After reading about the awesome grand prize Goodyear is giving to the winner of its name-the-new-blimp contest — free use of the blimp for an entire day — Sam Hevener of Richfield was thinking less about flights of fancy than down-to-earth repercussions.
“Will Goodyear send the person who wins the contest an IRS 1099 form for the dollar value of a day’s use at the end of the year to include in [his or her] 2014 taxes, or does Goodyear pay that expense?”
Hadn’t even thought of that. Seemed like a legitimate question, though, so I tracked down Doug Grassian, Goodyear’s know-it-all blimp spokesman (and I mean that in a good way).
“Our relationship with the IRS basically states that we do not sell blimp rides and the only way to receive them is through charity or invitation,” he says.
“Because of that relationship, we do not issue a 1099 for anyone who travels on the ride.”
Good thing. In Box 3 (“Other Income”), they’d have to type “priceless” — and imagine what tax bracket that would put you in.
Speaking of blimps ... the news that the new generation of blimps will include a bathroom — for the first time — intrigued a lot of readers, including Kenneth Roskos of Green, who identifies himself as a Goodyear retiree and blimp lover.
A friend of his who spent his entire career working on blimps gave him the, um, lowdown.
During World War II, Roskos reports, the folks serving on Navy blimps “got rid of their human waste by urinating through what was euphemistically called a ‘p--- tube’ directly into the oceans they were patrolling. Their fecal material was deposited in a disposable bag and, as we say, ‘s--- overboard!’
“The Goodyear blimps used a similar method for the old No. 1, and each crew member was in charge of collecting his No. 2 material in a disposable container [to be dealt with] after returning to Earth’s bonds.”
So now you know.
Bob: On Route 8 South, just north of the bridge by downtown, there is a sign that says “Downtown Hotels next exit.”
I haven’t taken an English class in 25 years, but the last time I checked, any word ending is “S” meant more than one.
Maybe they are referring to all the hotels that might potentially open. Or are they referring to total rooms available?
Doug: The sign is outdated by almost a year, a sad remnant of the era when Akron was known far and wide as the Polymer Capital of the World and boasted an impressive array of thriving downtown hotels.
License PL8 pain
Bob: Can’t believe what I saw yesterday. Unfortunately I was driving and could not get a picture. Believe me, I tried, because this one totally shocked me.
I have thought about this a lot and can’t figure out the “true” meaning of this. Maybe you have some idea. It was an Ohio plate and it read “ALL 4 APE.”
Scott: Was the driver Jane Goodall?
I looked at those letters for a long time and just didn’t see your beef. Finally, I figured out that if they were read aloud, they could conceivably sound like “all for rape.”
So I passed along the info to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. BMV spokesman Lindsey Bohrer immediately had the plate reviewed by the Requisition Committee, which concluded “the plate does not violate any of the guidelines.”
She adds, “I also found out that APE is an acronym for numerous things, such as Application Engineering.”
Ever notice how vanity license plates seem like ink-blot tests?
Hot on the heels of that complaint, I got another from reader Sandy Dullen, who wrote:
“Was driving down the road yesterday and saw ‘8BL TIME.’ I don’t think they are referring to the game of pool, lol.”
I didn’t get that one, either. (Perhaps I need to get out more.)
“8 Ball refers to cocaine dealers selling 8 balls,” she responded.
OK, now I get it.
But this time, Bohrer didn’t even have it reviewed.
“In this situation,” she wrote, “I don’t think any further action needs to take place. Since this term has multiple meanings (it can simply be referring to the game of pool), it would not be denied.”
Rape vs. application engineering.
Cocaine vs. billiards.
The eyes of the beholders are panoramic.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or email@example.com.