My teenage daughter and her friends wrote their final, final exam of Grade 10 this morning.
Pick us up and take us to Tim Hortons, she wheedled and pleaded.
As it happened, she went to school without her bus pass – having conned her grandparents into driving her there – so once I received the ping that the exam was done and dusted, off I went, having retrieved her wallet.
I dropped them off at the requested Tim’s location, plugged my phone in to charge in the cigarette lighter, and ordered the unthinkable at the drive-thru window: poutine. Ingredients? Seasoned potato wedges, which are sold as a side for sandwiches, in their native form; Québec cheese curds; and gravy from an unidentified source, so let’s just say an industrial size vat.
I’m going to posit that the most expensive ingredient in this confection is the Québec curds. Years ago, when I was young and also quite skilled at bamboozling my grandparents, Pop and Grandma would buy Québec cheese in insane quantities to bring back to South Jersey and portion out to all of their friends, and it was pricey then. Take that, Trump and your stupid comments about the North American dairy trade. Americans know what they like with their saltines and oyster crackers at 3:00 snack time.
So I ate, and my daughter texted me.
you can come in if you want
i have a charger in my bag
I’m ok. It’s breezy out here, I replied, in between bites of melty curds.
are you sure
Yep. I was.
The next thing I knew, she and one of her friends were back at the car to grab something out of a backpack. Satisfied that I wasn’t carjacked, I suppose, and my daughter shocked that I was eating lukewarm potato wedges covered in curds and gravy; they disappeared and moments later my kid was back with another friend, bearing a box of leftover donut holes.
Here. This is for you. We wanted to make sure you were eating properly.
In a way, the snarky little darlings had a point. You don’t go to a coffee shop to buy poutine, Québec cheese or no Québec cheese. You get a double double in a paper cup and a box of donut holes. Or if you’re a certain age and your doctor has started recommending more fiber in your diet, you order the raisin bran muffin warmed up with a pat of butter on the side.
To the chip truck owners of Western Québec, I see you and I hear you and I will make it up to you soon. I promise.