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THE IDLE AMERICAN
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 • Posted February 10, 2010

Trouble at the Top…

Did you

They were, uh, "get well cards," bearing this message: "Stop if you can, or at least slow down."

Both brain trusts wish they could. The TV bosses can’t rein in night talk show prima donnas, and the auto people are having trouble reining in certain Toyota models. This world-wide headache is now in recall mode—nine million vehicles and counting. (This approximates the number of all U.S. new auto sales in 2009.)…

* * * * *

In Toyota

Prospective automobile buyers are skeptical. Forget kicking tires; they’re contorted in the floorboard, checking out the "foot feed."

Repairs will be made "around the clock" when the "cure" is determined. And ad people will likewise burn oil at midnight, purging "pedal to the metal" lyrics.

* * * * *

I can’t

The execs are like punching bags, moving only enough to get their noses into position for the next blow from the verbal fist of Conan O’Brien, who, on a good night, is about as funny as an ironing board.

Despite his nightly placement of dunce caps on the bosses, Conan and his crew are walking away with a $45 million "settlement." I thought such could happen only in government or pro sports….

* * * * *

Speaking of

Unlike Toyota and NBC, whose respective traumas are singular, Nike must dig out from the fall-out of a "double whammy."

The "long and the short of it:" The road back will be long and uphill, with nothing short about it….

* * * * *

Nike moguls

Now, they must push the issue to the side, because they’ve got another front-burner fire raging.

There’s a new study about runners’ feet. It promotes the merits of running barefoot. It was conducted by a Harvard professor, no less. "We started running millions of years ago," Dr. Daniel Lieberman said, noting that during most of history, runners have run barefoot, "landing" toward the middle or front of the foot. For the past few decades, however, cushioned shoes have been designed to absorb heel impact….

* * * * *

This, sports

Throw in the big bucks paid to celebrities like Woods for product endorsement, and the picture clears as to why "fancy-schmancy" running shoes are priced in three figures.

If Nike investors move to Dr. Scholl’s footpads, it’s a good bet that runners are switching to shoeless….

* * * * *

I know

He showed up the other day devoid of shoes, obviously aware of the shoe study. I made the mistake of asking what brought him to town.

"Had to see the dermatologist," he grinned. "The doc said I had more skin tags than skin, and he removed enough of ‘em for store-wide price markdowns at Wal-Mart."

Groan. Continuing his ramble, he asked if I’d heard that Glen Bell, 86-year-old founder of Taco Bell, had died. Stats followed about this fast-food pioneer—60-plus years in the business, 5,600 franchisees serving 37 million Americans weekly and a founder of Der Wienerschnitzel, the big hot dog chain. "If I’d had to learn to spell ‘Wienerschnitzel,’ I’d have started thinking outside the bun, too," Mort joked….

* * * * *

Dr. Newbury is a speaker and author in the Metroplex. Send inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.

. Maybe I’m jumping the gun. But remember, I am my 97-year-old Uncle Mort’s nephew. Maybe I’ve inherited his tendency to view life through squinted eyes.
fans, is a bombshell. Nike has spent billions of dollars convincing runners that periodic "improvements" justify steady price escalation for state-of-the-art running shoes.
face endless groans. So far, they’re sticking with besmirched golfer Tiger Woods, an admitted philanderer generally shunned and shamed by the masses. The Nike honchos are squirming, not knowing what to do with him.
sports, we might "puddle up" with oceans of tears for another corporate giant, Nike.
"feel the pain" of the NBC wheels. They have a "pie in the face" posture, taking the broadsides of employees’ nightly rants that brand the bosses as buffoons.
showrooms, certain models are in sales lockdown until accelerator corrections are made.
hear about the identical greeting cards that crossed in the mail? Toyota executives and NBC television brass sent them to each other.

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