William Everett, the Head of the Province’s Fisheries Department was deeply engrossed in reading The Kelowna Daily Courier.
With a scowl on his face William turned his chair in the direction of his assistant, Max Turner, “Has this whole town gone crazy? Have you read Bobby O’Connor’s latest article on Ogopogo?”
“I thought O’Connor was a sports writer,” Max said taking a long sip from his coffee and moving towards his boss by swivelling around his chair. “He used to cover The Kelowna Rockets games. I don’t know where he got his information from. Every time I’d go to a Rockets game, I’d look up to the press box and see that Bobby was half in the bag before the end of the first period.”
“I thought that he covered the sport’s beat too, but he seems to recently have changed his portfolio. He now is an expert on lake monsters, notably, Ogopogo.”
“Well, I hope he does a better job with that than he does covering junior hockey. He spends more time writing about the fighting during the Rockets games than he does about the team’s skills and abilities,” Max responded.
“You can’t stick that one on O’Connor. The Kelowna Rockets have neither any skills nor any playing ability. He’s got to write about something,” said The Head of the Fisheries Department.
“But I’ll tell you what O’Connor’s fault is. I can blame him for this article. He’s stirring the whole town up writing about all these alleged encounters with Ogopogo. Can you believe this? He thinks that the bodies that recently washed up on the shore of Lake Okanagan have something to do with Ogopogo. I mean, give me a break. Bodies wash up on the shore every summer. People have boating accidents and they drown. They don’t get eaten by Ogopogo,” Everett said as his face started to redden.
“You’ve got to calm down, William. You know what your doctor said about your blood pressure,” Max said with a look of concern on his face.
“I thought you said that Ogopogo was a mythological legend,” Max said.
“Of course the creature is imaginary, but people insist on keeping their favorite myths alive. It provides a little magic to their otherwise boring, ordinary lives,” William Everett said.
“Now listen to this:
O’Connor states that the University of British Columbia’s marine biology department is rumoured to be planning an expedition to search for Ogopogo. This kind of publicity can easily ‘go viral’ in this age of social media. Kelowna, if not all of British Columbia, will become a laughing stock in Canada and potentially around the world,” Everett added emphatically.
Max got out of his chair to refresh his coffee. “Look on the bright side, William. Can you imagine the economic boost this is going to give the tourism industry in Kelowna, and for that matter all of British Columbia?”
“I know this media circus is going to bring in a lot of revenue, but because of that my superiors are going to ask me to give this nonsense my full support,”, Max said, tossing his copy of the Kelowna Daily Courier to the far right hand corner of his oversize desk.”
“You can bet your retirement savings on that,” Max agreed making his way back to his desk.
“Well, I’ll tell you what. They’re not going to get an ounce of my support or approval. Within weeks we’ll have every crackpot and lunatic with a boat hunting for Ogopogo,” Everett said pounding his fist on his desk for added emphasis.
“They could injure or even kill the creature and cause a lot of boating accidents and drownings,” William Everett said continuing his rant.
“Now that’s the second time that you’ve referred to Ogopogo as a real living animal,” Max laughed.
“I don’t believe that Ogopogo’s an actual prehistoric lake monster, like some long extinct species of marine dinosaur, but it could be something living, like a giant eel for instance,” the Head of Fisheries said, trying to explain his previous remark.