It is somehow reassuring that in these pink slippery times, with some 650 sluggos for the high jump, that the CBC goes into its ninth season of Dragons’ Den with its complement of millionaires intact (Kevin O’Leary and Bruce Coxon make way for Vikram Vij and Michael Wekerle).
But can either of the new boys fill O’Leary’s clown shoes as the show’s resident shithead, as objectionable in person as on camera?
Wekerle’s got potential.
According to CBC publicity bumph, the much-tattooed supremo of Difference Capital “loves fast cars and rock music.”
“He donates millions to a wide variety of philanthropic interests, ranging from hospitals, and educational funds, to arts companies such as Opera Atelier. Michael Wekerle’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with lavish lifestyle, celebrity friends and joie de vivre have placed him uniquely at the top of both the society pages and the list of Canada’s top power players.”
Alas, the PR may paint him as “Mick Jagger meets Warren Buffet,” but the genuine article is more Vince Neil meets Rob Ford.
Take, for example, the case of Brooks Jansen, a valet at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Ark. Jansen last year sued The Wek for $150,000+, alleging shoulder injuries sustained wrestling the over-refreshed financier on the evening of October 22, 2010.
Attached to the suit is a security incident report recounting Wek’s legendary performance. He’d flown in on a private jet and arrived with a skin-full of top-shelf booze and a fanny pack jammed with cash (as much as $10,000, according to companions).
Awesomeness ensued. The CBC, if the report is to believed, has found itself a gifted performer.
Mike Wekerle’s Twelve Steps to Party Animal Stardom, as alleged in the incident report:
Capital Hotel guest Mike Wekerle engaged in the following activities in the Capital Hotel:
- Dropped his pants to his ankles in the lobby near the foyer, in front of guests and employees, and walked back and forth between the bell stand and the foyer three times before he pulled up his pants.
- Repeatedly and loudly blew a stadium horn in the lobby.
- Grabbed a valet by the arm, twisted the valet’s arm, spun around as if he was about to flip the valet over his shoulder, and tugged hard on the valet’s arm. The valet has reported and injury and filed an “Employee Accident/Injury Report.”
- Verbally harassed two female guests by asking a valet in front of the females if the valet had “fucked them,” and then asking the valet to “lick their tits.”
- Lifted and carried a female from the sidewalk in front of the hotel, through the foyer, into the lobby and to the nearest sofa, then fell backward on the sofa with the female and remained on the sofa with the female and remained on the sofa with her in the prone position.
- Got on his knees and then in a prone position on the floor of the lobby in front of the entrance to Ashley’s restaurant.
- Licked the bottom of a female’s shoe, then removed the shoe and licked the bottom of the female’s foot while they were at the entry to Ashley’s and while the woman’s husband was in Ashley’s.
- Talked in a loud, drunken manner and used profanity, including several variations of the word “fuck,” while inside Ashley’s restaurant, in the hotel lobby, and in the Capital Bar and Grill.
- Wrestled with a companion in the hallway between the restrooms south of the lobby.
- Sat at an occupied table in the Capital Bar & Grill and began talking to patrons at the table, then stood up in his chair and jumped up and down in the chair until a server made him stop.
- Dropped his pants and underwear in front of guests and employees in the Capital Bar and Grill. At least two guests reported seeing Mr. Wekerle’s genitals.
- Threatened a security officer when the security officer tried to get Mr. Wekerle to calm down and stop interfering with other guests.
Hotel security officer Michael Parnell gamely attempts in 11 pages of meticulous notes to capture the grandeur of Wek’s rampage, but Frank is certain you had to be there. Herewith, some highlights:
* “When I reported for duty at 6:00 p.m., several staff members reported that Mr. Wekerle had dropped his pants in the lobby, blew a stadium horn in the lobby, handed out beer to employees, and acted in a generally rude manner when he had checked in earlier in the afternoon. Guest Services manager Alan Napier had reported that Mr. Wekerle was a very wealthy, important person from Canada, and was the leader of a securities trading group. Concierge Billy Glasscock had reported that Mr. Wekerle had ‘come in with a fanny pack full of money’ and was ‘throwing it everywhere.’”
* “Mr. Wekerle had reserved a table for twenty-one people for 6:15 p.m. I saw and heard one of Mr. Wekerle’s associates tell Mr. Wekerele, through clenched teeth, that Mr. Wekerle had ‘kept twenty people waiting for two hours.’”
* “Mr. Wekerle went to the Capital Bar and Grill and greeted three black males who had arrived earlier and were seated at the bar. According to Mr. Wekerle’s associates, Mr. Wekerle had met the three males earlier in the day at a liquor store (or possibly a gas station or combination thereof) on the way from the airport. Mr. Wekerle had invited the males to the hotel.
“Mr. Wekerle and the three black males went to the men’s restroom south of the lobby…When Mr. Wekerle and the three males exited the restroom, they went upstairs. They returned to the lobby approximately five minutes later. The three black males left. Mr. Wekerle continued to engage in loud, disruptive behaviour in the lobby.”
*[Capital Bar and Grill manager Lee Edwards] reported that Mr. Wekerle had dropped his underwear, and at least two guests had stated that they saw Mr. Wekerle’s genitals. Those reports were later confirmed by CB&G employees Jo Ann Sims and David Burnette. Jo Ann reported that she saw Mr. Wekerle’s buttocks.”
*“I told Mr. Wekerle that if he insisted on acting in an inappropriate manner, and would not remain in his room, we would ask him to leave. Again he replied, ‘Or what?’ He demanded to know what I would do, and I told him that ultimately I would be forced to evict him, and that if he resisted eviction I would call the Little Rock Police Department if necessary. Mr. Wekerle seemed to grow even angrier. He shook his fingers at me and told me he would get a lawyer and sue the hotel…Mr. Wekerle pulled away from his associate and seemed to focus intently on me. He turned slightly sideways, and I saw his chest heave several times. His eyes narrowed. He began to shake his head back and forth and he said, ‘I’ll…I’ll…you…I’ll fuck you up.’ I told Mr. Wekerle, ‘Sir, you’re done. You are leaving this hotel.’”
*“At approximately 9:45 p.m., two of Mr. Wekerle’s associates…stopped told me they had put Mr. Wekerle to bed in the Peabody [Hotel], and that we should not have any trouble out of him for the rest of the night. I apologized for having to evict Mr. Wekerle, and one of his associates replied, ‘Fuck, I would have kicked him out sooner than you did.’”