The Billion Dollar Forecast
If you read The Word last week, I told the story of the great Brazilian faux pas aboard Jimmy Pattison’s luxury yacht the Nova Spirit, and how I tried to make amends the next time by telling a story about me, Jimmy, and the Billion dollar forecast. Here is the story I told that night.
When I was the News Hour Weather Guy, they would often send me to outdoor locations to do the evening forecast. In the summer it would be a beach or the PNE, and other times of the year it would be somewhere an event was taking place. This one year, the producer in charge of thinking up places to send the weather guy (that was his official title) thought it would be a good idea to send me to Billionaire Jimmy Pattison’s house to do the weather cast from the Pattison driveway. It was the first year in a number of years that the Pattisons turned on the Christmas light display on their house after being dark for a couple of years. It was a big house and the Pattison house lights from upper West Vancouver could be seen from miles away. It was a wonderful display.
Phone calls were placed, arrangements made, and the ok was given by Jimmy and Mary Pattison to set up our satellite truck and broadcast the weather forecast from their driveway using their home and Christmas light display as our backdrop. It made for a very festive setting.
We arrived in the satellite van, a cameraman, a van operator, and me. Jimmy hadn’t arrived home yet, but his lovely wife, Mary, was there and when we knocked on the door, she invited us into their home and had tea and cookies ready for us. Honestly, she reminded us of a friendly Canadian prairie Mother. Which is exactly what she is!
As we sat having our tea and cookies, and visiting with Mary, Jimmy arrived home. We made introductions all around, and he then very graciously invited us for a tour of his house. He showed us the indoor pool that had a very recognizable lifeguard. I’ll bet you’ve wondered what ever happened to Expo Ernie, the Expo 86 mascot. Well, there he was poolside! He landed a job as lifeguard at Jimmy Pattison’s pool! A wonderful souvenir from Jimmy’s work during Expo.
After our tour, I asked Jimmy if he would not only be a guest on the weather cast but also help me read the forecast. I had it all written out, I showed him the script and said that he could read a paragraph and I’d read the next paragraph and so forth. It would be fun! He was reluctant at first and wanted to see the script, but after reading it, he agreed to do it.
I had done this kind of thing before with guests, but usually, it was just an interview, and then I’d go ahead and do the forecast, and at the end, I would thank them for being a guest, and as a gift, I’d offer them the Coveted BCTV Ballpoint Pen. Before the interview though, I’d tell them I was going to give them a pen, and if they didn’t mind, could they get really excited to receive it. There’s nothing like planned spontaneity! They always played along, which would drive News Hour anchor Tony Parsons crazy. How could anyone get excited about a cheesy 8-cent pen?
With Jimmy, what I thought would be funny is for him to help me with the weather, do a quick interview, I would thank him for being my guest, and then I asked him to say, “Hey, what about my ballpoint pen?” A billionaire wanting an 8-cent pen struck me as funny. He said sure, he’d do it.
The time came, and we had the interview about the Christmas lights on his house, he helped me with the weather forecast, and at the end, I thanked him for being my guest, and he turned to me and said... ”You’re welcome” and then a look came over his face. He instantly knew he had forgotten his line! He forgot to ask for the pen!
I realized what had happened and I just continued on and said, “Well, Jimmy, for being my guest I’d like to present you with the Coveted BCTV Ballpoint Pen.” And in an effort to compensate for forgetting his line, Jimmy went overboard with excitement. He said, “Oh, the pen, the pen, I’ve always wanted the Coveted Pen!” It couldn’t have turned out better. A billion dollar forecast!
- Cost of the forecast: nothing
- Cost of the pen: 8 cents
- A billionaire getting excited about an 8-cent pen: Priceless!
Till next week...
1 & 2 // Jimmy Pattison with Expo Ernie
3 // Pattison home Christmas light display
4 // The coveted BCTV ballpoint pen
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White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2