Last evening, I had to take a trip in to Cambridge to pick up some suits that I had purchased there a couple of days before. Spouse had been off work for most of Monday and all of Tuesday (she has apparently spontaneously developed a case of the Bubonic Plague). She claimed, despite the occasional hacking cough and her generally mucous filled aspect, to be feeling much improved in the early evening hours last night . She insisted on coming with me for the drive. It was a beautiful sunny spring-like day, and I didn’t see a distinct difference, from a medical treatment point of view, between “Spouse slumped on the couch in front of the TV, oozing phlegm” and “Spouse slumped in the passenger seat, oozing phlegm”, so I agreed.
Stop one on the way to “oore’s” (the “M” had blown down during Sunday’s windstorm) in Cambridge was our local Tim Horton’s. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (where my user name is warwalker) may have some familiarity with this particular location, as it seems to be a recurring theme in my “tweets.” We call it “Stinky Tim’s” because the neighbour’s property seems to have some sort of a problem with their septic tank, with the predictably odiferous consequences; the stench is greater or lesser, depending upon the prevailing meteorological conditions, but it is usually only problematic when one is sitting in the drive-thru lane, which borders directly on the property in question. Despite its olfactory woes, we quite like Stinky Tim’s, and will regularly bypass other Horton’s locations en route to our home to go to that specific location; I can’t explain it other than to say that it’s in the neighbourhood, feels like it’s the meeting place for all our neighbours, and it seems to otherwise provide us with endless entertainment. One night, for example, on the way home from some work related function, Spouse and I stopped in much later than we ordinarily would. Things were different right from the start: it took an unusually long time for the attendant to greet us and inquire as to our order; it took an inordinately long amount of time to explain, re-explain and further re-explain my order of “two steeped teas with one milk in each and a medium-sized box of Timbits”, which the said attendant had somehow garbled (twice) to relate to two medium coffees and a Boston Cream donut. When I had completed walking the attendant, step-by-step, through the list of items desired for the third time and was invited to “drive up”, Spouse and I looked at each other doubtfully. In the time between leaving the place where we placed our order (peeps with knowledge of drive thru terminology – is there a name for that place?) and arriving at the pickup window, Spouse and I concluded that our server was likely intoxicated. A quick conversation at the pickup window – during which it was revealed that there was still some profound uncertainty on our server’s part as to the items desired – did little to revise our opinion. Very shortly thereafter, he delivered to us the aforementioned two steeped teas and a medium-sized box of Timbits that was absolutely stuffed with Timbits. I’m not kidding, this box – which customarily would contain something on the order of 40 tasty little doughnut holes – had been packed, stuffed and jammed beyond belief, to the point that there were really no longer individual Timbits inside, but instead a multi-flavoured doughy brick weighing some four to five pounds. It was ridiculous. I tweeted to my followers that the pickup window at my local Tim’s was “paying off like a loose Vegas slot machine”, urging those interested to depart post-haste for the location in question.
Anyway, to get back to the point of my pointless story, we stopped in to Stinky Tim’s last evening to pick up a couple of cups of tea for the drive to Cambridge. Those of you in Canada will already know that Horton’s is currently running their annual “Roll Up the Rim to Win” promotion (specially printed paper cups sold with coffee and tea purchases each include a chance for the purchaser to win prizes, with the result being revealed by unrolling the upper rim of the cup – prizes range from free product at Horton’s locations, to computers and vehicles). Those of you who aren’t Canadian may have difficulty understanding this, but Roll up the Rim to Win is a very big deal up here; most Canadians know at least as much, if not more, about when this promotion starts and ends as they do about the NCAA March Madness Tournament schedule. Most of us also keep a pretty careful watch on our personal win/loss record at Roll Up the Rim. This year, Spouse and I have been on a relative hot streak vis-a-vis this promotion; at one point, I had collected 3 winners in my first 7 purchases (for some folks, this would just be another line on the resumé, but I like to think that I am an ambassador of sorts for the competition) – all of which were for a free beverage. As we were going through the drive through this time (word to the wise Timbit shopper: all staff appeared to be sober on this occasion), Spouse opined that she wanted to “win something different.” In particular, she said as she received her steaming hot cup of tea, she wanted to win “a donut”.
I could not let this pass, despite her illness. I took her to task for addressing the fates and identifying, among all the possible prizes that might be delivered, a donut worth approximately forty cents (retail) as her desired windfall. “Attention, Gods in Charge of Dead Hockey Player Donut Store Promotions,” she had said, “I would vastly prefer to win a forty cent donut over a thirty thousand dollar car.”
I’ll give you three guesses what the Donut Gods delivered. I’ll give you a hint: I’m thinking about making another late-night run to the Drive Thru and collecting that Boston Cream this time around.