James Weird Awards

The James Weird Awards: McDonald’s Weddings, Swine Spills, and Shrimp Lawsuits

This week, New Yorkers have been talking about hip-hop chefs, spaghetti tacos, and Anthony Bourdain’s comic book, but elsewhere, the food news has been even weirder. From shrimp thefts to pig chases, here now is the best of the bizarre.

• McDonald’s chains in Hong Kong will start offering wedding packages in January 2011. The party package includes a baked apple pie wedding cake, party balloon dresses, and, of course, indestructible Happy Meals. [CNN]

• Possibly in preparation for Halloween, a man wearing a Batman mask and vampire teeth robbed a McDonald’s in Belmont, California, last night. He escaped with the cash, leaving all of Belmont in fear of the undead dark knight still at large. [San Mateo Daily Journal]

• A truck transporting 235 swine shut down a Toronto highway after it flipped and spilled dozens of pigs all over the road. A ten-hour pig chase ensued before the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was brought in to assess the pigs and reopen the highway. [Edmonton Journal]

• Darden Restaurants is suing T.G.I. Friday’s for promising “never ending shrimp” specials, an idea they claim is a mash-up of Olive Garden’s “never ending pasta bowl” and Red Lobster’s “endless shrimp” trademarks. Darden previously won a settlement from IHOP for serving “never ending pancakes” and “never ending popcorn shrimp,” and seems bent on cornering the infinite-food market. [Orlando Sentinel]

• Crabby Dick’s Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, has set up an effigy of Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell dressed as a witch with a sign reading “Eat here or I’ll turn you into a frog.” They better hope her “I am not a witch” ad campaign is telling the truth … [WBOC]

• British chain Pizza Express has hired an actor to train employees in “the art of flirting” in order to more effectively suck up to customers. Rule No. 1: Don’t let them see you’re desperate. [Telegraph UK]

• Bristol Farms, a gourmet grocery store, reported a failed robbery at their location in Newport Beach. The suspect filled a bag with the makings of a very pleasant dinner: a quart of pumpkin soup, shrimp tempura, and a beverage. When confronted, the suspect dropped the bag and ran. [Corona Del Mar Today]

• Two women stole $20 worth of shrimp and crab legs from a Publix grocery store in Evans, Georgia, by hiding the seafood in a purse. When the manager tried to stop them in the parking lot, they made a high-speed getaway. [Columbia County News Times]

• A freak grape-harvester accident in Paso Robles, California, sent one person to the hospital on Sunday. The victim did not sustain serious injuries but is probably already sick of telling “that time I got run over by a grape harvester” stories. [KSBY]

The James Weird Awards: McDonald’s Weddings, Swine Spills, and Shrimp