Top X's (that's 10s) David Poisson, executive vice president of the Tire Association of North America (TANA), livened things up a bit during the group's "President's Breakfast," held at last November's International Tire Expo/Specialty Equipment Market Association shows in Las Vegas. He offered two sets of "Top Ten" lists meant to strike the funny bones of tire guys and gals in the audience. Drum roll, please...
All-Time Favorite Tire Movie Classics—10. Goodyear Hunting; 9. The Bridges of Michelin County; 8. My Left Tire; 7. You've Got Nails; 6. The Maltese Falken; 5. Run-flats Are Forever; 4. There's Something About Mary's Tires; 3. How Stella Got Her Tires Grooved; 2. 20,000 Tires Under the Sea; 1. Saving Private Tires.
Now, for the Top 10 Reasons Why Las Vegas is Better than Akron—10. Akron is inconveniently located thousands of miles from nuclear test sites; 9. Impossible to get "I crapped out in Akron" T-shirts; 8. Akron: Men in "business casual." Las Vegas: Orangutans in cowboy hats on unicycles. 7. Football Hall of Fame doesn't double the jackpot every 15 minutes; 6. Akron's best dancers are five middle-aged white guys; 5. Las Vegas has Don King. Akron has Mattress King; 4. Hard to get change in Akron at four in the morning; 3. Chances of seeing Mike Tyson throw a sofa through a plate glass window in Akron slim to none; 2. "Craps until 6 a.m." slogan doesn't work in Akron; 1. Not many restaurants in Akron where you can win $20,000 before they finish serving breakfast.
Y2K a dead issue?
If you're reading this, you've obviously survived all the hokum about "Y2K." Or at least the U.S. Postal Service has, since it delivered this issue of Tire Business to you.
But one Y2K issue remains a major problem.|.|.|in cemeteries. All those still-living people who bought tombstones in anticipation (can one really use that word?) of their demise are now faced with a hunk of stone that gives their date of death as 19—.
A news report said it'll cost them (or at least their families) between $100 and $500 to fill in the date on the stone and cut in a new one.
And the funeral industry says it pays to plan ahead.
This 'n that
`Fat city' and other trivia: We recently stumbled upon the results of a survey of populations in cities across the U.S. which supposedly found that Columbus, Ohio, had some of the most overweight people in the country. (That explains why the the land around the state's capital city seems to sag a bit.)
The city with the most Rolls Royce's per capita? Why it's Hong Kong.
The airplane on which Buddy Holly entered the realms of pop culture eternity was named the "American Pie"—hence the song of that title by Don McLean.
And lastly...a duck's quack does not echo—and no one knows why, including Donald.
Calling Marie Antoinette: Former Michelin North America Inc. executive Carlos Ghosn, who's developed quite a rep for trimming corporate spending to the bone, got roughed up a bit by our sister publication, AutoWeek, in its humor section.
Bestowing upon him the nom de plume Carlos "Le Cost Killer," the magazine ran the Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. COO's photo along with his "body double"—a picture of a guillotine.
Say what?: One of the more interesting company names we ran across at last November's Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Vegas was Duh! Inc. Is that meant to instill confidence?
Big surprise?: The year 2000 models of the Saturn sedan and Chevy Metro cost less than half as much to own and operate as the Cadillac DeVille or Lincoln Town Car, according to data from Runzheimer International, the Wisconsin-based management consulting firm.
Yes, but which would you rather be driving?
Year-end stats: Being sort of a purveyor of all that has to do with tires, we were curious to see just how many times the word "tire" was used in this paper.
So we did a search of the Tire Business 1999 archives and found "tire" 923 times last year vs. 909 in 1998 and 986 times in 1997. What does all that mean? Who knows?
One dumb crook
This item goes into the "dumb criminal" annals. A robber with definite upscale inklings knocked off a Bank of America branch at a Seattle strip mall. He then ran across a parking lot to a nearby Starbucks coffee shop and decided to use some of his loot to buy a latte. (You can already see this one coming, can't you?)
Since he didn't bring a getaway car, the 27-year-old guy—dubbed "Clueless in Seattle" by ABC News' Web site—then used a pay phone to hire himself a limo. But customers in the coffee shop who witnessed the escapade called the cops, who arrived moments before the limo driver to escort Clueless to the pokey.
Guys like that help give thievery a bad name.
One bad dude
The SEMA show is known for its "Big Top" atmosphere of bringing so many diverse companies and products together under one roof. That can lead to some pretty "out there" stuff.
Take, for instance, the booth we visited for a company bragging that it marketed "Socially Hazardous Stickers." That they were.
It was, in the humble opinion of Marketplace, one of the more tasteless displays on the show floor—evidenced by the photo above of "Pimp Daddy." His "handler" sat with a microphone several feet away behind the wheel of a 1950 Hudson, talkin' the jive (including some pretty outrageous comments to passersby) while Daddy's mouth moved.
As for the bumper stickers for sale, a "milder" one gloated: "I got my (butt) kicked on the Jerry Springer Show."
Decency, where oh where hast thou gone?