One of the least pleasant places in the world to be is at a Tim Hortons “café”. Who wouldn’t want to sit staring into a void of parking, listening to underpaid workers attempting to negotiate temporary peace with knuckle-dragging shitbiscuit customers who don’t seem to understand that the milk and cream are poured automatically and pre-portioned (which means that no, the workers weren’t “trying to cheat me” out of milk, which is a refrain I hear far too often). The scope of the unpleasantness is vast and has myriad entrepots for blame. Some blame certainly goes to Tim’s stubborn adhesion to Canada’s equally-uncritical relationship with personal motorcars, which ensures that the outside world looks hideous and uninviting. Metal furnishings tinted with varying shades of shit-brown provide an uncomfortable allusion to shit, which when considering the quality of Tim’s products is not an association that they should be wanting to make. Uncomfortable chairs, ugly designs, bad urban form, and cakers as far as the eye can see. This sounds like my version of hell.
The horror of the physical experience of a Tim Horton’s begins before you even get inside. Cakers and their insane reliance on both driving and drinking a substance that needs to be plied with an unyielding quantity of fat and sugar in order to be palatable combine to create legendarily-stupid traffic snarls. Of course, the lack of planning and foresight incumbent to Canada don’t help in this regard, as moronic cakers are inclined to simply queue in their cars like cud-chewing morons when confronted with delay rather than considering whether they could go, y’know, literally anywhere else. Cakers are so in love with bad coffee and driving metal boxes that they regularly break traffic laws across Canada. Here’s Terrace, B.C. being retarded. The oilheaded buffoons of Fort McMurray are apparently of the opinion that roadways are akin to drive-through lineups. The mysteries of getting out of your car and walking into the Timitentiary are too much for cakers – from coast to coast, these morons can’t manage to grasp the incredible power that is fucking getting out of the car and walking. And we wonder why Canada is obese as fuck?
After crossing the vehicular Rubicon and daring to go inside the Tim’s you could almost be excused for huddling in your car and causing traffic snarls rather than going inside. When even the head office operates like a prison you just know that the front-facing experience is going to suck. Indeed, the average Tim Hortons has the aesthetic and feel of a waiting room in a substandard caker prison. A fixation on price-cutting and skeleton-staffing throughout the factory caker-feed industry means that the place is likely utterly disgusting. And check out these incredibly-comfortable looking chairs:
And just to show how ubiquitous this horror is, here’s another picture of the inside of a Tim Horton’s:
People congregate in these places not because they are desirable places to be but because they are in many situations the only places remaining for cakers and their victims to sit and converse. Somewhere in these ugly-ass, one-size-fits-all walls there is a tragic sentiment – that somehow, Canadians gradually permitted the degradation of space to such a degree that sterile veneers and dirty floors supported by plastic donuts and wretched coffee have become the most common gathering places.
But at least those people who do go inside as opposed to wasting even more space in their vehicles than they would simply as people. Where cakers take to declaring the cultural force of Tim Hortons as a national marker of identity I take it as a sad testament to the fact that cakers claim to love places that are so abhorrent that so many of them avoid the entire place by sitting in their fucking cars. In either case the logic of the prison wins out – utilitarian slop and generic places for those who come in, and isolation for those who opt for the drive-through. Outside or in, there are few places as rotten by design as the average Tim Hortons.
The somewhat-new minivan is, of course, the official signal that you have given up on ever experiencing joy again in your life. Along the road it goes, an unsightly clump of a vehicle festooned with stupid bumper stickers telling us how many kids the family has had. The children are inevitably growing up as cakers; the worst kind of caker child is the hockey squire and the attendant hockey mom, who is probably named something like Carol.
Hockey moms and their children reinforce a belief that the kid will make it to the National Hockey League, an association of largely-American teams who play a fairly obtuse, expensive sport that is largely unplayable in most of the world. This is the ultimate goal of the hockey mom, and it justifies all sorts of nonsense. Because Canada is constantly bombarded with the idea that everyone should love hockey the hockey squire and his mom develop a superiority complex. Timmy can’t be bothered with school or a life that doesn’t involve sitting in the backseat of a fucking chariot of defeat hoping that Mom doesn’t scream at the referee again and praying to God that Bruno isn’t going to slam your delicate body into next week – he needs to practice his stickhandling, which is obviously more important than reading skills! Why, sports of course!
This strange activity and its attendant fights, screaming matches, and general stupidity gets repeated multiple days a week, with thousands of dollars spent on fuel, equipment, and Tim Horton’s Brown Sludge Water™ in the name of maybe getting to play in an even more brutal league someday. An investment of hours and hours of back-seat boredom and decking and near-to-child abuse, and for what? What could make this struggle worth it? Why, because one day Timmy is gonna be a star, baby! Never mind that hockey is supposed to be a game – when you go full-minivan it becomes a lifestyle.
And what a shit lifestyle it is. Hours on the road lugging stinking equipment to shitty roadside Best Westerns. Worthless entitled brats being abject shitheads because their lives are a blur of parking lots and skating trials. The sheer nastiness of the lifestyle warps some hockey moms into apologists for their shitty kids and their shitty behavior. Get in trouble during a tournament in another forgettable suburban hole while destroying a Best Western on the side of the highway? No problem – Timmy’s a Hockey Squire, a young and rambunctious rapscallion with a heart of gold and grit near to bursting from his ass. Can’t blame him! Few shouting matches are less fun than the screaming defenses hockey moms give of their worthless children being bothersome shit-ants in roadside motels. I guess being considerate isn’t Canadian enough to make it into the hockey squire’s addled skull.
Hockey moms also come with joyless conversations about the drudgery that is her life. Do I care that Timmy scored two goals? Do you talk about anything else? Of course she doesn’t, because all is hockey and the cult of hockey doesn’t have time for human decency in between the parking lot and the Tim Horton’s.
Cakers love saying sorry, but they rarely tend to actually mean it when they say it.
The word sorry is one of Canada’s most annoying stereotypes. It’s supposed to be taken as a sign that Canadians are polite but it’s actually largely a passive-aggressive statement denoting frustration, irritation, confusion, or a lack of attention. Caker society is both deeply petty and promotes an attitude of extreme entitlement, meaning that the slightest perceived inconvenience is read as a deep, abiding insult. Cakers hold legendary grudges and lack the maturity to talk about problems, but they also have a national stereotype of politeness that they use to define themselves as not-AmeriKKKa. Since cakers love nothing more than inventing differences between themselves and Americans the result of this toxic milleu is “sorry”.
Usually, the “sorry” is coupled with a bit of a giggle, a huffy accent to a passive-aggressive statement. But rarely do cakers actually speak their minds and say what’s bothering them in a cool, mature way. The two emotional modes of the English Canadian are forced-mellow bro-friend and explosive, childish temper-tantrums. The place between those two is the word sorry, which sounds vaguely like but in no way actually resembles the common grounds of politeness and tact that Canadians claim desperately to have. In a way the tee-hee sorry ideal that Canadians espouse is a coward’s way to be demanding without actually needing the guts to speak to another human being.
The word sorry in Canada has because of this almost lost its far more important function in the English language – to apologize. The non-pology, where someone claims to ask forgiveness but demonstrates no cognition as to what they did wrong or interest in righting the situation is a constant in politics. It’s also a constant in Canada. Did that person’s “sorry” for knocking your arm and spilling hot coffee on your hand mean “whoops” or “fuck you”? It can be hard to tell. For some, the instinct is probably to apologize themselves as a sort of protective bubble of assumed fault without actually feeling a sense of fault in the slightest. The fakery of the first “sorry” spreads memetically to another, where it manifests as frequent apologies of dubious origin that in turn confuse someone else.
What’s so wrong about being direct again? Why is this fakery something that gets posted over and over again on the Internet to rave reviews? Tee-hee-hee, we can’t speak our minds or express our emotions so we all mumble apologies and fume at one another! Oh, right. It’s because saying your piece and risking being perceived as rude is *gasp* the AmeriKKKan way. Americans aren’t self-absorbed enough to think that everyone has to like them. They accept that they are a certain way and they try to surround themselves with others. While American society is hardly flawless it is certainly a relief to know what people are thinking instead of having to guess which iteration of the passive-aggressive sorry they’re using. Clarity is for losers – guesswork and cowardice are clearly the better way forward!