Paying it forward (or is this backwards?)

Aug 8 • Bruce Uncorked, Feature StoryNo Comments on Paying it forward (or is this backwards?)

I must give a shout out to Bob Kennedy of Water Elite. Here I was on a recent Sunday morning picking up some breakfast items for the family at a local Timmy’s drive-thru. I’m in my usual daydreaming daze, pull up to the window to pay and the person at the till says, “The water guy paid for your order.”

I look forward and see a familiar pickup truck pulling away. I couldn’t see it, but I could all but feel Bob’s huge smile.

Thanks again, Bob!

One toke over the line

On Friday morning at a Tim Horton’s drive-thru, I swear the guy in front of me was smoking a joint.

From my vantage point, this is what I saw:

  • it appeared he was toking, not smoking; and
  • when he was done he flicked what appeared to be a roach, not a butt, to the ground.

Sure, this guy, who happened to be wearing a suit, could have been fast-smoking a hand-rolled cigarette (who rolls their own smokes anymore?) to get a nicotine high, but what I saw certainly suggests otherwise.

In a couple of months, smoking pot will be legal in Canada. But it currently isn’t. And if you think it will be OK to toke and drive, it really isn’t. Cops are trained to spot impaired drivers, be it by alcohol or drugs.

Drivers who are impaired by drugs are subject to the same penalties as those impaired by alcohol.

Selfish drivers

Speaking of drive-thrus, it appears some folks need a refresher on etiquette. It’s almost as if they think they’re attending a yard sale!

Some people who go yard saling ignore the rules of the road, laws and bylaws, parking wherever they like – including on the opposite side of the street and where parking is prohibited. If it’s convenient to them, they park, and to hell with what it might do to other traffic, or what hazards it might cause.

In the case of drive-thrus, some folks forget, or don’t care, that there are other people around. The worst offenders are the ones who block lanes on roads.

I’m talking about people who go to a drive-thru and the line up is out to the road, so they just put on their turn signal and wait in the road for the lineup to eventually snake forward enough for them to get in there.

And they aren’t alone, as others do this behind them.

What about the folks who just want to use the road as, well, a road? You are interrupting the flow of traffic!

Plus, if you are in dire need of coffee in the morning, there’s another coffee shop at most a couple of blocks away. We’ve got them all over the place.

But if you HAVE to have your coffee from that particular place, why not pull in, park, walk inside, get your order and go back to your vehicle and drive away? Chances are you’ll be out and gone faster than waiting in a particularly long vehicular lineup.

The Road-Blocker isn’t the only drive-thru etiquette culprit. There is also his or her cousin, Me First. This person either approaches the drive-thru from the opposite direction where there’s a big parking lot – think of the Tim Horton’s on the corner of Third and Wellington in Chatham – and tries to slip into the lineup ahead of people who have been waiting longer coming from the other direction.

But they can also be the person heading in the proper direction, but cutting into the line and blocking traffic flow inside the parking lot. This can happen when someone is trying to cut in from the other direction, and this person opts to ensure his or her place in line is preserved.

But it’s selfish, as you block off the parking lot.

The minor infraction folks in terms of drive-thru etiquette are the Space Wasters. These are the people who leave way too much space between the front of their vehicle and the one in front of them.

This can cause all of the other aforementioned issues to occur, as they combine to create unnecessarily long lines of vehicles.

One of the biggest Space Wasters is the Texter. This is the person who HAS to have their cell phone in their hands at every possible moment. That includes when he or she is behind the wheel and in a drive-thru lineup. They’re texting a buddy when they should be paying attention to their surroundings. When the line moves, they stay put, as they are selfishly focused on texting.

A good drive-thru on a workday morning is a fine-tuned machine. Pay attention, stay close, respect others, don’t block traffic flow, and all is fine.

For the record, I don’t drink coffee, but I know how important it is to some people each day. Don’t get between some folks and their first coffee of the day.



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