Sunday’s Preponderance: What Did I Expect For Free

[photo courtesy of]

Canadians are masters at lining up for things; or, as my UK blogger friends might say, “queuing”.  With the utmost respect to my fellow Chicagoans, I don’t think the idea of forming in a line is quite as popular here as it is in Canada or across the pond.

Case in point:  I heard on good authority that a well-known coffee place would be giving away, ‘free tea’ at their Chicago locations on Friday between 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  As ‘luck’ would have it, I found myself in a building that had one of these stores on the main floor.  Lo and behold, it was 1:03 p.m.

In I went, feeling rather sheepish to be going into this coffee hangout waiting to be given something for free.  And so, my Canadianishness (new word?) appeared, as I immediately looked for the lineup.  No line.  Uh oh, what to do?  There were at least two dozen people contained in a very small space, with no one (except yours truly) concerned at the lack of, ‘order’, shall we say.

All at once a customer service person yelled, “Free tea…….. over there!” With his hand gesturing in a wave-like motion, the, “over there” was a loosely understood command for most of the, ‘free teaers’!  I stood in what I thought could possibly be construed as a lineup; why, more of a gaggle, but I was, after all, there for a free beverage.

Somehow I managed to eventually make my way to the counter.  Quietly I said, “Um, may I please have the free tea?” With what can only be described as a half-hearted attempt at a full-fledged sigh, my barista guy stated, “Well, which one?” Which one? What? I had no idea there would be a, “which one?” on the freebie menu.  Oh good heavens above, first no queuing and now there are freebie choices to be made?  My response (and believe you me, I was feeling the pressure of the clusters; um, I mean the lineup of people behind me) was simply, “The third one, please”.  The third one.  Why did I say, “the third one”.  I didn’t even know if there was a second, let alone a third.  I didn’t have my glasses on, not thinking I’d need them to simply be handed a free cup of tea.

Did I just hear that Barista sigh in my direction yet again?  I gave him my name which he scribbled on the side of a cup.  Before I could even turn to join another group of freebie Friday folks waiting for their named cups, the Barista was already talking (literally) over my head and asking the guy behind me what kind of tea his complimentary cup would contain.

As I ‘attempted’ to leave the counter, I noticed that an absolute free-for-all of freebie fanatics had gathered in every single nook and cranny of that little coffee shop.  When I finally reached the outdoors, I stood for a moment, looking at the pinkish concoction swirling among the ice cubes in my overfilled cup of tea.  With straw at the ready, I took a sip.  And then, just to be sure my taste buds weren’t playing tricks on me, I took another and…………………….

into the trash it went.

At some point between the cup to the straw to my palate, something went terribly awry.  Now, the person that so long ago chided, “The best things in life are free”, certainly did not pick the free tea that was only known to me as number three.

My take from all of this?  When there is no line or queue, I must emphatically state that it is definitely not for YOU! 🙂

Now this is the type of lineup I’m familiar with:  Canadians at Tim Hortons!

[photo courtesy of]


  50 comments for “Sunday’s Preponderance: What Did I Expect For Free

  1. Mr. Militant Negro
    July 16, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.


  2. July 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I do not understand it. It has to be free for all, I think. Why is this system so? I do not know it here in Holland. We get free, after I have payd. I explain you. When I have paid an article. I can send my bill up to the firm and I get the payd money on my bank note. Or I have ordered for a meal. Sometimes is the drink than free. I get it than at the moment with the meal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

      Hi there my dear! Oh, it was just a promotion to give a free drink to customers for an hour this past Friday. The way it works at this type of coffee place is that you place your order at the counter and then you wait for it at another counter. I hope I am explaining it correctly, my dear! Cher xo


  3. July 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Your so lucky to have a Timmies! Sorry about the tea. Have to go to Britain for good tea right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Oh we don’t have Timmies here in Chicago, John! I was just trying to demonstrate the way Canadians line up for things as opposed to, well, what I experienced at a coffee place on Friday! *LOL* Britain has the best tea, but Canada has some of the same teas! This was an iced, fruit tea! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        Oh, OK. I made an assumption! The Timmie food is so yummy. Maybe if I send them a request for a store here, they’ll build one? Yeah right! I have no doubt they would do well here against the west coast chains.

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

        It sure is yummy! I buy the Timmies beans online and grind them myself. But they are usually very expensive. Well if they are going to build one there they better build one here at the same time, John! *LOL* Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 3:11 pm

        I just sent TH a note asking if they will ever expand to the west coast, doesn’t hurt to ask!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 5:41 pm

        Well done, John! That’s for sure!! Good to ask! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. July 16, 2017 at 10:51 am

    That is the reason I like your post. I can learn how it is to live in the U.S. or in Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Ah, bless you my dear! That is very nice of you to say! Thank you! You can ask me questions any time! Cher xo


  5. Lana
    July 16, 2017 at 11:35 am

    In UK if you have a Waitrose card you get a free hot drink in the store each time you shop. Thing is, they have not yet progressed to caffeine free so I miss out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Oh do they, Lana? Ah, I’m sorry they don’t have caffeine free drinks. Let’s hope they change that and offer choices without caffeine so you can join in!! Cher xo


      • Lana
        July 16, 2017 at 11:42 am

        I have written a letter and got nowhere! I think I should lift some treat off the shelf in compensation 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 11:45 am

        Oh did you, Lana? I’m sorry to hear that. Ah yes, perfect idea!!! 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  6. josypheen
    July 16, 2017 at 11:41 am

    There is nothing more stressful that waiting for something when people don’t bother to line up. I mean apart from in pubs, where there is etiquette, and you notice who is there before you and let them e served first!

    It is pretty strange that they served a rubbish tea! You’d’ve thought they’d want to give out their best possible sample to make you want to come back! I write reviews for yelp, and in London that meant I’d be invited to a lot of free meals/drinks. The thing is, when they are good, it means I become really loyal and introduce friends to it. Even if something is free, you spent the time and effort to go and get it…so you’d hope it’d be worth that effort!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Hi dear! I think in Canada and the UK lining up (queuing) is just part of the culture, but not as much here in the US. You know, I think it was my tastebuds! *LOL* I am sure that is what it is, because sometimes when everyone likes something, I don’t! I wish I didn’t have such a picky palette! I do appreciate they did give out the freebies though. Next time I’ll maybe just get my favorite drink and pay! *LOL* *LOL* I agree with you, my dear! Definitely giving freebies potentially means more business! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • josypheen
        July 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        I think there is a fine line for queues. Even though I’m English, if the line is more than 10 minutes, then I’ll go somewhere else!

        There are too many yummy possibilities to wait tooooo long in line. 😉

        Anyway, I hope your next tea is delicious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        Yes, I’m like that too! I don’t mind lining up (as a good Canadian should!) but yes, after a wee bit it’s time to go somewhere else! That is so true, isn’t it? Soooo many yummy possibilities! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. July 16, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I lined up this morning at a bakery for two registers. After waiting a long time for either one to open up, the guy behind me jumped ahead. I had to say something. He demurred and I took my rightful place. Americans need a lesson in queuing.
    Sorry about your tea. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      *Biggest grin ever* I am sorry that happened to you, Susie. But I sure am glad you said something! I think it’s never been part of the culture here to queue up. Whenever someone has jumped in front of me I say something as well. It’s definitely part of the Canadian and UK cultural fabric, isn’t it? Ah, thanks, Susie! Next time I’ll be better prepared to choose something I think I’d like! *LOL* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. July 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    My left eye began to twitch at the thought of no queue but when you discribed the tea well… my Englishness flipped A stroke is what it was akin to my mouth opened and shut a tick in my cheek made me shudder i could only be soothed by the husband with a real cup of tea made in a white pot -bellied pot and served with a rich tea biscuit on the side. No wonder they gave it away. *gasp*

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      *LOL* Ellen you made me laugh out loud! Hahahaha, I do think it’s my picky palette, to be honest. I am often teased about my comments about food/drink; for example, “I am not eating THAT!” Hehehehehe But your description of the tea and biscuit sound divine! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm

        Believe me we spent three weeks on Vancouver island October 2015 we loved it. The Canadians had good manners, they queued, they did better than the USA did with their attempts at tea making. But pink cold and straw are as far from my tea as you will ever get. ( the only exception is long island, holy moly that was good). Nice blog you have missus. *huge smile*

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm

        Ah, I’m glad you loved Vancouver Island! Isn’t it beautiful, Ellen? *LOL* Well it has become very popular here to take herbal teas and turn them into cold drinks. It took me a while to think of a tea as anything but either hot tea (like you mentioned in that lovely pot) or iced tea (regular tea on ice). *LOL* Ah Long Island Iced Tea! Yes, I do know what you mean! Ah, bless! Why thank you, Ellen; and the same goes for your lovely blog! Cher xo


  9. July 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Oh, well, I hoped your unconscious “third” choice would turn out like a wonderful gift. At least you are having Tim Horton’s over there! I loved to go to Tim Horton’s when we lived in Buffalo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Hi dear Erika! Yes, me too! I think it was the, “under pressure” feeling that made my choice a bit wonky! We actually don’t have Tim Horton’s here. I posted the pic to show how my fellow Canadians line up very well! *LOL* Did you live in Buffalo? That’s so cool! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm

        Oh, sorry, must have confused something… lol! Yes, I lived there in the late 90’s. My second child was also born over there. It was a fantastic time and I visited Canada a few times since it was so close. Most of all both sides of the Niagara Falls. The Canadian side has always been much cleaner and better fostered.

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm

        No worries at all my dear! I WISH we had a Tim Horton’s! *LOL* How cool! They do say that the Canadian side of the Falls is prettier as well. I do agree. I’ve been there many times! I loved shopping in Buffalo!!! So many things we didn’t have in Canada!! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 17, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        We lived in the suburbs of Buffalo. Buffalo itself was grey and dead at that time. But they did a lot during the past years and downtown Buffalo looks very pretty and unique now. They also have festivals at the lake and economy is growing too again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm

        Ah, did you? Yes, I think it is growing and looking better, too! Well as a Canadian, going to Buffalo shopping was awesome because of the sales and variety! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        Oh, you even went shopping to Buffalo! So cool! There are some great malls! I lived close to 3 big malls. Very cool indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2017 at 7:29 pm

        Yes, Buffalo was (and still is for many Ontarians) a shopping mecca! *LOL* Did you? That is very cool! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 19, 2017 at 7:28 am


        Liked by 1 person

  10. July 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I also got said free tea around 1:20 on Friday, and it left something to be desired. (I think it’s because I’m a regular tea drinker, not necessarily a fancy pants strawberry white tea drinker…) I actually didn’t know it was happening and THERE WAS NO LINE. Like a miracle of miracles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Oh did you? Me too actually. NO line? Wow, that is a miracle! So I’m not the only one who didn’t think it pleased the palette! Cher xo


  11. July 16, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Wow, really? That is the line to Tim Horton’s?

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      I found this pic on the net, David; I was trying to illustrate how we Canadians follow an orderly line for such important things as Tim Hortons coffee *biggest grin ever* #missingTimmies There are no Tim Hortons in this entire state. Sad. Cher xo 🙂


  12. July 17, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Oh no lol There nothing worse than queuing for free tea and then when you do it’s stinkin as we in Norn Iron say. That said for me, no coffee, no go. I am not a tea lover, certainly not pink with ice cubes anyway lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 17, 2017 at 7:23 am

      *LOL* I love that! Hahahaha Next time I’m getting coffee no matter WHAT is on for free! 😉 Cher xo


  13. July 19, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Iced Tea is so…. ‘American’ 😉 What you really need is a good strong cup of pure Assam with a smidgeon of milk!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. July 19, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    As an Aussie I feel your pain. Three cheers for queues!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. July 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Quite bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. damngela
    July 31, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Reminds me of the first time I went to Starbucks HAHA. I scrolled through your blog & I just wanna say it’s so cool how I stumbled upon somebody who blogs about life in Chicago because I was actually just researching that today and thinking about maybe living there in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      Hi Angela and welcome to The Chicago Files! Well isn’t that a cool bit of serendipity! I love it! Oh, did you have that happen at Starbucks the first time you went there? Hahaha! Well I really love this city; there is so much to see and do here. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced another place like Chicago. If you have any questions, please let me know! Thank you so much for your comments! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  17. July 31, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    We work for the best things in life, but who turns down free tea 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 31, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Hahaha, well I certainly didn’t that day, did I? 😉 Thanks for your awesome comment! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

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