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Maxed Out

Synonyms for a snoozer of a season

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By G.D. Maxwell

Dreary : gloomy, dismal, sombre, bleak, miserable, cheerless, joyless, uninteresting.

In the midst of Thesaurus-abuse, we stop to ponder the soul-sapping power of ceaseless, endless, perpetual, neverending, B.C. coastal I-hate-the-Pacific-Ocean…weather.

Not so many years ago that I’ve forgotten, I had to go to a job interview. I’d been in Whistler for a couple of years and made the boneheaded mistake of deciding to work during the summer instead of more or less pissing it away as had become my habit. I wasn’t at all certain I wanted the job but it seemed like a novel thing to do. So I did it. Went to the job interview, that is.

Someone nearly half my age, with a keenness for advancement with the MotherCorp that shone like a bare bulb on a country porch on a moonless night, rifled through a stack of applications until he came to mine. At least as prepared for this interview as I was, he scanned my resume – a collection of omissions, half-truths, conceits and enough shading to support a sizable sidewalk café – settled a professional gaze on me and said, "So, (glancing quickly at his papers) Max, what’s your five-year plan?"

Stunned, I thought about this question for a long time. Long enough to wonder whether there was, in fact, an answer to it. Long enough to make Mr. Keen wonder whether I’d fallen asleep with my eyes open. Long enough for him to finally ask me the question again. "Your five-year plan?"

"I didn’t know I was supposed to bring one," I finally said, still trying to figure out where I might have put it, if in fact I had one at all.

"You don’t have a five-year plan?" I was touched by his genuine distress at the news.

"No. I thought this was only a summer job," I offered.

"But I used to have a five-year plan," I added, feeling that somehow I’d ruined his day by not having one now.

"What was that?" He said, visibly perking up.

"My five-year plan was to move to Whistler," I explained. "I figured I either had to save money like crazy, make a big score or figure out a foolproof way to embezzle money from my employer. And here I am," I said triumphantly.

He looked at me expectantly. "And….?"

"The details aren’t really important," I said dismissively.

Sensing this was an unsatisfactory answer, I added, "Now I have a five-day plan."

"What’s that," he asked with genuine curiosity.

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