``Gasoline Alley'' became ``Glitz Alley'' when teen heartthrob Jason Priestley, ``Brandon'' of TV's Beverly Hills, 90210, showed up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Craftsman Fan Pit Stop Challenge. ``Brandon'' simulated an actual pit stop, even getting to air up a tire.
Anyone want to hire a chic tire buster? It's doubtful you can afford his salary.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, in conjunction with its second annual ``Poll of the American Mechanic,'' asked 7,000 ASE-certified master technicians who their favorite fantasy customer is.
Before your imagination gets carried away...the winner was that gap-toothed king of late night TV, David Letterman. Cindy Crawford was second, followed by Bill, then Hillary you-know-who.
Their favorite dream car? The Dodge Viper edged out the Chevrolet Corvette.
The royal flush
Because of recent federal water-conservation regs, plumbers and contractors report orders for new toilets are weeks, even months, behind schedule.
As of Jan. 1, the feds now require that all toilets installed in new homes, or as household replacements, be of the ``ultra-low-flow'' variety that use 1.6 gallons-per-flush as opposed to the old standard 3.5-gallon commodes.
A newspaper report said the switch is expected to save 47 gallons of water per day in an average home.
Why, you ask, are we relating this? As if you didn't have enough to worry about-with the ``Americans With Disabilities Act'' and the endless stream of scrap tire and hazardous waste regs-by 1997 it's potty time: businesses will be required to meet the new low-flow standards.
Just remember: Close the stall door-``Big Brother'' may be watching.
No more eyesore
We've mentioned several times the old abandoned B.F. Goodrich tire plant in Akron that has been reduced to a boarded up, graffiti-filled eyesore.
Good news: Advanced Elastomer Systems, a limited partnership between Monsanto Corp. and Exxon Corp., has announced plans to move its corporate headquarters from St. Louis to Akron. AES will lease the top two floors of one of the buildings, which will be renovated.
By next year, 69-year-old Building 41-which saw the production of the first rubber bands, vulcanized golf balls, zippers and the first spacesuit-will be the home of products made from Santoprene, a recyclable polymer compound said to react like rubber.
If the shoe fits...
Tires are recyclable, but apparently not L.A. Gear's light-up kids' sneakers.
The problem isn't the rubber soles, but rather the mercury switch that activates the flashing lights in the shoes' heels.
After Minnesota recently banned the landfilling of shoes made with mercury, L.A. Gear began negotiating with the state to pay the disposal costs for the 20,000 pairs already sold in the state, though the company contends its use of mercury doesn't present a health risk.
According to reports, L.A. Gear began a program in June to dispose of the shoes. They'll send you a bag to return the shoes in, but they won't replace them or refund the purchase price. Some deal.
Nothing to hide
Art Linkletter was only partially right: It's not just kids who do the ``darndest things.'' Make that the stupidest things.
In Chicago, a young man named Jeremiah Johnson was about to enter a courtroom when the bailiff told him the judge did not allow anyone wearing shorts to appear before him. So, according to National Public Radio, Mr. Johnson reportedly walked in wearing nothing.
He's now in a jail cell for more than 100 days, cooling his heels-and other parts-for contempt of court.
A recent Cleveland Plain Dealer headline may have raised eyebrows. It said: ``Gault drops pants, not passes.''
It wasn't in the business section, but rather was a column by the paper's fashion editor. The subject in question was Willie Gault, former Los Angeles Raiders wide receiver, who appears nude in an ad for a clothing company.