Remember when it was so simple to speak, before PC-that is, trying to be politically correct? Remember when fat was fat, not ``horizontally challenged''? When short wasn't ``vertically challenged''? A radio news report on Los Angeles continuing to regroup after the recent earthquake bemoaned the fact tourism has been off. As tourists spend vacation dollars elsewhere, L.A. hotels are calling that money ``displaced revenue.''
So the next time your dealership comes up a little short, you've got the perfect copout: ``Hey, the customers didn't show up. Have some empathy. Can't you see I'm in a displaced revenue situation?''
Half the fun of attending trade shows and tire dealer meetings often is in just reading the titles of some of the seminars.
The New England Association of Independent Tire Dealers' February issue of its Road Runner newsletter, promoting the association's March 4-6 convention and trade show, noted one of its speakers would be Lynn M. Thomas, president of 21st Century Management Consulting. Her topic: ``Maintaining profitability through customer retention: Plugging up the leaky customer bucket.''
Her methodology ``stops the leaky customer bucket,'' (displaced revenue?) the newsletter said. So might a plumber.
Time to move?
A loose truck tire hitting your house may be a freak accident, but how about two truck tires hitting your house within three hours?
``You're not going to believe this,'' Patricia Massey said her father told her after a loud noise woke her at dawn Feb. 24. A 250-pound tire had come loose from a tractor-trailer, struck the corner of her house in Denham Springs, La., and smacked into the back end of her car.
The town's fire department crew hauled the tire away.
Ms. Massey was away from home a few hours later when...guess what? Another tractor-trailer lost two tires. One tire struck a neighbor's house. The other rolled through a chain-link fence and hit near Ms. Massey's bedroom window.
``I'm glad it happened the way it did, because I would have had a heart attack the second time. But if this happens a third time, I'm moving,'' she said.
Spy-back into the cold
Periodically we've repeated items here that ran in the brash, hip, satirical Spy magazine, so it's with some sadness that we lament its passing.
The 7.5-year-old mag, which often skewered the excesses of the late '80s, closed after a buyer couldn't be found.
In their ``obituaries,'' various newspapers noted that Spy staffers once called 20 first-year congressmen to ask how they'd curb ethnic cleansing in Fredonia-the fictitious country in the Marx Brothers film, ``Duck Soup.''
Responses ranged from, ``Take action,'' to, ``It's a different situation than the Middle East.''
Crash testing cars sure is a hazardous occupation. But there's a way to significantly reduce risk to life and limb: wait 'til your dead to do it.
Late last year, according to Automotive News, a storm of controversy arose when Germany's Heidelberg University admitted it uses cadavers in car-crash experiments. Researchers said they've used more than 200 cadavers-including the bodies of eight children-since the 1970s.
Actually cadavers have ``participated'' in testing for more than 60 years, industry experts said. And as sophisticated as computer modeling and crash dummies have become, one researcher said, ``If we run a crash test that says there's a 2,000-pound load on a femur during a crash, we need to know if that results in a break. Otherwise, these numbers mean nothing.''
And, added Jeff Berliner, a Chrysler Corp. biomechanical engineer, ``The dummy tools are only as good as the cadaver data.''
Just don't tell that to ``Vince'' and ``Larry,'' the dummies who promote safety for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Word has it they're just a couple of lovable, sensitive guys.