"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Monday, December 19, 2005

Wendy Time Comes

Wendy's has decided to spin off its subsidiary, Tim Horton's, and make it into a separate company. Reading that over at Galley Slaves prompted me to write the following reminiscence:

Once, on a Sunday night about ten p.m., with three kids in the car, I got a flat somewhere between Toronto and Windsor. I got out in the freezing cold and changed the tire. But I had no full-sized spare, only the donut. I figured that I had no choice but to try to drive a hundred miles or more on the donut, perhaps stay overnight in Detroit, fix or buy a tire Monday morning.

Suddenly I get spinning cop colors in my mirror.

I pull over, puzzled; I wasn't speeding or otherwise in violation of the law.

The officer sidles up to my window and informs me that if I persist in driving three kids in a car with an inadequate tire he will have to toss me into the clink. Too dangerous."Okay, but what should I do?""Pull into this town right here and you'll see a garage at the first light. I called ahead; they're expecting you; they'll fix you up."

Every short story in an Alfred Hitchcock collection, every scary movie, echoed in my head. This was a bad dream. Oldest scam in the book. Cop pulls you into town. Garage charges you a fortune, makes you put it on your credit card. And who knows what further indignity they had in store? Sell me four tires and a new transmission for three thousand dollars? That might be getting off lightly.

In the end, all the fears were proven to be the absurd product of American faux-sophistication.

The people in the garage were nice beyond belief. They sold me a used tire that was in decent condition, and they charged me only 35 dollars (Canadian). All this at almost 11 p.m. on a brutally cold Sunday night. Just gosh-darn nice folks.

But where did the kids and I spend that half-hour while the fellas worked on the car? At the Tim Horton's that was wide open for business with a couple of super-sweet waitresses cluck-clucking over our predicament.


buzzgirl said...

Thank you for your kind words.

Tlaloc said...

I like wendy's spicy chicken sandwiches.

Okay, sure, it's not as nice as your story, but they're special to me.

James Elliott said...

What is "Tim Horton's?" Is it like "Whitecastle," some sort of mythical den of fast food ambrogia?

Give me Jack n' the Box and In n' Out any day...