Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ode To Timmy's

This morning, as with most mornings, I pulled through the drive through of our local Tim Horton’s to get my morning coffee. I’m a double-double guy, useful to know if you’re ever on your way to see me, and are wondering what you might bring me.

An extra large Double-Double. Thanks.

For my non-Canadian readers, let me explain Tim Horton’s.

Tim Horton was a hockey player. A Maple Leaf. And when his career was drawing to a close, he opened up a coffee shop.

Today there are more Tim Horton locations in a Canadian city or town than gas stations. They are more convenient than finding an ATM machine. They are more popular than most anything else Canadian.

When a new location is built, the town it will be built most likely will add an extra lane of road there, a turning lane, because quite often the entrance is lined up down the street.

And it occurred to me that there are three retail chains that basically define Canada as a country:

  • Canadian Tire hardware stores – most famous for auto-accessories, but you could also furnish you home there as well. Maybe even with Canadian Tire money – the coupon bills in denominations – each decorated with the proud Scotsman.

  • The Beer Store – only in Ontario – owned by the Provincial government and the only place you can get a ‘two-four’ of Blue or Canadian.

  • And Tim Horton’s

They sell coffee. They sell donuts. They sell great lunches as well. But mostly they sell Coffee.

One of the most Canadian scenes you will see is the early morning Hockey moms and dads – taking their little ones to hockey practice, sometimes as early as 5:00 am. That is when their teams ice time is. And as you survey the crowds of proud parents in the stands at the rink, 90% of them are holding a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee.

Likely it’s a double-double.

Double-Double. That’s about as fancy a name for a cup of coffee that Tim Horton’s offers. In fact it is not even called a coffee, it’s called a “Timmy’s”.

A Timmy’s double-double.

When you walk into one – or even pull up to the drive through window – they smell great. The smell of fresh baked donuts mixed with that rich Timmy’s scent. Ahhh.

And there is always a slightly plump girl there to serve you, with a smile, like a friend – like the girl from the small farming community you pass by every day. These fine young ladies are affectionately referred to as our buxom beauties of the great white north.

Tim Horton’s is so important to the Canadian mindset that to boost moral to our troops in Afghanistan, Tim Horton’s sent a crew there to set up shop on the main Canadian base in Kandahar.

A little bit of home.

They have tried to expand into the United States, I believe with marginal success. I guess people down there must equate them with Star-Bucks? But there is no comparison. Star-Bucks is a totally different audience.

Maybe those American’s don’t have to take their kids to the rink at 5:00 AM?

Someone should make a car freshener that smells like a Tim Horton’s.

Could that ever be said about any other hockey player?

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