NEWS OF THE WEIRD: Unicorn Meat
June 25, 2010
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – It’s official: The National Pork Board says it knows unicorns don’t exist.
The industry group says it was only protecting its trademark when it issued cease-and-desist warning to online retailer ThinkGeek for calling a fake unicorn meat product “the new white meat.”
The fictional canned meat, described as an “excellent source of sparkles,” was an April Fool’s prank.
But the 12-page letter from the board’s law firm was no joke.
“We certainly offered our apologies,” Scott Kauffman, President and CEO of Geeknet Inc., the parent company of ThinkGeek, told the Associated Press. “It was not our intention to confuse the public as to the attributes and qualities of the two meats.”
In a public apology this week, ThinkGeek said its nonexistent canned unicorn meat is sparkly, a bit red and not approved by any government entity.
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“We certainly understand that unicorns don’t exist,” said Ceci Snyder, vice president of marketing for the National Pork Board. “Yes, it’s funny. But if you don’t respond, you are opening your trademark up to challenges.”
The council said it is in discussions with the company.
“Where we feel victimized, is I don’t know of another organization that does more to promote pork products than our site,” Kauffman said, noting the company sells around 20 real items related to bacon, such as bacon gumballs and bacon soap.
ThinkGeek “launches” mock products every April Fool’s day. The company said it was surprised the board did not raise any concerns about another prank item this year called “My First Bacon” – a talking stuffed toy that looked like a piece of bacon.
“To be attacked in this manner, given all we do for pork, the irony is not lost on us,” he said.
STOUGHTON, Wis. (AP) – A painter working on a Wisconsin water tower left behind one big typo.
The mistake had Stoughton (STOH’-tuhn) residents scratching their heads. The new paint job had the town’s name without the second T. It was spelled “S-T-O-U-G-H-O-N,” rather than “S-T-O-U-G-H-T-O-N.”
It turns out a painter from Neumann Co. in Romeoville, Ill., had the correct information but simply forgot the second T when painting the 6-foot letters.
And the name was spelled right on one side of the tower. It’s just the side facing town that’s wrong.
Painter Mike Sandmire says it was the first time he had made such an error. He added that it would be easily fixed with a new coat of paint.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky man credits a state revenue employee with saving his life when he had a heart attack during a phone call about his income tax bill.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Earl Phillips was talking with state employee Natalie Brown on May 26 when she noticed that he was breathing heavily and seemed ill.
Phillips said Friday that he didn’t want to tell a complete stranger that he needed help, but she verified his address and then called emergency responders.
He was later transferred to a Louisville hospital, where doctors put a stent in his heart. He had a 90 percent blockage in one of his arteries.
Gov. Steve Beshear praised Brown’s dedication Friday.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Tired of boorish comments and jokes about New Jersey, residents and business people have created a website to express their Garden State pride.
The site – JerseyDoesntStink.com – is designed to rally those who are tired of the putdowns about pollution, wisecracks about wise guys, and cheap shots about corruption. With companion Facebook and Twitter pages, state residents can sound off online in defense of their home state.