Finding that tiny scrap of paper changed everything. Or at least**
"Why does Tim Horton's hate me? WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU, TIM?" I lamented, clutching my ripped up coffee cup. I had rolled up the rim and discovered that I was a winner of un beigne.
"A donut! What the hell is wrong with this world," I shook my head. Donuts are a secret walk of shame, it is the outcry and signpost of those who try to pretend they are really quite cool but do not realize they are buying into a corporate confederacy that everyone who is truly cool actually shuns.
Or anyways there is that recent scientific evidence showing the direct detrimental effect it has on intelligence, sexual performance and attractiveness. Ugh.
But I don't eat sugar. I do occasionally, but it is a crime, among other things. So I went up to the Timmies boy in his little beige uniform, and told him that I had won a donut. I held the offending scrap of coffee cup aloft like it was tainted with a highly infected disease.
He beamed at me, "Wow! Great, which one would you like?"
I gave him a gimlet stare of death and told him, "None."
His smile faltered and then extinguished. "No?" he asked, uncertain now.
"No. I don't eat donuts. It's a health thing. They have sugar which causes lots of pain to my insides and sometimes this pain comes outside and it makes other people feel pain as well."
He looked somewhat bewildered, but then, casting around for a solution, he straightened his shoulders and said, now much more confident: "I will ask my manager!"
And he disappeared into the back.
I looked behind me at the very long line waiting to get their coffee. I sighed. This was just supposed to be a simple thing. I just want a coffee instead of a donut. What is so hard about this.
The boy re-emerged, now accompanied by his manager.
"Hello maam," the manager said, "Do you have a receipt for the coffee you bought?"
"What, why do I need a receipt? I have the winning thingy from the coffee cup itself right here, and I just want a coffee instead of getting a free donut, even a small coffee is fine, this isn't supposed to be a big deal"
"But you know, we have to make sure that we are not committing a fraud. This is why, you should go back to that Tim Horton's coffee shop that you got your coffee from and tell them to give you a receipt and when they do that then you can come here and get your free coffee."
Was...was he really serious? No really. All I wanted was a coffee. And because I am secretly a sexy hothouse plant when indoors, exasperated, I again turned to face the glass front doors so that I could look out at the sunlight struggling to meet me. I turned back and he seemed to brace himself.
Instead of telling him I bought my coffee at this same exact location, I shrugged.
"Give me a donut," I said.
I emerged 20 seconds later out into the bright, cold, downtown of Toronto, and handing my newly packaged sugary parcel to the homeless man sitting outside the Tim Horton's front doors, I went along my day catching the rays as long as they were out struggling.
**But now, days later, I was just about to board the approaching bus, and stepping up to the curb, something caught my eye. I looked down, even as the bus came closer, and then I bent down and picked it up.
It was a tiny scrap of paper with a message that told me that sometimes things can make sense in the weirdest randomest ways, and sometimes yes, maybe karma is real:
"Win/Gagnez: Un Cafe/Coffee"