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 today.
- On Friday morning, an emergency response team and a hazardous materials crew were called to the Dorchester District Court in Boston after an employee opened an envelope and found a suspicious-looking white powder. According to NBC Boston, the entire building was evacuated as both the police and the fire department investigated. The white powder was eventually determined to be a crushed-up candy cane, and everyone was allowed to return to work. Come on, everyone knows that if it’s late March and you still have candy canes, you’re not supposed to send threatening messages with them: You’re supposed to save them in your desk drawer until you can hand them out to your least favorite coworkers the following December.
- Earlier this month, Moki’s Goodies, a cafe in Hamburg, Germany, announced that it would no longer welcome any children under the age of six. That decision was unsurprisingly controversial—it was known as #pacifiergate on social—but owner Monika Ertl has been completely unapologetic. “I have a restaurant concept that you do not like and that is reason enough for a shitstorm,” she wrote on Instagram. “If you transfer the situation mentally from moms on the internet to students on the playground, then the term would be crystal clear ‘bullying.’ I wish your wonderful children very much that they never have to experience something like that.” She said that her decision was not because of “child hostility” (and she added that she, too, is a mother) but because she opened the restaurant with her own money and “wanted to make her own decisions.” Whatever her motivation, the anger spilled over into the real world on Friday morning, when someone spray-painted a giant frowny face on one window and wrote “Kevin, 6 years old” on another. Ertl responded with a shrug and an Instagram story. “Limited visibility today,” she wrote. “Thank you, Kevin.”
- A man named Ed commented on a review of the Market Basket supermarket in Wilmington, Massachusetts, asking if they could please check their surveillance cameras for footage of a ghost. “Would it be possible to post photos of the ghost at your store?” he wrote. “Watch the video after you close, the ghost in probably eating and drinking for free. Thanks!” Although his comment was totally unrelated to the review— that was about crab rangoon—it seems to be sincere, especially since shoppers keep insisting that they’ve seen a spirit in the store. A Wilmington resident posted about the ghost in a closed Facebook group for local residents, and she’s apparently not the only person who has spotted the apparition. The ghost is described as being a woman between the ages of 18 and 30, with dark hair, blue eyes, and “Victorian-era clothing.” Market Basket has not yet responded to Ed’s request, but hopefully the ghost will swoop some of that rangoon tonight.
- In May 2016, a San Antonio police officer named Matthew Luckhurst took some dog shit out of the trash, put it on a slice of bread that had also been discarded, and carefully put it inside a styrofoam food container. Then, Luckhurst—who, again, was a police officer—put the shit sandwich beside a homeless man who was sleeping, because it’s hilarious to humiliate and dehumanize others, especially the disenfranchised. In November of that same year, Luckhurst was fired, but he has since appealed his termination, arguing that the incident actually took place in March or April of that year. That’s important, because the San Antonio Police Department is required to discipline officers within 180 days of an incident. Luckhurst’s November suspension would’ve been beyond that window, and an arbitrator has reluctantly agreed with him. Regardless of that decision, he still can’t return to work, because he’s facing another indefinite suspension for another shit-related incident “which involved defecating in a toilet in a women's restroom and smearing a brown, tapioca-like substance on the seat.” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told News4 San Antonio that his department will “vigorously defend the decision to terminate [Luckhurst].” Whew, good.
- On Friday night, gravel-voiced rapper DMX went to the STK restaurant at the W Hotel in West Beverly Hills. According to TMZ, when X and his crew bounced about 1 AM, the valet ignored the fact that he couldn’t find his ticket, and gave him a Corvette that was parked nearby. An hour later, a less-famous man asked the valet to drive his ‘vette around, only to realize that it had accidentally been given to DMX. The car’s real owner called the cops, the valet told them the name of the nightclub X had gone to, and, if there is anything good in this world, we’d like to imagine the rapper looked at least one officer in the eye and said, “Y’all gon make me lose my mind,” to which the cop said, “Up in here, up in here,” and they just laughed and laughed and laughed.