Welcome to Off-Menu , where we'll be rounding up all the food news and food-adjacent internet ephemera that delighted, fascinated, or infuriated us this morning.
- When my sister and I were kids, our parents were big fans of the phrase “Sometimes you have to make your own fun,” which was their way of saying “No, you’re not getting a Sega Genesis.” That seemed like Good Enough Parenting in the late 1990s, but now, when teens make their own fun, somebody’s infant is getting a slice of cheese to the face. Last week, a Twitter user named @unclehxlmes posted a now-deleted video that showed him “cheesing”—his word, not ours—his kid brother, which meant that he threw a slice of pale yellow cheese product on the baby’s face. Ten million-plus views later, cheesing babies has become A Thing, despite hastily written editorials asking everyone to knock it off.
- Meanwhile, an 18-year-old college student named Nico used Photoshop and Twitter to convince some gullible latte drinkers that they could score free Starbucks by streaming Lady Gaga. “Starbucks is celebrating Lady Gaga’s Oscar win with a promotion for a free drink of choice!,” he tweeted. “Simply post a screenshot of yourself listening to 'Shallow' with the hashtag, #SHALLOWBUCKS for a free drink of choice!” A lot of people have tried to do this, and a lot of people have quickly learned that it’s #BULLSHIT. Nico told Buzzfeed that he made the promotion up to “help [Lady Gaga] out with sales and streams” and to try to make the A Star is Born soundtrack hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. I was pretty ambivalent about the whole cheesing thing until right this second, and now I’m hoping that someone will cheese the shit out of Nico.
- The Democrats have opened another investigation into President Donald Trump, and Republicans are still shaking their collective fists at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the US Department of Defense is tweeting about its war boners… and Flint, Michigan is still asking for clean, drinkable water. According to Jezebel, Jaden Smith and his Just Water company are working with the First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and several other organizations to bring a mobile filtration system called The Water Box to the city. Every Thursday, residents can take their own containers to the church to fill up on clean water. Jaden has always been my favorite member of the Pinkett-Smith family, even before we all saw those cursed images of his dad as the Genie.
- It had been months, if not years, since I last thought about The Human Centipede, that now decade-old (!!!) Dutch horror flick that somehow predicted the current state of American politics. But this morning, it’s all I can think about, and it’s Taco Bell’s fault. The fast food chain is currently testing an abomination it calls The Triplelupa, which consists of three conjoined chalupas that can either be separated at their “perforated” ends, or consumed as one unholy creation. “What is this?” one of the unfortunate components of the Human Centipede screamed. “What are you doing to us?!” Taco Bell, I’m asking you the same questions.
- Today I learned that ‘micturition’ is a synonym for peeing, and I know that thanks to a tweet from a beer writer who was on the inaugural flight on BrewDog Airlines from London to Columbus, Ohio. The BrewDog-branded Boeing 767 plane was filled with 200 of the British craft brewer’s shareholders and employees, along with a number of journalists. A complimentary can of IPA was waiting for each passenger when they boarded, a beer tasting was held when the plane reached its cruising altitude, and the company’s newest brew had its debut—and all of those drinks meant that all of those passengers did a lot of micturating, so much micturating that the plane’s lavatories hit capacity and had to be closed two hours before the flight landed. Next time, BrewDog better serve its in-flight beverages in bottles. Wide-mouth bottles.
A woman in Abu Dhabi has filed for divorce because her husband stayed out with his friends until 3 AM, and forgot to bring her a burger on his way home. A local attorney says that couples like this need to “be educated about having realistic expectations” for their marriages. What part of “If you forget my burger, I will divorce you” seems unrealistic?