Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

News and what we do



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As soon as the bar opens.

You wake reasonably fresh and ready to hit the slopes the next morning. Now if only you could find the slopes… somewhere mysteriously hidden in the thickest, lowest clouds you’ve ever seen… behind the torrential curtain of rain… falling on their peaks… wherever they are.

And on the way to Guest Services, to pick up your tickets which were inexplicably not in your check-in package at the hotel, some joker from the CBC shoves a microphone in your face while another joker in a matching jacket points the unblinking eye of a camera in your direction.

"So," says the joker with the microphone, "How do you like the liquid snow?"

Pondering the manifold insults heaped on your shoulders during the past 48 hours, still reeling from the 80-hour work week you knocked off to go on this trip, wondering why God has abandoned you in your hour of need, you shrug your shoulders and say, "Well, it could be worse."


That interview wouldn’t make The National… with Peter Mansbridge.

One of the reasons it wouldn’t make the news is because, well, it isn’t news. Now, take the sputtering, screaming, histrionic, I’m-never-coming-back-here-again-after-spending-$20,000-on-my-vacation-and-having-it-rained-out kind of reaction. That’s news! It’s news because it’s both heartening – especially during the peace on Earth, goodwill towards men time of year – to see someone who isn’t you suffering such indignity, but it’s especially news because it’s rare to see an adult someone suffering such indignity with all the grace and aplomb of a four-year-old throwing a hissy fit.

It’s rare. As in not the norm. As in deviant. The fact that it’s also both colourful and feeds right into the CBC’s preferred bias, shared by an alarmingly wide swath of the Canadian populace, for getting a warm, fuzzy feeling when the successful stumble, ensures it’s news.

The boring fact is, most of the unlucky souls who chose the week before Christmas instead of the week after Christmas to holiday in Whistler suffered silently and stoically. Most of them were adult enough to comprehend the crapshoot that is a Christmas ski holiday. Most of them have endured less than idyllic vacations sometime in the past and most of them understand they’ll very likely endure them again some time in the future. It’s the nature of the beast. If you don’t like disappointment, stay home.