Give Me The Crappy Tire I Paid For!

If we were our sister site Gizmodo, we’d be able to fill this brief prologue to Texas Teabag’s email about tire shopping in the Lone Star State with a 1:1 ratio of words to teabagging puns. Unfortunately, we’re not nearly as talented in the subtle art of the oral/anal/vaginal entendre; our more imaginative and literary readers will have to mentally superimpose these literary gems upon our description.

Anyway, Texas Teabag (not pictured: right) sent us a lovingly composed saga about his disastrous day of tire shopping. Moments after he drove out of the lot from a tire check, T.T. heard the explosive gasp of his front tire disemboweled by a piece of plate glass. When he paid to get it replaced, he found that his spare tire has been replaced by a much more expensive BF Goodrich model.

Sounds good to us, but T.T. seems upset about it: his upbringing apparently involves honesty and only taking what he paid for. Unfortunately, the employees of Discount Tire were mystified by his honesty; they had no idea how to accommodate it. Frankly, we’re not sure what’s stupider: the employees for their half-hour boggling session when T.T. asked for the inferior tire he actually paid for, or T.T. for getting all huffy about getting a better deal. This must be that Texas Pride we keep hearing about.

T.T.’s email is after the jump:

Greetings from the Gates of Hades, Houston, TX! I’m taking you up on your call for login requests; also wish to share a good consumer experience, this one with Discount Tire. It’s lightly fictionalized, mostly true, and reads as follows…

My Bizarro Day.


Thirty minutes is as five hours does.


When a Tuesday turns to Monday.

This morning I passed on my early cup of piping hot Kona informing my Snookums to “just leave it warming in the coffee maker ’cause I’ll be back in about an hour. . . before it shuts off.” Fifteen (15) minutes later, at seven (7) a.m., I have my lovely’s new car to the Sterling McCall Honda dealership shop to fix an alignment problem that was not fixed when I took it in last week. I went so early under the premise of “Early in, early out and the rest of the day is yours,” and was told by the tan Service Department man in freshly starched Bermuda shorts that I’ll be on my way in thirty (30) minutes. By ten (10) a.m., two (2) laser light show alignments, two (2) complete rotations, two (2) air pressure checks and four (4) test drives provide a fifty (50) per cent (%) improvement and I agree with the tech that the tires need another four hundred (400) miles on them to “set” the rubber and the track before any more futzing should be done. I would’ve agreed to have a boil lanced if it meant salvaging the remainder of the day.

I pulled out of the dealership and one (1) mile down the road ran over something that looked like broken glass or Plexiglas. Immediately I heard Shup-shup-shup and pulled on to the Super Target parking lot. Flat left rear tire. Godammit (*#!%*!)! The good news: I can still change a tire in under fifteen (15) minutes–even in ninety-five (95) degree heat and eighty (80) per cent (%) humidity–and Nana’s upscale, EX Special Edition ride has a matching spare with a matching wheel. No teeny donut tire for her, no siree Bob! The bad news: Honda’s warranty ain’t gots no coverage for sliced rubber. At this point I considered the day officially shot to hell.

So, I shuttled over to Discount Tire of Humble, TX. “Sir,” says the tech, “this tire is unrepairable.” I conceded that a three (3) inch gash in a tire’s sidewall was reason to send it to the scrap heap, even if it was a tire with only four hundred (400) and thirteen (13) miles on it. So I bellied up to the bar and ordered a cheap-o Kumho, since it’s gonna be a spare and ’cause the replacement Bridgestone was nearly one hundred (100) dollars.

In a jiffy the car was pulled around for me to be on my way. A quick check of the spare reveals a BF Goodrich, and one of the high dollar variety. I point this anomaly out to the tech stating that I paid for a cheap-o spare and don’t want to leave with something I haven’t paid for. He looked at me as though I spoke in a different tongue. In a “Fuck Thee before Thou fucks Me” state like Texas, my retort left him speechless. He gathered himself and replied that maybe they didn’t have the Kumho so the BF Goodrich was put on as a substitute, but to check my receipt just in case. I checked; I bought a Kumho. He blinked; Still disoriented he went to get the manager.

By now a small gathering of five (5) Humble menfolk customers sporting nine (9) good eyes are leaning in to catch the lowdown on the proceedings. Enter Manager Guy. I repeat my retort and add that since this day is already shot to hell, it’s no skin off my nose to wait another half hour for the right tire and, appealing to his sense of humanity, that if this tire was placed on my rim by mistake, I didn’t want to get anybody in trouble. There arose a murmured rumble–or a rumble of murmurs–from the Humble Five, for, lo, they had never heard this kind of talk. They looked at me much like salespersons in Houston’s tony Galleria mall look at me when I ask, “Is that your best price?” I felt like the Christ child in the temple surrounded by dumbass Pharisees.

I was raised by people of, and grew to manhood in, the Midwest, a land that nurtures ethics like, “Pay as you go,” and “Take only what is yours,” and “Never pay retail!” and “Do unto others…” But here in Fuck lest thou be fucked Texas, such mores are the stuff of low talk and rumor. The Humble Five and Discount Tire employees will leave only to speak of this happening in hushed tones, mano-e-mano while fishing in the middle of the lake, or one man whispering to another up in the far reaches of the bleachers while junior’s at bat, or fodder for dirty talk and foreplay–a wild-ass story to git the missus all squirmy and in the mood. Never will this event be spoken of out loud and certainly not in front of the children. No, Texans work long and hard at screwing the other guy and something like this should live and die right here in the parking lot.

Manager Guy asked that I please accept the BF Goodrich tire as he doesn’t want me to have to wait any longer. I repeated my retort. Then I appealed to his managerial sense and wondered if this switch might cause a headache during inventory. “Sir, we’re happy to leave the tire as your spare and be done with it.” The Humble Five are now so close I can hear their collective nose hairs whistling–sounded something like Yellow Rose of Texas, or maybe Big Ball’s In Cowtown–and see their mostly good eyes ping-ponging back and forth with the exchange. I place my hand on Manager Guy’s shoulder and say, “Good enough, I’ll keep it,” then do a quick look around at the Humble Five (5) and their nine (9) good eyes and finish with, “and this is why I take all my tire business to Discount Tire.” In unison we lean back and share a hearty head-bobbing and martial arts movie laugh and go our separate ways.

It is now twelve (12) noon. I’ve lost half (1/2) a day and a good portion of my upbringing on what should’ve been a thirty (30) minute tire alignment. There’s a new voice in my head and it’s repeating a phrase I used to loathe as rationale for the weak-minded, hypocrites, and amoral. But now, on this day, it sounds pretty damn right: “When in Rome…” Which, today, can only mean one thing: I’m starting to turn into a Texan. Insult added to injury.

And my coffee’s cold, too.

texas teabag
Humble, TX

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.