Two stories in one. Both true. I buy all my tires for my vehicles from Les Schwab’s outfit. They have a few commercials on TV that show great compassion for the consumer and best of all, they replace your tires (prorated for years of wear) if you are stupid and break them. By far the best though, is that they will repair a flat for free if you bought it there. Period. I didn’t get paid to say this either. In fact, I always feel like I’m getting a slide when I go in with a nail and they fix it with no questions asked. I suppose the quid pro quo is a slightly higher price going in. It instantly pays you back if you use it even once. You collect interest on it each and every time you have the misfortune to get another.
The second part of the story: 38 CMR (Code of Murphy’s Regulations) §3.102(2)(d), reprinted here for your perusal.
§3.102–Loaning of Tools
Loaning of tools to neighbors, family relatives, or complete strangers with the reasonable expectation they will be (1) returned; or, if returned, (2) will be in the same, or similar shape, quality, or simply operable is as follows:
(a) all non-powered gardening tools, or appurtenances such as wheelbarrows are assumed to be fair game. Unless stenciled with indelible, bright fluorescent orange paint, return is optional.
(b) Ladders, unless identified as in (a), are also the property of the borrowee, absent confrontation. There is no time limit for return established on ladders in (b). When reclaimed, ownership of ladder must be provided in writing via original purchase receipt by loaner.
(c) Electric power tools will be assumed to have defective armatures and/or brushes and dull blades regardless of owner’s representation to the contrary. Superficial cracks in body, missing/damaged power cords shall be assumed as attributable to normal wear and tear. Electrical power tools should be returned if possible, especially if you are moving to another state. If already packed, duty to assist applies and an address must be obtained. Return, however, is still optional.
(d) gas-operated power tools up to and including small tractors, shall be assumed to be in poor working order and low on all fluids at time of receipt-the gas tank being the obvious exception to this rule. All tires will not be inspected for proper inflation and/or damage. Any wire bi-pass of the low oil sensor shutdown feature shall be assumed to have pre-dated borrowing (by owner or his assigns).
Note 1. Borrowees are assumed to be adults above the age of majority and an aggregate IQ (per age group) above 70.
Note 2. Secondary borrowing – e.g. the loaning of the item to the borrowee’s assigns- absolves the borrowee of any liability or cost of replacement to original owner/loaner.
Note 3. In the event of a lawsuit over liability, the legal owner bears all costs.
To make a long story short, I loaned out my brand new riding lawn mower to my son’s friend. He even volunteered to cut my grass when he brought it back(violation of 38 CMR §3.6– No good deed goes unpunished). He did. The left rear tire had a #8 X 1 ½” screw in it. It was flat. He mowed the acreage. It appeared surreal with lovely swirls everywhere he had turned right. The rest of it could best be described as striped lines of grass cut from high to very, very low over 42 inches. Acres of it.
In Daniel’s own words “That’s bogus, man. The tire must have had a slow leak in it. I didn’t take it anywhere near any
nails screws. You must have me made for a chump, dude. You own a construction company. I probably picked it up after I got back here.”
Daniel’s mom’s property has that same surreal, swirly look as you drive by at 45 mph too.
I have been pumping up the tire after repeated efforts to poke the gooy noodle through with the punch kit (violation- 38 CMR §3.44– Universal repair kits-aren’t; §3.54– Interchangeable parts-aren’t). This has been going on since Summer 2010. I vowed to end this stupidity last winter. I had the tire off and threw it in the back of the pickup trunk all winter. I also go to the Coumadin INR Clinic in town about once every two weeks. The clinic is 300 yds from the Les Schwab dealership.
Brain fog lifted on Thursday and I remembered the confluence of Coumadin Clinic for INR, slow-leaking L/F tire, and most importantly, the lawnmower tire and the incredibly close distance between the Coumadin Clinic and the Les Schwab store. In men, Cupcake tells me women call this the “Get out the Les Schwab Box” moment. I don’t get it. Is there some correlation to a joke? Cupcake just goes into gales of laughter each time I bring it up and ask her to explain what she means. So do her friends.
Thank you Les Schwab. The guy there didn’t laugh at me when I said I’d finally remembered to do it all while I was in town that day. In fact, the salesman/technician and I were talking about one thing and another when I said the truck was in the handicapped zone. He politely asked what could have zapped me at this time of life. I gave him the short version. The gentleman nodded and acknowledged that he, too, is a Vet (of the 1991 Kuwait Misunderstanding). Without a word, he gave me a complimentary repair on the lawnmower tire. It couldn’t be repaired with a simple patch on the inside. The tire was not highway grade. If he had sanded it down and applied an interior patch, it would destroy the tire. The technician opted (all by himself with no permission slip) to put a tube inside ( yes, in stock) and reassembled and reinflated it. Cost? $14.61 including $1.14 to Governor Inslee’s Tanquerey budget this summer. How do they do that? You can’t make money doing business like that. Or can you? As I said, I’m not getting paid to say this. But if getting out the Les Schwab box means putting in a good word for his business acumen, then so be it.
I think we ought to let Les Schwab have a crack at fixing the backlog.
I’ll betcha Les Schwab is a Veteran too. Yep. Not only that, he was Air Force. Smart man, that. Too bad he’s dead.