King Kong made it, but he didn’t stay long: The top is a precarious place.

Ask a Stanley Cup champion, a CEO, a bald eagle, William Shatner’s toupee. Ask the head on your beer, gently. Ask an ice crystal forming in the ionosphere.

It’s high at the top. If you’re a sundae, that’s where the cherry is. If you’re milk, that’s where the cream is. If you’re Mount Rushmore, that’s where Cary Grant is. If you’re a volcano, the top is your moneymaker. Blow it — you don’t get a second chance.

Do you scoff? Do you say the top is also where the dust settles?

Don’t forget that dust is skin, which only proves our point. Everyone has skin in this game. A part of us, a flake or two, is always striving to get to the top of something, whether it’s the bureau drawer, or the top of the door, or what have you.

We interrupt these ravings for one normal sentence.

Each year, City Pulse’s Top of the Town Awards solicits your vote in dozens of categories, from food to products to places to lifestyle accessories.

Now, back to the fever.

Everybody knows that Lansing is rich in many fine things: local theater, galleries, bars, live bands.

When you take in the breathtaking scope of City Pulse’s Top of the Town Awards, you understand why Michigan’s capital was carved out of a trackless swamp.

Can any mere competition capture the richness and variety of Lansing life?

Perhaps not, but Top of the Town is as high as humankind can come, and 2011 takes it even higher.

Two words: medical marijuana.

No awards presentation, in any medium or format, in any alternative universe, comes close. As Thomas Hobbes predicted long ago, this is the war of all against all. It’s florist versus florist, wine shop versus wine shop, local TV news personality versus local TV news personality, pizza versus pizza.

The petals, corks, hair gel and ham will keep flying until only one is on top in each category.

True, there is occasionally some inter-category conflict. A florist attacks a bartender, a butcher carves up a chiropractor, a plate of sushi attacks a jewelry store. But we disqualify those infractions and save the films for our private blooper reel party.

To live up to the magnitude of this event — and pad this intro to the desired length — our staff writer is already stretching metaphors like saltwater taffy stuck to the hindquarters of yaks galloping in opposite directions.

And that’s only the beginning.

When your ballots pour in, the real action starts.

Burgers battle burgers, fries fry fries, radio stations raid radio stations, blues bands bludgeon blues bands, maids make war on maids, cocktails coldcock cocktails. Click. Click. Oh God, I’m out of ammo, sir!

And Kowalski’s hit!

Wait — turn Kowalski over. Here’s a bandolier full of hyphens. Step back! In a pile-up of knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred free-for-alls, wi-fi hot spots wage a tooth-and-claw, to-the-death struggle pitting down-and-outers against up-and-coming wi-fi hot spots.

But we can’t knock ourselves out describing every category. The only way to experience City Pulse’s Top of the Town, in its full breadth and scope, is to fill out a ballot.

After breathing that sweet, cold air at the top, you can sit back with a cognac and utter the words Sir Edmund Hilary uttered after climbing Everest: “Well, George, we knocked the bastard off.”