It's the ``Terminator''-dubbed ``the bad boy of mufflers''-and we just loved this advertisement, published in the April issue of the SEMA NEWS magazine. ``Buy me or bite me,'' it growls (huh?). The Terminator, manufactured by Performance Exhaust of Tempe, Ariz., ``looks bad and is bad'' (as in good?). Its mission, the ad continues: ``Sound baaad and make mucho horsepower.'' The muffler boasts ``the most awesome sound in the industry,'' which the ad says can only be described as ``a real pants wetter.''
Maybe the ad should run alongside one for Depends'.
No beefcake here
A headline in the Kelowna, British Columbia, Courier: ``Kelowna studs big hit on coast,'' accompanying a story on market reaction to the local sawmill's two-by-fours.
Big deal. The tire industry's had studs for years. No names, please.
Not the King's English
When our intrepid executive editor, Chuck Slaybaugh, ventured to within hypothermic distance of the Arctic Circle recently while on a snow tire-testing mission to Nokia Tyres Ltd.'s Tammijarvi Test Center in Lapland, he discovered just how fragile the bonds of communication are.
In Helsinki, Finland's capital, he couldn't get cash from an ATM machine-all the instructions were in Finnish.
Unlike most European languages based in Latin, Finnish is indeed daunting. It has no articles (eg. a, an, the) and few prepositions, instead adding case endings to express such concepts as ``in,'' ``from,'' or ``behind.'' The personal pronoun ``han,'' for example, means both he and she.
Pentti Rantala, Nokia's vice president of marketing, admitted only half-jokingly to journalists, ``I had more trouble in school with Finnish than I had with English''-and he's a native Finn!
They seem to believe it's better to describe something with one humongous word rather than one or two short ones. For instance, the Finnish word for ``car tire production'' is ``autonrenkaanvalmistus.''
But if you visit that frigid northern exposure, there's really only one thing you need to know how to say: ``Voinko maksaa talla luottokortilla?''-``Can I pay with this credit card?'' And don't forget to wear your flannel alusvaatteet.Age-old question answered
Age-old question answered
``Where has all the rubber gone,'' sang Woody Guthrie oh-so long ago.
Well, we've finally got an answer to that Jeopardy question.
Last May, TIRE BUSINESS published a letter from Michael Jordan (no, not that one), of George M. Jordan & Associates, a training and consulting firm in Brooksville, Fla. He offered a $50 savings bond to the person who could best answer, ``Where does the worn rubber go?''
Mr. Jordan just named his winner: Dr. Paul L. Townsend, a 63-year-old Wadsworth, Ohio, optometrist.
``This question must rank with the world's great quandaries,'' Dr. Townsend writes, including: ``Where does all the salt used on our northern highways in winter go? Or where did all the thousands of dead wild creatures disappear?'' (Ask the National Rifle Association about that.)
While at first recommending the feds allocate a few million bucks and a special agency to investigate the rubber riddle, he went on in a more serious vein to suggest that the rubber is absorbed by the surface of streets and highways.
It also becomes microscopic and is absorbed into the atmosphere, is washed down storm sewers and gets ``swallowed up in our water system'' (and, we add, by us). And it's pushed to the shoulder of roads, he continues, then into the ground.
Dr. Townsend explained that the amount of rubber in each location will vary based on factors such as traffic, type and surface condition of roads, temperatures, grade of highway, exact material of the tire, and speed of traffic.
Might we suggest a nice $50 donation to the Friends of Rubber In The Ozone, more commonly known as FRITO.
Tough habit to break
A recent radio news report speculated on what might happen in Red China once its elderly leaders, Deng XiaoPing included, pass on to wherever it is old Communists go when they pass on.
The story said some changes have already been gradually taking place in the People's Republic of China, especially in department stores. There, clerks are learning how to say, ``May I help you?'' instead of some of their usual retorts to customers, including, ``Don't bother me now, I'm busy'' and ``. . . Leave me alone.''
And you think your dealership's got customer service problems!