Hey, remember way back in 2013, when Grumpy Cat endorsed a line of coffee drinks?

I said at the time that it was a bad idea for three reasons:

  1. Cats don’t drink coffee, so how can they endorse it?
  2. Grumpy Cat’s schtick is that she* hates everything, so endorsing something dilutes her brand identity.
  3. “Grumppuccino” is a hideous blot on the English language

* Yes, Grumpy Cat is female, a fact that Maggie has to remind me about periodically. I hesitate to consider what my inability to remember that says about my underlying assumptions about feline personality and gender roles.

Now* it turns out there’s a fourth reason why the move was a bad one. The relationship has degenerated into a lawsuit.

* For sufficiently broad definitions of “now”. The lawsuit in question was actually filed late last year.

According to Grumpy Cat’s suit, Grenade Beverage LLC, the company that produces “her” iced coffee drink, has not only begun selling unlicensed products (ground coffee), improper use of the domain, and failing to report sales of the Grumppuccino product line.

Let’s be clear here: cats, by and large, don’t have proper standing in American courts to file lawsuits. The suit has been filed by the Grumpy Cat brand, rather than Grumpy Cat herself.

Which is a shame, really. It means we’re unlikely to see Grumpy Cat take the stand when the suit comes to trial. Assuming it does, of course. L.A. Biz reports that the judge is moving toward entering a default judgment in Grumpy Cat’s favor. Barring a surprise, it sounds to this layman as though the case will be concluded this month.

Then we can look forward to years of Grumpy Cat’s efforts to collect the $600,000 (possibly $1,800,000 if the award is tripled). Now there’s something to be grumpy about!

Say what?

Today I want to point out a few WTF items. None of them really amount to enough to stand by themselves, so I’m following an ancient tradition and throwing them together. Call it the literary equivalent of “leftovers soup”.

  • First up: The OFF Pocket. This is a Kickstarter for a product that you probably didn’t even know you needed. I certainly didn’t know that I needed it. Now that I know about it, I still don’t know that I need it. What is it? It’s a cloth bag that you can put your phone in. When you do, it (supposedly) blocks radio signals to and from the phone. Presto! Nobody can call you and the NSA can’t track you or use your phone to eavesdrop on you. As of this writing, 73 people thought this was a great idea and are backing it to the tune of $6,317.WhyTF would you want this bag? If you block the signal, your phone is going to run its battery down faster than normal as it scans for towers. How about just turning the damn phone off? That not only accomplishes the same privacy ends as the bag, but it also saves your battery. And it only takes a couple of seconds longer to turn it off or on than to dig the bag out of your purse/backpack/pocket and shove the phone into it.
  • Next bit of news: Grumpy Cat is getting her own line of coffee drinks. OK, I love Grumpy Cat as much as the next guy–given my grumpy, snarky persona, how could it be otherwise? I’ll passionately defend the right to merchandise the hell out of anything and anyone. As long as there’s some small connection between the endorser and the endorsee. In the case of a product endorsement, that means the endorser really ought to use product. At least once. Show me the cat who’ll come within ten feet of a cup of coffee and then get her to endorse the brew!Besides, doesn’t this sort of endorsement dilute Grumpy Cat’s image? How does an endorsement from someone who’s unimpressed by everything help drive demand? I’m not even going to get into the atrocity being committed on the English language with “Grumppuccino”.
  • This one’s a bit late, but seemed apropos given yesterday’s conversation. Earlier this year, the Sacramento River Cats gave away Barry Zito bobbleheads. (For those of you who need some background: the River Cats are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Oakland As. Zito played for the River Cats way back when. He’s still fondly remembered in Sacramento. And bobbleheads have been a common giveaway item at baseball games since 1999.)Take a look at the picture of the bobblehead linked above. Now take a look at this picture of Zito. Or this one. Do you see a resemblance? I mean beyond the fact that they both have one head and two arms? With well over a decade of practice at making bobbleheads, couldn’t they have come up with one that looks sort of like the original? But even leaving that aside, Zito is left-handed, as you can see in the photos: glove on the right hand, ball in the left. So why is the bobblehead right-handed? Sacramento must have been borrowing QA engineers from Caltrans’ Bay Bridge team.

OK, enough negativity.

Here’s something to brighten your mood heading into the weekend. (Background)