A politician, a political marketer and an aging former hockey great walk into a television studio – let’s call them Curly, Moe, and Larry. As they’re settling in, Moe says that Buster will be coming a bit later. Buster is an extreme right-wing election campaign guru visiting from a far away land.
The make-up specialists, noticing that Curly was, as usual, being very fussy, are carefully tending the boys. Curly has been sweating more on camera lately and feels he needs a bit more foundation than usual. He tells the hair stylist that sweat really affects the solidity of his hair.
Larry says, “Sweat ruined my hair for years. Couldn’t do a thing with it till I quit playing”.
Larry asks Curly if he can help out on the election campaign.
Curly says, “I sure hope so.”
Streaming the usual bravado of the political hack, Moe says, “I’ve come up with a brilliant idea.”
Curly says, “Have you cleared it with Buster?”
Moe says, “Do I have to clear everything with him? I thought I was in charge here.”
Curly stares hard at Moe and says, “I’m in charge here and don’t you forget it.”
Moe swallows and Larry says, “Yes sir.”
Buster strolls in, stares at Moe and sits down.
He says to Curly, “I trust you’ve got the hard hair issue in hand?”
Curly says, “Yes, Buster.”
Buster says to Moe, “I hear you got an idea to save the campaign? Out with it.”
Moe blurts, “How do you know about it?”
Curly says to Moe, “Stop embarrassing me.“
Larry says, “Isn’t Canada a fantastic country. Go Team Canada!”
Moe says, “Ok, bare bones: We sell Canada to the NHL.”
Buster asks, “What’s the NHL?”
They all yell, “The National Hockey League.”
Moe rushes in, nearly stumbling over his words.
“Here’s how it works.
“Canada is hockey — heart and soul. Curly brilliantly branded himself as a deeply committed Canadian hockey man – he owns hockey. The other two play pee-wee.”
Buster asks, “I’m guessing pee wee is nothing?”
Curly says, “So right Buster.”
Larry says, “But pee wee is important to the kids and I earn a lots of money saying that.”
Moe says, “Let me finish.”
“Like we know, no team in this country has won the Cup since 1993. Buster, I’m talking about the Stanley Cup that goes to the winner of the final playoffs.”
Buster says, “You’re wasting my time.” Curly squirms in his seat.
Moe continues, “No Canadian team can win because no team can afford to buy the big hockey stars like the American teams. But, if we sold Canada to the NHL, Canada becomes a team and creates an unbeatable team. And, we can win Quebec, by negotiating a separate team for the French guys and I guess we can throw in a girls’ team in there somewhere.
Anyway, the Cup skates into the election and the Conservatives are national heroes right smack in the middle of the campaign. We score the greatest winning goal in hockey history! And, let me tell you, Buster, the spin on this stuff writes itself.”
Buster asks, “Does this NHL bunch have the money to buy a country?”
Curly says, “Great question, sir.”
Moe says, “They got the money. Last year revenues were almost four billion and that’s just revenue. They got huge assets in land and stadiums. And, think of the deal sweeteners: Alberta oil, trophy bear hunting and their very own anti-communist memorial! And remember, we’ve got the greatest hockey salesman ever on our team, right Larry?”
Larry says, “Oh, sure. You know, I played for the Queens in the ’93 Cup finals. It was the last finals I ever played in. Gosh, it wasn’t even my best finals cause I was kinda beat up that year.”
Buster asks Curly, “Who is this guy?”