Ernest Evans, better known as Chubby Checker, is famous for his song "The Twist." If I were Mitt Romney I would bet $10,000 that everyone who ever reads this post knows "The Twist." It is impossible to avoid. It is played at weddings, bar mitzvahs, sweet 16s, office parties, and just about any other festive venue requiring safely inoffensive and universally dancable music. Here's a video to refresh your recollection:
"The Twist" is so pervasive that it's even featured on modern TV shows.
Note that they really aren't in PJ Clarke's. Also note that if I knew how to make GIFs I would make a GIF of 0:12-0:13 and thereby attract jillions of readers to G:TB. Alas, this is the best I can do.
"The Twist" is a remarkable song in other aspects. It reached #1 on the Billboard Magazine "Hot 100" singles chart in 1960 and stayed there for 18 weeks. It then reached #1 again in 1962! No other song in the history of songs has reclaimed the #1 spot on the Billboard Magazine "Hot 100" singles chart after falling off the charts. For at least this reason, Billboard named it the #1 all-time song.
Mr. Evans soon realized that "The Twist" was a license to print money, so he rattled off a bunch of identical sounding songs like "Let's Twist Again," "Slow Twist," "Twistin' USA," "Twist Around the Clock," and "Don't Knock the Twist." And, in an effort to protect his license to print money, Mr. Evans registered his stage name, Chubby Checker, as a trademark. Over the years, Mr. Evans expanded the use of his Chubby Checker mark beyond music to include jerky, hot dogs, steaks, lamb chops, pork chops, veal chops, hamburgers, chicken, popped or processed popcorn, candy, chocolate, and spring water. It's safe to say that Chubby Checker checks cheddar like a food inspector. I like this version better though.
I know all this and more because Mr. Evans recently sued Hewlett-Packard and Palm in the Southern District of Florida because they sell an app called "Chubby Checker" for use on Palm smartphones. This is surprising because it means (1) people still use Palm smartphones?! and (2) Chubby Checker knows someone who still uses a Palm smartphone?!
Also surprising: the Chubby Checker app allows the user to determine the size of a man's penis based on his shoe size. I don't see why you need an app for this, a simple wallet-sized conversion table should suffice, but it's product development foresight like this that got Palm where it is today so who am I to judge.
Mr. Evans is represented by Willie "The Giant Killer" Gary. He is a big-time lawyer. I know this because his website features a photo of him standing next to two late 1990s-era Bentleys. Seriously! Here's the photo!
Clearly he knows how to brief the heck out of a brief. Note that I didn't rename the photo, he saved it with the "williegarycar" title on his website. He has a video too. It uses "Eye of the Tiger" and "Getting Stronger." I hope he got permission to use those copyrighted works before he integrated them into his own work which he now displays to the world via the internet ...
I can understand why Mr. Evans would be bummed out by this app and the potential tarnishment it might bring to, say, his jerky or his hot dogs. I do not understand why he seeks damages of $500,000,000. Half. A. Billion. For the pecker app. That only 84 people have downloaded for $0.99 each. I'll let someone else figure out the math on that damages claim.
But I'm sure the math is sound! What seems unsound is potentially tarnishing your own mark by making a media circus out of something only 84 people know about. I mean, I eat Chubby Checker lamb chops like it's my job, but now that Chubby Checker made me aware of the Chubby Checker app I'm taking my business elsewhere. Maybe if someone politely asked HP to yank (pun!) the app from the internet, the world would never have known about checking chubbies. Aside from those 84 purchasers, of course. But what do I know.
So whether you're the Big Bopper or Little Richard, your chubby will have to be checked manually until this case is resolved. Please plan accordingly.