Naw, more like Mom's secret.
Do you ever hear your mom's voice echoing in your ears, usually with some good chicken soup advice for your wayward soul? And who can forget lines like, "I don't care how it tastes, eat this.|.|.|it's good for you. Or else."
That was sort of the point of author Rhonda Abrams, who wrote the book Wear Clean Underwear. Addressing about 4,000 dealers at the annual consumer dealer meeting of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. in Las Vegas, she made the point that many of mom's sayings (like making sure you wear clean underwear) are critical to our behavior and lifestyles.
Getting and keeping good employees? Learning how to properly run a company? Take mom's watchwords to heart, Ms. Abrams said, noting we should "do the right thing." Even when no one's looking.
That sage counsel brought out the imp in Jerry Cash, BFS' national director of business development. He and John Gamauf, vice president of consumer tire dealer sales, were introducing Ms. Abrams when Jerry quipped: "As I always say John, the tire business is all about underwear."
Boxers or briefs?
The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently printed a letter to the editor under the headline "Blimp is no asset."
The writer was apparently ticked off about being under a flight path—not of Canadian geese, but the Goodyear blimp. Paul Coviello, who lives in a place called Lighthouse Point, wrote: "There are quite a number of people who do not miss seeing the blimp. It is extremely inconsiderate of Goodyear to fly the blimp over private homes each year just when the weather permits outdoor living in South Florida.
"The blimp is noisy and slow, so you get to hear the noise for a long time. It has very little to do with charity. It is simply a noisy billboard that screams, `Buy my tires.' I would be delighted to hear its damage is irreparable."
Let's just hope he doesn't own any firearms.
Color them `blue'
Blue as in sad? Hardly.
The adult film industry is a 10 billion bucks-per-year business. So it's doubtful the profits some blue-chip corporations are raking in from it makes them blue. Those companies—and the list includes General Motors Corp., Time Warner Inc., AT&T Corp., Marriott International Inc., and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.—have, according to the New York Times, become major distributors of pornographic movies.
The DirecTV satellite TV service, owned by GM subsidiary Hughes Electronics Corp., peddles sex films to the tune of some $200 million per year to pay-per-view subscribers, the newspaper said.
In its defense, a DirecTV spokesman stated the firm's adult films are not available to customers unless they subscribe to it. "We offer programming virtually for everyone," he said.
A skeptic might venture that the huge, gas-guzzling vehicles, expensive phone service charges and tawdry TV shows some of those companies hawk could be classified as pretty obscene, too.
An inventive lad
Let's award a marginal "A" for ingenuity but an "F" for stupidity to the 19-year-old clerk at a Texaco Starmart in Shawnee, Kan.
As reported in the "News of the Weird," police said the guy claimed he had been robbed. Actually, he had just looted his own cash register. To conceal the deed, he put tape over the store's surveillance cameras. So far, so good.
But he used transparent tape which, according to a police lieutenant, rendered a video that "looks a little fuzzy, but I don't see any robbery in there." Our hapless brigand obviously didn't realize duct tape is the thinking man's solution to most fastening and surface coverage projects.
This 'n that
Oh, the anguish—We heard where Amnesty International has just launched a campaign to rid the world of torture. Does the torturous presidential election we're enduring count?
The final frontier—Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc. is hoping to have fully integrated by the second quarter of 2001 an online purchasing network for its approximately 500 North American suppliers.
The system's been dubbed "Worldwide Automotive Real-time Purchasing" or WARP. But if it doesn't push the ordering process to warp speed, will Toyota then say the system's WARPed?
But can you believe him?—And now some erudite words from famed defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz, one of the so-called "Dream Team" members for the O.J. Simpson trial. As an attorney, he explained, "I have three rules: I never believe what the prosecutor or police say; I never believe what the media say; and I never believe what my client says." (Did he forget anyone?)
Yo, hey Rocky!—Wanna see me pull a rabbit out of my hat? Oops, wrong cartoon character. That avid reader, Sylvester Stallone, reportedly said he's "astounded by people who take 18 years to write something. That's how long it took that guy to write `Madame Bovary,' and was that ever on the best-seller list?"
Well, Sly, perhaps if Gustave Flaubert had been writing the screenplay version, we'd be enduring "MB 6—The Madame Meets the President," or some such trash.
Liquor's not necessarily quicker—Pundit Mitch Radcliffe spoke this truism: "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila."
Geopolitical lesson—Explaining the global importance of the Middle East, former vice president Dan Quayle said "it keeps the Far East and the Near East from encroaching on each other." (You can't argue with that logic.)
The newsletter of Beck/Arnley Worldparts Corp. recently offered, in its "Parting Shots" column, the "wit and wisdom of Buster McNutt." He very aptly summed up some lingo typically parlayed in used car ads, and boy, does old Buster have it pegged.
Any car ad starting with "Must see to appreciate" is like a date that you have to be blind, drunk, comatose, or just off the bus from basic training to appreciate, he writes.
A "rare classic" is that certain vehicle only a few of which still exist because of a combination of low quality and an over reliance on the P.T. Barnum theory of consumer research. Buster says this group includes "all French cars, most Italian cars, and all Yugos built on days of the week divisible by one."
And he advises that you may want to steer clear of anything described as a "Great Project Car," which sounds good "only if you think do-it-yourself root canals are terrific rainy day projects." (Rainy day? Heck, any day.)
Driving us crazy
Psst...see that driver in the lane next to you? No, don't stare. Notice what he or she is doing?
Caught you. Eyes straight ahead, please. What the heck are you doing reading this column behind the wheel, anyway?
Well, truth be told, you're not alone. That's apparently a big problem on many of our roadways nowadays—if you can believe the stats in a recent USA Today daily "Snapshot." Under the heading, "Activities while driving," it found that 17 percent of drivers are combing their hair and 20 percent are steering with their thighs (we've got a theory on that one: the bigger the thigh, the smaller the turning radius). The newspaper also noted that 29 percent are yacking on a cell phone, and 32 percent are reading and/or writing (their obituary notices?—talk about really dangerous.)
All you astute mathematicians out their will quickly realize that tally doesn't add up to 100 percent, so who knows what that other 2 percent are up to? Either actually concentrating on driving (perish the thought), or doing something so unmentionable that it couldn't even be listed.