- The Federline commercial fiasco:
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.'s 30-second spot shows Federline, who is estranged from pop princess Britney Spears, performing in a glitzy music video. However, the punch line is that he's daydreaming — while cooking french fries at a fast-food joint.
The ad amounts to a "strong and direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry," wrote National Restaurant Association President and Chief Executive Steven Anderson in a letter to Nationwide CEO Jerry Jurgensen.
The commercial "would give the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant," Anderson wrote.
If the Columbus-based insurer airs the spot during the televised Feb. 4 Super Bowl, Anderson said his organization will "make sure that our membership — many of whom are customers of Nationwide — know the negative implications this ad portrays of the restaurant industry."
I don't know what is funnier: The idea of this ad, or the thought that some restaurants still cling to the idea that people can be influenced by Kevin Federline.
- Dairy farmers in Wales are employing a new tactic in their quest for romance: They put stickers on their milk bottles.
Five single farmers -- three men and two women -- have become an overnight sensation in Wales by putting their photos on thousands of plastic milk containers on grocery shelves. Their "Fancy a Farmer?" stickers also list a Web site (http://www.pishynwales.com/) where potential suitors can get in touch with them.
- Former Washington Wizards player (and disappointing first round draft pick) Kwame Brown attacked a cake (yes -- you read that right):
He reportedly exited a club on Saturday morning, picked up a birthday cake and heaved it at teammate Ronny Turiaf for a laugh. The cake missed Turiaf but ended up hitting another man.
Alexander Martinez was actually struck by his own birthday cake, which was said to cost $190. After the throw, Brown got into a limousine and sped off.
- Yet another case of "I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on T.V.":
During the past two years, when Brian T. Valery was representing a Stamford drug company in connection with product liability lawsuits involving the painkiller OxyContin, William E. McGrath Jr., a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, found Mr. Valery “unduly aggressive” but never questioned his abilities.
“All first- and second-year attorneys are pretty terrible,” Mr. Maass wrote in a recent exchange of e-mail messages.
But it turned out that Mr. Valery, who billed roughly $300 an hour as he deposed insurance executives and coordinated the testimony of two expert witnesses from Harvard Law School, had never actually been admitted to the bar. Or, for that matter, attended law school, something that eluded his colleagues at Anderson Kill, one of Manhattan’s white-shoe law firms, not to mention the editors of journals for which he co-wrote articles on environmental law and property insurance.
Simple checks might have brought some facts out sooner. While working as a paralegal, Mr. Valery told his bosses that he was attending law school at Fordham University at night, and they altered his work schedule to accommodate classes. But Fordham has no record of Mr. Valery’s enrollment, a spokesman said last week. A call to Siena College in upstate New York also revealed that while Mr. Valery was on track to graduate in the spring of 1996 with a major in sociology, he left without a diploma.
Mr. Valery twice told his supervisors that he had failed the state bar exam, before finally reporting, in 2003, that he had passed it, and in 2004, that he had been admitted to the bar. It is hard to fathom why Mr. Valery would have said he flunked — twice — if his goal all along was to be treated like a lawyer. But he may have felt pressure to complete his evolution from paralegal to lawyer because he was already being described as “an attorney pending admission to the bar” from the moment he claimed to have completed law school, in June 2002. “I don’t know if he was told his job was in jeopardy if he didn’t pass the bar, but he was certainly encouraged to do so,” Mr. Glatzer said.
- The First Annual Pajiba (Sh)it List. (Just read the whole thing.)
"Fancy a Farmer?" Brilliant. (Although, it's probably only because "Got Milk?" was already taken.)
Throwing a cake at your friend isn't really a funny prank, Kwame. And, as a professional basketball player aiming at a pretty big target, how did you manage to not hit your friend? But, more importantly, how did you manage not to figure out that it was not your friend's cake or even his party?
Sheesh. You must be stu-pid.