Ice Cream With a Bitter Taste: This Cone Man is a Con Man

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mister-softee_Logo Master_Softee_Logo Mister_Softee_Vs_Master_SofteeWanted: A grinning, bow-tied, cone man who’s been seen on the streets peddling his copycat sweets.

A federal court judge banned Master Softee from operating its rogue fleet of ice cream trucks that blatantly rip off the Mister Softee brand — but so far, the Master’s rapscallion cast of dessert vendors refuses to budge.

The June 5 ruling was a score for Mister Softee. The summertime treat powerhouse had sued its former franchisee, Dimitrios Tsirkos, who runs his buggies in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx out of a depot in Long Island City.

The 53-year-old Woodside businessman painted his vehicles in a familiar-looking red, white and blue color scheme and included a grinning, cone-headed mascot — making the truck difficult to differentiate from a Mister Softee four-wheeler.

“It is obvious that (Tsirkos) adopted his truck designs with the object of achieving an appearance similar to plaintiff’s Mister Softee trucks,” Judge Laura Taylor Swain wrote in court papers. “The trucks are designed to appeal to children, who are relatively unsophisticated consumers.”

Swain barred Tsirkos from using the name Master Softee or any other confusing names or marks, and prohibited Tsirkos from involvement in any facet of theretail ice cream industry within 5 miles of his former Mister Softee franchise territories until February 2016.

Still, the Daily News spotted Master Softee trucks over the weekend on Sixth Ave., in Greenwich Village, and along Broadway in Astoria. Mister Softee co-owner Jim Conway said that a private eye retained by his company counted 10 of the trucks on Saturday and Sunday in Manhattan.

“These guys are bad guys on all levels,” said Conway, whose family founded the New Jersey-based chain in 1956. “We don’t have an alternative but to work through the court system. Conway and his lawyer, Jeff Zucker, have spent more than a decade suing knockoff Mister Softee ice cream trucks. They say they have never lost a case.

Tsirkos’ attorney, Nicholas Damadeo, wouldn’t explain why the illegal sugar-loving crew appeared to be ignoring the court’s order. “The case is still proceeding,” Damadeo said, adding the ban is not permanent and Tsirkos can file an appeal. “That’s one of the avenues that is available.”

Meanwhile, Mister Softee investigators plan to submit photographs of Master Softee trucks in action, hoping that Swain will come down on Tsirkos. “They are violating the judge’s orders,” Conway said.

 

It’s the Cheesiest: Cheetos Debuts Cheeteau Perfume

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It seems like April Fool’s prank: Cheetos, the salty snack that leaves your fingers coated in cheese powder, has introduced a perfume.

Cheeteau, branded as the celebrity fragrance of mascot Chester Cheetah, smells alarmingly like Cheetos: buttery, with notes of sharp cheddar, but has been balanced with a hint of lemony sweetness.

The Daily News received a sample bottle — and eyes soon began watering all over the newsroom. “It smells like a college dorm room,” said one News tester. “It’s the perfect cologne — if you want dogs to chase you down the street.”

The problem, added one tester as he doused his wrists in the cologne, is a strong overtone of vanilla that gives Cheeteau a cloying sweetness. “What could have been an intoxicating cheese scent,” he sniffed, “instead has me smelling like a dessert Cheeto.” The scent was created by Demeter, the perfume company known for unusual eaus such as Dirt, Saddle, and the recent Pizza.

Cheetos has assured the Daily News it is no prank, but rather part of a quirky marketing plan.They are giving out hundreds of bottles of the scent today in New York and L.A. as well as more than 100 bottles on Twitter.

 

Assault With a Deadly Weapon? Nope, Just a Milkshake

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Call it the great milkshake caper.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the motorists who tossed a milkshake out the window of a sport utility vehicle, hitting a bicyclist in the chest.

Investigators weren’t getting any breaks in the February case, so they decided Thursday to release video of the attack, a department spokesman said.

Charles Bard, 53, of DeLand, was riding on Julian Street near Minnesota Avenue on Feb. 23 about 4:20 p.m. when someone riding in an approaching black SUV tossed the shake – apparently vanilla – at him, investigators said. The location is north of Dubsdread Golf Course, near Interstate 4.

The paper cup sailed through the air and hit Bard’s chest with a thunk, video from a camera mounted on his bike helmet shows. Bard was not hurt, but he wants to press charges, a sheriff’s report states.

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Teens Throw Milkshake at Woman Who Throws Back $2,000

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A woman who was struck with a milkshake and angrily threw her purse at a vehicle full of teenagers lost $2,000 after the handbag flew into the open vehicle window, Palo Alto police said Monday.

The incident started Sunday, June 24, just before midnight, Sgt. Brian Philip said. The woman was walking east on University Avenue near Rudy’s Pub when a white Range Rover full of male teenagers driving recklessly southbound on High Street approached. One of the occupants allegedly threw a vanilla milkshake and struck the woman as she approached the corner, Philip said.

Police believe the woman retaliated by throwing her alligator-skin purse at the vehicle. The purse sailed through the open window and ended up inside the vehicle, and the teens drove off, he said. The woman denied throwing her purse at the car, but Philip said there is no indication it was snatched from the victim.

The woman lost $2,000 and the alligator purse, plus personal items, he said. Police are looking for the teens but have no descriptions. If found, they could face charges including battery for striking the woman with the milkshake, or possession of stolen property or misappropriation of property, Philip said.

Port St. Lucie Man Ate Stolen Ice Cream Sandwich He Kept in Pants

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Ice cream sandwiches typically are not stored in your pants, but that is where a Port St. Lucie man appears to have kept a stolen one.

The man, 32-year-old Robert Silvia, was arrested Oct. 12 after an assistant manager at a Family Dollar saw a man take “an ice cream sandwich from the front of his pants” and start eating it, a recently released Fort Pierce police report states.

The assistant manager said the man came in the store in the 700 block of South U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce and went to the cooler. The man took something, and left without paying.

“She watched him as he walked across the street to the Dollar Tree store, as he walked he removed an ice cream sandwich from the front of his pants and began eating it,” the report states. “He then entered the Dollar Tree and came out a few minutes later with a drink and then began to walk west on Georgia Ave.”

Ice cream sandwiches traditionally feature rectangular slabs of vanilla ice cream “sandwiched” by thin chocolate cookies of the same shape. They typically are stored in freezers where temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit — as opposed to inside the pants where temperatures run closer to the body’s standard 98.6 degrees.

Fort Pierce police found Silvia imbibing a beverage at Texas Court and Georgia Avenue.

He said he swiped the ice cream, which was valued at $1, “because his car had a flat tire and he only had three dollars and he was sorry.”

The assistant manager wanted to press charges, and Silvia, of the 200 block of Southeast Fallon Drive in Port St. Lucie, was arrested on a misdemeanor theft charge.