free oil change

I snagged the coupon for a free smoothie at a fast food restaurant in a recent El Dorado News-Times. I like sales and advertised specials, but I especially enjoy a free item or service and will go out of my way just because something is free.
So I immediately understood my friend’s determination to get the free oil change which the dealership threw in with their purchase of a car earlier this year. An oil change is not cheap. Definitely that is one freebie anyone could use, especially the new owners of a car who fully intend to keep their vehicle in excellent condition.
So, of course, they had to take advantage of the free oil change. They made plans to have it done one Saturday and mentioned their plans to a neighbor, “We have to go to back to Shreveport to get the free oil change from the dealership,” they announced. Their neighbors stared at them quizzically.
“You will spend more on gas just driving to and from Shreveport than the cost of an oil change at home,” someone noted.
“Yes, but we will go shopping while we are there and have time to visit the malls and stores that we don’t have here and then go out to eat out at a different place,” the wife explained.
Her friend nodded knowingly. Going to the metropolitan area and eating out was enough excuse for her, add in the free oil change and it made perfect sense.
Besides eating out, the new car owner’s husband had his own shopping list of items he had been pricing for a while and the neighbor had ideas for their trip. “Well, if you are going anyway, do you suppose you could stop at the John Deere place and pick up a part for my mower?” he asked.
They agreed and took instructions for finding the shop.
They left early enough to have time to shop after the free oil change. But first, they left the Interstate for a quick side trip to pick-up with their neighbor’s mower part. Peering out the window, reading street signs, my friend’s husband slowed and stared.
“Hey! There’s a place with RVs,” her husband pointed at the lot. “Let’s stop and look. I just want to know what kind of prices they have.”
“Okay, we can do that for a few minutes,” she agreed thinking about everything she wanted to do. The swung in, parked, climbed out and began perusing the lot.
They explored, talked, viewed and checked out several RVs. Quite a while later, they returned to their car the proud new owners of their own RV. They just needed to return with a large enough vehicle with a hitch to haul it home.
By the time they picked up the mower part and arrived at the car dealership, the line of customers ahead of them waiting for service meant too long of a wait for their free oil change. They set up an appointment to return another week for the free oil change and left for the promised dinner out and shopping trip.
Back home that evening, the husband looked at his truck and considered its pulling power against the size of the RV they now owned — which still sat on the lot in Louisiana.
“I think I need to buy a bigger truck before we go get it. This one may not be strong enough,” he said.
Time enough for that before the next time they head south for that free oil change — and whatever else crosses their path.
(Joan Hershberger is a reporter at the News-Times. E-mail her at