Riot erupts in Canada as subprime potato edges out coffee prizes

A protestor wearing hockey equipment sets fire to a truck near a Tim Hortons restaurant. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue; CC 2.0 license)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO—Thousands of Canadians are storming the capital demanding to know why they were given potato wedges instead of coffee.

Every February, Canadian coffee retailer Tim Hortons holds its Roll Up The Rim contest. Anyone who purchases a hot beverage can play; they simply roll up the top of the paper cup and read the text printed underneath it.

Six times out of seven, the text simply reads “please play again.” But the seventh time, the coffee drinker wins a prize. Anything from free coffee and doughnuts to cash prizes or even brand new cars are up for grabs.

The most common items are free coffees. This year, however, something else was given out; something that caused a stir among Canadian consumers. Rich Postman of Hamilton, Ontario was one of these consumers.

A “Roll Up the Rim” Cup. (Photo: Andrew Tawker)

“Potato wedges? What the fuck is this? Like, I figure I’d get a coffee or something. I’d actually want that,” Postman said.

“I go to Tim’s for coffee, eh, not goddam potatoes. If I wanted potatoes I’d… well… I fuckin’ don’t!”

Canadians have been calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to address the situation. Trudeau says he would like to act, but feels the issue falls beyond his reach.

“While I sympathize with the middle class, hard working Canadians who buy their coffee every morning, Tim Hortons is not an arm of the Canadian government,” said Trudeau. “They can offer any prize they want. If you have issues, you really need to take it up with them.”

Member of Parliament Willard Simmons aims to change all of that. Thursday, Simmons introduced a private members bill that proposes the expropriation and nationalization of all Tim Hortons locations within Canada. If signed into law, the bill would establish a new Crown corporation to operate the chain.

“Tim Hortons has repeatedly and systematically attempted to undermine the will of the Canadian people,” the bill’s introductory paragraph reads.

“The products it has attempted to force on us have involved … dessicated, pressed potato products (commonly referred to as “Hash-Browns”); quartered, seasoned, deep-fried and frozen potatoes (referred to herein and by protest groups as “Potato Wedges”)

The list continues: “ … Imitation Asian tea beverage with smashed frozen water particulate (“Green Tea ‘Smoothie'”); Dark Roasted coffee, which carries a robust, earthy taste, much like the Athabasca tarsands from which it is most likely extracted …

Critics of Simmons’ bill have argued that it is too extreme and does not meet the requirements for the annexation of a large corporation. But Simmons believes it is not only an issue of pride, but one of national security.

“The Canadian Forces are powered by Tim Hortons products,” Simmons said. “Every overseas base has a Tim Hortons. It is just as critical as tanks, weapons, and oil.

“They are the Canadian equivalent of the American MRE. Without it, our soldiers will starve. Potato wedges will not stabilize Haiti nor will they defeat ISIS.”

While most protestors are simply passionate about their coffee, some demonstrations have recently turned violent. In Vancouver, a truck was flipped over and set ablaze while onlookers watched, cheered and threw their Tim’s cups into the fire.

“Enough is enough,” an unnamed man in a goalie mask declared. “Nobody wants frozen and re-cooked hashbrowns, and we don’t want these stupid potato wedges either. We want coffee. Give us coffee or give us death!”