Canadian Rental Service

Walk the line

By Steve Milcik   

Features Business Intelligence

The Funny Page: Long days, sore feet, fake smile plastered on and strangers with bad breath.

Long days, sore feet, fake smile plastered on and strangers with bad breath. No, I am not describing the Christmas party we had at the in-law’s house… these are some of the things we all face at the average trade show. Many of you will attend one or more of these in 2008, and the Canadian Rental Association has some great ones planned for you this year. From points ‘West’ right through to the ‘East’ coast, the CRA will be hosting another round of informative shows. Of course, yours truly will be exhibiting at most
of them.

As a trade show veteran and a darn fine-looking guy to boot, I feel I am in a great position to pass on all the wisdom and knowledge I have gained over the years to help improve your show experience. Whether walking the floor or manning a booth, a comfortable set of footwear will ensure your dogs aren’t howling at the end of the day. Also, stay hydrated. Products from Labatt and Molson do not count. Finally, make sure you have a plan. If you are an attendee, map out which booths are ‘must see’ and which booths are ‘like to see’. If you are an exhibitor… well, I’m not giving up those secrets without a bribe. Feel free to do so at any of the hotel bars you find me in.

The CRA shows each have a unique flavour that requires specific preparation and a creative response which will guarantee you get the most out of your visit. Stroll along with me while we look at each venue, city by city. Do NOT feed the animals.

CRA Atlantic: Ahhh, beautiful Moncton, New Brunswick. Jagged cliffs overlooking the seething Atlantic; lonesome communities of brightly painted wooden houses; multitudes of whirling, diving seabirds filling the air with their cacophony, primeval boreal forests; mammoth icebergs drifting offshore; intrepid whales and other marine life cavorting in a cold sea that belongs very much to them. Here are some things to remember:


Do not eat fish for at least two weeks prior to arriving. Get used to having fried cod for breakfast.

Thermal long-johns are ‘de riguer’. Wear them proudly, and you’ll fit right in.

Watch taped episodes of Canadian Idol ’07. Adopt a look of sympathy when speaking with Olivia D’Eon about this.

CRA BC: I have fond memories of a previous visit to this shining jewel of the ‘West’. Getting lost in a blinding snowstorm which turned my one hour drive from the airport into a four hour sightseeing tour. As the tenth largest city in Canada and the second largest in British Columbia, Surrey is able to offer visitors a rich blend of diverse landscapes, abundant parks, rich cultural opportunities and superb recreational choices. Yes, drinking beer is the recreation of choice. Here’s your Surrey list:

Make sure to adopt an air of superiority. Be cooler than the guys from Toronto.

There is no smoking anywhere.

There are NO good jokes about Surrey. For example: What’s the difference between a Surrey girl and Lionel Richie? Lionel doesn’t bleach his mustache.

No really. The jokes are horrible: Why do seagulls fly upside down over Surrey? Nothing worth dropping on.

CRA Prairie: Yee-ha, saddle up and let’s ride! Saskatoon is one of my favourite stops on this tour, mainly because of its rich and vibrant history. The Saskatoon area has been inhabited for some 6000 years; however, it was not until the summer of 1883 that the first settlers began to arrive and subsequently in 1903 that the town charter was obtained. ‘Saskatoon’ is derived from ‘mis-sask-quah-toomina’, the Cree Indian name for a local indigenous berry. Make sure you remember the following:

Cowboy hats and boots are acceptable everywhere, even at funerals.

Chris Skalkos is a cheap date. Give him two beers and watch the hijinks begin!

The jokes are better: When their train stopped briefly at a large station house in Canada, an American couple traveling cross-country by rail stepped onto the platform to stretch their legs. Stopping in front of one of the locals lounging near a pile of baggage, the American asked, “What town is this?”

“Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,” came the reply.

“Why don’t you ask this next gentleman, dear?” the man’s wife said. “Perhaps he speaks English.”

Canadian Rental Mart: Returning to Toronto this year, the Rental Mart has changed locations from the gorgeous banks of Niagara Falls to the drab confines of some bland hall near Pearson Airport. Preparing for Toronto is easy: call in sick.

Wonderful restaurants, vibrant nightlife and a city with personality and charm can be yours… if you drive six hours down the 401 to Montreal.

Pretend you actually like the Maple Leafs: A kindergarten teacher tells her class she’s a BIG Leafs fan. She’s really excited about it and asks the kids if they’re Leafs fans too. Well, everyone wants to impress the teacher so they say they’re Leaf fans too, except ONE kid… named Wayne.

The teacher looks at Wayne and says, “Wayne, …you’re NOT a Leafs fan?”

He says, “NOPE, I’m a BIG Montreal Canadians fan!”

She says, “Well why are you a Canadians fan and not a Leafs fan?”

Wayne says, “Well, my mom is a Canadians fan, and my dad is a Canadians fan, so I’m a Canadians fan.” The teacher’s not real happy now.. and she’s a little hot under the collar.
She says, “Well, if your mom is an idiot, and your dad is a moron, then what would you be?!”
Wayne says, “Well, then I’d be a Leafs fan!!”

Enjoy the shows! -end-

Editor’s note: Although his company does exhibit at the CRA trade show in Quebec, Steve Milcik does not personally attend as it conflicts with his psychiatric therapy appointment. *Steve Milcik writes from Montreal, Quebec, and wishes his frequent flier miles could be exchanged for cash. When he’s not in your backyard, he shills Sirius Rental Software for Orion. You can share your own rental stories with him at

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