Maxed Out 

And now the news

By G.D. Maxwell

"War is hell," is what I thought I heard him say. Now if he’d been a grunt crawling through a sandstorm in Iraq or a flyboy throwin’ a little shuck & jive on the city of Baghdad or even a trader on Wall Street wondering whether the markets loved or hated war, I might have understood the sentiment.

But what he was doing was slicing hip-deep snow half way down Harvey’s with his only remaining ski, hoping desperately to thud up against the other one buried somewhere uphill from the bomb crater he’d left in the snow when he augered head first for the fifth time since leaving the top of Harmony chair.

"War is hell," he repeated. I was about to stop and offer help and ask what in the world he meant but as the other saying goes, no friends on a powder day, dude.

All things considered, this isn’t the worst place to sit out the war. While young men and women are dying and old men are wondering why the enemy hasn’t rolled over and played dead and armchair generals are wondering whether the coalition of the U.S., Britain, Australia and a lot of countries most people couldn’t find on a map hasn’t revisited Napoleon’s blunder in Russia, the logisticians of Whistler are wondering how they’re going to get golf courses open with winter finally falling in March and April.

With all this strife and bewilderment in the world, you – the average Whistleratic who gets most of what passes for news from the Snow Phone and the bulletin board at Tapley’s – may be forgiven if you missed these recent news items. But pay attention. This stuff will have an immediate impact on your life.

Fast Ferry Docks in Whistler

An extremely reliable rumour being floated around the better drinking establishments in town, says one of the PacifiCat fast ferries is coming to Alta Lake. The $454 million fleet of flotation-and-locomotion-challenged ferries was auctioned off earlier this week by the tipsy B.C. government of Slash Gordon, who was, himself, being sentenced in absentia by a Maui court for driving while "…drunk out of his mind." The gavel fell when the bidding got all the way to $19.2 million, some $40 million below the estimated scrap value of the three ships.

While Washington Marine Group, the successful bidder, was not forthcoming about their plans for the ferries, this gossip columnist has good reason to speculate one of the cats has been optioned by local entrepreneur Dave Gault to replace his well-known and highly-loved party boat. A summertime fixture on Alta Lake, the party boat has seen better days and is, shall we say, not entirely in keeping with the upscale image Tourism Whistler likes to tout in its brochures.


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