2. Bloomie's Soda Battle
A state Supreme Court Justice struck down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on oversized sugary drinks Monday night calling it "arbitrary and capricious." Bloomberg, in response to the 11th hour action, vowed to appeal the ruling.
That's where it stands now and, to be perfectly frank, the stalemate is fine with us. We here at the Five Dumbest Lab don't have a rooting interest in the city's soda battle. Like Bloomberg, we don't want obese, toothless kids waddling around our fair city, sucking down sugar-stuffed Big Gulps bigger than their little heads.
On the other hand, we do see the soda purveyors' point that, to succinctly state their legal case, Mayor Mike should mind his own goddamn business.All those qualifications aside, while we won't weigh in on either side of this obesity/nanny-state debate, we do feel the need to comment on the stellar preparation made by some beverage sellers in the face of Bloomberg's embargo. McDonald's (MCD - Get Report), for example, stocked up on sugar packets in advance of the ban that was supposed to begin Tuesday. Mickey Dees said customers ordering a large coffee would have been welcome to take as many sugar packets as they require. Are you paying attention FEMA? Next time a hurricane threatens to devastate a small city, do like Ronald McDonald does and stock up on the sweet stuff! Or how about Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN), which readied its caffeine-addicted customers (hmmm, is coffee next on Bloomie's hit list?) by distributing leaflets to explain the law's impact on its menu. Dunkin's doomsday strategy was to serve its large drinks unsweetened and then direct patrons to a self-serve sugar station. Luckily for the donut seller it never went that far, because anybody who has ever ordered an unsweetened iced tea knows that trick won't work. If anything, it causes you to dump even more sugar into the cup until you get a mound at the bottom. Perhaps our favorite response came from Starbuck's (SBUX), which claimed its beverages were milk-based and therefore fell outside the Mayor's ban altogether. What a brilliant legal point! Who needs barristers when you have baristas? "People are dying every day," Bloomberg said about the decision. "This is not a joke. This is about real lives." Forgive our gallows humor Mr. Mayor. Just because it's not a joke doesn't mean it's not funny.