I’ve lived long enough to know that there are a lot of stupid people in this world. They in fact likely outnumber the intelligent folks. Obviously that depends on where you draw the line between stupid and intelligent. No matter how you draw that line the fact remains that you never know when you might get hit by a bout of stupid. They can come out of the blue when you least expect them.
We were leaving Nipawin last week when Marilyn mentioned that one of the back tires on the trucklet looked soft. When I stopped for my early trip walkaround sure enough the rear driver tire was soft. So when we stopped a few miles later in Tisdale to fix the previously mentioned rock chip I also blew the tire up. It turned out that we had a slow leak that needed to be topped up every two or three days so no big deal. I decided that I might as well replace both rear tires so didn’t bother fixing the leak and when we got to Drumheller I headed over to Walmart to buy a pair of tires. No luck – Walmart in Drumheller doesn’t have a tire shop. Walmart has sort of become my tire shop of choice because they don’t gouge – everybody gets the same pricing no matter where you buy the tires and they usually have enough staff on that you don’t have to wait unduly. But I checked the local tire shop in Drumheller and they confirmed that they were ready and willing to gouge the tourist so we waited until we got to Walmart in Airdrie.
We pulled into Airdrie yesterday around noon and immediately got unhooked in the Wallyworld parking lot. I drove the truck over to the tire shop and walked in. The guy at the counter had a tag on his nice little blue coat that said “Department Manager” so I thought “this has to be good – I’ve got the main guy.” And then WHAMMO BLAMMO out of the blue comes the galactic sized bolt of stupid.
Mr. Manager asked me the standard questions – tire size, vehicle, etc and said he had 4 255 70/16 tires. That’s all good – I’ll take two please. No problem, they be this much and then it came. “Because its on a 4 wheel drive vehicle we will mount the tires on the rims but we won’t mount the rims on the vehicle”. “Say what???” “We’ll only mount sets of 4 tires on 4 wheel drive vehicles”. “Since when? I’ve bought 2 tires from Walmart in the past?” “Oh its not a Walmart rule – the tire manufacturers won’t let us do it because it could damage your transfer case.”
By this point I had kind of recovered from the shock of being hit by the bolt of stupid and I had realized that I was dealing with a fool. Since the fool was in charge of the tire department it didn’t seem like it would be useful to talk to his manager so I said I thought I’d look around town a bit.
But this was no ordinary fool – he dived right in again. “You won’t find anybody who will do it for you.” Yeah right I won’t …………. “WANNA BET??” sez I. Oh no, he didn’t want to bet. “Well then SHUT UP.” If there’s any galactically stupid fools reading this they should take that old adage to heart – better to remain silent and be thought a fool rather than opening your mouth and removing all doubt.
Not surprisingly the next tire shop I stopped at was more than willing to mount two tires for me but didn’t have any 255-70/16s in stock and when I got to Ukrainian Tire they booked me in immediately, mounted the tires and sent me on my way. They did warn me that Transport Canada advises people to mount a new pair of tires on the rear rather than the front but father told me years ago that he would rather handle a rear blowout than a front and that has always made sense to me. It occurred to me though that if Transport Canada has an actual advisory about mounting pairs of tires on a vehicle then even the morons at Transport can’t be concerned about mounting pairs rather than fours.