If you've already broken your New Year resolutions, there's still
time to add a new one. Drink wine every day.
The vino industry received stellar PR last week when an avowed daily
imbiber suddenly died. How could that possibly be good, you may
earnestly ponder. Well, he was 112 friggin' years old, that's how. The
oldest man alive. Well, until last week, obviously. Jack Daniels should
itself locate an octogenarian drinker of its whiskey for salubrious
My neighbor Ted, who consumes "the Jack" religiously, would be good. He
looks to be about 103, and is very physically and mentally active. Still
remembers all the state capitals. Trouble is, he's only 52. I think the
sun and his son are to blame for the premature aging.
Speaking of neighbors, one of mine is the Los Angeles Airport, which I
teased last year for its depiction of nude men on the floor of one if
its terminals. Here we go again with another LAX-cident.
It seems a local PR agency, Winner & Associates, made a controversial
$9 million during its three-year contract to educate the public
about the airport's planned expansion. I was among the public intended
to be educated.
I never understood those mailers, but one day three English
language-challenged workers showed up to soundproof my house. A messy
week later, any potential for noise pollution was squelched permanently.
Alas, the new airtight doors and windows practically create a vacuum.
Air carries noise, sure, but it also carries oxygen, which comes in
handy for breathing.
"But what happens if I open the window to enjoy the weather?" I naively
queried the apparent supervisor.
"Then the noise abatement system (it's a "system") doesn't work."
Neither, apparently, did some of the subcontractors that the PR agency
retained for the actual "PR" part of the airport project. One fellow
even told the LA Times that he felt "truly guilty" about the scant
amount of work conducted. Not guilty enough to return any money or
resign the account, mind you.
And here's the real kicker: Because of a change in mayoral
administrations and the aftermath of September 11, the airport expansion
plan was virtually shelved months ago. Yet Winner & Associates was still
collecting fees - and was poised to receive $1.5 million
For what, I don't know - perhaps un-educating the public with an "oh,
never mind" campaign. Which in my case could have meant sending those
workers back to my house to remove the soundproof doors and windows.
Anyway, bad publicity has forced the firm to withdraw from the contract.
But if they really want to make amends, I have the perfect solution.
Grab a wand and help out with passenger security screenings. At the rate
of $7 an hour, it will only take the staff a few decades to work
off the $9 million.