#83 – Tim Hortons’ Brown Sludge Water™, Part Six: ONroute to Bullshit

English Canada’s coffee of choice is like kudzu – it’s the only nasty, dripping game in town.

Consider the Ontario ONroute system, an Italian/Canadian effort sponsored by yet another useless holding company on the Canadian side. ONroute was designed after the 2008 economic throat-chop shut down the mess of random operators that used to run the system, and it generally works. There’s a rotating stable of restaurants, maps of the traffic jam you’re going to be driving into, a Canadian Tire Canadian Gas Bar from Canada, and a collection of fast-food places. And in every single fucking ONroute in the province, there it is – Tim Horton’s Brown Sludge Water™.

Fuck, you say, looking for a coffee that isn’t made of bitter tears and unwrapped cigarettes. You get off the 401 at the next town because seriously – fuck that. There’s a Starbucks in the next ONroute 106km away or so, but Starbucks isn’t worth that kind of drive. Driving past the grey (gray?) box stores and onto the generic 6-lane boulevard into Boringtown, Ontario, you keep your eyes peeled for some sort of food product that isn’t compressed, flash-frozen rat-scrotums. If Boringtown is like any other Ontario town, and it is because I just made it up, among the collection of fetid and fast-fading big box store you’ll find – you fucking guessed it, Tim Horton’s Brown Sludge Water™.

Alright then. Now you’re right pissed. Time to go “downtown”. Driving in because of course you are – seriously, did you think public transit functioned in Boringtown? – you park your car at a meter and look around you. Boutique, boutique, squalid shopping mall, storefront for lease, and…Tim Horton’s Brown Sludge Water™. This shit is fucking unavoidable, my friend. Holding 62% of the coffee market in Canada by a combination of shitting on employees, shitting in coffee cups, and deucing their storefront into any space imaginable, Tim Horton’s is a caffeinated behemoth whose magical thighs squat over seemingly every Canadian city. Big or small, here or there, Tim has opened a Brown Sludge Water™ retail outlet to abuse workers and coffee in.

Does this mean that Tim Hortons franchises are successful? Of course not! The whole company is sold off like a two-dollar whore to whomever wants to own the glutes that shart out Canada’s coffee. Franchises in Canada suffer about a 60% attrition rate after three years, and actually scoring a profitable franchise location is hardly easy. If you too would like to strike gold (as Maclean’s magazine so sagely refers to Tim Hortons franchising) in Bumfuck Falls, Maniskatcheberta by selling swill disguised as coffee, you’re welcome to do so. And so, with unneeded encouragement and a penchant for infection, Tim Hortons Brown Sludge Water™ retail outlets spread across Canada, killing good taste and shitting in the shoes of Canadians who prefer their coffee to not taste like it was served in a shoe.

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