I called the store. The phone was answered by a younger sounding female... who seemed completely clueless as to what a rototiller (tiller) even was. She put me on hold to begin the torture procedure. Horribly loud "country" music was blasting into my ear. (Daniel has previously observed, stores play country music to discourage loitering.) When I was just about to hang up so that I could stop the blood coming out of my ears, a young male picked up the phone, asking to help. He, too, seemed clueless as to what exactly a rototiller was. I had to describe its purpose, but finally he decided that yes, Atwoods does indeed have tillers in stock.
Tom and I had almost made it home by that time, so I did some online comparisons to other nearby farm and ranch stores. The next day we set out again, Atwoods as the first stop. Atwoods lived up to their usual standard. We looked over four tillers before we found one that had all of its parts intact, and wasn't about to fall apart. Seriously, the first three were missing nuts, bolts, oil plug, almost rusted through... and were being sold for "new"- at the price of new. When we finally found one that seemed OK, we decided we weren't chancing the buy. (On a previous experience with Atwoods, we purchased an extension ladder. Got home, and discovered the ladder's safety catches were broken, rendering it useless as an extension ladder. We returned it, where our money was refunded, as it was the only extension ladder they had in stock. The clerk asked the manager for help in completing the transaction- should she tag the ladder as damaged/ remove from stock? The manager said no, he would just discount it and sell it "as is". A week or two later, I had to go back into that store. The ladder- the SAME ladder- was back in stock. It was NOT marked damaged- and it was not repaired. Some other person will someday get that ladder home and find it damaged! That just seems dishonest. We had to make an extra trip to return the ladder- and while we may only be a dozen miles from town, someone else might live much farther away.)
Another thing I dislike about Atwoods is that the merchandise is often without any price tag to be found. You have to take the merchandise to a register, or corner a reluctant employee to inquire about price. This store is poorly lit, and often seems quite dirty... plus there is the vomitous country music blasting. (Sam puts on an obnoxious twangy tone of voice, "Thanks fer listenin' to Aitch E Ail Ail ! Awl Kuntry, Awl the ty-em! That's station H-E-L-L, all country, all the time!")
We moved on to other (CLEANER!) Farm and Ranch stores (Orscheln, and Tractor Supply) that also play country music, but at a less deafening volume... however, we still came home without a tiller. Tom spaded the earth into submission in the previously tilled up area- and we MIGHT have to settle for a smaller garden this year, awaiting repair of either of our currently owned tillers.
*** In Other News***
I have an appointment this week to get a diagnostic mammogram. A lump- which the doctor believes is a fluid filled cyst- has been found. As it is rather painful, I am hoping they will consent to draining it, as has been done with other cysts I have had.