Thursday, March 08, 2007


The Canadian-est invention ever

It's a reliable sign of the end of the Canadian winter. No, not the lengthening days, the appreciable warmth of the sun on a frosty day, not even the first day you decide you can safely leave the house in shoes rather than fur-lined mukluks. Spring is truly on the way when the already long (but impressively fast-moving) queues at Tim Hortons lengthen appreciably each year with non-regular Timmy's fans in the first few weeks of March. It is that annual late winter rite, the Roll Up the Rim to Win contest, that brings them out of the woodwork.

I've been lucky so far this year, at least compared to last year when I fruitlessly rolled up more rims than I could count for bupkis. This year, I'm on my third free coffee. And you know I love free. Over the course of the year, I drink hundreds of cups of Tim Horton's coffee, and they buy my loyalty with three free coffees a year. Not a bad strategy on their part.

But I've been thinking about this whole Roll Up the Rim thing. I mean, is that not the least hygenic contest you can possibly think of? I'm going to slobber all over this paper cup, then I'm going to tear off a bit and hand it over to the clerk. I'm surprised the folks at Tim Horton's aren't wearing latex gloves while this contest runs.

How do you roll up your rim? I'm a chewer, myself. I work my lower incisors in under the rim and do a back-and-forth kind of mastication to loosen the roll, and then pull it up. It's not too pretty, so I try to remember to use my thumbnail and the side of my index finger, rather than my teeth, if I'm in polite company.

And then I read about this guy in this morning's Citizen. He invented a Rimroller, "a plastic device the size of a bottle opener that cleanly slices open and unrolls a rim in one fluid motion." They'll be selling it at Lee Valley Tools (one of my favourite stores for gadgets and whimsical indulgences) for the most excellent and affordable price of $1.95. Get yours here!

Canadian ingenuity. Ya gotta love it.

Edited to add: Now you too can win your very own Rimroller! See this post for details.

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