Some of them, well-bitten cynics, thereupon thrust their money deep in their pockets and left the track for the day. Enough of the other kind, clutching greenbacks in their fists, rushed faithfully to the betting windows to make Finnegan the favorite.
Well, and again well, we are obliged to let you know that the shamrocks are wilting in Arcadia by the time you read this, and the Irish coffee is being left untasted, and the Finnegan Hypothesis is, for the moment anyway, being pushed well to the back of minds. When the gate opened, young Finnegan came stumbling out like a drunk out of a swinging door and gathered himself up, after a while, more or less like Sullivan. The race was a mile and a sixteenth; plenty of time for a Sullivan to catch up. But it must be admitted that Finnegan, very likely a name to remember to forget this year, came in next to last. Up front, it was a pretty good race, however. By the time he finished, some disappointed backers already had words and music for Finnegan's wake: "F-I-double N-E/G-A-N spells bum again."
Popularity by Air
Do you want to be popular?
Would you like to go out in the evenings, make new friends? Well, it used to be that the only way to achieve these ends was to sign with Arthur Murray for a course in ballroom dancing, but now there's another way: you can take flying lessons.
Arthur Murray himself has nothing to do with it. It's just that his sales techniques have been borrowed by a former franchise holder and applied to flying schools, and they are working like a dance instructor's charm. The salesman who made the ingenious switch is E. G. Ege ("the E is for Edgar, the G just for fun") of Minneapolis. One day in 1955 he drove past a little flying school at the edge of town, and thought: "Here I am, a potential customer. I have done some flying already, and I can afford to do more. But for 10 years nobody has tried to get me going again." Ege became the school's merchandising consultant, he used the Murray methods, and in six months the little flying school had increased its business by 500% and was one of the biggest flying schools in the country. The genius of Arthur Murray—if that is what it is—is apparently as expandable as bubble gum and as adaptable as nylon.
Mr. Ege, like Mr. Murray, believes that you must find out what a potential customer wants from his lessons and then show him how he will get it. In his Operations Manual Ege lists Sample Selling Sentences for all occasions. If the prospect's motive seems to be vanity, the instructor remarks casually, as they stroll out for a free trial lesson, "You'll have to get used to being the center of attention when you know how to fly." With the man who wants relaxation the pitch is, "You certainly get a feeling of getting away from it all up here, don't you, Mr. Prospect?" To a business executive the instructor explains that, "When you fly yourself you can set your own schedules. You don't have to come and go when the airlines tell you to."
The Free Demonstration Lesson, of course, is another Arthur Murray device. But where dancing instructors use it to discover the prospect's natural ability, flying instructors use it to allay the prospect's natural apprehension. One particularly skilled operator loaded a family of four into a plane "just to taxi a little." The next step was to "take it off the ground about two feet. If you don't like it, I'll put it right down again." Naturally the two children, having got into the air, clamored for more altitude. In the end both parents learned to fly, and the family now owns a plane.
After his first success with a flying school, Ege sold his Arthur Murray franchises in Minneapolis and St. Paul and went into the new business full time. He theorized, correctly, that most flying school owners are good pilots and instructors but need help as salesmen. Now Ege supplies his techniques to 77 schools all over the country. The schools let students fly now and pay later, make arrangements by which the brand-new pilot can buy anything from one-tenth of an airplane, which he shares, to a whole one which is his own.
The toughest sales resistance comes from worried wives, but husbands themselves overcome it—or, rather, detour around it—by taking lessons on the sly. Then, with a mixture of pride and sheepishness, they present the true facts and the pilot's license at the same time. Sometimes, though, it is the wives who take lessons on the sly.