Saturday, March 01, 2008

Roll Up Etiquette

It’s rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-roll up the rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-rim to win season again. It’s got everybody, even non-regular Tim Horton’s frequenters like me, in the mood to warm their hands with a lucky non-recyclable paper cup of hope filled with overpriced coffee or tea. The excitement of the possibility of winning a new car or a boat or even just a free donut fills us all with a bit of happiness. Here is a story of roll-up-the-rim possibilities and young love.

There was a friend of mine named Ronni, who was driving on a long trip somewhere (I think it was Florida) with her husband and, in the backseat sat a new-ish couple. I can imagine them sitting there holding hands, filled with the thrill of possibilities and still so much to learn about each other.

Ronni’s husband pulled into a Tim Horton’s and they all got a coffee. It was Roll-Up-the-Rim season, so everyone was jubilant. The couple in the backseat (we’ll call them Romance Woman and Romance Man) soon discovered their differing philosophies regarding Roll-Up-the-Rim cups. Romance Woman drank her coffee, rolled up her rim and found she had been instructed to Play Again. Romance Man was sipping serenely at his hot bevy when Romance Woman turned to him and said, “Roll up your rim.” He smiled at her, “but I’m not done my coffee yet.” She tugged playfully at his arm, “That’s okay, just roll it up anyway.” He was taken aback, “But I can’t. I’m not done my coffee.” She laughed dismissively, “Of course you can.” “I will roll it up but not til I’m done.” “Oh, come on, Romance Man,” she pleaded impatiently, “Roll it up now.” “When I’m DONE,” he was beginning to get impatient. Ronni and her husband eyed each other. Tension in the car was beginning to mount.

The conversation in the backseat continued on in this manner for what seemed like an eternity. Romance Man seemed to be reveling in not having finished his coffee (and not having rolled up his rim) and was now sipping it even slower. Romance Woman had progressed from offering a playful suggestion to becoming a drilling, nagging, un-ending, harping command. Long ago it had become clear to Ronni that, even if Romance Man won a prize, Romance Woman had killed her chances of sharing in the profits. “Roll it up,” she repeated, “Come on, just roll it up. You don’t have to finish your coffee. What if you’ve won something! Don’t you want to know? I think you’re going to win a car. I have this FEELING.” Romance Man began to ignore Romance Woman. He stared straight ahead at the back of the driver’s head. “I just can’t WAIT to see if my instincts are right! Roll up the rim, Romance Man. Please? Please? Please? Please won’t you roll up the rim? Come on. Just this once, roll it up before you’re done your coffee.”

Finally, finally, FINALLY, Romance Man tilted his head back, cup to lips, and drained the last drop of the most relished and slow-to-be-consumed java of all history. Romance Woman watched him expectantly, her hands fluttering excitedly by her sides. He looked down at his now-empty cup. A cup with possibilities. A cup that could hold fortune. A cup in which Romance Woman had invested so much hope. And without a word, he rolled down the window with his left hand, and in one graceful gesture (while Romance Woman watched in disbelief), he tossed the empty cup out the window onto the highway.


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