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Enjoying a spot of late breakfast

May 11, 2016

A drip of high fructose corn syrup, water, flavours, potassium sorbate and caramel colour, aka “Hotcake Syrup”.

Most weekdays I breakfast first thing in the morning, starting at about 8 a.m. and afterwards I go out and search municipal recycling bins for returnable beverage containers that I can cash in for their deposit value.

Such is one of the ways that homeless people make ends meet in the city of Vancouver.

Wednesdays are different though. This is the day of the week when a city contractor empties the recycling bins in my immediate neighbourhood of Fairview, so I go binning for returnables first thing in the morning before all the recycling bins have been emptied.

This means that today (May 11) I didn’t stop to have breakfast at my neighbourhood McDonald’s until 1 p.m.

I could say that I stopped to have lunch, like everyone else around me but I was the one having breakfast hotcakes, two hours after the digital menu automatically changed and the restaurant officially stopped serving breakfast.

You deserve a break(fast) today!

McDonald’s Canada didn’t follow the U.S. McDonald’s initiative of adding all-day breakfast in September of 2015 but the franchisee of the McDonald’s location that I frequent, in the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue began, on their own initiative and unannounced,  to offer two microwavable breakfast items all day—hotcakes and burritos.

I welcomed the all-day breakfast options. For whatever reason, I do not prefer having burgers, fries, or deep-fried chicken as my first meal of the day and besides, the hotcakes are filling—especially if I add a beef patty on the side—and a better value than anything on the post-11 p.m. menu.

And yes—since you asked—I did have a productive and interesting morning. I was lucky with the binning (only suffering one flat tire on my bike!) and I had the novel opportunity to help a driver with the difficult cloth top on their old convertible.

I passed this little red sports car just after 9 a.m. as I was crossing Heather Street eastbound on 17th Avenue. I heard honking behind me but I didn’t assume it was directed at me until the driver began calling out.

The driver explained that she needed help zipping closed the vinyl window on the back of the convertible’s cloth top. She was worried about the possibility of rain while she was driving back to a distant part of Metro Vancouver.

After she nearly ran her car into me while I was getting my bicycle and trailer up onto the sidewalk, the problem of the zipper turned out to be an easy one to solve.

Fully deployed, the convertible cloth top was stretched very tight by design and it pulled too hard on the the two sides of the open zipper to be able to pull it shut. The trick was to retract the top just a bit, in order to release the tension on the fabric—then it was easy to zip the zipper.

After the woman asked me to wait a minute before going on my way, I was very pleased (but not entirely surprised) to be handed a large 24-pack of empty beer cans ($2.40 deposit value) that the she extracted from the small trunk of her car.

This is not the first or the tenth time that I’ve been tipped with returnable cans and bottles and it plays to my vague notion that many residents of the “outer” Metro Vancouver municipalities deliberately keep stocks of “empties” in the trunks of their cars, to use as a kind of spare change when the need and opportunity arises, as it did this morning. Click the image to enlarge it.

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