New Brunswick — Snowblower owners all over the province may boast about how quickly they can clear their driveways, but there is one gripe they all share — frozen flyers being caught in the snowblowers and breaking them.
Many customers of Brunswick News, Inc. have complained to the newspaper and flyer carriers about the bags of rolled-up papers being tossed in their driveways and freezing, but no amount of complaining has put a stop to the issue — forcing people to bring their machines into shops for repair winter after winter.
“Every single g-darn day I have to dig around for the friggin’ flyers in the snow before I can clear my driveway, so I’m late to work no matter what!” ranted Jim Brewer, a Fredericton resident. “Twice last winter — twice! I got them caught in my snowblower, busted up the damn thing, and had to shell out hundreds for repairs. What a racket.”
A Manatee investigation has revealed that it’s actually the equipment shops specializing in winter gear that are paying carriers to distribute the flyers in order to damage snowblowers and force customers to shell out for repairs.
One of our reporters went undercover for months as a retail associate at one of those shops and recorded conversations with the manager on the slimy tactics. Here is one such conversation from December:
Reporter: “Wow, lots of people in today with busted up snowblowers.”
Manager: “You can thank the snowblower mafia for that.”
Reporter: “What do you mean? Like in The Godfather?”
Manager: “That’s right, so don’t be a snitch. But here’s the low-down: All the shops in New Brunswick that sell snowblowers and chainsaws and stuff got together and hatched a plan. We sell the machines at the start of winter, but after a month or so we pay flyer carriers to sabotage ’em!”
Reporter: “Wow, that’s smart!”
Manager: “Of course it is. We get the flyers all wet too so they freeze faster. That was my idea.”
Reporter: “But if it keeps happening to enough people, won’t they wise up eventually?”
Manager: “If they start making too much noise, we make sure they have an ‘accident’ while clearing the driveway. It’s a dangerous time of year — anyone can slip and fall into their machine, if you know what I mean…”
The Manatee has contacted the RCMP with our findings but have yet to hear back.
Editor’s note: The Manatee has not seen our undercover reporter in weeks; we are begging loyal readers to ask any retail associates at local equipment shops if they know what happened to the missing reporter.