Cats Working Strikes Again

August 11, 2010

By Yul

Jami Bernard at WalletPop just posted, “Quiznos kittens are giving me nightmares,” and it includes this line…

“One blogger speculated that the ads were aimed at ‘babies.’”

I have no doubt the blogger in question is yours truly. The same feline blogger whose post in April brought Cats Working to the attention of the BBC and almost roped Karen into being my spokesperson on a radio show about Afghanistan.

Bernard believes the Quiznos ads may be aimed at pot smokers, but I wonder if the typical Quiznos’ hours of operation support that. Around here, they seem to be more of a daytime, sub-eating-baby-friendly environment.

Anyway, WalletPop also revealed the perp, uh, I mean, creator of this abominable ad campaign. It’s WangDoody, a Seattle-based ad agency Quiznos hired early this year.

Any company that would give itself a name like WangDoody probably does think cornering the market on nosh-craving pot smokers is a sound business strategy.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know. Out of the mouths of cats…

Steven Slater Quit His Job Like a Cat

August 11, 2010

By Cole

Karen’s book, How to Work Like a Cat, may have been a few years ahead of its time, but downtrodden, demoralized employees seem ripe for it now, if public reaction to the behavior of JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater is any indication.

The media initially reported the way he quit his job as a blow-up that flared suddenly when Flight 1052 landed at JFK on August 9, but there’s much more to the story.

According to Slater’s lawyer, an unidentified female passenger boarded Slater’s plane in Pittsburgh with a large carry-on. She started fighting with another woman for overhead bin space, hit Slater’s head with the bin door when he approached to mediate, and didn’t apologize. When he told the woman she’d have to check her bag, she cursed him.

As soon as the plane landed at JFK, the woman demanded her bag immediately and let loose with another barrage of swearing when Slater told her it would be on the baggage carousel.

That’s when Slater finally had enough. He got on the intercom and called her the “f**king asshole who told him to f**k off,” but thanked all the polite passengers. Then he looked out a porthole to make sure no ground crew were outside the plane, grabbed a few beers, deployed the emergency slide, and headed for home.

So what’s feline about that? That woman stepped on his tail twice. He let her get away with physical abuse the first time. But he understandably hissed and spat at the additional verbal abuse and made a hasty escape from a bad situation.

And people are LOVING it. He’s an Internet sensation and Facebook fans are raising money for his legal defense.

We at Cats Working think his approach was a bit too feral, but we applaud him in principle and hope that others follow his example by standing up and saying, “Enough!” to the never-ending crap they’re dished on the job.

What surprises me is that the woman who caused this brouhaha remains silent (still no apology?) and her identity is being protected. She deserves to be publicly humiliated and labeled the “World’s Worst Passenger.” If it doesn’t teach her to behave on her next flight, at least other flight attendants will know they’ve got a crude and selfish abuser on board.

Bones to Pick with Bourdain

August 9, 2010

By Karen

In another new episode of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain shows us around Dubai for almost 5 minutes before plunging his fingers into mush that looks like vomit. Except for one scene in a deserted Gordon Ramsay restaurant where he wields a knife and fork, it’s finger food everywhere else, even if it has the consistency of sour cream.

My highlight is Bourdain on skis on a snowy slope manufactured from desalinated water in the Mall of the Emirates. His well-honed sense of the absurd also gets a good workout.

But I still can’t wait for him to get to Rome and Paris, where people don’t eat every meal like toddlers.

Must confess I finally abandoned The Best American Travel Writing of 2008, which Tony edited, due to its everywhere-but-Europe emphasis. I understood why he was drawn to the essays he picked, but enough’s enough.

I call “Bullshit!” on “Where it All Began” when Bourdain asserted he hardly considers writing a “craft” and has learned nothing about it because he just writes the way he talks.

Yeah, and all his first drafts are publishable.

Tony originally aspired to be a novelist with Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo. He had to know something about plotting, pacing, character development, dialogue, description, point of view. There’s much more to crime fiction than “writing the way you talk.”

Granted, he finally hit one out of the park with Kitchen Confidential, which he just called his first “real” book on his blog. Of the 7 books he’s produced since, 6 have been nonfiction (The Bobby Gold Stories is the exception).

But his next book will probably be a novel, since he’s got personal appearances here through at least February 2011 and the Vietnam book still seems iffy.

And now for my coup de grâce…

The other night I caught about 20 minutes of Samantha Brown in — guess where? — Vietnam. I hadn’t seen her in while, and she seems to be over her “Golly, gee, I’m just a dumb American, but ain’t everything lovely!” phase. She met people and tried things most tourists would probably never do. She ate bun cha, but didn’t dwell on it. Vietnam through her eyes seemed more appealing than Tony makes it.

There, I said it.

Tony and family have been enjoying some much-needed R&R in Italy, but there’s a little news…

Jonathan Sorof at The Improper Bostonian did an interview some time in June with Tony where I learned that Brussels sprouts are part of his Thanksgiving dinners. Yeecchhh!

Here’s the article and photos of the Bourdains in the July 5 People, in case you missed it. collected Bourdain’s best one-liners from “Where it All Began.”

Blogger Scott D. Parker did write a review of the Medium Raw audio book, which he devoured. Scott, just for the record, No Reservations’ 100th episode isn’t until September 6, and it will be in Paris, returning where Tony filmed the first episode. Travel Channel is advertising for tributes.

Village Voice reports that a panel of editors will select the finalists from which Bourdain will choose a winner in the Medium Raw essay contest, which is now up to 1,300 entries. He was checking the site and commented on a few in the beginning, but the chances of him reading your essay now seem pretty slim.

The New York Post, still referring to Les Halles as “Bourdain’s flagship brasserie,” reported that the restaurant received a B grade on a recent Health Department inspection for “evidence of mice, problems with plumbing and food left out unprotected from contamination.”

Quiznos. Kittens. Why?

August 6, 2010

By Yul

Every time I see this weird and annoying Quiznos ad featuring an all-kitten brass band, which they awkwardly call “Singimals,” I’m very tempted to spray the TV.

What’s that on those poor kitties’ heads? Granny wigs?

And the “Three Blind Mice” soundtrack? There isn’t a cat even mentioned in that song. It would have made more sense to use singing rats in sunglasses. They might not have had to look far to find the talent (if you get my drift).

Oops! Too late. They’ve already used some sort of rodent life form, and it makes less sense than kittens, if that’s even possible…

I can just imagine Quiznos’ meeting with their “Mad Men”…

Quiznos: Why cats?

Ad Guy: They’re even cuter than vermin with bad teeth. Everybody knows if you want something to sell, you put cats on it.

Q: But if you say “cats” in our business, people think Chinese restaurant and start to feel nauseous.

AG: We’re going to change all that. Just trust us. This ad is golden.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Quiznos used the same jokers to design their bizarre website that jumps around and makes swoopy noises. Whose attention are they trying to grab with that?

It would seem that Quiznos’ target market is babies. Babies who eat subs.


Bristol & Levi Wedding Off — Again

August 4, 2010

By Adele

Can’t seem to shake my fascination with that redneck Alaskan douchebag, Levi Johnston. Let’s hope Bristol Palin has let him play her for a fool for the last time, but now he’s free to write the memoir promising to fling more dirt on her family — and he’ll probably add a chapter to have the last word on her.

As soon as their spread in US magazine announcing their re-engagement had safely hit the newsstands, Levi casually mentioned to Bristol that he might have fathered a child with a former girlfriend.

The girlfriend denied it, but I can understand Bristol being upset to learn that Levi STILL has unprotected sex and Tripp may yet have half-siblings.

If that weren’t bad enough, Bristol found out Levi lied about the reason for a trip he took to Hollywood. After semi-apologizing for trash-talking the Palin family, he turned right around and shot a music video mocking Bristol and Sarah.

So Bristol broke off the engagement, and let’s hope she means it this time. Tripp does not need Levi Johnston as a role model.

Bristol is said to be heartbroken, but she should be thrilled she dodged the bullet of becoming legally bound to that loser.

Levi is not in mourning. He’s busy trying to sell himself for a TV reality series.

Hey, he milked Bristol for a few magazine covers and maybe some make-up sex, spent a few minutes with the kid. It was all good, and now he’s moving on. No regrets.

I hope Bristol communicates with Levi in the future only through her lawyer. She can’t be trusted in the same room with him.

Now that Levi has dashed any hope of joining the Palin family, and Sarah is treating the mid-term elections like her personal puppet show, it will be interesting to see if Levi soon ratchets up his attacks to grab some of her limelight.

Bourdain Returns to “Where it All Began”

August 2, 2010

By Karen

Tonight’s new episode of No Reservations takes us back to 2000, when Anthony Bourdain was still working as a chef when he scored unexpected success with his book, Kitchen Confidential.

For the record, KC wasn’t his first book, but his third. Tony’s literary career began with two crime novels published in the 1990s: Bone in the Throat (1995) and Gone Bamboo (1997). I thoroughly enjoyed both of them.

Travel Channel posted a deleted scene from this episode where Tony talked about writing Typhoid Mary, and it includes his visit to the cemetery to leave her a “gift.” The Web wankers at TC incorrectly identify the book as a novel. It’s a biography, much more interesting than you might expect, and out of print, so it’s a collector’s item.

Eater published some of Tony’s best one-liners from last week’s episode in Kerala, India.

On September 6, Travel Channel will air No Res‘s 100th episode (in Paris), and they’re trolling for your congratulations and tributes on YouTube and Twitter.

The Medium Raw essay contest is still going strong, surpassing 1,200 entries.

CNN’s Eatocracy interviewed Tony. He talked about revisiting Beirut recently and revealed that 3-year-old Ariane is already a sophisticated restaurant patron, well-behaved and an adventurous eater. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s kids who scream and run amok in restaurants and the parents who let it happen.

Nose to Tail at Home describes meeting Bourdain at a book-signing in Austin, Texas, and his reasons for wanting Tony to autograph Fergus Henderson’s cookbook. (I didn’t read the whole blog, but gather he’s doing a male Julie & Julia thing.)

Tony participated in KCRW’s Guest DJ Project in Santa Monica. Here’s what he played and a transcript that shows he’s as eloquent talking about music as he is about food.

BONUS: My father found this undated photo of Tony in a Canadian magazine called Maclean’s with a write-up of Medium Raw, although the book wasn’t on Maclean’s bestseller list.

It's not easy to catch Bourdain over a barrel. (Photo - Maclean's)


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