Every morning for three days in a row I have made a complete and utter ASS of myself at the Oliver's Esso Drive-Through Window in Bracebridge.
MONDAY MORNING: It's freaking cold outside. I'm early for work. I decide, hey, let's get a coffee. Treat myself. I pull up to the drive-through, depress the window button, and nothing happens. I see the lady with the headphones grinning at me through my frosted window.
I smile back, point to the window and shrug.
She shrugs back, still grinning.
I open the door, but I'm parked too close to the window, so it won't really open.
I pull forward a bit and open the door a crack. The lady is still smiling but her eyes are unsure.
My toonie slips out of my fingers and falls in the snowbank.
The lady has stopped smiling.
My face is starting to turn red, I can feel it.
I wrestle my bulky form out of the six inches the door will open, bend over and, with cold hands, fork through snowbank searching for my toonie.
There's a line-up of cars forming behind me.
I find the coin and stumble back to the window and plunk my toonie on the counter.
My face is beaming red, my hair is a mess from being upside down and sweat is beading off my forehead.
"I'd like a large regular coffee," I say to her. Standing at the drive-through window.
She gets me one. Smiles.
"Have a nice day," she says.
I waddle back to the car, steam coming from the coffee and my ears.
TUESDAY MORNING: Despite all the crap that went on the previous day, I want another Oliver's coffee. It was really tasty!
But this time I check my window before I get to the drive-through window. And hey! Blessed mother of god, it works!
I pull up and I'm feeling confident.
"Good morning," the lady says enthusiastically.
"Good morning!" I reply.
"I'm sorry," she says, "I didn't catch what you ordered."
I stared at her.
She didn't catch what I had said because I hadn't ordered yet.
Suddenly a light bulb goes off above my head.
"Ohhhh.... there's an order box......"
"Yes!" she says brightly.
"Ohhhhh... " I say, more like a groan than a word. She is no doubt impressed with my intelligent banter.
"Um," I continue, "where is it?"
Her smile falters.
She realizes now she is dealing with a moron.
"It's back there. Beside the rock."
"I saw the garbage container," I say. "Is it in the garbage container?"
"Uh, no," she says. Her smile has disappeared.
"Is it in the bush?" I ask, hopefully.
"No," she says. "The rock. It's near the rock."
"The rock," I repeat. Stupidly.
She brightens. "Yes," she says, "that's right!"
Oh yay, she's thinking, the stupid woman has finally figured it out.
"Did you want a coffee?" she asks, now that our dilemma is resolved.
I order a large regular coffee and plunk my money down without dropping it.
Just as I'm about to pull away she says, "I like your handles."
I look at her blankly.
She smiles and points the handles on the car door. "Your handles," she says.
Under normal circumstances I would say something witty in reply but I realize, in that moment, that witty has completely deserted me.
So I mumble, "thanks."
And pull away before I melt in a puddle of humiliation.
You don't think I'll go back, do you?
You have no concept of how far I will go into the realm of the twilight zone. I must go back. I am drawn there. And the coffee is very tasty.
This time I am totally prepared.
The window opens.
I have money ready. And back-up money in case something happens to the original.
I scout out the box ahead of time. I see it.
Not only is it near a rock, it is very possibly growing out of a rock.
Only in Muskoka.
I even take a picture of the box, which has a very large sign stuck to it.
The sign is printed in huge black letters.
It says, "ORDER HERE."
No wonder I missed it.
I order my large regular coffee at the rock and pull up to the drive-through window.
The same smiling lady is there.
"Good morning!" she says enthusiastically.
"Good morning!" I reply.
"I see you found the rock," she says.
"Yes," I say. "And my window opens, too."
Her smile falters.
I realize that she is not the same woman who was there on Monday, when my window wouldn't open.
She is staring at me like I'm an escaped mental patient.
I smile at her.
"You make good coffee," I say. "They don't make it this good in the home."
As I drive off I look in my rear view mirror and she is poking her head out the window, staring, her mouth hanging slightly open.
It's too bad that I won't be able to go there anymore.
Their coffee really is tasty.
But Timmy's is pretty good, too.
And Tim doesn't think I live in a looney bin.