What’s 55-15? $40 million and that my dear sir is not chump change – can a brotha’ get a figure please?
By Terrance Gavan – Editor HalHighlands.ca
Okay I’m not Sheila Fraser. I can balance my on line account, but I’m not great at Dow Jones, spiral economics or the condensed market runs.
So I was absolutely gobsmacked by a story reported on the front page of the County Voice on June 23’rd. You’ll remember that it had a wonderfully stunning front page photo on it.
In the lede para of Jerry Grozelle’s engrossing front page ditty on the value of the ATV industry in this neck of god’s green hectare came this meandering piece of random spillage from the somewhat leaky bowstrut of Haliburton ATV Association [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][HATVA]. Apparently it was presented by Bob Johnson, the erstwhile and charming president of the HATVA.
Did anyone read it? It’s in the first para of the story so I’m assuming that at least a couple of people saw it, said “WTF” and gave it a quick peruse.
If you didn’t? Here it is. Just a warning to any hard working accountants out there. The murky muck factor is ranked: Very high. Please don’t have a coronary.
“All terrain vehicle use contributes an estimated $15-55 million to Haliburton County annually according to an economic survey presented to Haliburton County Council by the Haliburton All-Terrain Vehicle Association [HATVA]”
Read it again. The first part. Anyone do the math? Anyone like me, absolutely gobsmacked by the claim. As in. So! What the hell is it? Is it $15 million? Or is it $55 million. Or. Did we pull some random numbers out of a hat.
Because I’m not an accountant.
But I know some rudiments about finance!
For instance I know that if Stevie Wonder Jobs comes up in front of an Apple stockholder meeting and said something like:
“Hi ladies and gentlemen. Peace love and apples baby. Here’s our yearly report. We sold somewhere north of 50 million and south of 300 million iPhones last year. And the iPad-2? Wellllllll!! Whoo wee. We sold like (shrugs) maybe between 90 and 700 million of those suckers. Thanks baby. Your shares are now worth like between $40 and $120. How ya’ like dem’ apples guys and gals? Peace love. Stevie is off to Jamaica Mon!”
I’ll write the headline for you in the next day’s Wall Street Journal.
In 75em Times New Roman font the following. “Apple CEO Steve Jobs has lost his f$%#ing mind.”
But I digress. And apologize for the f bomb. But you know that Wall Street Journal and their crazy headline guy Humbug Buddy Laing? Batcrap crazy!
We digress enormously. Back on point.
Let me slow this down just a bit here. Because I think it’s important.
Grozelle reports that HATVA president Bob Johnson said that the comprehensive study – give or take $40 milion in what we now must obviously deem chump change – was completed with the help of the Haliburton County Development Corporation. I’m gonna’ take that with a grain of salt. Because I personally think the HCDC might want some input here. Give me a call Andy.
Now Bob Johnson didn’t just say this at the coffee shop. He wasn’t just schmoozing at the local pub with a bunch of his ATV cronies.
Nope. Mr. Johnson took this sweet piece of creative accounting to the meeting of the Economic Development Committee of the Haliburton County Council. Honcho City Baby!
“The purpose of the survey was to determine the extent of ATVuse and ATV spending that occurs on an annual basis in the region,” said Johnson. Again. Not at the barbershop. And not at Tim Horton’s. At council!
And get this. Not one of those councillors got up. Not one rose from his or her chair and screamed. “Well what the hell is it Bob? $15 or $55?”
I am going to be selling ads here on HalHighlands.ca at some point. It won’t be soon, because you see… I don’t have any clear numbers of hits on my site. Right now I have 3 days and about 1000 hits of operating time with HalHighlands.ca.
However! And listen closely! I hope that when I do have those numbers I am able to creatively manage my ad sales meeting on the paradigm adopted by HATVA.
To wit: My ad meeting redux.
Me: Good afternoon Mr. Smellybottoms and how are we today?
Smellybottoms: Oh lovely Terry. I understand we’re here to discuss an ad on your front page. (Only $100 to $550 per month!)
Me: I think you’ll find Mr. Smellybottoms that my figures on website hits and the demographics I’m gleaning will knock your socks off.
Smellybottoms: Okay! Let’s see. What’s you hit count per week and just what kind of demographic are we looking at. Who’s dropping by?
Me: Well, let me tell you. I’m getting from 1,000 to 20,000 hits a week and about 10-70 percent of those hits are coming from cottagers and the Toronto area! 22.5 to 93.6 percent are local hits.
Smellybottoms: You’re joking right? I took an afternoon off to attend this meeting. Please tell me you’re joking. Terry. Please!
Me: Why Mr. Smellybottoms, whatever do you mean? I’m giving you solid figures here! I mean, this website is rockin’ baby rockin’! Look here. Between 1,000 and 20,000 hits per week!! And somewhere between 10 and 70 percent are, you know right in your wheelhouse baby!
Smellybottoms (turning to his driver): Mr. Spotdick get my f%$#@ing car here! Now! Gavan! You’re lucky I don’t bill you for my time. You moron!
But luckily. Or gosh darnit anyway, maybe unluckily, considering the obvious advantages of the dangling spreadsheet? I don’t have to deal with etcetera and imprecise and impractical diddling. See. I have a site counter on my account. I can’t fiddle nor can I diddle. More’s the fecking pity too.
Mr. Smellybottoms would ask for my site graph and the pie chart and I would print them off. There! And. Then.
Accurate to a millisecond. Unfortunate for me. Because my hits? Closer to the 1000 than the 20,000 for now. I would naturally love to be able to wield that huge hammer of impreciseness that the HATVA just presented to County Council’s economic committee.
Now what can we take from this dilly dally on ATV use in Haliburton County.
On the basis of these undeniably outlandish and whimsical figures we can assume nothing.
Dysart Reeve Murray Fearrey summed up my own feelings a the end of the meeting.
Grozelle reports that Fearrey asked Johnson “if there were figures relating to how the $15-55 million was calculated.”
“It kind of blows my mind,” said Fearrey, according to the Voice.
Good for you Murray! It kind of popped the top off my noodle as well.
Johnson agreed that the figures were mind-blowing to him as well. Oh-oh.
Really? Hey Bob. I don’t think Murray was intending that last bit of rhetoric as a compliment. I think he was channeling his inner Mr. Smellybottoms. I think he was calling for his goddam’ car Bob.
Johnson then went on to say that he would have to get the figures. Really? From where?
Now, I’m a sardonic sunafabitch, and I am resisting the urge to whip up a rather sarcastic guess here.
Because my uncle the Reverend Donald Francis Gavan taught me three maths in Grade 13. And he wielded generic pejoratives like Thor’s hammer. “Gavan! Where did you get that answer? Did you pull it outta’ your arse? (Relax Mr. Marsden it was Catholic School and it was the 70s baby.) I need to see the work! I need to see the equation! The answer’s only worth one! The equation is worth nine. Show me the figures! Geez are you as dumb as a bag of hammers?”
Hmmm. Now back to the chase!
“I just want the numbers that’s all,” concluded Fearey.
Ahhh. Me pal, Murray and me uncle Donny! Soulmates and mathematicians. “I’m not questioning the value of ATVing,” added Fearrey. Oops.
Well Reeve Fearrey. I’m on board right to the last rider.
Yes, I’d like to se the figures… and… not too sure about the value of ATVing.
I’d like to make sure that they didn’t come out of someone’s keester.
Just passing on some input from me old tutor; the Reverend Father. uncle Donnie Gavan.
Get email@example.com. Twitter.com/terrancegavan.