Vancouver, British Columbia. Saturday morning in September 2016. Low clouds. No rain yet, but it’s coming. Cloud cover so low and dark this morning that the city feels boxed in and claustrophobic. As soon as I step out the front door, rain begins to fall. I fish my umbrella out of my backpack and press the button on the handle. FWAP! The unfolding nylon sounds like an oversized bat taking flight.
Then, raindrops—as big as nickels—start falling. They fall menacingly, with bad intentions, threatening to shred my umbrella to bits, pounding everything, myself included, down, down, down.
I stalk towards the Rogers Arena across town. Rogers is where the Canucks play home games. It’s where I gave a Tedx talk in 2015, so the Arena and I have some personal history.
I’m attending a media event this morning. For those who don’t know, a media event is a high-strung, phoney party that’s designed to promote a product. Media events contain the following ingredients: artisanal sandwiches, soft drinks, giveaways/freebies, awkward moments, sometimes sublime moments, too, and interview opportunities. I’ve been going to these dreaded gatherings—dreaded because they are designed to be fun though rarely are—for more than a decade now.
Today’s high strung, phoney party at the arena is to celebrate the release of a video game called NBA 2K17.