Maxed Out 

Escaping the Tyranny of Whistler

I know Pique comes out on Friday and for that I am grateful. It entertains me, it helps me plan my weekend and it reminds me of what I was thinking about earlier in the week when I wrote this. A memory is a terrible thing to waste.

Notwithstanding all the reasons to enjoy Friday, I have only one thing to say: Thank God for Monday. Like most of us living here, my Monday has nothing to do with the day after Sunday. My Monday is most often Thursday or Friday. It is the day following my days off and I am always glad to see it come around.

Several years ago, when I turned in my rat suit and left the race, I became part of a cult I knew nothing about: the Thank God for Monday cult. It mainly consists of retired people who are overwhelmingly happy, yes, even giddy, when Monday rolls around and the unruly masses of wage slaves return to their structured, week-long routine.

My first glimpse of this subculture came when I spent the better part of 1993 living in Mello Yello, a VW camper, in various US National Forests and Parks. Weekends were hell. What were, from Monday to Friday, relatively secluded, idyllic, backcountry retreats became, on weekends, loud, ill-mannered, armed camps. Fresh air, solitude and oneness with nature was replaced by a pall of wood smoke, rendering the air not dissimilar to what one might find in Mexico City, and smouldering testosterone. Solitude was punctuated by piercing and inappropriately timed rebel yells, blood-curdling vowel movements shattering the night.

The domain of the retired and genteel became the playground for stressed out, overly aggressive, "back to nature" American males. They came in Jeeps with comically oversized tires and, to a man, dressed in camouflage clothing, "camo" being to Americans what plaid is to Canadians. They drank copious amounts of Black Jack Daniels, played music in the woods and could only keep a campfire going with generous dollops of gasoline. Most were armed, although this posed a greater threat to themselves and their companions than those around them. Weekends became a time to find refuge, hunker down and wait it out. Thank God for Monday.

Sounds kind of like Whistler, doesn’t it? Okay, add a half dozen drunken arrests, numerous public tantrums thrown by children of all ages and some nitwit lost in the backcountry. Take away the guns. Now it sounds like a Whistler Weekend.

Fortunately, most of us are working on weekends in our open-all-day-every-day paradise and take out days off during the week. This probably goes a long way to explaining the relatively few beatings our guests suffer at the hands of locals. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve only actually met two people whose weekends are Saturday and Sunday. My concern for their welfare falls short of pity, but I do feel their pain.


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