It’s Thursday, January 31, and a Teen Stole a PlayStation by Scanning It as Bulk Fruit

W elcome 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.

News Maybe you heard that Starbucks’ former CEO Howard Schultz is possibly disrupting the 2020 election and definitely dominating the newscycle with his proposed presidential campaign? Well, so did Starbucks. Huffington Post obtained the coffee chain’s weekly “Barista Need-To-Know” advisory, which includes specific talking points to refer to if customers try to engage staff about politics. The memo advises baristas that, “[i]f a customer attempts to investigate, or share aggressive political opinions, attempt to diffuse the situation by sharing” they should say “We respect everyone’s opinion. Our goal is simply to create a warm and welcoming space where we can all gather, as a community, over great coffee.” And “[i]f asked about Howard’s political intentions” the reply should be “Howard’s future plans are up to him.” But how do they really feel? Well, one anonymous Starbucks barista told HuffPo, “I find Schultz running to be extremely awful.” Which, incidentally, is how I feel about anyone who would try to harangue their local Starbucks employee about anything their billionaire ex-boss is up to. I’m not even going to try to top the Daily Mail ‘s headline/bullet point description of my new favorite grifter.

Weighing the PlayStation like it was bulk fruit??? Seriously, why didn’t I think of that? If you’re wondering how the British tabloid, which typically includes at least half a dozen photos in each story, illustrated this little escapade, click through to see several charming stock photos of quaint French villages.

There have been four “Stackable Metal Dining Chair Restaurant Cafe Kitchen Indoor Outdoor NO Assembly Require [sic] (White)” in my Amazon cart since last summer and now Vox is explaining why I find them simultaneously so appealing and so neutral. Turns out, it’s the exact chair (or at least a cheap knockoff) used in basically every cafe and restaurant around the country. Trust me, you’ve definitely seen it. Based on a 1930s French design, The Chair manages to transcend any particular style while still seeming intentional in every aesthetic. If you’re looking to lose your appetite, Huffington Post (killing it lately over there) has compiled a collection of the worst food photos and recipe ideas from the extremist-friendly “free speech social network” Gab. Apparently, the racists and racist-adjacents are eating overcooked penne in what appears to be ketchup, “lasagna” with pre-packaged pepperoni slices, hunks of cabbage with cream on top, and whatever results from throwing “half a dozen hard boiled eggs into a jar of pickle juice with a quarter teaspoon of turmeric and pickled banana peppers.” Not News

Parker, South Dakota (where it is currently 4 degrees and “feels like” -14) announced their school closings today via a horrifying Facebook video of their superintendent’s talking face superimposed onto a hot dog. The Takeout asks “Which food is creepiest if you add teeth?” (Maybe a turnip?), but I also want to know a whole lot more about this app (I assume?) that’ll make me look like a sausage. Is that what the kids are doing these days?

Something Nice

This time-lapse video showing just how quickly and thoroughly a “snow squall” descended on New York City yesterday, ushering in instant whiteout conditions before dissipating just as quickly.

Buy This “Pringles wine tumbler with Lid and Straw…. via Etsy.

…[so] you can be like the Lady banned from walmart on electric scooter.” Remember her ?