Up in the owner's box at Vancouver's B.C. Place stadium, during a Canadian Football League game involving the British Columbia Lions, an old fat guy is on his feet. On his hands are huge orange mittens that look like lion paws. He is waving them and growling like a lion in support of the Lions. Fans look up at him with a mixture of amusement, amazement, bewilderment and contempt.
He is Murray Pezim, 70. He owns the Lions. He knows nothing about football. Never mind, says Pezim. "I'm a natural, kooky owner."
He is one of Canada's richest citizens, having discovered, he says, more gold than anyone anywhere in history—more than 40 million ounces. He hates gold jewelry and won't wear it. He is, he says, the greatest promoter in the world. He is, he says, borderline brilliant. He is appealing a one-year suspension of his trading rights on the Vancouver Stock Exchange for allegedly having failed to disclose material facts in a 1989 insider-trading case. Of his chief antagonist, Vancouver superintendent of brokers Wade Nesmith, Pezim says, "Nesmith is an incompetent idiot, a power-hungry, arrogant schmuck. Did I forget twerp? Look, I'm a character. People expect me to get charged with something at least once a day." Nesmith refuses to discuss Pezim.
The Pez is routinely in the headlines of Vancouver papers:
PEZIM, 4 OTHERS CHARGED.
PEZIM FRAUD, THEFT CASE DATE SET.
PEZ: DOWN—NOT OUT.
Pezim is, Pezim says, "a nut case." Believe it.
Because he understates.
Murray Pezim lives somewhere beyond Outrageous. To get there, drive to Crazed, keep going toward Bonkers via Berserk, then slow at Around the Bend and look for signs.