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What's the Matter with Moses Lake?

2 June 2005

Diragu State Park

I had some interesting adventures this morning in Moses Lake, Washington.

Adventure 1:

I stopped at a Les Schwab tire store to get new tires for the trailer. I had gone by in Walla Walla and gotten an estimate of $310 for the 4, but didn't get them installed then because I still hadn't made up my mind. There was a lot of tread left on the old ones. But a couple had been plugged, and I WAS going to Alaska, so after a few days I steeled myself for the expense.

When I asked in Moses Lake, she quoted 60 bucks more. When I told her I already had a quote for less, she said, "Oh, that's for different tires."

"What's the difference?"

"Just a different manufacturer."

"Same size, same weight rating?"


"Do you have them?"


"So why didn't you quote me the cheaper ones to begin with?"

She didn't have an answer for that. So she turned me over to a guy.

He fixed me up for $310. Then I drove around to the back under the big truck bay, as instructed, and told the tire guy I was getting 4 new trailer tires. I pointed to my left front tire.

"That's my best tire. That's the one I want for the spare."

He said okay, and actually wrote "spare" on it with a yellow grease pencil. He directed me to back the trailer up and move a little closer to the door. He watched silently, with an amused look on his face, while I slowly drove over a big tire tool that I couldn't see. It was one of those long spoon ended crowbars, used to separate big truck tires from their rims.

It went clattering across the concrete.

"Why didn't you say something?"

He just shrugged. Then while I sat in the truck and tried unsuccessfully to connect to three different Wifi hotspots that Windows kept insisting were actually available, he proceeded to change out all the tires for new ones.

Including that one I told him I wanted for the spare. Arrrgh.

The result was that he had to change the spare, too. All I had asked was for him to hang the left front tire on the back. Yes, that one he had marked "spare" in big letters.

When I went back up front to pay, the price was only $279.

I didn't even try to argue.

Adventure 2:

I went across the way to the combo Kentucky Fried Chicken/A&W Root Beer, told the girl that I wanted a breast and wing, crispy, and I was going to eat it there. She took my money, turned to speak to someone else, then looked back at me as if she had never seen me before in her life.


I told her again.

"That's to go?"

No. Again I repeated myself.

All she had to do at this point was turn around, get two pieces of chicken and a biscuit off the shelf directly behind her, put them on a plate, and hand them to me. Instead, I got into some kind of a queue, behind all the burgers and fries. Minutes went by.

Finally my chicken came up. She handed me a box.

"I wanted a plate."

"Oh, you're eating here?"

I just took the box. Somehow, what I ordered was in there.

I don't know what it is about Moses Lake. But I'm not drinking the water.


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