At the risk of prompting a flood of cute-baby pictures, Marketplace offers one we recently received in the mail. Mimicking the ``Michelin baby'' advertising theme, Charlie and Shirley Fogelguist of Peekskill, N.Y., had their children strike a similar pose in a Gislaved tire handled by Tire Buying Service, a dealership in Elmsford, N.Y., where Charlie has worked 18 years.
Mrs. Fogelquist suggested a theme for the photo with a familiar ring: ``...because even more is riding on your tires.'' We hear Hollywood calling.
Fix it- or else
Ever feel ``under the gun'' to get a customer's car fixed on time? Sympathize with a guy in Antioch, Calif., who recently was ordered at gunpoint to repair a truck.
The suspect, Roy Gordon, 22, was jailed on kidnapping charges; a .44-caliber pistol was confiscated from his home, according to Antioch police.
The unidentified victim reportedly told police he encountered Mr. Gordon about 1:30 a.m., when the suspect allegedly pulled a gun and demanded the victim work on his truck. He followed Mr. Gordon home, then was ordered to drive elsewhere to fix the truck.
Instead, the victim went home. Police later received an anonymous call about the kidnapping.
Investigators think there's more to the story, but admitted, ``We're not getting much cooperation.''
If you own a Volkswagen Cabriolet or Ford Mustang convertible, you're driving a marked car. Thieves love 'em, as well as the standard Mustang, two-door Cadillac DeVille and two-door Honda Civic, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute, whose analysis of car theft rates, based on 1993 insurance claims, rated the following least likely to be stolen: Chevrolet Cavalier and Ford Taurus station wagons; Pontiac Grand Prix four-door; and Oldsmobile Cutlass two- and four-door models.
No word on where the Yugo placed.
A slip of the Freudian?
The Mondeo. It's been called Ford Motor Co.'s internationally marketed ``world car.''
The automaker has renamed the Mondeo for North America. But last month during a speech, Ed Hagenlocker, president of Ford Automotive Operations, called it the Mercury ``Mistake'' instead of Mystique.
A little light in the head
Well, no matter your feelings on the subject, the nation now has a crime bill. But it's highly doubtful it will solve the problem of really stupid criminals.
Take for instance the thugs who murdered their victim, then stole his beeper. Police called the beeper number and left a message. When the perps called back, the cops traced their number, arresting them shortly thereafter.
And in Japan, a ``wily'' criminal tied his dog outside a house he was about to burglarize. According to National Public Radio, the guy left after the robbery, but forgot to take Fido. Once again, the good guys got their man: They turned the dog loose, then followed him home.
Who needs airbags?
Tom and Ray Magliozzi-those car guys who go by the alias ``Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers''-recently began a crusade of sorts on their National Public Radio call-in automotive show. They're urging drivers to wear bicycle-type helmets while driving their cars.
They claim it would make driving a lot safer-not to mention be a cheaper alternative to airbags. The practice, they said, could start a trend: designer crash helmets and, for bald guys, helmets covered with hair.
One potential drawback: A guy they know wore a helmet while driving until he got tired of people looking at him like he was a ``geek.''
Ugly cars, ugly drivers
In a recent survey of 708 adults nationwide, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. asked if they had ever declined-or accepted-a date based on the kind of car a person drives.
``Yes,'' said 7.5 percent of the women respondents and 2.3 percent of the men.
A bumper sticker sighted in Akron: ``Mackey Radiator-The best place to take a leak.''