Maxed Out 

Max’s Helpful Five

By G.D. Maxwell

Hear that whooshing noise all day Tuesday? It probably sounded a lot louder and more harsh through your Happy New Year hangover haze but sober or suffering, it was an unmistakably soothing sound. It was, of course, the sound of several thousand cars headed south, their weary occupants schlepping back to their own new year nightmares of work, school, routine and the dreaded anticipation of credit card bills, reminding them of the good times they had in Whistler, memories sure to carry them through the macaroni and cheese days of January.

I’d be up on the mountain celebrating if I weren’t both exhausted and recovering from a cold bug graciously offered me by a co-worker or one of the multitude of visitors who coughed questions in my direction over the past two weeks. Both maladies are the easily foreseen results of the Mothercorp’s enlightened new management policy of (a) hiring fewer people this year, leading to (b) mandatory overtime, which led in turn to (c) a toxic cocktail of stress, exhaustion and rundown immune systems, yielding (d) illness and seriously pissed off employees. I’m sure late night meetings with union organizers didn’t help matters but hey, that’s a chapter yet to be written.

Or my woes could be the result of the substandard housing I’m living in. I never realized it was substandard before councillor Milner so graciously pointed it out to me. In fact, I always thought it was pretty nice. Sure, it’s been around for almost 40 years but it was well-built and rustically finished with knotty cedar walls and a real stone fireplace. Its two bedrooms are admittedly too small for queen size beds but it’s easier to snuggle my Perfect Partner in a double anyway.

There’s no arguing though, the whole package, upstairs and down is well under 3,500 square feet. In case you missed his comments, councillor Milner says houses under 3,500 square feet are slums. In countering councillor Melamed’s efforts to keep our few mature neighbourhoods from falling prey to the Monsta Home Syndrome, councillor Milner argued such draconian measures as capping house size at 3,500 square feet would lead to the "slumification" of Whistler. I guess that makes all the condos in the village and on the benchlands slummy housing projects or maybe, could they be, ghettos? Wow, thanks for saving our bacon, Ted.

Anyway, it was a record Christmas in Whistler despite the best efforts of the Muslim fringe to knock North America off its axis. Several days there were so many people on Whistler and Blackcomb they didn’t need grooming because they’d been skied smooth. In an effort to shepherd so many folks through what could have been a crushing experience, Intrawest’s Division of Helpful Hints dreamed up and publicized a new holiday trinity: Get Up, Stay Up, Eat Smart.


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