Visitors to Toronto's Metro Convention Centre were given a rare opportunity to air any and all frustrations in person this past Tuesday and Wednesday. The two-day event gave attendees the chance to meet people and immediately shower them with negativity on topics ranging from sports to politics to a perennial favourite, the weather.
"Why the hell was this in the middle of the week?" one participant near the entrance shouted at no-one.
"That's the kind of spirit we like to see at Whinestock," said event co-chair Mitch Smidge. "This is all about bringing people together and letting them know that they're not alone. They're surrounded by people who also care deeply about how crappy things are -- people they probably can't stand, actually."
The event features pavilions dedicated to specific topics where attendees can gravitate to whatever is bothering them the most and find some solace in pissing and moaning about those subjects in a group atmosphere.
"We wanted to make sure that nobody felt isolated or ignored, or that they felt at least as isolated and ignored as anyone else," Smidge continued.
Smidge was immediately accosted by a finger-pointing woman demanding to know why the entrance fee was a whopping five dollars and what he was planning on doing about the exchange rate.
Fellow co-chair Christine LaMent was on hand to pick up the slack.
"We even tried to get some celebrities in here, but it didn't really pan out. We openly invited the cast of True Detective season two to get some star power. But people complained too much about that, so we invited the cast of True Detective season one," she said. "Woody Harrelson just said 'Everything's awesome, but thanks,' while Matt McConaughey definitely said 'Alright, alright, alright!' "
LaMent said in hindsight that was probably his answering machine.
In the sports section fans of both the NBA and the NHL alike had a great deal to bitch about what with their respective All Star breaks taking place so closely together, though Maple Leafs fans were barred at the door.
"Just who the hell is John Scott anyways? That name sounds made up," one woman sporting a Boston Bruins toque said.
"And who the hell is Sting?" asked just about every NBA fan in attendance at one point or another.
A group of people who were obviously scientists -- judging by their white smocks -- argued loudly about meteorological phenomenae and the impacts of subterranean rodents on the weather.
"We just came down here to get away from our important day jobs to whinge about the weather," said Fritz Fretterson, head of Oncology Research at Princess Margaret Hospital. "We particularly protested why Punxsutawney's most prominent animal prognosticator had predicted an early spring."
His colleague immediately bemoaned Fretterson's strained use of alliteration while wiping spit from his glasses.
The event is expected to become an annual tradition after concluding last night, though Smidge isn't so certain about that.
"Actually, for it to be an annual tradition it has to end at some point," he said. "Nobody's left yet, and now everyone's complaining that there's not enough space. There's just too many grievances to air and not enough time."