It’s the classic five dollar David v. Goliath story

Five dollar!

Many people share that same sentiment as I, but ultimately to no avail. Subway has become a perpetual monster of the sandwich shop (but not ye olde sandwitch shoppe), even going so far as to state that the term “footlong” is exclusive to Subway and Subway alone (trademark pending). Major emphasis should be on the trademark pending portion, but nonetheless, that’s not stopped Subway from sending C&D’s to companies over their usage of the term.

But perhaps that may not continue. Casey’s General Stores of Ankeny, Iowa, a regional convenience store chain with around 1600 locations, has decided to not be bullied into submission.

Casey’s is asking for a jury trial and is seeking a declaration that the term “footlong” is generic and does not violate any trademark owned by Subway. Casey’s is also asking for unspecified damages over Subway’s “frivolous” claims.

We for one wouldn’t be against cheering for the little guy, though mainly because our Subway in college was too far away to get free cookies from late at night.

Five. Five dollar. Five dollar trademark.

When you hear “footlong,” does a Subway sandwich immediately come to mind? The company hopes so: They’re taking measures to trademark the term for their twelve-inch sandwiches, but being met with some strong resistance.

Subway is taking an aggressive approach, sending cease-and-desist letters to mom-and-pop restaurants, including some that have been using “footlong” in their marketing for decades. For example, Coney Island Drive Inn in Brookfield, FL, has been selling footlong hot dogs for forty years, even using the term in its web address. Subway’s legal department recently sent them a strongly worded letter:

“You must immediately remove all references to FOOTLONG ™ in association with sandwiches.”

From a legal standpoint, the question is this: Can “footlong” be considered a trademarkable term? Food purveyors who have for years used “footlong” as a descriptor are stepping up to say that it’s too generic; Subway, however, argues that their relentless use of the term in advertising has given it, essentially, a second meaning.

Of course, to get around this, other companies may simply need to use a solution as simple as just utilizing a different parsing: “foot long,” rather than “footlong.” Another solution? Make 13″ sandwiches and call sandwiches by “competitors” small.

Ultimately, I think we all know that there’s one person on this planet who might need to contest this trademark: Ron Jeremy.

All the groping you can afford

Reportedly, one of the biggest pains is when you’re out late at night with friends in Japan and the rush to catch that last train at 1am begins. After that, you’re stranded until 6am with no trains running and most businesses shuttered. Sometimes you can find a bar that’ll be open to keep you occupied until you can find your way home, but you’ll be piss-drunk as a result. Which, honestly, we’re not exactly complaining about.

That’s the way things currently are in Japan, for better or worse.

But that not be the way things are in Japan in the future. The Tokyo government is considering running the Toei Chikatetsu 24 hours a day, due to the increasing number of flights coming into Haneda airport in Tokyo at all hours of the night. It’s a much more attractive option than a $60 cab ride in or something of that nature.

This would certainly change some of the cityscape of Tokyo. In the largest city of a country with 200% of its GDP in debt, they could use the jobs that this change could create. Of course, Japan is notorious for true stories urban legends of women being repeatedly groped by men left and right and left and right and other directions that you didn’t know exist. Will a 24 hour train make this situation worse? We’ll have to watch for the filed police reports to judge that.

Diarrhea no substitute for bulimea

Taco Bell–which was represented by a chihuahua in their ads until she was ground into chalupas–has unveiled their new campaign: dieting.

If the past decade has been categorized by gritty, violent remakes of crap from the ’90s, then consider this the s#%tty remake of Jared’s Subway diet. TB claims that a woman lost 50 pounds by ordering from their “Fresco” menu daily, keeping her caloric intake below 1300.

Oh, there are so many jokes here …. Let’s just post them in a list:

  • The Fresco menu? You’d lose weight if you ate paintings of food, too.
  • It wasn’t the Taco Bell that was low calorie, but the Tic-Tacs she ate for the rest of the day.
  • In the burrito’s defense, it doesn’t stay in your system long enough to pack on the pounds.
  • Before Taco Bell, this woman never ate lettuce.
  • The Taco Bell diet encourages you to exercise more so that dates can focus on your six-pack abs, even when you smell like you s#%t your pants.
  • We always go for a run after a Gordito … to the bathroom.
  • C’mon, have you ever seen a fat Mexican?
  • We can’t tell you Taco Bell’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices; however, we can tell you that one of those spices is not not tape worm eggs.
  • Why would this woman lie about the dietary benefits of a multimillion dollar international chain of restaurants?

Look, we’re not saying it’s impossible to lose weight by eating Taco Bell. We’re just saying that you might lose even more by not doing so.

Next thing you know, they’ll want separate offices

If you’re a man of the male persuation and you take a train of some sort to work everyday, you know how it is. You get one the train, see women, and have to fondle them. I get it, I’m the same way myself. The good news is that we’re not alone, guys.

Japan has the same problem–only women there don’t enjoy it like the women here in the U.S. do. It’s so much of a problem for them that they are thinking about separating train cars by gender, so only the women can fondle each other–and YOU can’t enjoy your commute.

Chicks. Amiright?

The McBournie Minute: Sexual sandwich making

I am a fan of lunch, in fact, I try to eat lunch at least once a day. Sometimes I don’t bring lunch to work, instead, I decide to splurge and get a sub from Quizno’s. It can be said that I enjoy their subs there, especially the sub prices that were temporarily low and were raised again a couple weeks ago (bastards!).

Around the same time, new television commercials for Quizno’s surfaced, and some of you know, I can’t resist mocking commercials. This one takes sandwiches to a level of creepy seldom reached by two slices of bread with meat and condiments in between: it’s the new ads for the Toasty Torpedo.

Let’s get past the juvenile snickering at the name, and the fact that it’s a thin, yet long sub now apparently meant to compete with Subway’s Warm Wang Sandwich. This is not the type of a commercial for dirty minds. So let’s move on. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Sexual sandwich making

Driiiinks in spaaaaaace

You’ve tried every beer. You are tired of hearing the same old thing from beer merchants trying to sell you something that will taste better and get you more buzzed than ever. You just might be chasing the beer dragon. Fear not, bored boozer! Japan has come up with something that raises the bar several miles up: space beer.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd. has grown barley from grains that were taken into space and is using them for its new experimental beer. This is much like having a conversation with an astronaut’s son, it puts you less than three degrees away from space.

In other hammered happenings, the Anglo-commies have banned booze on London’s subway system, the Tube. Before the ban took effect on Sunday, English people held a system-wide party Saturday night drinking whatever they felt like bringing with them.

This is the latest assault on transportation-related multitasking. A similar ban is already in effect on drinking in car. However, it is still legal to drink while floating around on an umbrella.

The McBournie Minute: The hazards of mass transit

If you’re like most Americans, you have at job. (In some cases, two jobs. Thanks, economy!) The only thing worse than work on a Monday is the process of getting to and from work everyday. Odds are if you live some place people want to live, you’re going to be dealing with plenty of other people hurrying to work.

At my last job, I did not have this problem. I worked five minutes away from my office. It sounds insanely short, but that is what happens when you live and work on an island. You can only drive so far before you either hit a bridge or water. It also came in handy because I worked as a reporter for the local newspaper. When something happened outside of work hours, (breaking news like fires, accidents and elementary school plays) I was there to make sure we got a picture. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: The hazards of mass transit