Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Tires just the beginning

Over the weekend I got new tires. You will remember this if you still have even the HINT of a braincell left in your cranium. I talked about it this past Friday. Remember... tires. Round things placed around peculiarily-shaped steel or aluminum discs known as wheels or rims. Any recollection yet?

OK. I had them put on Friday on my way home from work. I ws amazed at the speed of service. Before I even got out of my car, a uniformed employee was standing outside my car waiting for me. His mouth dripping with saliva like a hungry jackyl anxious for its next meal of raw meat, freshly killed of course.

The drooling, knuckle-dragging goon asks when I planned on purchasing. I replied "Today, if possible", looking around at the vacant parking lot of the newly constructed building where only two years ago, a farm field stood and where horses grazed across the road which is now a highway. The difference being that those horses have been replaced with the ugliest townhomes known to man and the farm filed has been covered with concrete, asphalt and a ginormous (new word!) strip mall complete with everything a suburbanite drone could want. A New Pier One, a Michael's craft store, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Panera (sandwiches & soup), Caribou Coffee, Subway, a tanning place, Chili's, a video rental store, DQ Grill & Chill and countless other small stores flanking the main tenants.

He begins to meander towards the building where he came from to help me make the right choice for my tire buying needs. Little does he know that I had already done my homework to save every last dollar I possibly could. I am cheap and when it comes to buying big things, I will bicker over only a few bucks. This guy had met his match. I slapped down the sheet of paper I had printed from their website as a quote which, amazingly, was some $50 less than they had quoted over the phone. Funny how knowing the actual price can actually give the consumer the upper hand.

In just minutes, I had placed my order and another uniformed carnivore took my vehicle to one of the multitude of open stalls in the shop. I grabbed a magazine, automotive related of course, to pass the wait which I was told would be about 15 minutes. In that time I skimmed over about 2/3 of the magazine and relocated to a window seat to witness, in awe, the progress being made on my vehicle. It was like watching a colony of ants collecting sugar at a picnic. These well-trained little men made their way around my vehicle in quick fashion and in about 20 minutes my vehicle was parked next to the door of the showroom.

I left poorer but with a set of tires that would give me 80,000 miles of warranteed driving satisfaction.

Now all I need to do is fix the car's rough running when it is cool in the mornings, get a new fuel filter, new spark plug wires, figure out why the $25+ headlights seem to only last about 6 months and determine whether or not a gasket on the transmission pan may be leaking.

All in all I accomplished very little. Quite sad, actually. But I have some really nice tires...

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