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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The $900 Bag of Cat Food

About two weeks ago, our cats were getting low on cat food, so Mary and I decided to drive to the local pet store to buy more.

We've had a rough winter, and the roads have LOTS of potholes. Well, we hit one on the way to the pet store. A big one that damaged the tire, causing a slow leak.

The tire was flat within a few hours, I put on the Tiny Spare ("God bless us, every one!").

It turns out the pothole also damaged the wheel rim. That plus a new tire will cost nearly $900.

Why so much? The wheel rim is aluminum, which according to the evil tire store guy can't be easily hammered out, and will require replacement. Replacements are made in a faraway country by guys with names like Hans, Dag and Nils.

The flat tire is, although practically new, (1) made of a very soft rubber that grips the road well, but isn't sturdy enough for potholes and (2) costs a great deal of money.

Why? It's a "racing tire," and the wheel rims are extra-large to accomodate them. My wife teaches 5-year-olds and doesn't do any racing on closed tracks.

Putting normal wheels and tires on the car will cost too much money, so we'll have to pray they repair our roads soon. Or move to Nevada where we can drive on the smoothe, alkalai salt flats in a straight line for hours on end with tires and wheels intact.

Questions of the day:
1. Are all tire salespeople soulless demons?
2. If a tire salesperson and a health insurance claims processor competed to decide which is more evil, who would win?
3. Is the person who decided to offer a "sport package" with "racing tires/wheels" in this climate evil, demented, stupid or is under the impression that a pothole is a small, harmless cache for storing marijuana?
4. Why would anyone agree to pay for such a "sport package?" (Note: it involves inlaws.)

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