May 17, 1964

On May 17, 1964, the first Tim Horton’s coffee and donut shop opened in Hamilton, Ontario by NHL player Tim Horton. This was a big deal in Canada. It is like when the first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington, or, duh duh DUH, the first Krispy Kreme opened in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In Canada, Tim Horton’s is now considered a religion, and all Canadians are required to go there at least once a week for communion. When the Canadian solemnly walks into a Tim Horton and opens the door, they’ll say “Sorry” and everyone in line will respond “No, I’m sorry” and then he or she (Canadians aren’t very sexist about most things, except for hockey) will wait politely in line. When they get to the counter and are greeted by the cashier, the cashier will say, “Hello, Davesy, what cha having.” Knowing full well that they’ll be ordering a Double Double (cup of joe, two creams, two sugars), a bag of Timbits (doughnut holes, for us Americans) and a Honey Cruller. The cashier, in full Tim Hortons regalia, the hat and the shirt, will ring up the order, receive the coffee and pastries from the acolytes working the food prep in back and hand them to the customer with their change and a smile. The customer will then say ‘Thank you’ and the cashier will reply “You’re welcome” which then indicates to the customer that the service is over. The customer will then leave the store, while saying sorry and excuse me to the other customers waiting in line, with them replying in kind. This is such a beautiful ceremony, one that tourists all over Canada gather to watch. And in this religious ceremony, the faithful get hot coffee and pastries, instead of cheap wine (or fruit juice in the DEEP south) and crackers so stale that they stick to the roof of your mouth.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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