Maxed Out 

A flight of fancy

By G.D. Maxwell

Now that my childhood – chronologically speaking – lies in a galaxy far, far away, I’ve pretty much given up on all the silly things I hoped I’d be and never became. Even my long-coveted dream of being six feet tall, I’ve decided, isn’t worth the risk of growth hormones or leg implants at this point in my life. I’m 5’10" on a good day, 5’9.5" after a day of skiing moguls and will doubtlessly compost my way down to around 5’7" by the time I’m ready to check out. C’est la vie.

Being tall is only the last of a long parade of passing desires I’ve watched doppler away to the vanishing point. Flying like Superman was the first and most painful, both psychically and physically. I was determined to succeed but gravity was far more stubborn.

I made peace with never driving the tail-end of a hook-and-ladder fire truck, never being the toughest kid in school and never being a star athlete. I learned quickly to stop sweating not being what someone else wanted me to be when one of my baseball coaches, dazzled by the speed at which I could throw a ball, kept trying to make a pitcher out of me. In half a dozen trips to the mound, I amassed a perfect record. No batter ever hit me. For the most part, I hit them. The ones I didn’t hit, I walked. Hell, I couldn’t be blamed if they all looked like better targets than the catcher’s mitt.

Really, there are only three accomplishments in my life I’m particularly proud of. After enough years to prove I could do it and sock away a bit of savings, I left a high-paying suit ’n’ tie job to be a ski bum and scribbler, both of which are far more satisfying and let me live a first-world life with as little stress as possible in the 21 st century.

I tricked my Perfect Partner into falling in love with me and managed, with her help, to cobble together a relationship where we pretty much have learned to accept each other’s weirdness and fallibilities.

And I’ve grown very, very comfortable with my own limitations. Everything I need to know, I learned from Popeye – I yam what I yam.

Too bad the folks running Whistler can’t seem to learn that last one.

These are tough times in Tiny Town and coping with the stresses and strains of the Winter That Never Was is making everyone just a leetle bit testy, some more than others. It’s also painting the town with the unmistakable patina of Oz. Not the Oz of our brothers and sisters Down Unda, but the Oz of the mythical Wizard. Whistler is in desperate need of heart, courage and especially brains. Unfortunately, we seem to be blinded by wizards selling their own particular brand of snake oil.

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