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CRUNCH BERRIES! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
June 5, 2009 7:34 AM   Subscribe

A U.S. District Court judge recently dismissed a complaint filed by a woman who said she had purchased and eaten "Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries" for four years because she believed "crunchberries" were real fruit.

The woman stated that if she knew there was not fruit in the cereal, she never would have purchased it.

The same attorneys previously sued the makers of Froot Loops cereal for similar reasons, and that lawsuit was also unsuccessful.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl (153 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
But wait, Froot Loops does contain real froot.
posted by DU at 7:36 AM on June 5, 2009 [40 favorites]


WHAT??? Crunchberries are not fruit?? What the FUCK! Are you going to tell me that chickens don't have fingers next??
posted by spicynuts at 7:36 AM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Froot is nature's candy!
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:36 AM on June 5, 2009


Rest assured that Capn Crunch Dingleberries do indeed contain actual capn poo, however.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:37 AM on June 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Also, Special K is made from 99% Regular K.
posted by DU at 7:39 AM on June 5, 2009 [28 favorites]


Count Chocula is still a real Count, though, right? What about Frankenberries?
posted by spicynuts at 7:39 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


These are all euphemisms, right?
posted by mazola at 7:40 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was similarly shocked to find out that buffalo’s don't actually have wings.
posted by Sargas at 7:41 AM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


In a better world, people would be too embarrassed to stand up in court and declare, under oath, that they are idiots who need to be protected from themselves.
posted by you just lost the game at 7:41 AM on June 5, 2009 [31 favorites]


I still remember how betrayed I felt when I learned that all that time I had just been eating regular K.
posted by No-sword at 7:41 AM on June 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


In a better world, those people would never have been accepted to law school or their state's bar.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:42 AM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


These are all euphemisms, right?

Yes, she was having sex with a transgendered former woman who claimed that her/his prosthetic testicular implants were the real thing.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 AM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ever notice that the "loops" in Froot Loops aren't really loops?

What's up with that?


Andy Rooney or Jerry Seinfeld?
posted by R. Mutt at 7:42 AM on June 5, 2009


DU: Yeah but its that 1% that makes it so special
posted by Sargas at 7:43 AM on June 5, 2009


Do these seem like the actions of a woman who'd had all she could eat?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:44 AM on June 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's OK, I still have my Grape Nuts.
posted by exogenous at 7:44 AM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've also been shocked to discover that Mr. Crunch is not, in fact, a Captain.
posted by brevator at 7:45 AM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Next: Animal crackers and spotted dick.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:45 AM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Another activist judge legislating from the bench.
posted by anti social order at 7:46 AM on June 5, 2009 [22 favorites]


I guess I'm too late to sue Pringles for not being chips?
posted by spicynuts at 7:46 AM on June 5, 2009


I, for one, have never found Cheerios to be that cheery.

But they are, as promised, Os.
posted by papercake at 7:47 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Count Chocula is still a real Count, though, right? What about Frankenberries?

Despite the resemblance, they have absolutely nothing to do with Al Franken.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:47 AM on June 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is why those cheapo cookies at the gas station have "Creme" filling.
Ugh. I used to love those when I was a kid.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:47 AM on June 5, 2009


Colonel Sanders is not a real Colonel?
posted by the dief at 7:47 AM on June 5, 2009


So did if the plaintiff had called this a Law Soot, it would have gone through, yeah?
posted by spicynuts at 7:49 AM on June 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Aunt Jemima: not my aunt.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:49 AM on June 5, 2009


Although I do have an Uncle Ben.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:50 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the decision:

The survival of the instant claim would require this Court to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense. The Court has no intention of allowing that to happen.

Nice.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:51 AM on June 5, 2009 [14 favorites]


Meanwhile, Pepisco is out a nice chunk of money. 12(b)(6) tend be very earily in the litigation, so perhaps it did not cost too much. But could be $50k-100k wasted to just get to rid of this trash.

And this is why people complain about lawsuit abuse. These nimrods filed a BS lawsuit abusing very important and legitimate consumer protection statutes, and Pepisco has to waste probably the salary of a couple of employees just to make it go away.

On the hand I find this funny as hell because I love batshitcrazy things. But knowing the actual impact BS like this, it kind of makes it hard for me to laugh too much.
posted by dios at 7:53 AM on June 5, 2009 [15 favorites]


Everything you need to know about Count Chocula, from a Wikipedia edit that was quickly discovered and removed.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:53 AM on June 5, 2009 [43 favorites]


Federal Express: Not an example of socialism, because it's actually a private company.

(just trying to get a jump on the cereal->food->other products expanding sphere of hilarity)
posted by DU at 7:53 AM on June 5, 2009


Colonel Sanders is not a real Colonel?

He's a Kentucky Colonel, which is real enough.
posted by peeedro at 7:54 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


The woman's attorney is Harold Marion Hewell. He sounds from his bio like a reasonably competent and accomplished lawyer. I guess for him the free advertising from filing this case is worth the expense and mockery. But since this kind of crap damages the reputation of the whole system, I wish a thousand sanctions on his head.
posted by bepe at 7:54 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


earily? froot!
posted by dios at 7:55 AM on June 5, 2009


But knowing the actual impact BS like this, it kind of makes it hard for me to laugh too much.

Quick, make it impossible for consumers to hold corporations responsible for their claims before a $50k frivolous lawsuit against a multi-billion dollar company BRINGS CIVILIZATION TO ITS KNEES!!!1
posted by DU at 7:55 AM on June 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


According to the transcript, only Judge Thomas asked no questions.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:55 AM on June 5, 2009


Krusty: Look… about the rib-wich… There aren’t gonna be any more… The animal we made them from are now extinct…

Homer: The pig?

Otto: The cow?

Krusty: You’re way off… think smaller… think more legs!
posted by 445supermag at 7:58 AM on June 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


But they are, as promised, Os.

Aren't they really annules?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:59 AM on June 5, 2009


Does anyone else remember Smurfberry Crunch from the early 80s? It was like Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries but with all Crunchberries! And it turned the milk blue!

Looks forlornly at remnants of Luna bar and coffee breakfast...
posted by JoanArkham at 7:59 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's the plural of Smurf again? Smurves? Because it should be.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:01 AM on June 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


I wonder if I can talk my wife into making a Crunchberry / Rhubarb pie.
posted by bondcliff at 8:01 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


DU: try reading my comment again because you completely misread it. Note the portion where I said "very important and legitimate consumer protection statutes."
posted by dios at 8:03 AM on June 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


In a better world, people would be too embarrassed to stand up in court and declare, under oath, that they are idiots who need to be protected from themselves.

I see a potential solution in there, which is for the court to reach exactly that conclusion:

"This court finds the plaintiff is an idiot who needs to be protected from herself, and is hereby committed to a mental health institution for treatment. Anybody else want to try this stunt now? No? Good."
posted by FishBike at 8:04 AM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wonder if I can talk my wife into making a Crunchberry / Rhubarb pie.
posted by bondcliff at 8:01 AM on June 5 [+] [!]


Wait, what's that a euphemism for?
posted by 445supermag at 8:04 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!
posted by briank at 8:06 AM on June 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


Note the portion where I said "very important and legitimate consumer protection statutes."

My bad. Although I'm still having a hard time feeling sorry for poor little Pepsico.
posted by DU at 8:07 AM on June 5, 2009



Quick, make it impossible for consumers to hold corporations responsible for their claims before a $50k frivolous lawsuit against a multi-billion dollar company BRINGS CIVILIZATION TO ITS KNEES!!!1


If it were only possible for large multinational corporations to be sued for bullshit like this, I would agree. But, since individuals can also be sued for BS reasons, I'm afraid you're off base here. Lawsuits that are clearly frivolous, such as this one, should also come with the plaintiff being responsible for court costs and legal fees for the defendants.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:08 AM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Next you'll be telling me that this website does not actually filter at the meta level!
posted by Brocktoon at 8:10 AM on June 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


dios: not to speak for DU but I imagine he was parodying various right-wing pundits who use anecdotal examples like the crunchberry woman to decry consumer protection statues in general. And, you know, it's not like this isn't just chump change that Pepsico has budgeted already to pass along to consumers in pricing increments along with the consumer complaint legal costs that actually did have merit.
posted by aught at 8:11 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's the plural of Smurf again? Smurves? Because it should be.

The collective noun is a hurf-durf.
posted by permafrost at 8:16 AM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


since individuals can also be sued for BS reasons
posted by nomisxid at 8:17 AM on June 5, 2009


My bad. Although I'm still having a hard time feeling sorry for poor little Pepsico.
posted by DU at 10:07 AM on June 5


Is it any easier for you to feel sorry for the "poor little" 3300 people that Pepsico has laid off in the last 8 months? Bleeding corporations do have impacts. They are not just evil conceptual entities that be bashed without consequence. 100k here, 100k there. Eventually things have impacts.

These statutes are very important things, but unfortunately a handful of attorneys abuse them. There's not a good solution policy wise to address the problem of abuse. But perhaps condemnation is merited.
posted by dios at 8:18 AM on June 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Loser pays (at judge's discretion). Done.
posted by spacewrench at 8:20 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm confused, why would it be 50-100k? All the lawyer has to do is show up in court and say: "Come onnnnn! Are you frickin kidding me? Come onnnnn!"
posted by creasy boy at 8:20 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


man, this reminds me of an episode of This American Life, where a woman grew up never doubting the existance of unicorns (which seemed, as a concept, more plausible than dinosaurs). then, when she was 20-something years old, she wondered aloud to her friends if unicorns were extinct or endangered.

yeah. i totally imagine that happening here.

"do crunchberries grow on bushes or trees?"
"...the fuck?"
posted by thatelsagirl at 8:25 AM on June 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


That is probably the episode I find myself quoting at parties more than any others. Watch out for the Xing!
posted by arcticwoman at 8:26 AM on June 5, 2009


Count Chocula is still a real Count, though, right? What about Frankenberries?

Frankenberries are real. But don't ask General Mills about Boo Berries. They had to quietly discontinue that cereal when it was found out that Boo Berries are actually mildly carcinogenic.

They don't like to talk about it.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:31 AM on June 5, 2009


Are Girl Scout cookies made with real Girl Scouts? More importantly, are Samoas made with real Pacific Islanders?
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:31 AM on June 5, 2009


Chocula isn't a real Count, but he is a former U.S. Congressman.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:33 AM on June 5, 2009


...and chickens are girls, right? So they can't have balls!
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 8:36 AM on June 5, 2009


Does anyone else remember Smurfberry Crunch from the early 80s?

(sung to the tune of the Nutcracker)

Smurfberry Crunch is fun to eat! A smurfy fruity breakfast treat!

1000 curses on those who create catchy advertising jingles that ruin works of classical music for me DECADES AFTER I HEAR THEM.

Also, anybody remember Nerds cereal? It contained two different cereals, just like a box of nerds. Of course it turned the milk into some god-awful fruit flavor. Seriously, whose idea was this? Fruit flavored milk was NEVER a good idea. Yuck!
posted by Afroblanco at 8:40 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


i bet you anything this woman's got baby oil in her bathroom and never thought twice about it
posted by pyramid termite at 8:42 AM on June 5, 2009 [22 favorites]


Dr Pepper actually dropped out of med school just three credits short.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:42 AM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh god, I remember Nerds cereal. I think I had suppressed that memory deep into my subconscious. Ugh. And yes, any cereal that turns your milk brownish-blue is not good.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:44 AM on June 5, 2009


I love the smack-down by the judge:
The survival of the instant claim would require this Court to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense.  The Court has no intention of allowing that to happen.
posted by DreamerFi at 8:45 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


While I agree with the judge's ruling, I don't find this suit all that ridiculous.

If you look at the box, the word "berries" is in a different color than "Crunch," which pretty clearly implies, "Captain Crunch, with Berries."

But anyway. she filed the suit, the judge thought it had no merit, and he dismissed it. The system worked perfectly.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:45 AM on June 5, 2009


Does anyone else remember Smurfberry Crunch from the early 80s?

(sung to the tune of the Nutcracker)

Smurfberry Crunch is fun to eat! A smurfy fruity breakfast treat!


I only remember it EVERY GODDAMN TIME I HEAR THAT MUSIC FOR THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, AND, I DON'T DOUBT, FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:46 AM on June 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


The impacts of BS like this are probably far greater on small businesses than on big multinationals like Pepsico. Pepsico probably has in-house counsel that can do a lot of the legwork when they get sued; this was probably an amusing diversion for them. It's the companies that don't already have lawyers that get really messed up by frivolous lawsuits. If this had involved some sort of small boutique producer and not Pepsico, they'd probably have just settled to avoid the fight.

It's not specific to consumer-protection statutes; the entire system is so byzantine and expensive to navigate that you can use just about any action you want as a bludgeon. Just the threat of it is sometimes effective at extorting money from pockets of known depth.

Combined with the mess that is the patent system, it sometimes surprises me sometimes that anyone can operate a small business (particularly software ones) at a profit at all.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:47 AM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I loved Boo Berry. Mmmmm, petrified blue marshmallows. Does childhood get any better?
posted by pixlboi at 8:49 AM on June 5, 2009


I guess I'm too late to sue Pringles for not being chips?

Reversing a lower court's ruling that Pringles did not qualify as "potato chips" for purposes of taxation, Britain's Court of Appeals has held that they are, basically, close enough.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:52 AM on June 5, 2009


Fruit flavored milk was NEVER a good idea. Yuck!

I disagree. Try this: Slice some strawberries, sprinkle with some sugar, and leave them in the fridge for a few hours. A strawberry syrup will emerge. Pour some milk (or better yet half-and-half) over them, and enjoy the delicious wholesomeness.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:55 AM on June 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I loved Boo Berry.

Sadly containing no Betty Boo.
posted by permafrost at 8:57 AM on June 5, 2009


Okay, so I was kinda fibbing about Boo Berry. I just always thought it was funny how they threw it in at the end of the Chocula commercials sort of as a sidenote -- "and also Boo Berry!" -- and how you never actually saw it anywhere. Turns out it's still in production.

But seriously, look at their spokesman. He looks like a hung-over roommate who had to go into work that day because otherwise he'd get fired. Such a lovely I Don't Give A Fuck look on his face. It's like he's saying, "yeah kids, I guess you could eat this stuff, but let's face it, it's gonna make your teeth fall out and turn your poop blue. aaah, whatever, here are some fucking marshmallows."
posted by Afroblanco at 8:58 AM on June 5, 2009 [26 favorites]


thatelsagirl : "do crunchberries grow on bushes or trees?"
"...the fuck?"


I'll buy that as plausible, but it doesn't diminish the fact that in an age where information retrieval is damn near ubiquitous, it gets harder and harder for me to take pity on someone when they get mad about not knowing something that is common knowledge to everyone around them.

Sure, everyone has stuff that they believe and eventually find out is bullshit, but for me it's the reaction to that realization that defines the person;

"Leprechauns aren't real? Really? I guess my Irish grandma was just messing with me. No wonder she always laughed when I spent the summer hunting for them in the back yard! Man she got me good!"

versus

"What do you mean this sugary food isn't good for me? How was I to know what the nutrition facts and ingredients were? Look on the side of the box? I don't have time for that! To the litigation!"
posted by quin at 8:59 AM on June 5, 2009


Does anyone remember the Cap'n Crunch commercials that showed the Cap'n and the Crunchberry beast vying to get the Crunchberries from the Crunchberry bush?

Confession: When I was a kid, I separated all of the marshmallow bits from a box of Count Chocula and mashed them into a big wad about 3 inches in diameter. When I ate the marshmallows it almost made me sick.

Remember Quisp and Quake? They were not only the same as each other, they were exactly the same as Cap'n Crunch!
posted by Daddy-O at 9:04 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


So how come the Cap'n never got scurvy? Huh?
posted by orme at 9:06 AM on June 5, 2009


a woman grew up never doubting the existance of unicorns

I was once at a BBQ in Kansas, where a woman from California started freaking out because she had always thought lightning bugs were just a Disney fakery, having only ever seen the the twinkle lights in the trees at Disneyland.
posted by nomisxid at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


If one is to the point where they're filing lawsuits like this, one has pretty much failed in life. It's kind of sad really.
posted by crapmatic at 9:18 AM on June 5, 2009


James Lipton: And finally, Flo, if heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

IRFH: aaah, whatever, here are some fucking marshmallows
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:26 AM on June 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Another activist judge legislating from the bench.

The appeal: judge did not hand down the decision from an actual bench, but instead a rather comfortable chair.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:29 AM on June 5, 2009


A strawberry syrup will emerge.

It will extend a goopy hand toward you. Against your better judgment, you will withhold the milk. You will shake the hand and welcome it to the family. Over time you will come to love it. It will play with your children, your spouse, your parents. It will be the envy of all your neighbors. One day you will come home. Your walls will smell of pink sweets. Furniture will be strewn everywhere. You will rush upstairs, too late. Your remaining child will warn you. You should have poured the milk, she says in her last breath. Hearing a snuffling sound, you turn around. And then it is everywhere.
posted by shadytrees at 9:29 AM on June 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


Dios, the tone of your comments suggests that you don't think the defendant here would have much of a shot with Rule 11 sanctions. (Or maybe I'm reading something from nothing here.) My only experience with federal courts is Civ Pro and a fed courts class I had my final semester of law school ... can you enlighten me? It just seems like this is a frivolous case from the FPP (though the links were broken for me so I couldn't read the actual complaint.)
posted by Happydaz at 9:33 AM on June 5, 2009


Sargas: "DU: Yeah but its that 1% that makes it so special"

Toxin from the fugu fish?
posted by symbioid at 9:38 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


quin: "What do you mean this sugary food isn't good for me? How was I to know what the nutrition facts and ingredients were? Look on the side of the box? I don't have time for that! To the litigation!""

Ah, but you see -- It's made with "whole grain"! That means it's healthy!
posted by symbioid at 9:42 AM on June 5, 2009


This thread is hilarious and I love all of you for your contributions.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:45 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Happydaz, sanctions under Rule 11 for frivolous filings is a hollow protection. Do you think this lady who filed the suit can cut the check? Most likely not. So you get a judgment lien, that in almost all certainty is never collected.

I have had cases dismissed under various statutes as frivolous and without merit. I've won cases which entitle me to costs. So my clients have the right to the money in these instances, but they never get it. They have to eat it. Basically, upon getting the award of attorneys' fees or costs, the options are to perfect the interest by abstracting it or enforcing it. Options basically are: (1) send the sheriff to the person's house and start trying to collect assets sufficient to satisfy the number, or (2) get a lien against personal property. Of course, the latter is almost a complete waste. Here in Texas we will have liens against property, but as soon as the individual tries to sell it, we have to execute a waiver because in Texas one cannot encumber the sale of a homestead.

In short, the teeth to stop frivolous filings through Rule 11 or similar rules and statutes is only a deterrent when the plaintiffs have sufficient assets to pay the fees, which is rarely the case. And in those circumstances, Pepsico would just incur future legal fees in pursuit of money they will never collect. It's the old adage, "Can't get blood from a stone."
posted by dios at 9:47 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


my sisters and I would painstakingly remove all the marshmallows from the cereal, then apply milk & eat. with the remaining milk we would pop a marshmallow in, one at a time! and wait for an optimal degree of melty-ness before eating. ah!!! fond sugary memories :)
posted by supermedusa at 9:49 AM on June 5, 2009


Happydaz, sanctions under Rule 11 for frivolous filings is a hollow protection. Do you think this lady who filed the suit can cut the check? Most likely not.

I'm pretty sure I've seen sanctions where the attorney and client are jointly liable.
posted by exogenous at 9:51 AM on June 5, 2009


I'll buy that as plausible, but it doesn't diminish the fact that in an age where information retrieval is damn near ubiquitous, it gets harder and harder for me to take pity on someone when they get mad about not knowing something that is common knowledge to everyone around them.

One of the great truisms I have personally discovered over the past near-40 years: "Never underestimate the ability of people to sometimes be completely stupid."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:51 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


That makes sense, Dios. However, the comments above suggests that she was represented in this lawsuit (again, I don't know whether she was because I can't get any of the links to work). You can't file the sanctions against the lawyer, instead?

(as an aside, why would Texas even allow liens against personal property if they have to be waived anyway in a sale? Strange rule.)
posted by Happydaz at 9:52 AM on June 5, 2009


Pour some milk (or better yet half-and-half) over them

The word you are looking for is CREAM.
Live it up!
posted by bink at 9:56 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can't file the sanctions against the lawyer, instead?

I was speaking more generally as to the concept of recovering sanctions. But under Federal Rule 11(c)(1) you can sanctions against the attorney and the attorney's firm as jointly liable. The problem with sanctions here under Rule 11 is that you have fine that the claim is not warranted by law, that the allegations have evidentiary support, and that it is not filed for an improper purpose. That's a hard standard to prove in this instance because this case more "stupid" then it is "not warranted by the law."

Not all cases which fail under 12(b)(6) also fail under Rule 11.
posted by dios at 10:01 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ
posted by Burhanistan at 10:02 AM on June 5, 2009


My apologies that my typing is shit today. I blame the whisky from last night. Hopefully this lunch I'm about to have fixes the problem.
posted by dios at 10:04 AM on June 5, 2009


Dr Pepper actually dropped out of med school just three credits short.

At least Mr. Pibb is honest about things...
posted by inigo2 at 10:08 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Remember Quisp and Quake? They were not only the same as each other, they were exactly the same as Cap'n Crunch!

No way, not exactly the same as neither Quisp's UFOs (my favorite) nor Quake's wonderful wheelies shredded the roof of your mouth the way Cap'n Crunch's razor-edged pellets do.
posted by jamaro at 10:14 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


See, here I assumed all sugary cereal (and many non-sugary cereals) were basically HFCS, sugar, fructose, glucose, a variety of other 'oses, and wheat and/or rice chaff, smooshed into shapes.

If I found real food in the box, well, that might be grounds to sue.
posted by sandraregina at 10:14 AM on June 5, 2009


(as an aside, why would Texas even allow liens against personal property if they have to be waived anyway in a sale? Strange rule.)

Let's parse dios's post a bit more closely:

Here in Texas we will have liens against property, but as soon as the individual tries to sell it, we have to execute a waiver because in Texas one cannot encumber the sale of a homestead.

I'm pretty sure "property" in the first clause means "real property." They may also have liens against personalty but not relevant to this statement. We are further assuming that the frivolous litigator is an individual, so that any real property they have is also a homestead - not strictly true a priori but tends to be the case. However, the TX statute permitting liens against real property probably also encompasses commercial property - again, it's just not relevant in this instance.

So it's not that the statute is ridiculous; it's just that it doesn't really permit enforcing litigation sanctions against individuals. Dios correct me if I'm off-base here.
posted by rkent at 10:17 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Note: "Welsh Dragon" brand sausages do not contain dragon.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:20 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


This pops into my head almost weekly, for some reason:

COWBOY: (singing) Get along little blueberry critters, get along!

HORSE: (annoyed at this assclown of a cowboy on top of him) Aren't they supposed to be doggies, Bill?

COWBOY: Not anymore! Now there are blueberries in my blueberry-flavored Waffle-O's!

Anyone? Anyone?
posted by papercake at 10:27 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fry: I'm never gonna get used to the 31st century. Caffineated bacon? Baconated grapefruit? ADMIRAL Crunch?

Leela: Well, if you don't like that, try some ARCHDUKE Chocula.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:28 AM on June 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


Note: "Welsh Dragon" brand sausages do not contain dragon.

And "rarebit" is not a colloquial mispronunciation of "rabbit," much to my confused teenage self of many moons ago.
posted by papercake at 10:29 AM on June 5, 2009


He's a Kentucky Colonel, which is real enough.

Sounds like a sweet gig, plus look at the company you keep - Muhammed Ali, Johnny Depp, Mae West and LBJ? That sounds like my kinda party!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:39 AM on June 5, 2009


At least Mr. Pibb is honest about things...

Honest he may be, but try finding that fucker when you are desperate. Never around.
posted by spicynuts at 10:43 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyone? Anyone?

Right here. "Git along, lil' blueberry critters" is wedged in my memory between the One To Grow On cartoon television set and the theme to Pinwheel.
posted by Spatch at 10:49 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dammit, now I'm hungry.
posted by jquinby at 10:50 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Soylent Green doesn't really have people in it.

Magnificient thread, I congratulate you all.
posted by WPW at 10:54 AM on June 5, 2009


When I see crap like this, I really (really, really) wish I had the power to institute broad legal reform in the US to make two things happen:

1) In a lawsuit, one party is prohibited from spending more money for legal costs than the other party

and

2) Loser pays

My idea there is to (2) reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed, while at the same time (1) level the playing field, so that it would be possible for a individual to sue a corporation without the fear of ending up bankrupt and living in a box on the streetcorner if he/she loses the case.

It wouldn't be perfect by any means but it might be better than what we have now. It could also make things interesting - imagine if I sued Disney over their abuse of copyright law, and I was represented by an EFF lawyer who decided to work pro-bono... they'd have to have zero dollars spend in legal fees themselves. Take that, evil corporation!

(On the other hand, losing the case would cost them only court fees. Like I said, not perfect.)

Also there ought to be mandatory pro bono work required for personal injury / slip and fall specialists. Really? that's why you went to law school?
posted by caution live frogs at 10:59 AM on June 5, 2009


it's gonna make your teeth fall out and turn your poop blue

As a child, this would have been a selling point for me.

As an adult with dental insurance that would cover replacing all my teeth with implants, I just can't figure out how I'd work the fact that my poop is blue into conversations.

"well, I'm off to go smurf a deuce" might be too subtle.
posted by nomisxid at 11:02 AM on June 5, 2009


And "rarebit" is not a colloquial mispronunciation of "rabbit," much to my confused teenage self of many moons ago.

You ate a lot of Welsh rarebit as a teenager?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:06 AM on June 5, 2009


Muhammad "Viet Cong never called me no nigger" Ali is a Kentucky Colonel?

That's so fucking awesome.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:07 AM on June 5, 2009


The trifle is in fact serious business.
posted by zippy at 11:10 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Grape nuts contain no actual organs of generation, whether from animal or fruit-bearing vine.
posted by zippy at 11:12 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


At least Mr. Pibb is honest about things...

I've got a copy of a Birth Certificate here for a certain Ethel Pibb that says otherwise.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:21 AM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


The appeal: judge did not hand down the decision from an actual bench, but instead a rather comfortable chair.

final appeal: judge actually handed down the decision from a breakfast nook
posted by pyramid termite at 11:25 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Frankenberries are real. But don't ask General Mills about Boo Berries. They had to quietly discontinue that cereal when it was found out that Boo Berries are actually mildly carcinogenic.

Mildly carcinogenic? MILDLY CARCINOGENIC? Why don't you tell that to my dead brother and sister you fuck, huh? Why don't you tell that to the four years of therapy and radiation that I've had to go through just to survive? The world is a better place without the Boo Berry miasma darkening our breakfast tables.

*breaks down*
*gets escorted quietly from thread*
posted by graventy at 11:30 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Grape nuts contain no actual organs of generation, whether from animal or fruit-bearing vine.

What?! No grapes or nuts? Where's my lawyer!
posted by Orb at 11:45 AM on June 5, 2009


I though the plural of Smurf was "Smurf."
Like, fish and fish.


I'm waiting for the day when boxes of cerial come with multi-lingual instructions because someone hurt themselves while attempting to use a fork instead of a spoon.
"Caution: For use with spoon utensils only. Wear ANSI approved eye protection and chew thoroughly. Observe Nabisco rules for cleanliness. Do not splash in your milk and promptly clean all spills to prevent an unsafe breakfast environment. This product is not recommended for lunch or dinner."
posted by Jon-o at 11:51 AM on June 5, 2009


I smell an elderberry somewhere around here...
posted by BlooPen at 11:53 AM on June 5, 2009


Soylent Green doesn't really have people in it.

Nope. In Make Room, Make Room it's soybeans and lentils. Not my thing, but probably not too bad either. (Unlike the book itself which is poisonously depressing.)
posted by quin at 11:58 AM on June 5, 2009


Getting a peanut allergy from a holy wafer would be hitting a jackpot. You claimed it was Jesus's flesh!
posted by Free word order! at 12:08 PM on June 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Frankly, I can't believe people eat that shit, let alone feed it to their children. Cereals like that are what we would feed people if we were factory farming them for Soylent Green. Cereals like that sure as hell aren't what you feed people if you want them to be healthy, smart, and productive.

I wish the claimant and her lawyer had had to pay costs. Stupid abuse of the legal system deserves punishment.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:13 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perfect being the enemy of the good, I'd rather have a legal system that sometimes allows for frivolous lawsuits rather than one which bars common citizens from seeking justice from large corporations. Besides, this is funny as shit.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:33 PM on June 5, 2009


Does anyone remember Grins & Smiles & Giggles & Laughs? I think I still have one of the magnets in a box someplace.

And of course the semi-lost cousin of Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry.

Good times.
posted by freecellwizard at 12:39 PM on June 5, 2009


An egg cream contains neither.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:53 PM on June 5, 2009


So, I could sue Cocoa Puffs because I haven't developed severe schizophrenia?

"But seriously, look at their spokesman. He looks like a hung-over roommate who had to go into work that day because otherwise he'd get fired."

Boo Berry? I always thought he was the ghost of Peter Lorre and they stopped marketing it because they couldn't afford the royalties.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:56 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cereals like that sure as hell aren't what you feed people if you want them to be healthy, smart, and productive.

Hmm... I guess that could be why people consuming these products are filing these ridiculous lawsuits? I wonder if the makers have realized their product may actually contribute to developing the kind of stupidity that results in them having to go to court like this? It's kind of an amusing thought.
posted by FishBike at 12:59 PM on June 5, 2009


What?! No grapes or nuts? Where's my lawyer!

"I think it's just an expression."
posted by and for no one at 1:33 PM on June 5, 2009


And of course the semi-lost cousin of Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry.

I see your Fruit Brute and raise you one box of Yummy Mummy.

(P.S.- Do not do a GIS for "Yummy Mummy" with SafeSearch off at work.)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:49 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Horses, hoops, balls and bears, elephants and lions.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:55 PM on June 5, 2009


Anyone? Anyone?
posted by papercake at 1:27 PM


I remember, papercake.

How about this one?

I remember wanting this cereal just for the free Frosty coupon on the back.
posted by orme at 1:59 PM on June 5, 2009


Getting a peanut allergy from a holy wafer would be hitting a jackpot. You claimed it was Jesus's flesh!

Well, someone's bound to get his nuts. He's not all prime rib, you know...
posted by qvantamon at 2:04 PM on June 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'd also like to take this opportunity to express my outrage at what a boyzone soda and cereal manufacturing have become.

Captain Crunch, Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, Count Chocula? Where, may I ask, are Mrs. Pibb and the Countess?
posted by misha at 2:05 PM on June 5, 2009


In a better world, people would be too embarrassed to stand up in court and declare, under oath, that they are idiots who need to be protected from themselves.

You'd be amazed how proud people can be of their own ignorance.
posted by nomisxid at 2:07 PM on June 5, 2009


Where, may I ask, are Mrs. Pibb and the Countess?

Well, there was a Strawberry Shortcake cereal but apart from that I'm drawing a blank. I guess most cereal people thought girls knew better than to eat their puffed sugar crap and wrote them off or something.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:15 PM on June 5, 2009


A carpet is neither a car nor a pet.
posted by zinc saucier at 4:50 PM on June 5, 2009


Misha, why do you assume Dr. Pepper is a guy? She could have a Ph. D. in women's studies for all you know.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:39 PM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


But my Fruity Pebbles are grown in (organic, of course) rock gardens right? Right?
posted by bowmaniac at 5:49 PM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course she is!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:52 PM on June 5, 2009


And of course the semi-lost cousin of Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry.

Quentin Tarantino has a box of Fruit Brute that he's saved since the 70s, and uses it as a prop. The heroin dealer in Pulp Fiction is eating Fruit Brute (hopefully the actor is actually eating some other, non-expired cereal, but the Fruit Brute box is visible).
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:56 PM on June 5, 2009


I guess I'm too late to sue Pringles for not being chips?

Yes, because that case has been settled.
posted by not that girl at 7:56 PM on June 5, 2009


To take a few of the comments:

1) 'Loser Pays' is broadly how it works here in England. For one thing, it is an incentive against frivolous lawsuits because even if the claimant gets a 'no win, no fee' agreement from his lawyer, he still faces paying the other side's costs. However, the Civil Procedure Rules give a judge broad powers to allocate costs, and it's not unknown for someone to win an unmeritorious case on a technicality and be awarded damages of exactly one penny, plus both side's costs.

2) As to whether the lawyer should have taken the case, a lot of jurisdictions have some variant on what we call the 'taxi cab rank rule' - if a client comes to you with a case you have the time and competence to take, you are obliged to take it. Now, this isn't always a solid rule; for example, if I'd been asked to take this case, I would have relied on rule 708(f) of the English Bar's Code of Conduct for Barristers, which says that I'm not to make submissions which can't honestly be argued in law, or rule 708(j), which says that I mustn't make allegations of fraud unless they can be reasonably supported by evidence. It may also be that the lawyer felt that representing the client and losing quickly was in the client's better interests than letting her represent herself and losing slowly and messily.

3) The Pringles case may look ridiculous, but if the Government wants to pass tax codes that tax one type of food more than another, it should expect problems to arise for foods that don't cleanly fall one side or the other of the notional boundary. As the linked article notes, a hundred million pounds in accumulated tax demand was due, and right now HM Government probably wants any money it can lay its hands on!
posted by Major Clanger at 3:38 AM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


During the court battle between Mcvities and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise, Mcvities baked a giant Jaffa Cake to prove that Jaffa cakes were really cakes and not biscuits.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 3:45 AM on June 6, 2009


I love me some crunchberries.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 5:32 AM on June 6, 2009


it's not unknown for someone to win an unmeritorious case on a technicality and be awarded damages of exactly one penny, plus both side's costs.


That's brilliant. We should get this.
posted by anti social order at 6:15 AM on June 6, 2009


Sounds like a sweet gig, plus look at the company you keep - Muhammed Ali, Johnny Depp, Mae West and LBJ? That sounds like my kinda party!

And yet when you look at the walls in KFC there aren't any cool pictures of the Colonel hanging out with any of those folks; just smiling white children.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:28 AM on June 6, 2009


In a better world, people would be too embarrassed to stand up in court and declare, under oath, that they are idiots who need to be protected from themselves.

For the record, here's what goes into Cap'n Crunch is healthier than nicotine - CORN FLOUR, SUGAR, OAT FLOUR, BROWN SUGAR, COCONUT OIL, SALT, SODIUM CITRATE, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL**, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, STRAWBERRY JUICE CONCENTRATE, MALIC ACID, MALTODEXTRIN, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, ZINC OXIDE, YELLOW 5, RED 40, YELLOW 6, BLUE 1, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, BHT (A PRESERVATIVE), RIBOFLAVIN*, FOLIC ACID*.

The lawyer gambled on a nuisance suit for penny ante rewards. Yawn making, but mildly amusing. If he had any ambition at all, he would have gone after them on the partially hydrogenated.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:03 AM on June 6, 2009


How could everyone have forgotten about the Fish "Fingers"?
posted by WalterMitty at 5:50 PM on June 6, 2009


This is totally like that time that old lady sued McDonalds for millions of dollars. Let's get rid of protection statutes altogether.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:13 PM on June 6, 2009


This is totally like that time that old lady sued McDonalds for millions of dollars.

Actually it's nothing like that, but thanks for playing.
posted by inigo2 at 8:44 PM on June 6, 2009


Does anyone want to join me in a class action law suit? Did you know Grape Nuts has neither grapes nor nuts? WTF?
posted by jcworth at 9:08 PM on June 6, 2009


I'm hopeful that BP was being sarcastic.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:18 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm hopeful too, but just in case....
Plus I was in a sour mood the other night. So either way, sorry for my tone.
posted by inigo2 at 6:12 AM on June 8, 2009


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