Mister Softee Takes Hard Line On Jingle When it comes to trademark infringement, Mister Softee is hard as nails, and more of the most e-mailed, viewed and commented on stories on the Web.
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Mister Softee Takes Hard Line On Jingle

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Mister Softee Takes Hard Line On Jingle

Mister Softee Takes Hard Line On Jingle

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(Soundbite of song "Walking on Sunshine")

KATRINA AND THE WAVES: (Singing) I'm walking on sunshine, whoa. I'm walking on sunshine, whoa. I'm walking on sunshine, whoa. And don't it feel good...


Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. Online all the time at npr.org/bryantpark, where we bring you Katrina and the Waves' greatest hits. Actually it's just that song.

MATT MARTINEZ: Just that song.

PESCA: Yeah, that would be it. So, I feel like I'm in the middle of a montage, in a movie where I'm trying on different outfits...


PESCA: And that Martinez is there, cocking his head, going, nah, I don't think so...


PESCA: You know, like, a weird headdress, in one of them, like, come on, Matt, what do you think? Nah, I don't think so.


PESCA: Oh, so that is the most-cliched scene in every movie, with the most-cliched song, but this is just The Most.

(Soundbite of music)

PATRICIA MCKINNEY: No, no, I love that song.

PESCA: We're going to keep the "Walking on Sunshine" up, instead of The Most music?

MARTINEZ: That's because you're you, Trish.

MCKINNEY: I love that song.

PESCA: I love it. It's not good for you, now. Imagine the scene in the, "Godfather," where he kills all his enemies. Imagine it cut to that song.

MCKINNEY: That'd be awesome!

IAN CHILLAG: I kind of like that, actually.

PESCA: Yeah, it's a good idea. Ian, what do you have?

CHILLAG: I have a most-commented from the Sheboygan Press.

PESCA: No, Ian. We do a lot of comedy and humor on the show, but we don't make up the news organizations. We use real news organizations.

CHILLAG: I'm sorry to tell you, you may not be familiar with the crack journalism of the Sheboygan Press, but they're out there, they're doing it, and they're covering...

PESCA: Do they cover Sheboygan like the frost?

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: They do, indeed. Apparently, Sheboygan has a Hispanic Fest, and at this Hispanic Fest, an 18-year-old man, his bad dancing attracted - it must have been very bad. It attracted the attention of authorities. They approached him.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: The dance police.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: And it - when they got close to him, he smelled like marijuana.


CHILLAG: They found drugs and...

PESCA: Marijuana?

CHILLAG: A glass pipe, and a marijuana cigar, it says here on - I think outside of Sheboygan, let's call it a blunt, but...

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: Let's not split hairs.

PESCA: You're from Philly.


PESCA: Maybe that's only what they call it there, I guess.

CHILLAG: So, yeah. Be careful how you dance. I mean, I have a pretty good idea how this guy was dancing, having been dragged to a Phish show once.

PESCA: Yeah.


CHILLAG: It's arms in the air, you want to do a kind of a spaghetti thing, and spin.

MARTINEZ: Well, yeah, that's - your arms are flying all - it's not safe to do that.


MARTINEZ: You have to do a safety dance, really...


MARTINEZ: If you want to dance like that in public.

PESCA: What if you were to do that thing...

CHILLAG: You can dance if you want to.

PESCA: Yeah, you leave your friends behind.

MCKINNEY: S, S, S, S, A, A, A, A, M, M, M, M.

PESCA: Friends don't dance.

CHILLAG: This - because this is the most-commented, I feel like I should mention, most of the comments are talking about, you know, just sort of talking about Hispanic Fest. A lot of the comments though are saying, you know, I have somebody in my family who needs to be arrested. Uncle Jerry, at my wedding, criminal offense.

PESCA: Really. Wait, wait, so - what, Hispanic Fest, like, a lot of anti-Hispanic comments, like only Hispanic people dance weird on marijuana?

CHILLAG: Yeah. No, it's weird, there's, like, some debate over whether or not the offender that we've been talking about was Hispanic.


CHILLAG: Yeah, yeah. It's less about the dancing...

MARTINEZ: You have never been to a Mexican wedding.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: (Unintelligible) if you want to delve in these comments.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: There you go.

PESCA: All right, I have the number one most-popular story on the Dallas Morning News, and you know, when we do this Most, there's some go-to papers that always have terrible stories, like, the Milwaukee paper almost always Brett Favre stories, but Dallas Morning News delivers.

Maybe crazy stuff goes on in Dallas. Maybe the DMN just knows how to get the good stories. "Denton pizza employee: Surprised to see dad when wig falls off robber." That's right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: A guy went to rob the pizza store, Stephanie Martinez - any relation, Matt? - was behind the counter...

MARTINEZ: Yes, I'm related to all of them, Mike. You racist.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Let me see you dance.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Well, you know, a lot of times people are related by people with other last names...


PESCA: Yeah, and she's Hispanic. Anyway, don't hit him again, that's my dad, yelled Ms. Martinez, as the robber was subdued. Yeah, he went in with the wig. What a place to try to knock over.

CHILLAG: Matt, I have one of the most-viewed at BBC News. More farmers switching to sewage," human sewage.


CHILLAG: Farmers in Britain are just fed up with the price of fertilizer. It's closely linked with the price of oil, and it's shot up sky high over the past year. So, they're using a ready supply of treated human sewage from water companies to fertilize their fields, and they are...

MCKINNEY: Hey, guys, that gives me an idea.


MCKINNEY: We need new jobs in a couple of weeks...

CHILLAG: Uh-huh.

MCKINNEY: So, maybe there's an opportunity here for us.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: I get paid for something I'm doing anyway.

PESCA: Yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: Handy with a shovel.

CHILLAG: Yeah, no kidding.

PESCA: The field-poop project.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: Anyway, they're having complaints. They are a few complaints from people living downwind, a few complaints from people living near his fields.

PESCA: Well, there was - they were treating it with other kind of fertilizer before. You mean sewage smells worse?

MARTINEZ: But there is a certain smell to human feces.

CHILLAG: Here it gets worse.

MCKINNEY: Not mine.

PESCA: I've been to a pig farm.

CHILLAG: Yes, I nose - I know that yours does not stink, Trish. All right, that's all I got.

PESCA: Mark?


PESCA: What's going on?

GARRISON: The most-shared from the Philadelphia Daily News. Mister Softee, that's a home-town company just across the Whitman Bridge in Runnemede, New Jersey, soft-serve ice cream in the trucks, you know, the - everything. You rip them off and they come after you hard. They will file law suits...

(Soundbite of laughter)

GARRISON: They hire detectives to find out if you try and do an ice-cream-cone mascot - their mascot is called Conehead - can't do it, they will sue. Blue and white colors...

PESCA: (Unintelligible).


GARRISON: For the cone head. The colors, blue and white, they will get you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: Not so (unintelligible), Mr. Softee.

GARRISON: The phrase, the very best, big problem, and again, like, 15 suits over the past eight years, they've been said to have never lost. I'm sure they've probably settled a lot of these things...

PESCA: Uh-huh.

GARRISON: But the other thing is, like, the song. You hear the song. It's very annoying. But they protect it. You don't rip them off, and it actually sounds like this, if you don't remember...

MCKINNEY: No, wait, don't play it. I really - I don't want to get sued. Mark, I'll sing it, OK.


MCKINNEY: All right, they did post the lyrics on their website, and the song goes like this.

(Soundbite of song "Mister Softee")

MCKINNEY: (Singing) The creamiest, dreamiest, soft ice-cream, you get from Mister Softee. For a refreshing delight supreme, look for Mister Softee. S-O-F-T-double-E, Mister Softee.

MARTINEZ: There you go.

PESCA: They invented that? That seems like a standard.


MCKINNEY: It is a standard in my household.

PESCA: Yeah. All right, that's the hard news and the soft ice cream, and that is The Most. Links to these stories and other soft-serve treats at npr.org/bryantpark.

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