Maxed Out 

"Ve have vays and means of making you..."

"Is it safe?...  Is it safe?"

"You're talking to me?"

"Is it safe?"

"Is what safe?"

"Is it safe?"

"I don't know what you mean. I can't tell you something's safe or not, unless I know specifically what you're talking about."

"Is it safe?"

"Tell me what the "it" refers to."

"Is it safe?"

"Yes, it's safe, it's very safe, it's so safe you wouldn't believe it."

"Is it safe?"

"No. It's not safe, it's...  very dangerous, be careful."

Cue the sound of a dentist's drill.

That bit of dialogue from Marathon Man (1976) probably isn't exactly how things went between Cheryl Caldwell, deputy general manager of licensing and local government liaison for B.C.'s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch and the promoter of Whistler's first - hopefully not last - Jazz on the Mountain festival, but it certainly captures the bizarre, surreal essence of her ruling denying JOM a festival-style liquor permit. Apparently the public wouldn't be safe if we allow liquor to be consumed in Whistler outside a fenced off beer garden.

How very apropos. How very Nazi-like.

In the film, "Is it safe?" is the question repeatedly asked by former SS dentist Christian Szell of the hapless Babe, an innocent bystander who hasn't a clue what the war criminal is talking about, which turns out to be his cache of diamonds stolen from Jewish guests in his concentration camp.

In the Star Chamber of the LCLB, I can't imagine there was much chance for Q&A but if there were, it might have gone like this.

"Is it safe?"

"Of course it's safe. We're spending tens of thousands of dollars on RCMP and private security to ensure it's safe."

"Is it safe?"

"Safe as mother's milk. All our servers will be Serving It Right certified."

"Is it safe?"

"Safe and secure. We'll have an unbreachable fence around the festival grounds. No one will be able to simply wander down the village holding a glass of festival wine in their hands."

"Is it safe?"

"Well, it's probably safer than a fenced beer garden within an already fenced area since people enjoying a drink will be sitting with their families and friends, savouring their wine or beer instead of crowded into a cattle pen knocking it back as fast as they can so they can get back to enjoying the music."

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