During a Continental General Tire Inc. regional dealer meeting April 25 in Chicago, Chris Dickson, CGT's vice president of sales, noted how messages can sometimes get garbled, mentioning automaker Mitsubishi and a car it called the ``Colt Starion.'' Except it was supposed to be the ``Stallion,'' he said. Someone had written the name the way the Japanese pronounce it. Until the powers-that-be were made aware that ``stallion'' has two ``l's'' and no ``r,'' he said, no one realized the name had been misspelled. Oops! What is a ``starion''?
While discussing CGT's original equipment prospects, he said that the tire company's Uvalde, Texas, proving grounds has ``a General Motors-specified pothole.'' Honest. Used in testing OE tires, it's modeled proportionately after the typical U.S. pothole we've all experienced up close and personal.
Later on, after CGT's director of marketing, Jim Novak, discussed some upcoming new tires, including the Grabber ST, the quick-witted Mr. Dickson quipped: ``Don't you just love marketing men? They wouldn't let us call it the Grabber AS!''
Sniff, sniff, goodbye girls
We forgot to mention it earlier (mea culpa), but Snap-on Inc.-which the Wall Street Journal said ``took the classic girlie calendar and elevated it to an art form''-decided those works of art have outlived their usefulness (and political correctness?). So after 12 years, the toolmaker with 5,000 dealers worldwide has dumped the calendars.
Memorial services will be held at garages and auto service shops in your area (check your paper). But the famous Ridgid Tools calendar from Ridge Tool Co., Elyria, Ohio, is alive and well. Phew.
The rest of the stroy
We hate to admit it, but sometimes journalism can get, well, kind of stale and boring. Lawsuits and tire fires.
One of our colleagues on a ``car book'' sure seems to have a lot of fun, though.
Cliff Gromer, editor of Harris Publications Inc.'s MOPAR Action, sent along a copy of his April 1995 issue, which contains page after page of articles and photos chock-full of inside jokes and oblique references. (For the uninitiated, MOPAR refers to Chrysler Corp. parts and ``muscle cars.'')
Take, for instance, the magazine's index page, where under the MOPAR Action masthead it reads: ``New! Now available in non-drowsiness formula.''
Cliff also has carried to new heights the practice of ``jumping'' or continuing a story elsewhere in the book. He was telling us about a guy who kept insisting the article on him mention that he wanted to thank his girlfriend, Laurie, and his mom.
So the story ``Stroked, Poked & Pink,'' published in February, ended with the words, ``. . . And he wants to thank La.''
On the last page of MOPAR Action's April issue, under the story's title, it says, ``Continued from MA Feb. '95 page 90.'' And under that is: ``urie and his mom.''
MA's tech Q & A column is ``written'' by ``Zeppo TFD'' (The Friendly Dog), identified as Harris Publishing's Cray supercomputer programmed ``to research and answer all your Mopar questions.''
By the way, Zeppo's April ``Product Pick'' was Tony Defeo's Musical Auto Horn Songbook Vol. 2, containing ``11 of America's best-loved tunes.''
Zeppo says car horns ``provide the same enjoyment and satisfaction as mastering the violin or piano, and are a great way to become the center of attention. . . and be the envy of motorists around you-especially when caught in a traffic jam.''
Passing the ball
A political trivia question from The Road Ahead, a newsletter from ``Team 2000,'' which calls itself a grassroots organization of the trucking industry:
Q-Name three elected officials in Washington, D.C., who were professional athletes before they were pols, and what sports did they play?
A-Aha. Trick question. There are only two from the 103rd Congress: Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey (basketball) and Congressman Jim Bunning (baseball).
What we'd really like to know is: Who is Congressman Sonny Bono, and what did he do with all those snazzy fur vests?
Beating the odds
The April Men's Health magazine listed the odds of your having various experiences this year, such as: Going to prison (1 in 139); Having a Playboy Playmate fall in love with you (extremely poor); Buying a pair of bowling shoes (1 in 199); Sighting Elvis (1 in 706,850); Developing a mental disorder (1 in 4). And if you've seen Elvis, baby you've got one.