Maxed out -In the sober light of the new year 

I think it was one of those sage eastern philosophers – Confucius, or maybe his brother – who said, "Never strike back in anger." I can’t claim to have ever fully understood the sentiment, let alone the Deeper Meaning behind that statement but then again, I never understood what "Life is like a beanstalk, isn’t it?" meant either. I figured my lack of insight came from being born into a New World culture without the baggage of 3,000 years of history and, frankly, not really giving a hang about Deeper Meaning.

But travelling the road to what passes for wisdom in my life, I recently glimpsed what whomever mined that nugget of advice might have been trying to tell us. Tucked in among the forgotten resolutions of the New Year, lost in the white noise of thousands of holiday tourists, I would almost have missed it entirely had it not been slapped across the front pages of our country’s national newspapers and what passes for newspapers in Vancouver.


Damn, and I slept through it. Which, apparently, so did a lot of other people, including some sleeping in rooms not too far away from the heat of the action.

In the sober light of the morning after the night before, it turned out, well, how should we put this, someone over-reacted. There wasn’t actually a near riot. There was, more or less, a riotous snowball fight. And like so many snowball fights, this one escalated when some bad boys who still lack the "plays well with others" skills they should have picked up in kindergarten, started throwing ice balls or, lacking those, heaving chunks of ice at other people.

Like our mothers taught us, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye and sure enough, someone got whacked hard enough to start bleeding and some innocent tree got in the way and lost a few limbs. This conflagration was clearly headed to a foreseeable end. Without the swift intervention of nearly a hundred Mounties, someone was probably just moments away from whipping out a personal nuclear device and turning Whistler Village into a glowing memory. Whew, dodged that one.

Trotting back to HQ in the near-dawn light of a new millennium, someone – it’s not exactly clear who but it is clear it wasn’t the Staff Sgt. Responsible for Incendiary Press Releases – traded his flak jacket for a word processor and dashed off a missive informing the world Whistler Village was once again beset by an angry mob and only the decisive action of the Doright troop saved the nation’s playground from the devastating fallout of a Near Riot.


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