Most entertaining tale of the week features Starbucks taking a Thai fellow with a cart to court for allegedly pinching their logo with his mobile ''Starbung'' coffee operation.
On paper it looks like a mismatch, a veritable David v Goliath, but in Thailand you can never be sure.
In PR terms, Starbucks find themselves in a no-win situation. Pursue the case and they are in danger of looking like corporate bullies, taking a sledgehammer to squash a butterfly. But give in to the ''little fellow'' and they open up a Pandora's Box of potential intellectual property rights violations.
Starbucks have already spent a year on the case and say they tried ''being nice'' but it doesn't seem to have worked. Some argue that Starbucks might have been better off simply looking the other way rather than worrying about one stubborn man and his cart.
As it is, the vendor claims to have more than doubled his daily sales of coffee and is likely to milk the current publicity for all it's worth. He is already citing examples of customers giving him 500 baht for a coffee and telling him to ''keep the change''. Now that's not bad business. But if he doesn't look out, there might be a few other vendors who start copying him. Then things could get really messy. He could always sue them of course.
Life would be so much simpler if everyone stuck to tea.
Breakfast of champions
Last week's item about plastic baking powder submarines that used to come with cornflakes prompted a number of more seasoned readers to recall their childhood breakfast delights and in some cases the toys that accompanied them. One reader pointed out that Kellogg's also came up with plastic frogmen which operated with baking powder and faithfully patrolled his bathwaters during his pre-teen days.
There were tales from readers of munching on Cap'n Crunch, Coco Puffs, Frosties, Twinkies, Winkies or whatever, before rushing off to school. We must not forget Shredded Wheat, promoted as ''That 'Good Morning' Feeling'', while Kellogg's Rice Crispies had probably the most memorable catchphrase of them all: ''Snap, Crackle and Pop!''
Then there were Wheaties, advertised as the ''Breakfast of Champions'', which later became the title of a famous Kurt Vonnegut novel. However the ''breakfast'' referred to in the book is actually a Martini.
Straight from the nosebag
Not everyone was convinced of the nutritional value of modern breakfasts. The late British writer and comedian Frank Muir was less than impressed by the surge in popularity of muesli in the 1960s.
A man with traditional breakfast tastes, Muir commented: ''Some breakfast food manufacturer hit upon the simple notion of emptying out the leavings of carthorse nosebags, adding a few other things like unconsumed portions of chicken layer's mash, and the sweepings of racing stables, packing the mixture in little bags and selling them at health food shops.''
No escaping kippers
A Caledonian reader wrote that for breakfast he much preferred kippers (smoked herring) which ''at least had a bit of taste''. As a kid I used to dread it when my mother announced it was ''kipper day'' as I seemed to spend more time taking the bones out of the fish than actually eating it.
According to our kipper correspondent, followers of PG Wodehouse novels will know that Bertie Wooster liked to start the day off with kippers. However he also appeared to be partial to other less healthy indulgences at breakfast. In My Man Jeeves, Wooster comments: ''I hadn't the heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself.''
One suspects Wodehouse had a thing about kippers, as one of the regular characters in his novels is a childhood friend of Bertie called Reginald Herring, inevitably nicknamed ''Kipper''.
I must admit kippers always remind me of that Fawlty Towers classic, The Kipper and the Corpse, in which Basil fears a guest has died after a serving of kippers that were well past their sell-by date. The show is certainly not past its sell-by date, even 34 years later.
In more recent times, the books and subsequent animation series featuring the adventures of Kipper the dog have been a huge hit for author Mick Inkpen (what a great name for a writer).
Finally, we must not forget the English pop group Supertramp, who popularised kippers in their hit Breakfast in America, which included the memorable line: ''Could we have kippers for breakfast, Mummy dear, Mummy dear?''
I wonder if any readers are presently having kippers for breakfast? They go well with coffee, but unfortunately you can't get them in Starbucks.
Breakfast in Thailand can sometimes provide a few surprises.
At a Songkhla hotel many years ago, the highlight of the breakfast menu was something called ''Horridge'', which apparently lived up to its name. Other intriguing items on breakfast menus included ''beacon and ebbs'' accompanied by ''tost marmalude''. Then there was a Patpong restaurant that used to serve a mouth-watering breakfast special ''Ham on toes''.
One of my favourite menus from the Northeast was from a Nong Khai restaurant serving ''Morning gory salad''. What better way to start the day?
And for the really brave, there was another establishment in Korat which proudly announced on its window: ''Breakfast severed daily''.
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