Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Fried Rumours
David Simmonds

Rumours that Tim Horton's is looking to expand into Wellington have begun to intensify. Representatives of the donut juggernaut have been spotted examining a series of locations in central Wellington, including Midtown Meats, the Town Hall, the Library, and the United and Anglican Churches.

A new wrinkle is that the company appears to have Wellington in mind as the testing ground for a new, upscale operation that will attract the consumer profiled as the 'culinary tourist.' "I can't think of any place better than The County to see if we can reach this customer" said a source. "And is any place in The County better than Wellington"?

Speaking on background, the source said the culinary tourist is typically a 35-to-55 year old, with a high disposable income, whose identity is found in the ability to make discerning choices in clothes, cars, applicances, food and drink. Ordinarily, this person would not be caught dead in a Tim Horton's, "except for Roll up the Rim month," noted the source. "But we're going to change that," he added emphatically.

TIm Hortons, it appears, is following the dual branding strategy that has worked so well for Best Buy or Future Shop and other retailers.

The new operation is being developed under the working name 'Country Epicure'. Gone will be the neon signs, drive up windows and disposable paper cups. In will be a host - a combination of Wal-Mart greeter and night club bouncer - who will welcome profile-fitting clients and encourage ordinary people to head down the road to Picton. Also in will be white gloved table service, and a decor comprised entirely of local furniture, china, cutlery and glassware purchased at auctions or garage sales. "It kills two birds with one stone," said the source: "it hits the eco button and keeps costs low."

The key to success, of course, is to rebrand the product and sell it at a (much) higher price. "Take the apple fritter," said the source. "If we can put a slice of apple from Campbell's Orchards on top of it and sell it as 'beignet avec pomme locale', we can move it for $4.25 instead of 85 cents. The fact that people have got expensive tastes doesn't necessarily mean that they've got brains. That's what we're counting on."

Other combinations are being looked at. Timbits topped with locally grown grapes will be renamed 'Amuse-gueules' and are expected to sell for 95 cents each, or 6 for $10. Honey Cruellers served with a slice of asparagus and sheep's milk cheese will be billed as a "Repas artisanal" and priced at $8.

Rumours persist that the Anglican Church is the preferred location for the new operation because it is a low rise heritage building set back from the street. "I'm sure we'll be able to work something out with them" noted the source. "The people of Wellington are smart enough to know when we're serious."

....or when we're just pulling their leg.

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Mike Barnacle, Jimmy Breslin, the late Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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