

Marty Douglas is the sales manager for Coast Realty Group (Comox Valley) Ltd., one of nine Coast Realty Group offices on Vancouver Island. He is a past Chair of the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Corporation of BC, the Real Estate Council of BC, the BC Real Estate Association and the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. email mdouglas@island.net 1-800-715-3999 fax 250-897-3933




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