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Editor's Notebook

The Great Questions of Life


Sometimes I swear I have the best job in the world. At least in the tire world.
I can sit and watch the industry press forward in a seemingly endless cycle of inventing, consolidating, buying, selling, creating, synergizing, negotiating, assimilating, downsizing, upsizing, enhancing and rationalizing.
And I never get blamed for anything, never get hit by the fallout. I’m not the one in the hot seat like all the chairmen, presidents, CEOs, executive VPs or even PR managers. And for that I am often grateful.
On the other hand, I never get credit for developing the latest tire technology or the hot new marketing programs. I’m still waiting for my just due on that whole pneumatic tire thing, and I haven’t seen dime one in residuals for all those baby commercials.
Still I get questions. From people in the industry. From just plain folks I meet who discover that I edit a leading tire magazine. And from co-workers, family and others.
It, too, is a seemingly endless cycle. Some come at me as though from my far perch I can see all, know all and predict all. Some lead to enlightening and enjoyable “what if” conversations that cover dozens of possible scenarios. Still others leave me scratching my head in wonder, as I scrape together my best possible non-answer answer.
I love every question. It keeps me on my toes, and drives me to want to know more about what’s going on in this industry. Cause the day I quit wanting to know is the day I need to hang up my typewriter.
But still the questions come. And I’m certain you’ve heard all of these at least once in your days in this business:
So, what’s the best tire out there?
When is Bridgestone going to buy Continental?
When do you think they’re gonna fire (fill in the name of your favorite tire exec)?
So, you like write all those stories?
Who is going to buy Goodyear?
What’s this I heard about Toyo buying Michelin?
Can we go to Robert’s house?
Jim, have you got a few minutes?
I don’t think this is gonna work, do you?
Don’t you like this floral pattern wallpaper?
What art do you want with this story?
Can we stop at the next gas station?
How come they don’t make good tires anymore?
Would you like fries with that?
Did you hear that Goodyear and Michelin are going to merge?
Didn’t you get my e-mail on this meeting?
Don’t you guys get to test all those tires?
No, really, who makes the best tire?
Can I have the headline for the cover?
So, when’s (fill in the name of your favorite tire exec) gonna retire?
Why didn’t they fire (fill in the name of your favorite tire exec), too?
Honey, can you help me?
How come they’re making all them colored tires?
Do you think tire companies will sell over the Internet?
What’s going to happen to (fill in the name of your favorite tire exec) now?
Why did they do that?
Can I get a gumball, pleeeaaassse?!? (Youngest son’s only known question)
Don’t you guys write about anything else but (fill in your favorite controversial subject)?
How come you guys don’t write about (fill in your favorite controversial subject)?
Are those letters for real, or do you make them up?
I think the couch looks better there, don’t you?
I just called to see if you got our news release on (latest new product)?
What in the world were they thinking?
Why? (Teenage son’s only known question)
So, what’s gonna happen now?
I just don’t know the answer to that last one. Guess we’ll have to just sit here, watch and wait. New questions are always on the horizon. I’ll have to polish up some new answers and speculations, and keep them at the ready.
After all, if they don’t ask, they don’t care.

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