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The Bong Show

I wake up to the sound of a crane dropping a weight onto a metal piling every morning. Over and over, day after day. Bong… Bong… Bong…

It’s been like this for months. Sometimes the racket will stop for a couple of days, and the silence is bliss. You almost believe it’s all over and done with when suddenly, from a block and a half away, the crane goes back to work. Bong… Bong… Bong…

You know it’s a Monday morning when the bonging begins.

It’s bonging when I leave for work in the morning and it’s bonging when I come home at night. A neighbour of mine who works the late shift can’t sleep. The topic always comes up in casual conversation at the bus stop or in line at the Food Plus, and the consensus is that we’re long past the point of being annoyed by the bonging. We’re absolutely exhausted by it.

A forest of steel pilings already blankets the pit that will one day prop up the foundations of Nita Lake Lodge, keeping all five stories and five stars of this luxury hotel from sinking into the southern shore of the lake.

I don’t know if there’s any viable alternative to hammering the pilings into the ground, but if there isn’t I have one suggestion for the builders – get some more cranes in there. Get some lights. Get a hundred more pilings and go to work in shifts if you have to and end this nightmare as soon as possible for thousands of Creekside residents. Give us a break before spring hits and the summer construction season begins in earnest. Please… I’m begging you!

Bong… Bong… Bong…

For we sorry and sleep-deprived Creekside dwellers, it’s been one big, loud project after another for the past four years. From roadwork and bridge building to the construction of new homes, new hotels and a new mall at the Creekside base, sometimes this work in progress feels like it will never end.

At the same time we know that the moment the machinery stops, we’re screwed. Houses will flood the market and renters will be given notice as the gentrification of the neighbourhood begins in earnest. We’ll have endured half a decade of noise, diesel fumes, dust and inconvenience for nothing. One way or another, we’ll never find peace in Creekside.

Sometimes, when my neighbours are having one of their all-night bonfires, I wish they’d be a little quieter so I could get to sleep. Then I remember that if I’m a little annoyed, the guy around the corner who paid more than a million bucks for his Creekside home, his peaceful mountain retreat, must be steaming. This gives me an idea.

I don’t want to lose the house I’m in, or see anyone else get forced out because of Whistler-style inflation and the sad fact that even the good landlords out there can’t afford to rent their places at reasonable rates anymore. The fact that our landlord gets regular calls from real estate agents promising him a huge payday isn’t helping matters either.

It strikes me that the only reason we’re still here is because of the endless building and annoying bong, bong, bong at the Nita Lake Lodge site – it’s hard to sell a house for 10 times its real-world value when it’s located in the middle of a construction site. Homeowners are waiting until Creekside is finished before cashing in.

What can we do about it? Personally, I think it’s time to trash the place, making it as unattractive as possible to home buyers and developers. Whistler is revered for its beauty and the tranquility of the mountains – we can shatter both if we all work together.

For example, every home could have a Winnebego, and a couple of broken down cars, sleds, appliances and motorbikes parked in the driveway.

Whenever possible, residents should be on their front porches barbecuing, listening to heavy metal music, and drinking beer. Shirts and shoes should come off during the summer, and we should all stop trimming our hair and beards. It’s time to hillbilly the neighbourhood up a bit.

We already have a lot of dogs in Creekside, but we could always use a few more. Big, mean looking mutts work the best, but as long as they know they’re supposed to growl at strangers in Lexuses and bark all night any dogs will do.

Massive house and backyard parties are always a good way to keep the people who come up here for rest and relaxation awake and annoyed. There will be a few noise complaints, yes, and the police will be called in from time to time, but that could work to our advantage in the long run – how badly do you want to live in one of those neighbourhoods you see on COPS? If you get a ticket or a fine, you can always throw another kegger to pay it off.

Creekside is also blessed with a number of musicians, including some drummers. They should be encouraged to drink heavily and jam for hours at a time, exploring their freeform jazz roots with the volume cranked to 11.

Need to tune your motorcycle or sled? Rev away.

Thinking about getting some new tires for the truck? Then go big. The headlights should be about eye-level for maximum intimidation. Hang the horns of a dead animal on the grill and you’ll look like the cat’s ass.

Voices travel at night so always be sure to use phrases like "cat’s ass" and other foul language in your casual conversation – that is if you think "they" can hear you over the sound of your stereo system, which should always be on.

According to bylaws, we’re not allowed to hang our laundry outdoors, but I don’t know anybody who’s been busted yet for this infraction. Also, think satellite dishes. The dish doesn’t even need to work, it just needs to be an eyesore.

Property values are a fickle thing, and nobody will die if they don’t go up for a few years. Let’s buy ourselves some time until Whistler finally figures out where they want to put us all.

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