OK. I confess. I went to Wal-Mart again.
It all started when Leah and I decided to drive to Boerne last Saturday to pick up a mare. I borrowed a trailer from a brother—his is a two horse—smaller and easier to navigate in tight places than my gooseneck.
I noticed the tread on one of the trailer tires was cracked so I stopped by a local tire shop. He had nothing used that’s fit the trailer. Apparently the change to larger wheels in modern trucks has left a dearth of 14 and 15 inch tires, once easily acquired for a spare $20 bill.
I asked how much a new tire would be.
“Do you really want to know?”
“One hundred and twenty bucks.”
I passed on the deal, thinking the tire might hold up, or that I could acquire another elsewhere for less.
About ten miles before reaching Boerne, the tire exploded, spewing shards and scraps of rubber into the air and onto the highway behind. I called the man with the mare only to learn that all tire dealers in the small town closed for weekends, except for my favorite-in-the-whole-wide-world establishment, the friendly Wal-Mart, home of low low prices….
We limped into the parking lot and found the tire and battery section. I went through the door that you can get in but can’t get out of and told a woman I needed a tire.
With a go-to-hell look, she asked what sized tire I needed.
I went out and retrieved the number after she let me out of the one-way door.
Number in hand, I returned and gave her the info.
“That tire runs $130.”
“OK. Guess I have to have it. It’s on my horse trailer….”
“We can’t change tires on trailers. You’ll have to take it off and bring it in.”
Which, I did.
And then we waited for three hours. I shit you not.
During the three hour wait I went shopping twice and Leah went once. What the fuck else you going to do? Of course, each trip in the one-way door necessitated getting let out, reminiscent of jails and prisons I once inhabited.
When the tire was fixed, I hunted down the friendly “staff member” who was hiding elsewhere in the store so I could pay and leave, only to learn that when all was said and done, my new low, low price Wal-Mart tire cost me $180 and change to retrieve and I got to put the damn thing back on my trailer in their parking lot for no additional charge.