Well, the robins have returned! I noticed a couple of these welcome signs of spring yesterday when I was outside enjoying the sun. Not only is it the time of the year when the snow melts and the grass begins to green up and the birds return but it is also the time of year for that essential Canadian experience – Roll up the Rim. For those of you who might not know about this, a national coffee/donut retailer, Tim Horton's, has a contest each year where their coffee cups are printed with a message under the little rolled rim at the top of the cup. After you finish your beverage, you roll the rim up to see if you have won a prize. Much has been made about the seeming unfairness of how these cups are distributed across the country. Depending on where you live and the amount of coffee sold, your chances of winning the big prizes are either higher or lower. Basically if you live where the most coffee is sold, you have a better chance of winning.
Depending on your temperament, the "Sorry Play Again" message can range from "You've won a chance to play again", to "You've won a chance to pay again." Prizes range from a donut or bagel to flat screen televisions, cash and automobiles. Some people get really involved in this 'contest'. I have heard of people tracking the prizes they won and how many they won from year to year. I have heard of people who order, and pay for, coffee for the whole office in the understanding that any prizes won revert to them. I have even heard of people who buy extra coffee, that they have no intention of drinking, just to get an extra cup or two for the chance to win something.
I like coffee. I even like to win things. But I tend to take the view that, if I am spending extra money for something that I don't really need, then even if I have won something, I'm still out the money I spent. If I happen to be going by a location and happen to want a coffee, I might stop and buy one, but I don't make special trips for the chance to win a donut. That being said I do like the anticipation of rolling that little rim up. I have won coffee, donuts, bagels and muffins. I have heard of people winning cash prizes and televisions and cars. There is one prize that many people seem to win that I have never won though -- the chance to throw my cup on the ground and leave it there.
From the amount of these cups I saw on the ground this morning, their little rims chewed and gnawed like starving rats had found them, there must be a littering prize that I have never won. My cups tend to accumulate in the car until I begin to feel self conscious and scared that someone will look in and see the pigsty I drive around in. Heaven forbid someone gets in the car before I can clean it out and I embarrass myself. Never, never, NEVER, have I thrown a cup out on the ground when I was finished with it, no matter how disappointed I was not to win. As far as I know the contest is 'Roll up the Rim to Win' not 'Roll up the Rim to Litter'.