Hick Town Becomes Chic Town: Grumpy’s Drive Thru Nirvana

Hick Town Becomes Chic Town

OK if you are a Canadian and you drink coffee then you are totally aware of the magnetic draw of a Tim Horton’s Donuts establishment. But, can you imagine a stand-alone Timmies without a drive-through window at seven in the morning? Getting your Joe would be like lining up to get the next version of Halo for you XBOX at the Future Shop. You’d better bring along your camping gear, folks.

Here’s what happened when Podunkville got a new Timmies with a DRIVETHROUGH FREAKING WINDOW.

 Hick Town Becomes Chic Town

“Praise the Lord,” its Sunday morning and the spanking new Delhi Tim Horton’s drive through is up and running. As a member in good standing of the “Church of Jimmy Buffett” (Wasting Away in Margaretville Chapter) my Sabbath morning routine has been to grab coffee and a newspaper in town, then chill as the rest of the family continues their sojourn into dreamland.

Praise the Lord!

But, there has been a hitch, given that the Tim Horton’s Donut Shop in Delhi did not have a drive through until this very day. Imagine that, my Canadian brothers and sisters, a Tim’s WITHOUT A DRIVE THROUGH!


In the past, it was either head to Delhi and wait in enormous lines, truck off to Simcoe (which would be 45 min round trip) or brew a terrible batch of oil sludge in the coffee maker here at the homestead. It was a pick your poison proposition.

Image the stir when the residents of this small town found out that Tim’s was about to build a new facility – drive through window included.

On the day that news was announced, there were more pickup trucks in town than might be observed at watermelon seed spittin’ contest in West Virginia. Booths in our local Timmies were filled to capacity and the chatter was non-stop and intense.

CLIVE: “Henry, did ya hear the news?”

HENRY: “Can’t say that I did.”

CLIVE: “Well we’re gittin a new Timmies and the gosh darned thing is gonna have one of dem newfangled drive through winders.”

HENRY: “Well hitch up the wagon, Clive, I need to get me a double-double before Helen shoos me out to milk old Bessie.”

Well we aren’t quite that backward, but almost. To me, the news was stupendous. I was happier than a pig in a spring-fed mud hole!

No more standing in line while the elderly lady in front of me organizes her change or payment down to the penny.

“Just a minute, hon, I know I’ve got penny in here somewhere.  (fiddle,fiddle,fiddle) Now where is it?” (How freaking deep is that change purse, Grandma?)

“How much did you say it was, dear?”

No one -I say no one ever gets there money out until the last minute. And, don’t get me started on the mystery that is the contents of a women’s purse! With the size of my wife’s purse, I swear she keeps a basketball in there. Pennies don’t have a chance of being found.

No foot tapping while a 400 pound big boned lady or gentleman selects 12 donuts, one at a time.

“I’ll have one of those. . .um. . .what are those ones called?. . .um, better put one back and give me two apple fritters! Um . . .how many have I got so far?” (This is not rocket science, people!)

“One and two make three,” I whisper, as I stomp one foot on the tile floor like a horse counting out numbers.

“It’s so hard to decide,” she moans.

Dammit you stood in line as long as I did and not once did you give this any thought.

No more watching the town character weave in and out of the parked cars looking for discarded cigarette butts! (Somebody please give that man a shave and a bath.)

No more sighs, huffs or puffs whilst the Timmy Staff runs into one another behind the counter trying to accommodate the throngs of desperate coffee addicts lined up out the door.

(Mr. Manager, you can’t put five 200 pounders in a space the size of a VW Beetle. That’s just not ergonomic, nor is it safe. Those people should be wearing steel-toed work boots because one false step and toes WILL BE BROKEN!)

Really, I’ve stood in line and watched the staff careem off one another like bumber cars at the Norfolk County Fair.

No more lines that go out the door and around the building. (This made our old Tim’s appear as if it was a soup kitchen.)

No more dudes with their orders written on a long piece of paper (in crayon).

“Sir, was that two double-doubles with extra cream on the side, or was that three triple triples and a honey crueller?”

“I don’t know dear. I can’t make out Bob’s printing. Maybe you can read it better. What does that spell? Here’s my list!”

(I’m thinking; why would they send the dyslectic guy in the first place?)

No more strange dudes talking to you in the lineup, many of whom make Charles Manson look like as tame as Will Ferrell.

“Hey Buddy, waz you at the bust up last night down der at the motel bar? You look a bit familiar!” The guys got his nose fairly pressed into my cheek. I can smell the lingering odor of last night’s booze and cigarettes, both dank and stale.

Under my breath, I mumble, “No, dog breath, I prefer to hang out with my own species!”

To which he responds, “Oh, ya, right on, dude! I totally get that!””

Grumpy’s rule is simple, “Don’t talk to Grumpy until he’s downed his first cup of Joe!” You see he is a crabby-assed moody piece of work until then.

Best of all!


Grumpy cruises in that newfangled drive through line, windows down, tunes blasting and rocking to the beat. It has become the Church of Jimmy Buffett Communion Line for him with coffee and donuts the blessed Sunday sacraments. “Let those inside liner-uppers sweat out the wait,” he declares. “This is caffeine cloud nine, losers! See ya later!”

And, make no mistake; this drive though is one mother of a drive through, having space for at least 40 vehicles. People are driving into town from miles around to see this edifice to caffeine. Some days it has the feel of the Harvestfest Parade.

Well not quite.

I suspect a front page spread will appear in the Delhi News Record next Tuesday. “Gridlock in Drive through As Residents Turn Out in Droves,” the banner headline will declare.

Yes, our little hick town has become a chic town. But, you’d have to be a Canadian to really appreciate how happy all of us are. Just to put it into perspective for you Americans – imagine a McDonalds without a drive through lane. Standing in line with all of those screaming kids and agitated families might cause someone to go postal bigtime!

As in, City Man Goes Berserk: Attempts to Poke out Patrons Eye with Greasy French fry, or something to that effect.

Hey, I’d better run, because the drive through line isn’t busy between one and three pm., unless of course its bridge day at the Senior’s Centre. No matter, I’ll bring along a roll of pennies just in case they’re needed.

And, just in case you didn’t know, there is such a thing as DRIVE THROUGH ETIQUETTE that you people need to follow. Check your rear-view from time to time, because the little old guy in bifocals flipping you the bird, will be me.


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