So me and the Farm Manager have been on the lawn-mower hunt of late. Yup, the unit I bought at Sears not more than three or four years ago has done gone for a shit.
Craftsman. Used to be a good name. Something that would last, if not a lifetime, at least a long while.
Three or four years?... get outta here!
So we do the circle tour; Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Home Depot... there's a reasonably good deal on John Deere riding mowers at Home Depot.
I'm a little ambivalent about the riding mowers. In my world, or at least the place I've thought of as my world, a riding mower signifies that you're a fat old guy who is afraid of actually pushing a push mower around the yard because it's an all-too-obvious invitation for a heart attack.
This is of course a self-defeating proposition. You think you're a fat old guy at risk of a heart attack, so you avoid exercise? Hello!
So I've always taken a certain amount of pride in being the fat old guy who pushes the push mower around his half acre of lawn. God damn it, I'd rather die getting the exercise than avoiding it!
I've got some reservations about even stopping off at Sears, because even if that three or four years was actually five or six, it's not nearly enough, but we stopped in anyways. They had a sale on the push mowers, and by God if that didn't rekindle my determination to push a push-mower for as long as I can before I decamp to the ride-on camp.
I was ready to forgive and forget the piece of shit they sold me last time round.
First thing the Farm Manager says when we meet the salesperson is "we've had a lawnmower breakdown and the dandelions are a foot high."
So we scope out the selection on sale and, after a good half hour consultation with the sales team, settle on the model that's $100 off, has the big back wheels, and the premium Briggs and Stratton motor with 7.5 foot-pounds of torque.
Oh, we sold the last one yesterday...
No problem, I'll take the floor model.
Oh, we can't sell you the floor model; somebody could come along and want to see its features.
So when can you get me the mower you just sold me?
The sales team has a huddle and figure there might be a shipment on the truck that's coming in next Thursday, but they're gonna check on the computer just to make sure.
They disappear for fifteen minutes, and come back with the news that it'll take a week to ten days to get me the lawnmower they just sold me.
Sorry, but by then the dandelions in the yard will be two feet high...
You can't sell me the floor model because somebody might want to see it... and what do you think will happen when you explain to them that they'll have to wait a week to ten days to get one?
They'll most likely do what I did; get their lawnmower somewhere else.