Let's suppose you were walking along one of the trails around Lost Lake on a nice spring day. You remember nice spring days, don't you? Let's suppose you weren't really paying much attention to where you were stepping, distracted as you were by the olfactory assault of spring — thawing earth, uncovered leaf mould and dog presents, emerging skunk cabbage, the simultaneous drying and composting of last autumn's riot of death. You stumble, regain your balance and composure and catch a glimpse of something tarnished, but vaguely shiny protruding from the path from whence you just came.
In a momentary fit of pique, you kick at the thing that nearly brought you to your knees and unearth, what else? A lamp. Not a nondescript living room lamp with a flickering compact florescent bulb, but a oh-my-god-there-must-be-a-genie-in-there kind of lamp.
What would you do?
Well, you'd rub it of course. Maybe after sneaking a look around to see if anyone was watching, but nonetheless you'd rub it.
Poof! Vapour oozes out of the lamp, reminiscent of the B.C. bud you just smoked and you assume you're hallucinating as it coalesces around the shape of, well, what else? A Genie.
You: "Whoa, Dude!"
Genie: "Thank you; I've been cramped in there since the before time.
You: "You... you're a genie?"
Genie: "How observant of you."
You: "So, do I get three wishes."
Genie: "No, that's only in fairy tales."
You: "Well, what do I get?"
Genie: "Why do you assume you get anything? Everybody's so greedy."
You: "Because I released you from the lamp, Dude."
Genie: "Right. That means you get to live in the lamp now."
Genie: "Just yankin' your chain."You: "Whew. You had me goin' there. So what do I get?"
Genie: "You don't get anything. But I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll build the biggest development this town's seen since, well, since this town itself was built. It'll increase the population by, say, 20 per cent... assuming it all works according to plan. And, it'll all 'fit' within Whistler 2020. Whaddya think?"
You: "Are you shittin' me? How about just one little wish? Maybe a new bike."
Genie: "Take it or leave it. But hurry up and make a decision."
So that's a no-brainer, right? We'd leave it, right? There's nothing in the collective consciousness of Tiny Town that envisions, embraces or supports that kind of growth, right?
Or is there? Suppose that blueprint for growth came wrapped in something even more seductive and heartwarming than maman's tarte au sucré? Something appealing to our higher angels and aspirations? Something like an institution of higher education?
I guess we'll find out. After a tease, so long and drawn out I almost lost interest, the proponents of what's come to be called WhistlerU — picture a little green seedling growing out of the U which, in case anyone's not been paying attention, stands for University — have finally tabled a proposal. The game's afoot, Watson.