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Maxed out

The 2008 Maxies

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The year before the year before the Olympics descend on our happy mountain home has truly been one for the record books. It began with buoyant news about rising home values and just kind of degenerated from there.

So many achievements, so few awards. But here they are, the 2008 Maxies, recognizing, as always, the noteworthy and dubious.

 

Life in Tiny Town

Best On-Mountain Improvement : I never woulda spent $52 million bucks on it — probably a failure of vision on my part — but if you pee standing up, it’s pretty hard not to be impressed by the Peak 2 Peak gondola. Great rides, great views and an opening celebration very, very well done. Oh yeah, and it came in on time and on budget. Maybe the muni should just hire Doug, Barb and Rick instead of the consultants they waste money on.

Nice Rabbit; Nice Hat: With the twin demons of weather and economy tag-teaming prosperity, the last thing Whistler and WB needed was a highly publicized lift failure. The only thing to do? Get it up and running in a week and a day. We owe you all a round.

Wow, You Can Dress ’em Up and Take ’em Somewhere : Bones, Binty and Flyboy are awarded the GG’s Medal of Bravery for their daring rescue of a kite skier testing thin ice on Green Lake. Never seen those guys in suits before.

Does That Come In Small : Whistler’s hottest new fashion statement hits the mean streets of Tiny Town this fall when fresh-faced seekers took to the bricks wearing sandwich signs desperately asking passersby, “Got Housing?”

First Prize — A Lifetime’s Supply of Gas : To the avenging logger, whomever he or she may be, who did more to singlehandedly beautify our town by chainsawing one of the hideous official Olympic signs near Creekside. Can you believe they replaced it with more wooden posts, dude?

Follow the Yellow Brick Road : To all the heartless tin men and women, a/k/a landlords, who are gouging renters, breaking the law by requiring months of rent up front and unconscionable damage deposits, cramming as many bodies into as few beds as possible and giving tenants the boot for Olympic gold. May your sex organs fall off and loathsome disease ravage your bodies, you bustards. Special mention to the operator in White Gold charging $1,100/month to each of three mates sharing that tiny bedroom… swine.

Killed Him a B’ar When He Was Only Twenty-Four : Little Andy Robertson celebrated Wildlife Month last May by pulling over to the side of the road in Alpine Meadows, whipping out his daddy’s .12 gauge and blowing away a bear cub the kids at Whistler Secondary had more or less adopted. Andy, if life were like Survivor — I’m sure you’re a fan — your ass would be voted off the planet.

Birds Do It, Bees Do It : But if the Get Bear Smart Society had its way, Jeanie and her educated fleas wouldn’t get to do it no mo’. Here’s the logic: Babies drive Jeanie to eat garbage. If we sterilize Jeanie, she won’t eat garbage. QED. All men are Socrates, dude. I think maybe we ought to be sterilizing the mental incompetents who can’t seem to deal with bear-proofing their garbage.

Best Patio… For Now : Isn’t it always Citta’s? Will it still be if Citta’s becomes another link in the Cactus Club’s chain? Will more money get Caleb into heaven? Whistler needs more funky ski bars, not more chain restaurants. Do the right thing.

Best New Eats : In keeping with the times, both are easy on your personal economy. Quinny’s if you’re villagebound and — finally — the long-awaited new home of award-winning REAL barbeque: BBQ Bob’s at Rolands in Creekside. Mmmm… brisket.

 

Politics

Timing is Everything : Early in the new year, the farsighted government of British Columbia eliminated mandatory retirement. By year’s end, anyone turning 65 and lucky enough to still have a job was watching their retirement nest egg vanish and pondering Freedom 85! You want fries with that?

Okay, I Guess it is Your Tea Party : Four new councillors and two leftovers draw a line in the sand and tell the mayor and staff there’s no way they’ll leave decisions over TCUPs requested by VANOC up to staff. Quick Watson, another round of Kool-Aid.

Pave Paradise… Okay, Pave a Swamp : B.C. Transit moves at lightning speed while council moves like treacle in January and another bit of wetland is paved over forever. Aw screw ’em, they were mostly amphibians anyway.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste : Little Stevie Hapless channels his inner idiot after mistaking his pointless election gains as a mandate to witch hunt the opposition. Singlehandedly resurrecting the word “prorogue” from the dustbin of history, he suspends Parliament at a time when national governments around the world are actually working on the global economic meltdown. Hope you enjoyed your holiday, Stevie.

The Best Is Yet to Come : Let us drink a toast to the past council’s heroic efforts to keep property taxes to a mere 5.5 per cent increase. What, you don’t think that was heroic? Wait ‘til this year. You’ll think that was a freakin’ miracle.

 

Olympics

If They Build It, Can Anyone Come : VANOC used this year’s World Cup test events to demonstrate their Spectator Deflector Shield — patent pending. Judging by the sprinkling of bodies along the courses and at the finish line, the SDS was a raging success. The takeaway message: Just stay home and watch it on TV.

And Squadrons of Flying Pigs Will Fill the Skies : “The new perception that through the Games, people can do more to protect the environment, I think, is the greatest legacy we can have.” And the gold medal in hypocrisy is awarded to… Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee who actually said that. Go ahead, laugh.

Chicken Little Was a Terrorist Too : Thomas Quiggin, former RCMP, now security consultant, warned all who cared to listen that diverse groups of dangerous terrorists were coming together to protest the Olympics. Citing 19 “violent” acts of Olympic themed terrorism, spray painting among them, Chief Wiggum, er, Quiggin urged strong measures to counter the threat. Whaddya think, Tommy, we meet ’em on the streets with water balloons?

Old White Men Strike Again : Celebrating the true spirit of athletic excellence, the IOC decides women are best left in the kitchen and off the ski jump by barring women’s ski jumping. While you’re up in arms over the decision, fetch me a black coffee, honey.

I Love the Smell of Chainsaws in the Morning : What exactly are they going to call Celebration Plaza, née Lot 1/9, now that VANOC seems to be preparing to move the celebration part downvalley to Vancouver? Oh, I know, how about The Lost Forest.

Happy New Year.

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