coffee

#598: “Seven”

Here’s a very special story for a very special day. September 18th is the day I met my wife! Happy “meetaversary” sweetie.

GETTING MORE TALE #598: “Seven”

When dating, there are many rites of passage on the road to a long term relationship.  For either sex, one of the usual hurdles is meeting the “best friend”.  If the best friend doesn’t like you, your whole relationship could be doomed.  It happened to me and it could happen to you!

I met Mrs. LeBrain on Sept 18 2005.  We made contact like most people these days, first online and then in person.  Meeting people online in 2005 wasn’t as mundane as it is today.  Jen had never met someone from online before.  We’ve told the tale of meeting before – from both perspectives.  Mine was Record Store Tales #111:  The Girl in the Sam Roberts Shirt.  Her version was Getting More Tale #434:  The Man in the Bob Marley Shirt.  Needless to say, music is important to both of us.

There was one thing Jen failed to do, and that was inform her best friend Lara that she was meeting someone over the internet.  She knew Lara wouldn’t approve.  Once we started dating regularly, she had to come clean.  As predicted Lara wasn’t impressed that she would go and meet some random internet dude without telling her.  She was in trouble!  And so was I, just for existing secretly!

Jen arranged a coffee meet up.  We picked up Lara and her friend Dave, and headed over to the nearest Tim Horton’s.  I was pleasantly surprised by Lara.  Jen had made her out to sound evil and dangerous.  She seemed anything but!  Funny, smart, and clearly someone who cared deeply for her best friend.  We got along immediately.

At one point in the evening, Lara asked me, “On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?”

I didn’t understand.  “Pardon?”

“On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?” she answered.

“Well, I’m a pretty easy going guy, so I’d say about a three.”  Hypothetically, of course.

Secretly, inside, Jen was worried what this meant.  She said nothing, nor did Dave.

We continued to drink our coffee and chat.  Lara liked science fiction, so we had that in common.  In Canada, sitting around a Tim Horton’s all night drinking coffee (or tea in Lara’s case) is a pretty common pastime.  My wife can really drink coffee like a champion.  If there was a Stanley Cup of Coffee, she would win it every season.

We made tentative plans for a future meet up, when suddenly –

RRRRRRRIIIIIP!

Lara reached over, grabbed my soul patch hair, the part right below my bottom lip, and YANKED HARD.  I looked wide-eyed to see my own facial hair in her fingers.

She asked again, “On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?”

My answer was immediate.  “SEVEN!  DEFINITELY SEVEN!”

And that is why to this day, all of Lara’s kids and their friends call me “Uncle Seven”.  My nickname became Seven, irreversibly and permanently.  It’s been over ten years and I’m still Uncle Seven.  In fact, here is an actual conversation that I had with her son Tyler, and his girlfriend.  It was Tyler’s 19th birthday:

Mike:  “Tyler, you’re an adult now, you don’t have to call me Uncle Seven anymore.  Just call me Mike.”

Tyler:  “OK Seven.”

Girlfriend:  “Wait…your name is Mike? I thought it was Seven.”

Mike:  “…You thought my real name was Seven?!  Who the hell would name their kids a number?!”

Girlfriend:  “There’s a girl named Eleven.”

Mike:  “Yeah!  On a TV show!  And it wasn’t her real name!!”

 

The fact that I took Lara’s little “test” as a joke meant that our friendship was solidly guaranteed.  I passed!  We’ve been tight ever since.

 

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VIDEO: The Birthday Mug from Caught Me Gaming

Sarca from Caught Me Gaming does much more than just video games (not that those don’t rock)!  She talks coffee, she talks books, movies, and occasionally music too.   I was thrilled to get this birthday gift.  Check the video below.

Aaron got the same gift from Sarca for his birthday!  Check his out over at KeepsMeAlive.

Thank you Sarca for this awesome rock and roll mug!

Click here for Sarca’s original post featuring this mug.

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#347: Hortons (featuring Mrs. LeBrain)

She’s back with another guest shot!  Enjoy this two-fer Tale.

RECORD STORE TALES Mk II: Getting More Tale
#347: Hortons

IMG_20141117_173614LeBRAIN’S TAKE:

Here’s one thing I never understood, either in the Record Store days or today:  People who are obsessed with Tim Hortons coffee.  I’m married to one and I still don’t get it.

I worked with people who never showed up at a shift without their double double in hand.  I worked with others who had to do a daily Tim’s run.  I served customers who left their empty cups on our shelves, or at the front counter.    That was always a favourite of mine, and it’s not unique.  I’ve shopped at many stores, finding the brown empty cups sitting there on shelves.  Somebody else’s problem, right?

I fail to understand the obsession. Jen has to have one (large decaf with three cream and one sweetener) every single day.  There was an old urban myth (an untrue one) that Tim’s put nicotine in their coffee to keep you hooked.  The only reason that myth has such long life is that Horton’s Addiction (HA) is so prevalent in Canadian society.

Now that Burger King, an American company, has bought out Tim’s, I fear for our friends south of the border.

I see a future littered with brown cups.  I envision our American friends unwittingly becoming addicted to Hortons’ secret brew.  I picture, somewhere in the US, a record store manager not unlike my younger self, pulling empty brown cups from their shelves as I once did.

Just say no to Tim’s.  Make your own coffee at home.  Hell, just drink water!  Don’t fall into the trap of Horton’s Addiction, an affliction for which there is no known cure.

IMG_20141214_171037_editMRS. LeBRAIN’S REBUTTAL

50 years ago, one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history decided to expand his horizons, and open a coffee & doughnut [his spelling] empire.  That man’s name was Tim Horton, and he made a damn good cup of coffee.

One thing that is very special about “Timmie’s” (as we call it) is its consistency.  Your coffee in Kitchener Ontario will come out exactly the same as your coffee in Kitchener BC.

Every coffee drinker has their ideal cup of coffee, and sometimes it takes years to find that combination of cream and sugar that is right for you.  When you do find it, Tim Hortons has dispensing equipment designed to maintain that perfect coffee for you, no matter what size you order it or where you order it from.  (The only exception to this rule is Splenda sweetener which is dispensed by hand from packets.)  Rival chains such as Starbucks make the customer add their cream and sugar themselves, creating human inconsistencies.

I love the texture of the cream; the feeling inside takes me to a special place.  It also doesn’t hurt that they use 18% cream, a treat in itself.

Contrary to the way LeBrain makes it appear, I really do like all kinds of coffee.  My Keurig machine is well used in the LeBrain household, but Tim Hortons is the champion, and whenever possible that brown cup will be in my happy hands.

Even LeBrain himself knows that if he ever does something to get him in shit, a five minute trip to the drive-through can fix the situation!

The two greatest things on this planet are hockey and coffee.  There was a man who brought those two worlds together, and his name was Tim Horton.