In the spirit of the season — with things all topsy turvy, deadlines screwed up and people all over the place — it shouldn’t be surprising that the leftover Maxies (from Maxed Out) that didn’t fit back there are up here. The 1997 Maxies include: Of Course This Isn’t Normal Award: What if you opened a mountain and nobody came? For a while it seemed that way at Whistler/Blackcomb recruiting this fall. A fishing trip through the wilds of Onterrible finally landed enough fresh faces who figured a season playing hooky at the best ski resort in the world would be better than another year studying Economics. Whew! I Couldn’t Find a Pencil Award: To the vast silent majority of Whistler. I know you’re out there; I hear you bitching. So why are there fewer letters to the editors in this town than any place I’ve ever lived before? Speak up you nimrods. Math is Hard; Economics is Dull Award: More lodging, more restaurants, more retail, more entertainment and more tourists equaled a leaner year for all. What’s wrong with this picture. Das Board Award: A special prize in remedial democracy to the Howe Sound School Board who must have enough skeletons in their closet by now to start a medical school. Speculation and innuendo only grow in the absence of disclosure and honesty. Who said that? Oh Goody, Another Whine Festival: To too many of the neighbourhoods in Whistler for their persistent ‘Last Immigrant Off the Boat’ mentality to further development. It’s gonna happen. You might as well work positively to make it as good as you can. The alternative is a legacy of bitterness and resentment. Or maybe you’d like Gibsons better. Small Step for Mankind Award: Whistler Transit for installing bike racks on muni buses. Now if you could just work on getting us from Alpine to Creekside without that annoying, 15 minute smoke break layover in the village. Making It Happen In the Face of Adversity Award: The artists and organizers of Artrageous. The fourth occasional instalment of this local arts fest in the Gondola Barn proves there’s still life in the cultural cadaver despite the power structure’s minuscule support for things arty. Best Reason to Put Your Wheels In the Ditch: Hale-Bopp. The drive home and evening walk was lighted and distracted for much of the winter by the light of last year’s comet. Wow man. Please, No More Slides, I’ve Seen Enough: I’m sure lots of great ideas and contacts came out of Council’s Excellent Adventure to resorts south. But if I hear one more time how things are done in Aspen, I just may lose my lunch. We’re not Aspen and I’m pretty sure we don’t want to be. Let’s sing our own song. Humm, A Nine Letter Word for World Domination: Well, pat our own back. Pique’s made in Whistler crossword puzzle has us all in the box. Like It Never Rains In the Coastal Range: Our image of farmers as rugged individuals dissolved in this fall’s rain as Pemberton’s spud growers whined and cried for a government bail-out when ceaseless showers swallowed their crop. Do the words crop insurance mean anything to ya? You Lucky Stiff – Part I: To the lottery ‘winners’ who won the various housing draws this year. How do you spell affordable? You Lucky Stiff – Part II: Local real estate mogul and timeless film star Errol Flynn hit the real jackpot and put a cool mil in the retirement kitty. Power to the people.