Tim Horton’s Should Be An Election Issue

I like Tim Horton’s coffee. The coffee is always fresh and consistent, and even though it is not the greatest coffee in the world, it’s pretty good, particularly for the price. I am always irritated when hipsters feel the need to mock it and describe it as something akin to fermented bog water. That being said, I rarely go there.

I go to Tim Horton’s around 6:30am on the weekends to get a coffee and a Danish on the way to golf when the place is pretty much deserted. I don’t go there on weekday mornings as there are usually about 400 cars in the drive through, with some cars literally stopped on the street waiting for the opportunity to even get in on the parking lot. I have no evidence to back this up but I would be willing to bet that the rate of accidents in the vicinity of Tim Horton’s must be twice as high as the average.

One of the hallmarks of every Canadian election is that every candidate goes out of his or her way to make everyone painfully aware of how much they enjoy their Tim Horton’s coffee, or “Timmies” as they like to call it. But if politicians like Tim Horton’s as much as they say they do, I believe that they should start making it an actual campaign issue.

There are two Tim Horton’s related laws that I believe we need. The first, and most important from a public safety point of view, is that it should be illegal to stop your car on the street while you wait for room in the drive-thru to open up. If a drive-thru extends out into the street, the correct response should be to keep driving. You can circle back and try again in a few minutes, but I don’t think it should be acceptable to shut down rush hour traffic just because you are addicted to a particular brand of coffee, no matter how good it tastes. I’m not suggesting that someone should go to jail for stopping their car in the middle of the road while they wait to get in a drive-thru, I think a fine of a thousand dollars and having your vehicle seized and destroyed would be more than sufficient.

While I generally only go to Tim Horton’s very early on the weekends, there are times during the day when I notice that the parking lot is mostly empty and decide to pop in for a small coffee and a snack. Sometimes everything goes according to plan and two minutes later I’m walking out with a coffee and a Danish, but there have been many times, including one just last week, where the one person in front of me walks up and pulls a piece of paper out of his (it is always a guy) hand and gives it to the person behind the counter.

The small line of a couple of people slowly starts to stretch out the doors of the building as the person behind the counter builds a skyscraper of coffee trays. Sometimes these people even have the gall to get bagels. You would think someone who was buying coffees for twenty people would have the decency to either skip the food or just get a big box of Timbits, but no. In the example from last week, there were two checkouts open, but both of them had a person making bulk purchases.

We as a society need to have a frank discussion on what is an acceptable scale for a coffee run. I believe that five coffees should be the limit, which is essentially the number of coffees you can fit in a single tray – one in each of the four slots and one wedged into the middle. Anyone who tries to order more than that should be fined a hundred dollars and banned from all coffee shops one year. I should clarify that this would only apply to walk-up bulk orders; any regular customer who wants to make a large coffee run can call in their order in advance and have it waiting for them when they get there without delaying others.

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