Sometimes, something as simple as a trip to Tim Hortons (a very successful coffee chain here in Canada) can be a surreal ride down What-the-fuck Lane. Last night, I went on just such a voyage.
I had never been to this particular Tim's before (the one on Canon Street by Stinson), and was heading home after visiting family. It wasn't too late, only about 9:00 pm on Boxing Day (a Canadian holiday that celebrates the fact that Christmas is over), as I walked in the door. The place was mostly empty, just two guys near the door arguing about jewelry, and four teenaged kids in the corner rolling up characters for a role playing game.
I walked up to the counter to greet my server, who was to say the least odd looking. She was very tall, gangly, and bony. She was in her late fifties, super short hair, and in my mind I immediately nicknamed her Stork Lady. I greeted Stork Lady, and gave her my order: an extra large, double cream, with an orange flavour shot.
She nodded, and turned to walk away. Then she stopped, and came back, and asked me the size again. I told her, and she turned, then turned back, and asked how many creams. I told her, and then noticed she was still standing there. I told her it was an orange shot, and she nodded and walked off to get my coffee.
She walked over to the machine, then stood and listened for about 2 minutes as 2 of her co-workers argued about who was supposed to make the sandwich for the guy in the drive through (apparently, no one had made his sandwich and he was sitting at the window for several minutes waiting). She decided after a listening in for awhile to make my coffee, and came back and gave it to me.
Stork Lady: What was your second order?
Me: I didn't have a second order.
Stork Lady: Yes you did, a coffee.
Me: All I ordered was a coffee. With an orange shot.
Stork Lady: Oh, I thought you wanted a coffee and a flavoured cappucino.
Ok, I don't know precisely where in our previous conversation she had heard the phrase "flavoured cappucino", but apparently she had. I corrected her, so she was off again to make my order a second time. As I waited, a second employee came up, a lady also in her late fifties whom immediately was named "Billy Goat Gruffer", due to her rather large and obvious white-haired goatee. Seriously, numerous, thick white hairs grew out of her chin.
Now, as an aside, as an employer, are you seriously going to hire a lady with a thick white beard? I'm all for equal opportunity, but its not like chin hair is a serious affliction. I mean, it can be cured with the application of a razor blade - a product easily obtainable in pretty much any store. It can't exactly help people's appetites to be confronted by a woman with the same facial hair as Shraggy from Scooby Doo.
So, Billy Goat Gruffer stood at the counter and looked behind me, and spoke. She said something about getting something done, and looked meaningfully at the person behind me. I turned to see who she was talking to, but there was nobody there. There wasn't even someone close enough for me to pretend she might be talking to them.
I then assumed that Billy Goat Gruffer was wearing headphones, and perhaps was talking to a coworker in the back. She was not wearing headphones. She continued her conversation with no-one as Stork Lady returned with my coffee.
Tim Horton's: each trip is a glimpse into Dali's subconscious.