Tire Rack, the mail order operation, has a World Wide Web site featuring a trivia contest. It promises to enter anyone correctly answering questions into a random drawing for a prize. A recent question: ``In Watauga County, North Carolina, what alternative fuel powers all of the county-owned cars, including the sheriff's cruiser?''
Out of more than 100 entries, Net surfer John Clary provided the correct answer: The vehicles are powered by genuine 180-proof Carolina moonshine.
And ``as long as you carry a siphon hose,'' Tire Rack quipped, ``you don't even mind if your car breaks down.'' (Hiccup!)
Brings to mind that old Robert Mitchum movie, Thunder Road, though he was running moonshine, not running on it.
Longtime tire dealer and retreader B.H. ``Tubby'' Hall of Opp, Ala., writes us that while driving on U.S. Highway 331 he noticed a place where fishbait was sold from a small shed behind a house.
``On a hand-lettered sign in the front yard-near the highway-were these words: `Worms In Rear.' Makes you wince, doesn't it?'' Tubby wrote.
Yep. Now there's a condition the makers of ``Preparation-H'' never anticipated.
Here's a possible solution to dealing with those angry, never-satisfied customers. Granted, it may seem a little extreme. But we guarantee its permanence.
Got a complaint? Sure, take a number-which just happens to be attached to the pin of a hand grenade.
Ah, were life's gritty little dilemmas only that easy to resolve.
In a refugee camp near East Jerusalem, Reuters reported, an Israeli man stabbed a Palestinian tire mechanic. Goes to show you, tires always seem to be at the root of some kind of fracas, aren't they?
The altercation prompted angry Arabs to hurl stones at the Israeli until police came to arrest him.
``At the entrance to Shufat refugee camp, the Jewish man asked the local mechanic to fix a puncture in his tire,'' said police spokesman Eric Bar-Chen. ``But when the mechanic declined because the garage was about to close, the Israeli took out a knife and stabbed him.''
Fortunately, the mechanic's puncture wounds were not very serious. (His quick-thinking fellow workers did a plug repair on him. Sorry-just kidding.)
The Israeli was taken into custody, no worse for wear from the rain of rocks.
Moral: Beware of those last-minute customers. They're usually the toughest ones to please. And the orneriest. (See previous item for a solution.)
So that job applicant you interviewed claims to have an MBA from Harvard, says he won a gold medal in the Olympics, and has singlehandedly found a way to make selling tires profitable.
Wow, what a guy! Hire him? Maybe not.
Researchers at Reid Psychological Systems, a Chicago-based developer of pre-employment screening programs, found that more than 95 percent of surveyed college students were willing to tell at least one false statement to get a job-and 41 percent already had done so.
These ``Top 10 False Statements'' are in areas in which Reid found students most frequently misrepresent themselves when trying to land a job:
1. Exaggerating involvement in school activities;
2. Exaggerating interpersonal skills;
3. Exaggerating the title of past business positions;
4. Exaggerating personal knowledge or impressions of prospective employers' corporate culture and history;
5. Exaggerating cheerfulness;
6. Exaggerating problem-solving skills;
7. Exaggerating computer experience;
8. Falsely saying that one was well respected by past employers;
9. Minimizing moodiness; and
10. Exaggerating future goals.
Participants were more likely to make false statements about qualities that employers could not readily prove, Reid said, including personality, hobbies and competence. In general, people conceal or minimize inappropriate acts or qualities, the firm said, and exaggerate desirable acts or qualities.
Although ``not all college graduates make false statements to get a job,'' Stephen Coffman, Reid's president, said the study illustrates the need for employment screening methods, such as pre-employment tests, employment background checks and structured interviews.
So is it appropriate to ask a candidate if it's true he burned down his last place of employment? Must have had one of those rare mood swings. Or maybe it was those voices that told him to do it. Or...
In our last Marketplace we mentioned a fire chief who had mistakenly referred to us as Fire Business newspaper.
Then we received a street map of our home city published by the Akron Regional Development Board. Among participating patrons was our parent company, Crain Communications Inc.
Sure enough, under the ``Trade Publications'' heading we were listed as Fire Business.
Is someone trying to tell us something? Considering all the tire fire stories we publish, maybe that's not so far fetched.
The Fast Facts newsletter of the Specialty Equipment Market Associ-ation (SEMA) recently noted that Rod Plotzke of the Zephyr Racing Group is the new sales rep for the San Bernardino, Calif., Sheriff's Department's Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (EVOC).
What do they sell, we wondered. Rides in ambulances? Rent-a-cruiser?
Actually, EVOC is available for fun stuff like driving lessons, photo shoots, testing, ride-and-drives etc.
Why not book the EVOC hot pursuit team for your next party or fundraiser?