While touring Nova Scotia, we stop in at a Tim Horton’s.
Tim Horton’s — named for the hockey player who launched the chain — is a Canadian icon (and continues to be considered this, despite having recently been purchased by Burger King). What Starbucks (with its fussy, creamy, confectionary approach to coffee) is to Americans, Tim Horton’s (with its practical, straightforward pots of ungarnished brew) is to Canadians, millions of whom wouldn’t dream of starting the day without a “cup of Tim’s.”
Clyde wants a “cup of Tim’s” of his very own; in addition, he wants a Tim Horton’s coconut cream donut. I’m not much in the mood for coffee, so I ask the short, spry older woman behind the counter for one of the Nutella-filled pastries (a cinnamon-dusted treat about the size of a pack of gum).
She peers at me over her glasses. “Did you know those cost $1.57 each?”
Given the size of the thing, the price does surprise me. “Wow,” I say. “Really?”
She lowers her voice to a whisper. “They’re just too darned expensive. I make sure all my customers know.”
“I appreciate that,” I say. “I’ll just have a bite Clyde’s coconut cream donut and be happy, then.”
“Good choice,” she says. And then, quick as lightning, she scoops up a Nutella-filled pastry, wraps it in wax paper, and pushes it into my hand. “They should be ashamed, making these so expensive. So just take one.”
Back on the road, my Nutella-filled pastry is good — not $1.57 good, mind you, but good. But the real treat of the day has nothing to do with baked goods and everything to do with one charming Tim Horton’s employee — who gives me a priceless experience and a great story to tell.