Ain’t No Muck to be found on the Mean Streets of Vaughan?
MEANING:We’re eating at McDonalds.
You see muck is food and food is what keeps our engines running.
Apparently, in some areas of North America the managers of “fast-muck” establishments feel that hunger is only a daylight craving. Let me explain by describing what happened when we visited the Big Smoke (Toronto) for a basketball tournament this weekend.
Our Saturday night game ended just before ten o’clock and so we left the gym at 10:05 pm. The Phenom was hungry, given that we hadn’t eaten since lunch. (Tell you that story later.)
“No problem”, Grumpy said. “We’ll just hit up the Wendy’s on the way to the hotel.”
Upon entering the empty drive through lane, Grumpy felt as if this was quite eerie given that our hometown Wendy’s would be hopping on a Saturday night. When no one responded at the microphone he drove up to the window half expecting to see a paper there declaring, “Closed due to a Public Health department edict”. Instead he read a notice regarding hours of operation and found that the freaking joint closed at 10 pm.
So, like all good Canadians, Grumpy swings to the other side of the building, a Tim Horton’s, only to be told, “Sorry, we can’t make food or Panini’s now but we do have donuts!”
How hard is it to make a grilled cheese sandwich? Just plug in the Panini maker for crying out loud!
Oh, well, there are other fish to fry, right. No sense blowing a gasket.So, we drove on.The good wife, noticing that Grumpy’s rage meter (flushed face) was hitting max remarked, “I saw a subway at the corner of Keele St. and Highway 7, Grumpy.”
Now you need to know that subway is the “muck” of choice when we are at basketball or baseball tournaments – a nutritious, filling, Jarrod thinning, gastronomical treat. Just ask our good buddy, Joel Devos.
But, nay nay, my friends, because Grumpy hit up three subways along the route and all were closed at 10 pm.
This is the fourth largest city in North America and it closes down at 10 pm? Hell, in Simcoe and Delhi, way down in Podunkville, we have places that are open 24 hours a day. And, if you hit one up at 2 am you might just find yourself in a drive-through lineup.
Is fast food banned two hours before you sleep? How does Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford survive?
Now get this, the very next morning, when I venture out for a morning coffee at Tim’s, there are no cars in the drive though at 8:00 am and the inside of the establishment is empty. You could fire a canon through there without hitting anything that breathes. And, yes, the joint is open for business. The Good Wife went into this exact same Tim’s on our way home (midday) and overheard one of the staff say, “Oh my god, get ready, we are getting really busy!”THERE WERE THREE FREAKING CARS IN THE DRIVE THROUGH!I’ve been in a 25 car lineup at the Tim Horton’s at the Whitehorse Plaza in Simcoe at 8 am. Now that’s busy, my friends!
And, forget about getting a morning paper until the afternoon. I drove to three variety stores and none of them were open at 8:30 am.
Sunday must be a slow news day in the Big Smoke!
But, let’s retrace our steps a little. I mentioned that we had lunch on Saturday – the entire team and parents attended!
Now get this, we were at a Sports Bar called Hoops. It’s the weekend of March Madness (Basketball’s Nirvana). The place is full of TVs on every wall and placed strategically in each and every booth. Michigan is playing and the game is a decent one.
You’d think this would be a great place to “muck” if you were a basketball team, right?
Well no, because I think you are beginning to sense, as did we, that we had entered the Twilight Zone.
You see, Hoops had ONE waitress on duty that was both serving meals and manning the bar. During the time we were there she had to serve two large groups (basketball teams) all by her lonesome. (Maybe 40 people) All the while customers were dropping in and out to sit at the bar.
This tiny (4’10”) cutesy patootie Asian girl was a waitress phenom and should be nominated for the Server Hall of Fame. She moved faster than some of our basketball players, was extremely confident, organized and efficient, and most importantly, she was pleasant and engaging.
When you have 18 and 19 year old boys, all over six feet tall and several over 200 pounds, getting the food out is of paramount importance. There’s nothing like a hungry, miserable group of giants in a Sports Bar. They can almost be as obnoxious as hockey players. They can wreak havoc.
Nevertheless, we did have a bit of a wait, but Whirlwind Waitress got our food out at just about the same time – hot and ready to “muck”. Needless to say, the tips she parlayed were in direct proportion to her “cutesiness”, flirtations and her efficiency.
Really, I was dumfounded to find such a culinary fast-food wasteland in such a huge city like Toronto. You should be able to find good “muck” in a place that is known as Hogtown, right?
Reflecting upon this situation I came up with a short list of possible reasons for our dietary dilemma.
People in Toronto cocoon within their primary residence when it’s dark because they are afraid to venture out at night. No one wants to catch a stray bullet whilst idling in a drive-through line.
As we were very close to the Jane-Finch area, businesses close early to avoid gun point robberies. Maybe, they can’t get employees to work late shifts due to the danger.
“I’ll have a Baconator and my friend, Mr. Handgun, will just take the cash you have in the till. See, he ain’t that hungry!”
This is part of Mayor Rob Ford diet plan to cut down on his midnight snacking. We all know that eating after 10 pm promotes acid reflux and weight gain.
TORONTO DEPRTMENT OF HEALTH: Warning this is a No Fry Zone
Toronto isn’t the wild and crazy place we think it is. Perhaps the residents turn in early much like the characters on Little House in the Prairie or the Walton’s.
“Good-night, John Boy, don’t worry Mamma will have good muck for you in the morning!”
The Twilight Zone is a real place where, when the sun sets, Torontonians turn into vampires and zombies. Consequently, there is no need for fast food after 10 pm, my friends. But, you might want to watch your back and your neck if you venture out at night.
“Hey, that dude looks kind of fresh and tasty, Johnny. Why not ask him over for a bite.”
Anyway, these foodie frustrations were the only thing that made our visit to Toronto distasteful. And, compared to the referee’s blow calls at the basketball tournament, they were really only minor irritations.
GOOD WIFE: “Sit down, Grumpy! You’re making a scene. Once we get lunch in you you’re blood sugar will normalize and you’ll feel much calmer.”
GRUMPY: Ya, right, this is Toronto, the home of #$%# @%$# 24 hour donut!