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 of my building, rain begins to fall, raindrops as big as Canadian nickels. I fish the umbrella out of my backpack and press the button on the handle. FWAP! The unfolding nylon sounds like an oversized bat taking flight.
The rain is merciless and cruel. It threatens to shred my umbrella, to reduce it to a nylon pulp. It’s pounding everything, myself included, down, down, down.
This is how it rains on the West Coast of Canada.
I lope towards the Rogers Arena across town. Vancouver is small enough to walk. Rogers is where the Canucks play their home games. Rogers is 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. A media event is a high-strung phoney party that’s designed to introduce members of the media to a product. Media events usually contain the following ingredients: artisanal sandwiches, soft drinks, giveaways/freebies, awkward moments, sometimes sublime moments, too, and interview opportunities with celebrity and pseudo-celebrity guests.
I’ve been going to these dreaded gatherings—dreaded because they are designed to be fun and rarely are—for more than a decade.
This morning’s high strung, phoney party at the Rogers Arena is to celebrate the release of a video game called NBA 2K17.