on friday, i took my car into Les Schwab, a tire store that is found all over oregon, so they could look at my back left tire, which seemed to have a slow leak (though, there were no signs of leeks. har!). i arrived at the work to a message explaining that i needed new tires. i was all sad about the several hundred dollar cost, but when i got to the tire store, everything got much better. turns out that any purchase of new tires comes with free beef during February (Free Beef Month). you get either one giant box of dried beef products (two summer sausages, one pack of beef jerky and one pack of beef sticks) or a small box of dried beef plus two types of refrigerated beef (hamburgers, chops, roasts, etc.). the thought of chosing something that could spoil sketched me out, so i went with the big box. the dreadlocked hippie girl, who was also in the shop retrieving her vehicle, looked horrified by the whole process. she was probably a vegan.
this is a brilliant promotional scheme. how could free beef be anything but genius? the folks who like beef are thrilled by free stuff; the folks who get a kick out of getting beef jerky at the tire store are so amused by the entire promotion that they forget that they just paid $400 to les schwab; the vegans and vegetarians of eugene are suitably horrified. me, my reaction was the desire to call every single person i'd ever met to tell them about the free beef. if it hasn't happened yet, it's only a matter of time before some media studies or cultural studies student writes some brilliant postmodern tract on meat, tires, the essentializing of masculinity, gender norms and road kill. you know, "Blood on the Road: Free Beef As Subtextual Gender Narrative" or something like that.