AFTER several years of putting up with BC’s boast that it’s The Best Place on Earth, the cantankerous other claimants in The Best Place on Earth category have launched a class action lawsuit.
As The Best Reporter on Earth, I was the only member of the media present in the Court of Public Opinion (121 Uh-huh St.) when the case was heard last week. Judge I.M. Wright presided, with the self-appointed Best Place on Earth contenders representing themselves.
Coron Island, northern Palawan, the Philippines: Your Honour, I stand before you as one of the claimants in the class action lawsuit against the government of British Columbia, Canada, which has lied by calling itself The Best Place on Earth. In fact, it is Coron that is The Best Place on Earth.
Judge Wright: (Intrigued) On what evidence do you base this claim?
Coron: (Brandishing a laptop) This YouTube video called Coron, Palawan: The Best Place on Earth.
(Courtroom screen plays video featuring cheesy music, amateurish slides and footage of cheerful people going on a boat trip and snorkeling)
Judge Wright: (Impressed) Looks awesome. How’s the food?
Coron: It’s The Best Food on Earth! A dash of Spanish, lots of Asian, plenty of skewers. And cigarette smoking everywhere!
BC: I object, Your Honour!
Judge Wright: And you are?
BC: I am the accused -- BC, The Best Place on Earth, where smoking is virtually verboten.
Judge Wright: (Coughing loosely) Please support your claim.
BC: Michael J. Fox endorsed us in a TV commercial campaign I borrowed from California.
Judge Wright: So BC is not Super, Natural any more? I went camping at Clayoquot Sound recently and it seemed super-Super, Natural to me.
BC: Well, sure, HelloBC still calls me Super, Natural, but I have plenty of Super, Un-natural aspects to my personality, too. That’s why I’m The Best Place on Earth! I have gangsters, riots, gritty urban poverty -- everything! I’m like New York with salmon, or LA with eco-friendly transit! And there are bears!
Hawaii: Your Honour, can I get a word in? I’m Hawaii.
Judge Wright: (Enthusiastically) Surely!
Hawaii: Financial Samurai.com says I’m The Best Place on Earth for online entrepreneurs because of my climate, infrastructure, and lower-than-US-average taxes.
Judge Wright: (Chuckling) You had me at Hawaii, and I’m not even an online entrepreneur!
BC: (Bristling, barging in) Hell-o! I have no drought whatsoever, Canada’s most valuable real estate, an integrated tax system that makes it simple to fork over 12 percent to two governments, widespread yoga-friendliness and Indian candy -- which is candy, made of salmon!
Judge Wright: (Shrugs) Meh, I’m not that much of a salmon person. Incidentally, isn’t it a little un-Canadian of you to boast so much?
BC: (Aggressively) But I’m the winner, hands down! My biggest city, Vancouver, has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit Report on the World’s Most Livable City for five years running. In 2011, it scored 98 percent. Everybody who’s anybody calls me the best province in the best country to live in – this year Canadian cities ruled the top 10 spots. Bloomberg BusinessWeek has named Vancouver number three, behind Zurich and Geneva, but that’s only because Bloomberg readers keep all their money in Swiss bank accounts rather than our gay-, transsexual and transgender-positive BC credit unions. Also, most of my residents aren’t obese, unlike the populations of the other “best” wannabe’s. How’s your muumuu supply, Hawaii?
Hawaii: (Hissing at BC) Will you get over yourself?
Coron: Your Honour, my snorkeling --
Hefei, Anhui province, China: (Interrupting) Your Honour, I -- Hefei -- was named fourth most livable city by the China Institute of City Competitiveness. The first three most livable are now intolerably arrogant. I remain livable, beautiful, and modest, a delicate flower with a light scent of plum blossom.
BC: (Snorting) That’s not how I’d describe the fragrance of the pollution in Chaohu Lake! I have an ocean, spectacular mountain ranges, unpolluted rivers, wilderness, wine country, semi-edible periwinkles -- and I’m the home of the Lululemon pant.
Hawaii: (Snidely) Yeah, thanks for that.
Coron: Your Honour, my snorkeling…
Judge Wright: (Dreamily) I’d like to hear more from Hawaii.
Hawaii: The temperature on Oahu right now, your Honour, is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with a sensual breeze. Whenever you get a hole in one at my golf courses, the wild dolphins in the lagoons applaud and a hula dancer appears, swaying gently, with a tray of macadamia nuts and an ice-cold Mai Tai.
Coron: When you get a hole in one in Coron you can commandeer the Imelda Marcos Karaoke Bar with your sub-par Frank Sinatra impressions for an entire evening!
Hefei: (Quietly) My silk-production skills--
BC: (Shouting) I’m the best and I’m getting better! Premier Christy Clark, if elected, promises to reduce your HST by 2 percent, you can easily drink an entire micro-brew on a public beach if you hide it in a Slurpee cup, and our vegan hemp balls are all you can eat!
Judge Wright: (Banging his gavel) I’ve reached my decision. Hawaii is now, as always, The Best Place on Earth. Case closed.