Food by VICE

Today's Special: Papa John's Could Become Papa Shaq's

Plus, some moms are mad about a Kit-Kat commercial that makes them think about dicks.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Mar 22 2019, 7:45pm

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.


  • One Million Moms is an organization that is determined to “stand against the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity” that THE CHILDREN (!!!) are exposed to on television and the internet, and they do this by posting online petitions urging Cottonelle to stop putting gay couples in toilet paper commercials. The Moms are also clutching their pearls with both hands after seeing a three-month-old Kit-Kat ad that uses Missy Elliott’s “Work It” to sell candy. “This song is about sex, and the lyrics are extremely offensive.

The song includes a word for male genitalia that is bleeped out by an elephant trumpet,” their petition says. “The focus of the commercial is the sexual message and not the product itself.” Oh, Moms. If a thin, brittle, two-inch section of a Kit-Kat makes you think about penises, then I’m starting to understand why you’re all so angry.

  • The Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after a plate of pot brownies was served at a seniors’ community luncheon in the town of Whitestone. After eating the brownies, eight attendees reported that they felt dizzy, nauseous, and disoriented, and were taken to a nearby hospital where they were basically told, “Yes, you’re high.” No one was seriously injured, but obviously everyone involved wants to know how this happened. “I’ve done these events for a number of years for this particular group so, obviously, I’m as mortified as anybody,” one of the luncheon’s longtime organizers told The Globe and Mail. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of this, no doubt about it.” The caterer is cooperating with the cops, and has offered to provide one of the leftover brownies for testing. If the perpetrator is identified, he or she will likely face a charge of administering a noxious substance. Come on, Canada. You have legal weed and this is what you do with it.
  • In 1959, a Volvo engineer invented the three-point seatbelt, a design upgrade that has been credited with saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Volvo seems to like being thought of as a safe car, which is why it keeps trying to find new ways to protect everyone on the roads, and not just people who have its logos on their key fobs. According to The Drinks Business, new Volvo models will be kitted out with small cameras that monitor drivers’ eyes, warning them if they appear distracted, drunk, or sleepy. If a driver looks away long enough to read their @-replies, they’ll get a phone call from Volvo’s on-call assistance center, and if they fail to answer, the car will slow down—or even stop. That’s all great, but even the dumbest car would tell you to get an Uber instead of relying on a mini camera and a call center to get your overserved ass home.
  • Next Friday, Samuel Adams is releasing a limited-edition IPA that honors our most important natural resource, 86-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The beer, called “When There Are Nine,” took its name from Ginsberg’s eternally perfect answer to the question “When will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?” (Sam Adams joked that its “legal team dissented” when they suggested calling it “Brut Bader Ginsburg.”) The beer was brewed on International Women’s Day, and will make its one-night-only debut next Friday as part of Samuel Adams’ annual collaboration with the Pink Boots Society, which educates and supports women in the beer industry. I hope that RBG will attend its premiere, doing one-armed pushups and picking fights with literally everyone named Brett.


  • Last summer, I attended a muscadine wine festival and, at some point during the afternoon, I won an eBay auction for Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Woods’ first two solo records. I had no recollection of logging into eBay, let alone deciding that I needed any Ronnie Woods records, until 30-ish bucks worth of vinyl showed up in my mailbox. According to Finder’s annual Drunk Shopping survey, I’m not alone: last year, 26 percent of Americans admitted to shopping while they were under the influence, and collectively they (WE! WE!) spent $39.4 billion on shit we may or may not remember buying. The most commonly purchased items were food (52 percent of drunk shoppers), shoes and clothing (43 percent), and cigarettes (30 percent). Eight percent of respondents also bought records, which makes me feel slightly better about myself.


  • Papa John’s has been through some shit in the past couple of years, mostly because of its founder John Schnatter’s long history of questionable behavior. Schnatter stepped down as the pizza giant’s chairman last summer, and the company has spent a lot of money trying to piece its reputation back together. Enter Shaquille O’Neal, who has just invested in nine Papa John’s restaurants in Atlanta, signed up to become a brand ambassador, and who just joined PJ’s Board of Directors.

According to Business Insider, Papa John’s stock prices were up by 3 percent after the company announced O’Neal’s participation on Friday morning. I’m not saying they should just rebrand themselves as Papa Shaq’s, but they should probably just rebrand themselves as Papa Shaq’s.

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