I left my 5 year old, abused grill behind up in Boston. It was rusted and only barely working.
My MIL has an old grill here, which is also on its last legs. I plan to replace it in September when grills go on sale. For the time being I am making do with it.
But it ran out of gas recently. Usually you take the old propane tank, drop it off, and they give you a different tank that's already pre-filled.
Now my MIL's tank is very, very OLD. It's rusted all around. I'm not even sure they'd accept it for an exchange.
So I go to the local *mom and pop* hardware store figuring I'd just buy a new full tank - whatever that costs.
Guess what. The lady had rung me up and was BSing with me when I casually inquired how much that would cost.
Are you freakin' kidding me?
It was 40-something dollars for the new tank alone and then another $27 for the gas. (plus 8.625% sales tax)
I used to pay $17 for gas in Boston - which is already one of the highest cost of living places around. And I can't imagine a new tank anywhere else would cost over $40.
I aborted; told the lady I'd scare up a passable tank somewhere. This was ridiculous. Oh those poor mom-and-pop hardware stores put out of business by Home Depot and Lowes!
Over five years ago I wrote:
No Wal-Mart bash is complete without the requisite empathy for the poor "mom and pop" stores that Wal-Mart devours. This canard fulfills the econo-moronic template as the "pitiable victims of rich evil CEOs". Every time I hear the "mom and pop" lament, I think back to the last air conditioner I bought in Brooklyn. I went out of town to Wal-Mart and got a huge 12,000 btu air conditioner for around $240. The same air conditioner sold at the "mom and pop" hardware store in my neighborhood for $700. Wal-Mart critics don't care about the moms and pops that shop.
See also - New York Sticker Shock.
UPDATE - Bought the tank/gas combo today at Lowe's for $54 -though I had to drive 25 minutes away to do so.