Three principals have guided me through life so far: Stay out of court, Stay out of the papers, and Stay away from multi-level marketers. The last principal is particularly true, as being hounded by irate multi-level marketers bent on collecting money for unsold and unwanted soap or vitamins can lead one to court and the papers as you defend yourself in an assault trial.

I have had have a longstanding relationship with network marketers. They call me and tell me that someone told them that I have an outgoing personality with a lot of potential contacts in the community. They tell me I should be financially independent and lead a better lifestyle. 

I don’t know the identity of this informant, and the multi-level marketer is sworn never to reveal it. I did, however, deduce that at least one of them is the list of British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association fitness instructors. Since my last name begins with the letter ‘B,’ I am in the top 25 registrants on the list. I called the BCRPA and learned that the list is indeed for sale at $.25 per name.

That brought Sherry to my step class at Hastings Community Centre, who, in the middle of my class unlatched a valise and pulled out a bunch of bottles and a sign that read that blue-green algae can cure everything from fibromyalgia and arthritis to obesity. In the middle of my cardio she told me that she was from the BCRPA and this stuff will make me financially independent.

“Yum,” I thought. “Pond scum!”

Over the years I have had tapes, CDs and Videos all expounding on the benefits of different products ranging from vitamins, cutlery, and healthy to financial plans guaranteed to make everyone rich.

 “Yum,” I think. “Pond scum.”

This morning was different. I had a call from a fellow named Joe who wanted to sell me on a multi-level marketing scheme to sell – wait for it – smart coffee. He said I could, “… Enrich people’s lives with smart coffee and make an unlimited financial income. This is a ground floor opportunity for sales and marketing associates / distributors.”  Finally, we have coffee that will boost your IQ.

I imagined my fitness class pausing mid jumping jack to propound on the theory of evolution or the practical applications of the quadratic equation. “Coffee isn’t supposed to be healthy,” I said while swallowing my last cup of Fair Trade Folgers Coarse Grind I bought at Costco. “It’s supposed to give you wrinkles.”

He went on to describe the virtues of his miracle mud.

Yum,” I thought. “Pond scum!”


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