For our 6th annual Daysies awards, we’re happy to report the whole thing has become a lot smoother. That’s because the vast majority of you voted online, which expedited the math. OK, it’s just addition, but still. While some Seven Days staffers may have secretly missed getting together over pizza and beer to count responses by hand, most were probably happy to go home and catch Jon Stewart.
Besides, we’re talking signifi cant numbers. Nearly 2000 readers fi lled out ballots, and we upped the number of questions to 100 this year. While we didn’t require voters to answer every single one, many of you came close anyway. We appreciate that — and so, no doubt, do the winners of the 2008 Daysies: the “best” of everything from restaurants to shoes to ski slopes to bloggers.
You, the electorate, remain a fairly steady lot — 26 of this year’s winners will take home their sixth straight Daysie. But the 2008 competition was not without its surprising upsets, as well as 23 winners in new categories and an assortment of “Staff Picks.” And, please note, while eliminating certain categories is always bound to make someone unhappy, changing things up a bit keeps the Daysies from wilting.
Thanks again to the community of readers and advertisers who help make Vermont the best in so many ways, and who enable this independent newsweekly to keep on growing. Like we always say, without you we’d be pushing up You-Know-What.
Remember the open queries at the end of the Daysies ballot? Your responses were too varied to list them all, but here’s a synopsis.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN TO VERMONT?
It will come as no surprise, in this election year, that many readers offered political solutions, from “Obama as president” to variations on “getting a new governor.”
More than a few favored seceding or glomming onto Canada. But the majority of answers refl ected issues the state is actually grappling with: health care, boosting green technology, sustainability, gay marriage, wind power, light rail.
Some of you got down to basics: “Fix the damn roads.” Others are clearly suffering from the rainiest summer ever: “more sunshine.” But we particularly liked this creative, if pie-inthe- sky, vision: “Tourists decide to just send their money.”
BEST EVIDENCE OF THE COMING APOCALYPSE.
The folks who wanted a “worst” list must have loved this one. Many had hateful comments on the Bush years, including the popular: “Bush and Cheney have not been impeached.”
Of course, global warming, gas prices, war in the Middle East, dying bees and bats, and the economy made the list. Some disgruntled respondents blamed Wal-Mart or “McMansions,” while others predicted the Four Horsemen would arrive “if Montpelier got a McDonald’s.” Interestingly, no one even mentioned terrorism or “people who hate freedom.”
However, “too many people” and “too many stupid people” scored high, though one reader was more rattled by “9-year-olds with cellphones,” and another warned, “me having a driver’s license.”
We think the person who answered “My cat peed on the couch” might be a tad too sensitive. Adjust your meds, maybe? One answer, though, made even us jaded journalists a little nervous: “No ancient calendars have years after 2012.”
VERMONT PLACE THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER.
Honestly, we didn’t know what we’d elicit with this one, but it was a good antidote to the apocalypse question. Turns out most of you are awed by the beautiful State of Vermont itself — the majority of answers were variations on nature: mountaintops, vistas, hiking trails, lakes and sunset- watching spots. Some of you offered specifi c street addresses that we’re going to check out just as soon as we’re done writing this, though the “my bathroom” response is unclear, not to mention sketchy.
Those readers who named The O.P. or other bars need to get out more — perhaps to “the Northeast fucking Kingdom, man!” as one respondent crowed with admirable pride of place. Others credited various educational institutions, churches and even “the voting booth.”
Score one for democracy. Looking ahead, some fi gure the cemetery or crematorium will seal the deal.
We’re pretty sure there’s a story behind the bleak answer, “the courtroom.” Accordingly, to the guy who wrote, “Ferris wheel @ C.V. Expo — I got engaged, she said yes!” we offer our congratulations and a recommendation to avoid courtrooms.
We’re still wondering about these: “Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel,” “Sarducci’s kitchen in the summer,” and especially the mysterious “Where the Carthusians are.”