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Coffee rim shots

Rim After Groundhog Day and Mardi Gras, another harbinger of spring is Roll Up the Rim to Win season at Tim Horton's. I usually associate this with March, although the cups have already been out for a few days. It shows just how dreary office life can be that the extra intrigue provided by the extremely remote possibility of winning a vehicle or laptop actually is a pick-me-up.

Meetings start with someone yelling, "I won a free donut!" Yes, life imitates "The Simpsons."  Is it that surprising that we are in a recession?

Our kids like to participate in this annual March madness. Our son is our official rim-checker. Just last night, we won a muffin on the medium coffee I bought to stay awake to do chores. There is always the slightly gross redemption process, which requires the use of teeth to roll up the rim and then the actual tearing of the winning rim part, if you are so lucky. I always feel like I should wear surgical gloves (or the drive-through attendant should) when I hand over my ripped rim for a free coffee. This must be a health code violation; maybe the stimulus bill includes a provision for a drive-through redemption cleanliness enforcement squad.

I've always feared that Tim Horton's would synch up with the EZPass people and track the roll-throughs at their window, in which case our family would be pulled over by the food police. Now we face the quandary of having bought a new (actually used) car, which I'd rather not see encased in cupholder grime in the first six months of ownership. So now, if we're in the "good car," the one equipped with 2.3 cupholders per person, we have a temporary beverage ban. So we can only get Tim Horton's if we're driving the wreck. I wonder how long this will last; what minivan in America doesn't eventually become a snack counter on wheels?

Maybe we'll give up Tim Horton's for Lent; yes, a sacrifice (admittedly minor) but one with an agenda  — to keep our car clean. But then we won't have the chance to win the 2009 Toyota Venza, which if we won, we wouldn't be allowed to drink beverages in, because it would become
the new good car. What a circular loop.


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