Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Horton Hears A "Wuh?"

Our eating plans went horribly awry last night. Between the hotel hot tub and the fascinating world of Canadian TV, we didn’t set out for dinner until 9:30. I’d purchased an umbrella earlier in the day, but naturally I left it in the room, only to have a fairly steady rain (not mist) come down on us. The first two places we went turned us away because they were closing.

We wound up at a place called Cactus Club Café or something where they were running a special on bellinis. I had a salmon burger and Kevin had spicy shrimp linguini. We also had double margaritas that didn’t seem to have any booze in them. We were way too old to be in such a place and both of us groused about the gaggle of college students sitting next to us. If you ask me, they were too goddamn noisy. The sexy, college-aged waitresses in black boots and minidresses were just fine, though. In fact, you could say they were the establishment’s saving grace. Vancouver is simply bursting with gorgeous, healthy women.

After sleeping soundly, we decided to go to Tim Horton’s for breakfast. For those of you south of the Mason-Dixon line, Tim Horton’s is sort of like the Canadian McDonald’s. Toronto Maple Leafs hockey legend Tim Horton started the successful chain in 1964, only to die in a tragic car wreck ten years later. Wendy’s bought them out several years ago, but their donuts, coffee, soups and sandwiches menu hasn’t been infected with Big Bacon Classics yet.

Another thing Tim Horton’s hasn’t been infected with is the ability to purchase your food with a credit card. Kevin tried to slide his Visa through and that didn’t work. Then he tried his debit card and that didn’t work. Then I tried my American Express and that didn’t work. Our American currency was no good there and we only had about four loonies between us. Just when I thought we were going to have to walk out of Tim Horton’s in shame, a very nice thirtysomething woman put $6.02 CDN on the counter and said, “My treat.” We tried briefly to refuse before thanking her graciously. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt such a poignant mixture of gratitude and utter doltishness in my life. We Texans pride ourselves on friendliness, but the unassuming, efficient Canadians seem to have us trumped when it comes to helping the clueless.

After our meal, Kevin had to use the washroom (as the Canadians call them). You can’t just walk into a business and bust pee in Vancouver without buying something, so Kevin walked up to the same Tim Horton’s cashier who’d taken our order earlier to ask for entry into the men’s room. Kevin thought she was saying, “My machine,” when in fact she was saying, “I’ll buzz you in.” They were very sorry to see us leave.

No comments: