Originally posted April 12, 2010...
In a terrible movie I never saw called The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson is dying or something and decides to do a bunch of things on a list. This is what passes for movies these days, apparently. Anyway, he’s a grumpy glass-is-half-empty corporate stooge, who becomes an optimistic glass-is-half-full kinda guy when he’s about to biff ‘er. He tries to live out a bunch of dreams. Dreams are important; they are what keep up striving to do better rather than wallow in mediocrity. They give us hope that our existence is not meaningless, that we will triumph over adversity and succeed beyond our wildest imaginings and be content the rest of our lives. Dreams are fantasies by definition, but they exist in part because we hope, we pray, we believe that they may one day come true.
Dream: Roll up the rim to fucking win!
Goal: Is it achievable? Is it? Seriously, guys, I’ve been trying for weeks and getting nowhere.
Plan: To increase my already dangerous consumption of Tim Horton’s coffee until I get the goods, services or currency I believe I deserve.
Confession time, Friends. I go to Tim Horton’s every day. Not like so often it’s practically every day, I seriously go every day. I don’t even own a coffee maker anymore. We didn’t take ours with us when we moved, and we live a block from Tim’s, so the first few days after we moved I’d get a coffee in the morning. Then the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and so on. I can’t help it. And people have ridiculous theories about the addictive properties of Tim Horton’s coffee. I’ve heard people assert that they put nicotine in it. First of all, hilarious. Like some evil mastermind in a labcoat saw somebody having a cup of coffee and smoking and thought, “If I could combine the two…” Secondly, Tim Horton’s puts coffee in their coffee. That’s why it’s good. Especially when you consider the alternatives:
Second Cup: All the baristas wear aprons over black button down shirts and slacks, which is really off-putting. It’s like they were finger-painting after attending a funeral.
Starbucks: Their coffee tastes burnt to me and walking into a Starbucks is like arriving on the hot set of a yuppie porn film. Pretentious pseudo-writers work on their screenplays on their laptops for all to see. Or young parents determined to enjoy their day out and trying to bribe patience out of little Madison or Pollock with a cranberry almond scone (because kids love that shit).
Awful Hipster Organic Indie Coffee Shop: Nothing makes me feel more uncomfortable than an environment where everyone is more cynical and judgmental than I am. No amount of sugar or cream can sweeten these scalding cups of bitterness these bearded Bright Eyes fans consume. And instead of screenplays on laptops they write stream of consciousness on rice paper that eventually become sparsely attended one-person shows with titles like Gloryholy Land or Menoprison: The Sentence at the End of My Period.
And Tim Horton’s is no picnic, I realize. So many sweaty, fat angry people just jonesin’ for a double-double. I am one of them. The other day I rolled out of bed, did nothing to alter my appearance except put socks and shoes on, and went to Tim’s. I despise people out in public in their pajamas and yet here I was in my sweatpants with no functioning drawstring and big red shirt with stain.
Anyway, Tim Horton’s says the odds of winning something in their Roll Up the Rim to Win sweepstakes is one in nine. I call them to task on this obvious bullshit. If the odds were truly one in nine, I would have won a thousand times since the contest started (in the last month I’ve consumed approximately nine thousand coffees). Instead I won one lousy donut. It was fine, I’m not really a donut guy. I always feel embarrassed ordering them, they seem like a child’s food. It’s like ordering chocolate milk in a bar. And I always pretend like it just struck me to have a donut, like I’m eating it ironically. “Oh I guess I’ll have… um um uh… I don’t know… Maple… Dip? Am I saying that right, Maple Dip?” But what I really mean is, “Just put the icing in my mouth right now. Leave the pastry part, I don’t want that shit.”
The reason I want to win is the same reason people go to casinos. I feel like when I do win, it will somehow beat the house. A girl at work said, “When I win a free coffee, I always get the extra large! Ahaha, because it’s free right? Ahahaha, I’m not paying for it!” This makes her sound crazy, but it’s the same logic we all use. That even if we buy a coffee every day for seven months, if one of them is free, we’re sticking it to the man.
But with all I know, I will still line up tomorrow. And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Because it’s not the coffee I’m really excited about, it’s the anticipation of the possibility of more coffee. It’s not the destination perhaps, but the journey that keeps us motivated. If we always got what we wanted, wouldn’t we eventually want to want? So let’s keep enjoying the simple things, the addictive coffee, the sugary donuts, the sparsely attended one-person shows, and dream of champagne, caviar and packed houses. Like the sweepstakes, we’re around for a limited time only, so let’s see the coffee cup as half-full, regardless of what’s under the rim.