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The essential points of Spring Break

By G.D. Maxwell Welcome to Spring Break! If you live in Whistler, you’re probably thinking, "Hey, didn’t we have spring break during the entire month of February?" Yes. Yes we did.

By G.D. Maxwell

Welcome to Spring Break!

If you live in Whistler, you’re probably thinking, "Hey, didn’t we have spring break during the entire month of February?" Yes. Yes we did. And you can be understandably forgiven for wondering why in the world winter’s following spring this year. But this column isn’t for you.

This is the one I write every year to be nice to the tourists. The one I write to keep from getting those nasty letters Peter Vogler used to get whenever he’d get frustrated and let slip our dirty little secret… what a royal pain in the collective keester they can all get to be around this time of year. It was the second best thing I ever learned from him.

So Welcome! If you’re from the Old Country – Ontario – you’re just wrapping up your Spring Break and probably too bleary-eyed to even read this. Have a nice flight home. Thanks for coming. And remember to keep saying to yourself, "I had a great time in Whistler" when the credit card bills come in next month. We ’preciate it.

But if you’re from B.C., hey baby, the party’s just starting.

Now, everyone knows if you’re between the ages of 18 and 30 and single – what the ski industry likes to call the Redemption Generation and what Whistler condo owners who’re hoping to sell you their condo when their knees give out like to call Suckers: The Next Generation – you’re only here for two reasons: sliding down the hill during the day and sliding into the sack sometime before the sun comes up. In other words, to get laid. And let’s be frank; all the skiing and boarding, all the partying and merry-making is really just pretext for the real reason you’re here: getting laid.

And for those of you who, shall we say, fall on the older side of that demographic and have opted to spend a Family Vacation in Whistler with the kids, try to remember this: you got yourself into this predicament because some time in the past you successfully got laid during Spring Break. So cut the yahoos some slack when they wake you up at 2 a.m. puking outside your condo on the way home from Moe Joe’s. They’re just the losers going back to their rooms by themselves and let’s be honest, they probably remind you of yourself not so long ago. As for you young hooligans disdainfully looking at these upstanding citizens with kids: don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s not like we haven’t figured out where they come from.

Alrighty. Having managed to mildly insult everyone except empty-nesters and geezers, I’ll just smoothly segue into the Helpful Hints section of this column.

Now that we’ve established the real reason you’re here is to get laid, the single most important thing you can do to up your odds of success is this: AVOID LOOKING LIKE A DORK!

Being an astute observer of human nature, especially human behaviour in ski resorts, I can help. Here are Max’s Top Ten Tips for Skirting Dorkdom in Whistler.

10: Just because I’d sleep with you doesn’t mean I’d ski with you. Truer words were never spoken… or written on a T-shirt. Under no circumstances should you ride with someone you want to score with. Or someone you have scored with. It can only lead to disappointment. He/she either skis better or worse than you do. Either way, this is a lose-lose situation. Avoid it.

9. Ski Etiquette: Part I. If you ski fewer than three weeks a season, you shouldn’t own skis. If you do, they’re laughably outdated and can only lead to (1) bad skiing and (2) derision. Rent this year’s hot skis. You’ll ski better and look better.

8. Ski Etiquette: Part II. Carry your skis the right way – over your shoulder, tips forward, bindings behind you. Nothing… nothing looks dorkier than some Gomer mincing in ski boots, carrying his or her skis like so many sacks of groceries. Practice hoisting them without smacking someone in the process.

7. Ski Etiquette: Part III. If you’re strong enough to ski, you’re strong enough to carry your own skis. Unless your partner’s using a ski pole as a crutch, let him/her carry their own skis. Let’s show a little dignity out there people.

6. Walking in ski boots. Unlatch them first. Let your heel hit the ground and maintain forward momentum. Don’t try to land flat-footed – you don’t walk that way, do you? – and whatever you do, don’t go sideways, or worse yet, backwards down stairs. Better to fall with style.

5. Buckles. If your boots don’t have them, buy new boots. The only time the words rear-entry should be whispered is after you’ve scored… which you probably won’t if they’re whispered to describe your ski boots.

4. Goggle Gap. Goggles go over your eyes, not on your arm, not on your leg, not on the back of your head, not on top of your head where they’ll fog up. There shouldn’t be any gap between the top of your goggs and your toque or helmet. You should wear a toque or helmet if you’re wearing goggles. Any deviation from these rules constitutes an immediate Gomer. Goggles are to skiers what ties are to suits… only more functional. Drop into McCoo's and they’ll be happy to explain why you ought to drop $150 or more for them.

3. Poles. Poles are the ultimate lose-an-eye implements of destruction. If you’re schussing and have straight poles – as opposed to those very cool racer dude poles with all the curves – don’t bother bending yourself into a racer’s crouch and sticking them straight out behind you. Think scared porcupine. That’s what you look like… only dorkier. And when you’re carrying them in the village, points down, please.

2. Wall o’ Idiots. As my friend Dan used to say, "Chairlifts are for talkin’; slopes are for skiin’." Get off the chairlift and ski away. The boarders need the space for falling down and strapping into their bindings anyway. Sliding off the chair and standing around in the wall o’ idiots formation is about as smart as stopping at the top of an escalator to decide whether you want to go to the Gap or Radio Shack. Duh.

1. The ultimate Spring Break conundrum is this: hangovers are both dorky and unavoidable. Here’s a surefire hangover cure. Burn a piece of toast until the smoke detector goes off. The smell will get your adrenaline going. Warm half a cup of skim milk, half a cup of coffee together. Crumble the toast into the coffee/milk. Stir in a spoonful of baking soda. Toss in an Alka Seltzer for good measure. Two dashes of Tabasco to cut the tongue scum. This is the important part. Sit on the john when you drink this and have a trashcan at hand. We’re talking two exits, no waiting. Trust me. You’ll feel better immediately.