April 5, 2006 


Oh Canada!   

It’s necessary today that we begin with our neighbor to the north, or in my particular case, to the east.  Canadians, you should know that your country is an integral part of my youth (19!) and we’ll leave it at that because we do not want to give away all our secrets, now do we?  Truly, I love Canada.  When I met my (American) husband I was renting an apartment from his aunt and uncle, but is that how we met?  No, I trekked across the border and found him in Canada.  The very best thing Canada has ever done for me though (sorry hon), is sending that Mecca for coffee fiends of any nationality, Tim Hortons, across the border.  I will truly be forever grateful.  I had no idea I couldn’t go on living without a Café Mocha at least once a day until Tim Hortons taught me that, and other important things about myself.  Every spring, (don’t ask me exactly when it starts and stops because every day runs together when you’re on a constant caffeine buzz) Tim’s has a little contest called “Rrroll Up The Rim To Win!”  According to the title, ads, etc, you just roll up the rim of your cardboard cup to see whether you’ve won the prize of your dreams (a free coffee – I’m that easy) or the sad little “Please Play Again” message.  They even have these helpful arrows that tell you exactly where to “Rrroll” it up. 


Problem is, I’m apparently not talented enough to “Rrroll” things in the required manner.  I need tools.   Assistance.  Something.  The rolled rim is the equivalent of the first line of defense at Fort Knox, I swear.  I’d like to tell you I wait until I get home, and then take scissors to the thing but if I’m being honest I have to say that if you were driving around my town, I’d be that lady with the empty red cup which is cheerily decorated with an SUV, a barbecue, a plasma TV, and nondescript cash (they don’t want to alert me that maybe that’s $1000.00 Canadian) HANGING out of my mouth as I wrench on the rim with my teeth.  If my window were down, you’d probably hear one of my brilliant children telling me “teeth are not tools” as well.  *Then*, if I win, I take it home and get out the scissors and snip out the “free coffee” message.  I just have to think though, that they get countless dirty cups handed to them through the drive thru window and maybe it might make sense to change up this whole rim tactic.  “Pppull the Tab” works, even if it doesn’t uh …roll off the tongue quite as well.  What’s a broken tooth between friends though, really?  Tim’s is like Netflix, I’ll complain, but if they look at me funny I’ll shut up lest they take their goodies and go home.


Issue number two that needs to be addressed with my Canadian Crack Coffee dealing friends relates heavily to issue number one.  No, it’s not about how stingy Tim’s is with those Styrofoam sleeves that might save an entire limb from sizzling off after two seconds holding a not-whatsoever-insulated cardboard cup of hot liquid.  We’ll save that for later, and besides I’ve learned to save the sleeves in my glove-box and ceremoniously take one out and slip it on while still at the window, hoping it might teach the window person a thing or two but knowing she’s probably just proud of her contribution to the conservation of our planet now that I’ve learned to recycle.  No, this time it’s about that whole border issue we had going on a while ago.  I’ll be honest, I’ve no idea if you all already have that sorted out or if it’s still lingering in the political background, but just to be on the safe side I think I need to warn you all, Canadians and Americans alike.  I suppose like many border crossings, there are booths you have to stop at and answer a few important questions.  You know, things like where you’re from, where you’re headed, and if you have weapons, undeclared items or dangerous produce on you.  The issue, as I understand it, was whether the workers in those booths should be armed (they were not).  I guess quite a few of them felt they should be and a few times this past year they made their statement by walking off the job, temporarily.  I’m guessing it wasn’t in an attempt to show us what would happen to us all if a meeting went bad and they all shot each other.  Must’ve been more about showing us what would happen if a shoot-out ensued and one side wasn’t armed.   We’d all be looking at one another agog, asking: “Where’d all the border people go?”


Seriously, not a joking matter, I realize.  I have great respect for those on both sides protecting our borders.  I’ve no idea if the U.S. border workers are armed (though I’d suspect maybe yes) and really, it’s none of my business whether Canadians want theirs armed or not.  Over here, all it takes is an eight grade education and at least a partially filled out application to become an armed security guard at your local superstore, but don’t go by us.  Please, I beg you, just vote, draw straws, or flip a coin, whatever!  Settle it already.  Geographically speaking, your lack of decision is my hell on earth.  Between the nearest Tim Hortons and me is the entrance to the bridge to Canada.  I have no problem with a demonstration or two, walking off, whatever.  Go for it.  What you do NOT do though, is stand between a woman and her caffeine.  Those border workers think they’re concerned about terrorists?  Obviously they haven’t crossed my path when I’m trying to get to a Café Mocha.   They walk off, cars and trucks come to a stop and line up for miles.  Miles I tell you!  They all think since *they* can’t get anywhere, the on ramps and exits must be useless to *everyone* and they just sit.  Sit there, blocking every possible path to the one thing I have to have!  Oh Canada.  You giveth and you taketh away.  Since Tim’s is a Canadian franchise and all I was going to tell you that you’re shooting yourself in the foot when I can’t give Tim’s my money, but then I remembered you don’t have guns.  (No.  I could not resist) It’s been a little while since the last border mess over here on my side so maybe you did resolve your “issues” and we can live once again together in peace and harmony?  I hope so because I do like to keep my options open.  There’s always the chance I could need a new husband under the age of 21, and everyone knows that around here, there is only one place to find one of those! 


Things of Importance Besides International Relations 

I was listening to the radio today in the car and the DJ (used loosely) said that he’d just gotten a call about a “found dog”.  (You know you live in a small town when…)  He proceeds with this description:  “Very friendly, VERY.  Small to medium in size, found down by the beach near the Mayview* Condominiums.  She’s white with some red spots, and is wearing a purple collar with no tags.  Possibly a setter or pointer, the lady who called isn’t sure.  She is missing one of her front legs.  And she’s very friendly!  So if you know who this little doggie belongs to call me and I’ll put you in touch with the nice lady that has her.”


I’m just thinking that you lead with the three-legged thing. 


*Name changed to protect the true location of the friendly, small, beach-loving, white and red, tag less, three-legged dog.


A while ago I was complaining about how my banks ATM’s make you choose Spanish or English as a first step to withdrawing (or depositing, because I bet there are people that do that, somewhere) money.  I’ve no problem whatsoever with the Spanish option, though in this particular area I would guess it doesn’t get as much use as a French option would.  I just don’t really see why it can’t be an option at the bottom that you choose when it’s the only thing you recognize on the screen.  Anyway, in my typical (*snort*) sunny disposition type style, I decided to turn that frown upside down and make lemonade, and all that.  So I’m taking the opportunity every time I use the ATM to brush up on my Spanish!  I happily choose the Spanish option, touch “Retiro” (Withdrawal), enter my pin number when I see the little box come up – I’m not that good yet, still learning mind you, choose “Efectivo Rapido” (Fast Cash) …and usually say that one several times out loud because it’s just fun.  Then it says something about “transacción” which I’ve found has to do with whether I want a receipt, to which I usually choose “no” (same same, no learning going on there).  So if I ever return to a Spanish speaking country, I’m so set to discuss withdrawal and fast cash.  Is pimp the same in both languages?  Just wondering.  Could make for an interesting experience, you must admit.  I’d encourage all of you to branch out a little, live on the edge…make blind choices at the ATM and see what happens!  You only live once.


I’ll be back soon, and next time maybe I’ll make it my mission to use some parentheses on occasion!  So underused.  In the meantime some TV talk can be found here:  Eye on Prime Time  I’m trying to remember to write something to post immediately after viewing, before I lose the need to vent.  So hopefully I’ll be participating more often.  There’s plenty worth reading either way though!


Take care all!



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