maxed Out 

Too much of a good thing

Hear that? Listen more closely. Now do you hear it? That, my friends, is the sound of summer slammin’ shut. By the merciful intervention of another school year, this town’s about ready to go into sleep mode for the fleeting weeks between now and ski season. It’s time to reclaim the trails and lakes from the ever-expanding hordes of map-clutching, screamin’ kid toting, boulevard strollin’, goldcard flashin’ tourists and enjoy them in their fleeting solitude. The jugglers and clowns have packed up their false noses and flaming torches and we can once more enjoy an uncrowded patio, a refreshing beverage and peace of mind knowing the Fashion Policelady won’t be coming by spraying us with glitter, rouging our cheeks and making gratuitously defamatory comments about our "so called" wardrobe.

Apologies to all those who make their killing, er, living off the seasonal invasion, but good riddance.

Now before y’all start writing outraged letters to Mr. Barnett about what an ungrateful, short-sighted thing that is for me to write, don’t bother. He already knows I’m ungrateful and short-sighted. It’s part of his own bargain with the Devil, one of an uncountable number of compromises necessary to put out a paper each week. Besides, in your hearts you know I’m right.

I’m not unaware of the debt we all owe – myself included – to the many funseekers who choose to spend time and money in Whistler. Bless each and every one of them. Individually I’m sure they’re all salt-o-the-earth people, except for the loser hoodlums who come up from the Lower Mainland for a punch-up and a drag race down the Killer Highway.

But in the same way a single sliver in your finger or a single pebble in your shoe won’t slow you down, a couple of dozen of each can become unbearable. Left alone long enough they’ll fester and aggravate your tender flesh until infectious gangrene sets in and the next thing you know you’re selling pencils from a kneeboard with a sign around your neck that says, "God bless you for your generosity." Of course, you’d have to move first since someone from Bylaw would come by and boot your crippled ass out of town if you tried that around here.

With the disappearing shoulder seasons and year-round fun being dreamed up by the marketing wizards of Whistler-Blackcomb and Tourism Whistler, we just don’t get the respite we used to get from the gawking visitors. And let’s be absolutely clear about one thing: not all tourists are created equal.

I love winter tourists. Winter tourists know what they’ve come to Whistler for. They’re single-minded in their pursuit of fast times, awesome natural features and wild thrills. Most of them also ski or board after having flushed half their braincells down the stall of one of our many nightlife hot spots.

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