Shhh. Don't tell Larry.

A couple of Los Angelenos visited Canada and found themselves feeling strangely relaxed…and they have an explanation.

Lovely Wife developed an excellent theory. The coffee at Tim Horton's, Canada's ubiquitous coffee chain, is heavily drugged. Canada would be a non-stop raging 28 Days Later apocalypse if not for the fact we're kept sedated. She's working on the screenplay now.

That perfectly explains the mellow reputation of the only Tim Horton's addict I know. Whatever you do, don't deprive him of his fix!

Tags

More like this

Check out the Sandwalk: Strolling with a skeptical biochemist. I'm dismayed that it's been up for a whole week before I noticed. I've already learned something important: Tim Horton is the god-equivalent in Canada. If coffee and donuts inspire similar levels of sexual obsession and freaky…
Ah, zombies. I found myself feeling a certain, ah, nostalgia for the good old days when I used to post non-stop about shambling dead, decaying wrecks. The good old days, way back at the beginning of July and even earlier. I seem to be obsessed. So, from Cracked: 7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie…
Canadian Geese. Image take near Lakeview, OR. Image from: Bureau of Land Management A new study conducted by researchers Eric Vaillancourt and Jean-Michel Weber at the University of Ottawa examined blood sugar regulation in a bird that specialize in long distance migration, the Canada goose (…
I'm back from DAMOP, having spent a lazy day in Knoxville yesterday, waiting around to go to the airport. That was a much-needed respite from the non-stop conferencing of the previous few days, but I would've preferred to be home, rather than in Knoxville. Air travel continues to suck, particularly…

Mellow reputation? Has he been shipping you some of the stuff?

Anyway, I hope Larry keeps drinking Tim Horton's brew. The thought of the effects of cutting him off, if this story is true, are too terrible to contemplate.

It must be drugged. Tastes like someone put a cigarette out in it, but somehow we keep drinking it. My bro-in-law can't pass a Tim's without getting one, he'll drink five to ten a day easy.

It's not the coffee.

Canadians are just brought up to inately understand that everything has it's place, and that anger is to be dealt with at the rink. You duke it out, a guy in a striped shirt sends you off to sit and rest for a couple of minutes, and if you still have issues to work out you do it again. You leave it all on the ice, where it belongs. You don't take it home.

And when it's all over you line up, shake hands, and wish the other well.

If only we could convince politicians to settle scores this way.....

Most of our television programming comes from America and growing up I saw a big difference in American vs. Canadian media content. For a look into the 'Canadian psyche' I recommend an episode of Corner Gas or the Rick Mercer Report.

Tastes like someone put a cigarette out in it, but somehow we keep drinking it.

I prefer coffee that tastes like coffee, not coloured dishwater. That other stuff is OK for children and invalids.

(Serious mode) I think Canadian "mellowness" stems from the fact that we don't live in fear.

William: it's not the timbits, it's the maple-dip doughnuts. Man, I could live off of those things (except that I'm sure I'd die of heart disease or diabetes within a month).

I just got back from Toronto. What surprised me was how hard it was to find a Tim Horton's. Starbucks were all over the place. When I did come across a Tim Horton's store, the lines were usually very long.

Of course Larry is doing his part to keep the mass drugging plot from being exposed.

I can think of a lot of words to describe Larry the Canadian Guy - or, at least, his Internet persona - but "relaxed" isn't one of them...

Perhaps, without his caffeine fix, he might even revert to being a mild-mannered agnostic...

By Ian H Spedding FCD (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink

However mellow one may become from drinking Tim Horton's coffee, I can personally attest that one will NOT be mellow if one spills a fresh cup in one's lap. You know that place on the cup where it says "Attention - Chaud!"? They're not kidding. I still have the scars on my leg.

Straight up, this isn't the first time Timmies has faced that accusation. Anecdotally, Tims uses some strange beans (people started noticing it tasted different once the "Always Fresh" campaign started over a decade ago), but the only noticeable difference is that there's far more caffeine in TH coffee. That doesn't lend to mellow.

But again, this is anecdotal. I haven't found any papers on the subject.

Where I came from, Mike has it nailed. If you're angry, you take it outside til you all bleed, then you come in and grab a coffee or a beer or a joint. And when you see some other people bout to get it on, leave them the fuck alone. Getting between them is like getting between duelling grizzlies.

"(Serious mode) I think Canadian "mellowness" stems from the fact that we don't live in fear."

DING DING DING! Give that man a dollar! The only reason Canada has enemies is because we're friends with the US!

But I digress. I'm a Canadian living (temporarily, thank god) in LA. I don't drink coffee at all and Tim's hot chocolate gives me the shits. I'm pretty mellow though. I think, on the contrary, that someone's been dosing the water down here with speed... or acid. Nothing else could account for all the pink-backpack wearing-chihuahuas and collagen fish-lips. And the way people drive down here could only be explained by perpetual intoxication.

Remember, though, that Timmies, Canadian icon though it may be, has been majority owned by Wendy's since 1995. They completed a spin-off to shareholders, though, February this year, though I don't know the split of where the buyers reside. We still have quite a number of "Wenhortons" (Wendy's/Tim Horton's in a single building) around - a great combination if you want something more interesting than Frosters for dessert.

(Sometimes you learn more just looking up things to confirm what you're going to say in a comment :)

I don't know quite how to account for the mellowness. It's not even as though everyone is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal at all up here. We tend to send liars in office packing, even if it's just to send them a message, and conservatism mostly does not go hand-in-hand with the "I've got mine" attitude... at least around here, with the history of the Social Credit party in our most "rednecked" province.

We certainly get kept on our toes by ideological imports. Mostly, they seem to get rebuffed, but sometimes they take root. I'm not very happy that we're getting our very own creation museum within easy driving distance. Grrrr.

Maybe I'll write a letter or something ;)

It's not the coffee.

You have an extraneous "the" in that sentence.

"Canadians are just brought up to inately understand"

That seems contradictary to me.

The true secret is that the coffee doesn't taste like bitter black urine, like most of the coffee in the US does. So instead of the bitter taste you'd expect its a mellow taste, and relaxes like tea.

By chris rattis (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink

"Nothing else could account for all the pink-backpack wearing-chihuahuas and collagen fish-lips."

Cthulhu slumber is nearing an end?

By chris rattis (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink

Patness said "[i]Anecdotally, Tims uses some strange beans (people started noticing it tasted different once the "Always Fresh" campaign started over a decade ago), but the only noticeable difference is that there's far more caffeine in TH coffee[/i]

As a veteran in the coffee biz, I've heard a thing or two about TH. Mother Parker's is the current roaster for Tim, they won the last tender at somewhere about $2.75/lb. Roasted and packaged at that price there can't be much Arabica bean. I'm guessing they're heavy on the use of Vietnamese Robusta or similar grades. Also, it's roasted "light", explaining the higher caffeine content. Light roasts are always much higher in caffeine, dark roasts are much lower. Most people don't get the paradox.

Sources also tell the industry that the key to TH is that the roast temperature is turned way up at the very end of the cycle to burn the outside of the bean. When ground this gives the coffee it's dark colour which is necessary to stand up to the 18% cream that Tim uses. Remember too that their standard is a "double-double" meaning 2 shots cream, 2 sugar and you can understand why they need to blacken the bean at the end of the roast. Their dairy bill must be higher than what they pay for their coffee.

"Canadians are just brought up to inately understand"

That seems contradictary to me.

Posted by: Rey Fox

Yeah, well, it seems contradictory to me too.... and I wrote it! :P

Note to self: Remember to insert step "reread" between steps "Edit" and "press 'post' button"... but hey, at least The Grammar Police didn't call me on misspelling 'innately' too!

More on Canadian Sports:

Curling is our national sport for people over forty. Again, there's room for anger venting -- you have to scream nonstop at your own teammates to get the result you want. (HARD! HARD! OFF OFF OFF!) At the same time, the traditions of the game require you to be almost obscenely polite to the other team.

Against the Timmy's hypothesis, people here in Vancouver tend to drink much better coffee and yet are even more laid back than other Canadians, Provincial politics excepted.

Remember, though, that Timmies, Canadian icon though it may be, has been majority owned by Wendy's since 1995.

Yes, but I think it's been a mostly positive development for Tim's. Before Wendy's bought them, Hortons didn't have a drive-thru service. Now they have drive-thru line-ups rivalling the in-store line-ups (meanwhile, Wendy's windows really only fill up at about 2 or 3 in the morning when the bars let out and no one else is open). Also, the introduction of the lunch menu was nice, since we now have a healthier (if somewhat pricey) alternative to McD's, Harvey's, etc. The newer stores are much cleaner and better lit too.

On the negative side, the donuts have gone to crap in the past 10 years. But I probably shouldn't be eating them anyway.

By False Prophet (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink

Without Tim's I could not have survived higher education.

Without Tim's I cannot survive a sunday morning at work.

The coffee at Tim Horton's, Canada's ubiquitous coffee chain, is heavily drugged.

Yeah, the Liberal Elites in Canada drug Timmie's coffee, ensure that Canadian beer is stronger (and tastes way better), and make only halfhearted attempts to stamp out marijuana use in order to keep the masses too inebriated to vote in a (majority) Conservative government.

Oh, and Canada tries to prevent you Yankees from importing your jeebus-lovin' "family values" and Fox News by utilizing nanotechnology-infused coins to spy on you.

Wait a minute! What's with all the comments about my "mellowness"? Don't you realize that it was PZ Myers who said I was mellow? Consider the source. Everbody is mellow compared to PZ.

If you look at my blog you'll see that I haven't burned any Christians for at least four days. Have you ever seen PZ take a break for four days?

We need a Tim Horton's in Morris 'cause I'm going to visit there some day.

Bing got it right.

It ain't the coffee.

It's the cream.

Try drinking it black, it sucks.

By Bob Smith (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink

but hey, at least The Grammar Police didn't call me on misspelling 'innately' too!

That's not grammar, it's spelling. Har har. B-)

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink

I've been in Africa for the last 6 months and I would absolutely trade any family member or part of my own body for a large regular right now. Tim Horton's is second only to William's in Canada (does William's exist outside Waterloo?), and I will not hear anyone slander it's goot name.

Very interesting info, Bing.

And I've been buying dark coffee, because I want the jolt. Now I know better.

Sign me, "Another Tim Horton's Fan".

The popularity of Tim Horton's is a mystery to me. Their coffee is about as good as you'd find in your average gas station mini-mart or 7-11. Perhaps it is indeed drugged, as that would be the only reason to drink the swill. Horton's donuts are pathetic too. I agree with Larry on most things, but not not on this.

Tims has been doing some very slick marketing since Wendy's took over...they have shit-kicked the competition. I agree that Tim's coffee is swill ... but I'm still hooked...I'm even old enough to remember when Tim Horton played for the leafs!

By Bob Russell (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink

...does William's exist outside Waterloo?

Yes, there are a couple of William's in Guelph, and I know of at least one in Hamilton (across the street from the hospital at McMaster university). I've heard rumours of William's in Toronto and elsewhere in southern Onterrible, but it's certainly not present out West (i.e. that 3000 km wide stretch of territory west of North Bay).

Actually, Tim's is pretty rare out west, too, especially in Vancouver - but that's no surprise considering Vancouver's proximity to Seattle.

Personally, I find TH coffee acceptable, nothing more. I like William's better, and it's the same price around here. Starbucks is rare here, but my time in Vancouver has imparted in me a taste for their beverages, particularly the cappuccino-based drinks like Mochas. Those are bloody expensive, though, so I save that for special occasions.

Canada would be a non-stop raging 28 Days Later apocalypse if not for the fact we're kept sedated. She's working on the screenplay now.

I'd pay good money to see that movie in theatres - I know several people who would cheerfully murder any person foolish or heroic enough to try to prevent their access to their daily dose of Tim's. Can I get a cameo as "surprised drive-through victim number three"?

TheBrummell said:

[Timmies is] certainly not present out West (i.e. that 3000 km wide stretch of territory west of North Bay).

Good gravy - parts of Mississauga are west of North Bay! Is that what you call 'out west'?! In fact, IIRC, Larry Moran lives in Mississauga. He may live west of North Bay!

Don't tell me - let me guess - you're from Toronto, right? Everything outside the city limits is 'wilderness', eh? I assure you, there are plenty of Timmies west of North Bay. I've been to ones in Sudbury, the Sault, London, and Sarnia, to name just a few.

{BTW, this is just teasing, in case it wasn't obvious - I suppose you meant Thunder Bay. Just had to get in my daily dose of ragging on Torontonians, the one true Canadian sport}

Try drinking it black, it sucks.

(I used to drink coffee black, I take a little milk and sugar in it now to cushion my gut. The thought of double-double makes me feel ill.)

Every chain coffee and every diner coffee sucks, black. As a one time professional con-a-sewer of road swill (breakfast of courier - coffee and a cigarette), of the choices available Tim's is still the best tasting, even if that isn't saying much. It is also far superior to what most of my co-workers make in the office.

As for donuts... Americans aren't allowed to comment, because Krispy Kremes are the most gawd-awful things ever created with the label "food".

OK, second most awful, after pickled silkworm pupae.

Plenty of Horton's out here in Saskatchewan. In fact the drive through for one at a mall on 8th Street, one of Saskatoon's primary business streets, has been causing traffic problems at certain times of the day given how many customers go through. Its located too close to the street, so people trying to get into the drive through end up having to wait on Cumberland Avenue, slowing up traffic.

My parents said the number of Hortons in the Maritimes seems to have reached a ridiculous level, with one seemingly every couple of blocks in some places.

The original Tim Horton's coffee shop is in Hamilton, Ontario (at the western end of Lake Ontario). And Hamilton seems to have the greatest density of "Timorton's" (all one word). Some years ago, LotStreetWiz was chatting with a Vice President of Tim Horton's in his MBA class. The VP told him that the more stores they opened, the more people bought. The shops have become minor centres for socialization - people go to meet their friends and chat.

The coffee is very mild. When it hit the scene years ago it was overwhelmingly better than the cafeteria coffee that was served elsewhere. When I worked in a cafeteria, the staff taught me to thriftily pour the dregs from the old pot into the new pot, and it sat until someone drank it. You can imagine what it tasted like. So Country Style or Tim Horton's coffee, where they make a new pot every 20 minutes, was heavenly. And people drank instant coffee at home, often with canned milk in it--double-strength, cooked milk instead of cream.

It was also a cheap date to go out for coffee when we couldn't afford a meal.

There's even a Timorton's in Gibsons, BC.

That is so far west of Yonge St. that you have to take a boat across the salt chuk to get there.

By JohnnieCanuck, FCD (not verified) on 29 May 2007 #permalink

I think Canadian "mellowness" stems from the fact that we don't live in fear

I wonder if the fact that Canada is a constitutional monarchy has anything to do with it. Australia is similar: the institution and the person to whom you nominally give your loyalty do not actually have the power to demand that you do anything unpleasant, nor do they have to make obsequious and shallow promises to stay in their position (the one benefit of a non-elected Head of State). In addition, the head of Government is subject to removal (at least in Australia) by the authorized representative of that monarch if they step too far out of line.

It's an interesting system, in which everybody is subject to somebody's control; even a King (Edward VIII, 1936) was compelled to abdicate when his fitness to be monarch was questioned by many of the Prime Ministers of his Dominions. Although the reason given would not hold water today, that the process occurred is instructive and reassuring.

By Justin Moretti (not verified) on 29 May 2007 #permalink

but hey, at least The Grammar Police didn't call me on misspelling 'innately' too!

That's not grammar, it's spelling. Har har. B-)

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 28 May 2007 #permalink