Thursday, March 09, 2006


On coffee and Canadian icons

You'll have to click quickly, because at the time I'm posting this you'll have less than five hours to bid on the official "Rick Mercer Report Liberal Leadership Kit" on ebay. You might remember Rick Mercer from his campaign last year to wrest from me the "Best New Blog award" in the Canadian Blog Awards. (What, you remember it differently?)

His leadership kit, with a current bid of an affordable $16M (hey, we're talking about national party leadership here!) includes a "fifteen minute consultation/conference call with the [Rick Mercer Report] writing staff to craft your campaign message" and "use of our colour printer for photos and such. Ink cartridge is running low on magenta."

In other Canadian cultural icon news, although my job has been less than fulfilling lately, I'm glad I'm not working in the PR department over at Tim Horton's. They finally announced yesterday that Canadian peacekeepers in Afghanistan will be able to get their morning double double after all, as Timmy's has reconsidered their earlier position and will be opening a coffee trailer in Kandahar within the next few months.

Should have been a good day in the PR department, except for the fact that their infamous "Roll up the rim to win" campaign is getting some serious flack these days. The autoworkers' union in Windsor is making noise because one of the top prizes in the popular contest is the Japanese-built Toyota RAV4, whereas in previous years it has been a Canadian-built GMC. (I'd link to the Citizen story on this, but their Web site won't load for me these days.)

And then there are the two Quebec families feuding over a winning rim. A 10-year-old girl named Marilou dug a used Timmy's coffee cup out of the trash bin at her elementary school, but found her fingers weren't strong enough to roll up the rim. She asked an older schoolmate for help, and the girls discovered the cup was a winner - and not just a free doughnut, either. They won one of the 30 aforementioned RAV4s. At first, the girls were happy to share the SUV, as were their families, but things went bad when the fathers went to claim the prize and found only one could be declared the winner. The dispute remains unresolved.

All I can think of is the harried parent who stopped at Timmy's that morning to get a coffee and pitched the unexamined coffee cup into the trash on the way to drop off junior at school, reading the morning paper the next day and realizing he or she had thrown away a winning cup. Yikes!

The damn contest has been running since last Monday and averaging two cups a day, I've rolled up somewhere close to twenty rims - and I can't even score one of the 27 million free coffees or doughnuts. Cuz I needed a reason to drink more coffee. More coffee. MORE COFFEE!