Donkeys by any other name
Boys will be boys, right?
A couple of 14-year-olds in Portage, Ind., recently were arrested after videotaping themselves running around a park in their skivvies. (Was the town knee-deep in a March heat wave?) According to the Associated Press, they told police they were imitating a show on MTV called "Jackass."
It's described as a comedy based on crude stunts and pranks—and you can never get enough of those, right? Apparently, the misguided youths also spit on another boy and flattened bicycle tires. After running away, they were caught a short time later by the cops, who confiscated the video and showed it to the boys' parents before releasing them.
The lads face juvenile charges of criminal mischief. Hee haw...who's laughing now, fellas?
Only hours after the tragic Daytona 500 crash that took the life of Dale "The Intimidator" Earnhardt Sr., the souvenir vultures were hovering.
The NASCAR racing legend's death seemed to fuel a number of get-rich schemes for entrepreneurs of questionnable taste. The Detroit News reported that John Hansen—who was a security volunteer in the garage area at the first Detroit Grand Prix in 1982—tuned in a TV shopping network to see tiny pieces of Mr. Earnhardt's Goodyears, attached to a plaque with Dale's photo on it, selling for at least $100 apiece.
He says he just laughed. Why? Because Mr. Hansen has three whole tires for which he's asking upwards of $25,000—each. According to the story, a friend of his at Goodyear got him two authentic rear 19-inch-wide slicks from the 1982 Grand Prix. Mr. Hansen, a racing zealot, got the tires signed in yellow tire-marking crayon by all 27 drivers who started the race.
When the CART series replaced Formula One seven years later, he got another tire signed by drivers including A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Jr. and Tom Sneva.
Originally, he planned to sell all three on the Internet to pay his lawyers (he's involved in a child custody dispute), but instead has decided to try to sell them locally, thinking maybe someone in Motown would like to keep the tires as a memento of the city's first such race.
A gallery and auction house official interviewed by the News guessed the tires could be listed starting at maybe $1,200 each, but cautioned that "if something sells for $5,000, it doesn't mean that's what it's worth. It means that day, two people wanted it that badly."
But Mr. Hansen said he's confident some fan or company will value the tires as much as he does. Wonder if his price hikes will stick?
This 'n that
Want fries with that?—There's yet another recall, but nothing to do with tires. McDonald's Corp. recently began a voluntary recall of about 234,000 "Scooter Bug" toys—sunny yellow-faced creatures with pink antennae—included in "Happy Meals" due to three reports of children choking on small parts that could break off.
It wasn't the first such recall by the fast-food king. In May 1992, it notified customers of the possibility of a choking hazard on its "Doc DeLorean Car" after it was found that the car's tires were being pulled off. Some kids were trying to eat them. Yuck.
Would you read this book?—It's been described as a funny, unique electronic children's picture and coloring book by award-winning nature photographers Leo and Dorothy Keeler about America's last wilderness, Alaska.
But we're still trying to figure out why they called the book Tell Me Why.|.|.|My Armpits Won't Dry. As far as we know it's, ahem, a Secret.
What do you do for a living, daddy?—During a news report on Kent State University's WKSU-FM radio station, a reporter presented a story about a new ordinance in Cleveland to limit the number of dogs and cats homeowners can keep.
He identified someone with Cleveland's Animal Protective League as the "Chief Cruelty Officer." (No, it wasn't Cruella de Ville or Hannibal Lecter.)
It's a name that's known...at least in Waldkirch, Germany, where a company with the unusual name SICK Inc. is based. If the manufacturer of sophisticated laser scanning systems were to fall on hard economic times, a savvy headline writer might bemoan: "SICK Sick."
And while we're on the subject of interesting names, we ran across a Tecumseh, Mich., firm called iditit inc. Sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine: Who did it? iditit....
Words of wisdom—A wise person once observed: "You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice."
Super doc—If you were watching January's Super Bowl game real close, you may have spied moonlighting medic Dr. Ricardo Martinez, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Gone from NHTSA since October 1999, he continues his sideline as medical director of the Super Bowl. Mindful that he's often seen bending over fallen athletes, he described his TV appearances as a lot of "butt time." Hey, Doc, that helped catapult Ricky Martin to where he is today.
The rattle in Seattle
Several weeks back—when Seattle was shakin', rattlin' and rollin'—we got a first-hand report from near the epicenter.
Trevor Hoskins, a retired senior vice president of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., said he moved from BFS' Nashville home to the Pacific Northwest several years ago to escape tornadoes. He's discovered earthquakes ain't no fun, either.
Trevor noted he lives out on the Olympic Peninsula in a "delightful" retirement/vacation community known as Port Ludlow (some 60 miles north of Seattle). But he got the ride of his life with the recent quake. "I just can't believe that a house could shake so much without falling down," he said.
A few things fell off shelves and a skylight cracked, but luckily everything stayed together. It wasn't the first temblor for Trevor, who has experienced them in Chile and Mexico and even one in Rome, Italy, which he said was the most frightening.
Now, in his post-tire industry days, he serves as coordinator of his community's Emergency Preparedness Program. Talk about being prepared, about two months ago he had attached brackets to hold all his home's cabinets against the walls just in case of a quake.
Betcha he's longing for a real "emergency"—like maybe rescuing some retiree's cat from a tree.