Maxed Out 

"Until last week, I pretty much thought of nuclear war, or the accidental or intentional detonation of a nuclear device, as an outdated concern."

Well, finally. I have something to thank George W. Bush for.

Before I thank the president of my home and native land, I’d just like to take a moment to, as gently as possible, serve up this proviso to our very welcome American guests. American Guests, we love you. We hope you’re enjoying the wondrous splendors Whistler has to offer. We’ve done our best to develop just the right mix of glorious mountains, great grooming, tasty restaurants, accommodating hotels, hot après spots, clubs, shops and various and sundry other distractions to make your Whistler vacation the best damn winter holiday you’ve ever taken.

We hope you’ll spend your time here as though you were living a beer ad, with great gusto. We hope you’ll come back. As I said before, we love you.

And at this point, if you’re feeling a bit maligned by negative comments that have been tossed around by the local, national and the world press about the various misadventures your president has gotten you into, if you’re feeling a bit picked on and peevish about such things, if you’re one of the 50.1 per cent of the voters who voted Republican in the last election and who still don’t regret it, please put your copy of Pique down and enjoy another pint, wing, nacho, what have you.

I’ll wait.

If, like a witness to a car wreck, you’ve felt compelled to come along and test your blood pressure, I’d just like to establish my bona fides. I am one of you. I am an American, born and raised. I still file, and occasionally pay, taxes to the U.S. government, still carry a U.S. passport, at least until my new Canadian one arrives, still vote whenever there’s a candidate worth voting for and until the NSA cracks the nefarious code in my e-mails to friends living south of the border, still visit. In other words, I am not, as my Perfect Partner says, "A real Canadian."

So, niceties and warnings out of the way, I’d like to thank Mr. Bush for correcting a misconception I’ve been living under oh these many years. I’ve always thought I was a guy who more or less embraced change, sought it out even. After all, I chose to move to Canada as an adult, long after my local draft board had given up on sending my sorry butt to Viet Nam I might add. I tossed over a promising, if lobotomizing, career in the financial industry and moved to Whistler to become a ski bum. I’ve embraced shorter, shapelier skis. Hell, I laboured under the impression the only thing that’s stayed the same about me is my undying belief in the progress of humankind and my utter distaste for white foods.

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