In its monthly newsletter, Beck/Arnley Worldparts Corp. quoted NASCAR team owner Junior Johnson on how to make a million bucks in racing: ``Start out with $2 million.'' Sounds like the scrap tire business.
The Bard of Washington
There once was a man from D.C.,
Who wrote for a pub called TB.
On the side, he's a poet,
And while a few know it,
Most don't in the tire industry.
Lest we get carried away here. . . our Washington correspondent and poet laureate, the inimitable Miles Moore, has just had his first book of poetry, The Bears of Paris, accepted for publication by The Word Works, a premier small U.S. publishing house.
The title is from one of Miles' poems, about the bears (not stock brokers) in the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.
While he writes about things governmental for TIRE BUSINESS, Miles' other love is verse, and he's usually out practicing his avocation whenever possible. Recently, he appeared on an 18-year-old Washington, D.C., radio program, ``The Poet and the Poem,'' the only regularly scheduled poetry program on U.S. radio, according to Mr. Moore. He and other members of a D.C. group called ``The Federal Poets'' read some of their works on the air during the station's ``pledge week,'' raising nearly double the public station's $500 goal.
And he often participates in poetry ``slams''-not to be confused with the slam dancing that goes on in ``mosh pits'' at punk rock concerts.
Simply put, poets read their work and audience members shout their preferences, until only one bard is left standing.
Covering the government is probably good training for the old slammaster.
Quick. What's the first modern U.S. car to come without an ashtray?
If you answered the Hummer, you're wrong (That's not a car). It's Chrysler Corp.'s compact sedan, the Cirrus.
Research that led to the car's development found that only about 17 percent of new-car buyers claim to be smokers, and Chrysler's surveys found that 80 percent of its potential buyers rated ashtrays as a low priority.
In a bold break from tradition, the car debuted last year with no butt bucket, although it still had a cigarette-lighter-type socket for cellular phones and other in-car electrical devices.
But Chrysler decided not to risk the ire of motoring smokers. It made available to Cirrus buyers a special ``smoker's package''-an ashtray that fits into one of the cupholders in the car's console and a lighter to go in the accessory socket.
Pop in a nice, shiny CD, curl up with a glass of your favorite wine and-peruse a company's annual report?
Dozens of companies, including IBM and Electronic Data Systems, are offering compact disc versions of their annual reports, suitable for reading by any shareholder who has a computer with a CD-ROM drive. On average, they're actually cheaper to produce than the standard glossy annual reports-$700,000 for paper vs. $250,000 for CDs-according to the Dallas Morning News.
The CD-ROM versions can incorporate still photos as well as full-motion video sandwiched between tables and charts of financial data, all set to an upbeat musical background (No Black Sabbath?).
It's the wave of the future-``the medium is the message''-said Sid Cato, who publishes a newsletter on annual reports.
Corporate charity lesson
Did you hear about poor Bill Means, a systems engineer manager with Structural Dynamics Research Corp. in Cincinnati? He took his daughter, Marisa, 8, to his office during the recent national ``Take Our Daughters to Work Day.'' There, she learned a valuable lesson, getting to see her daddy get told he was laid off.
After 70 phone calls from news organizations seeking interviews, Mr. Means got what the Cleveland Plain Dealer said few other pink-slipped employees probably ever get: a public apology from the firm for canning him on the special day.
Does anyone take responsibility for their actions anymore?
A guy in Natchitoches, La., lost control of his Mercedes-Benz, striking a pole and fence. When police arrived in their Chevrolet police car to investigate, Simpson Williams Jr., 42, rammed his car into it, pushing it into a yard.
The guy told the cops his German car made him attack the American vehicle. The uninjured officers then arrested the driver, who was jailed without bond on charges of attempted murder, driving while intoxicated and damage to property.