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watch that flame and don't drive in the rain

Interesting thing happened at the local 7-Eleven today. Interesting to me at least.

Note before starting this one: 7-Eleven's rock. In Connecticut I don't recall ever seeing a 7-Eleven anywhere. For my non-US readers, 7-Eleven is a convenience store and petrol station. Maine doesn't have 7-Eleven's either but they do have Irving stations which by far is my absolute favorite of the lot, 'cept they don't have cheesy chaquitos like 7-Eleven does (and those are good). Anyway...

I stopped in to fuel up, then headed in to grab a drink, pay my bill and head out. A girl in front of me wanted to buy a lighter, as in one of those small butane lighters used to light cigarettes. The clerk says "I'll need to see your ID, please." She gave the guy a dirty look then said she'd have to go in the car to get her ID.

I was next in line, so while she was out getting her stuff, the clerk waved me forward and I stepped up to pay my bill. I asked the guy why ID is required just to buy a lighter.

You'll love this:

He says that a lighter is considered to be "tobacco paraphernalia" and that an ID is required to buy one, just like cigarettes. It doesn't matter if you're a smoker or not. This is Florida State law according to what the guy said. In addition, 7-Eleven won't even carry matches because of this.


An interesting thing happened to me yesterday also.

My windshield ("windscreen" to non-US readers) wipers were absolutely shot. Every time I used them I would get streaks all over the glass, so they had to be replaced. So I typed up NAPA in my GPS and headed over to the nearest store.

I personally don't like to change out wipers so I always have the guy at the counter do it. It's not that I can't install wipers. I just don't like doing it. Call me lazy, whatever, I don't care. Anywhere I've ever been to have this done, this hasn't been a problem and they do it free of charge.

Unless you're in Florida.

I ask the NAPA guy before I buy my wipers if they still install them for the customer. Guy says no. Evidently someone at another NAPA installed the wipers for a customer, a blade flew off the glass and caused a general fracas of sorts. They got sued, blah blah blah. Personally I think this was a b.s. answer - I don't think he wanted to do it. Anyway, I asked the guy if there were any other auto places that would install the wipers for me. He mentioned a few, I said "Okay, no problem" and left.

Back to my truck. I type in another major auto store chain (I won't say which one in case they suddenly decide to stop installing wiper blades for customers), headed on over there, bought my stuff, the guy happily installed them, they tested fine, and off I went.

NAPA has officially lost all my business because of this. If they can't do something as simple as install wiper blades, this gives me no confidence that they're knowledgeable about anything else, automotively speaking.

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