Now I hadn't realised that Chubby had a certain reputation in the male appendage region. Perhaps that's why he was nick-named 'Chubby', although I understand the girth isn't the issue under dispute. I'm hoping that his call to 'twist again' is a reference to a pointless dance craze rather then a boast about how much slack he has to play with. This has come to public notice because tech firm Hewlett Packard, who now own Palm, have recently launched a Palm app that name-checked Mr Checker. The app was designed to help calculate the size of the male appendage by applying a mathematical algorithm - or more correctly in this case a rough guesstimate - based on the shoe size of the person being considered. I'm a seven and a half UK size, size 42 or maybe 43 in European sizes, God only knows what in US measurements, BTW.
Chubby, if I may call him that - I'm not sure I could look him in the eye any more due to the allegations about his build - has served a 'Cease and Desist' injunction against Palm over the app, which I understand they have complied with. So if either of the two people who still use Palm devices had failed to download the app then their opportunity has passed by.
Which brings me to the secondary string to this ramble, the primary being about the ridiculous legal claim being brought by Mr Checker. You see, I was a huge fan of Palm products in their heyday and believe they were robbed of the glory they deserved. the Tungstun T5 was a beautiful device that I used to use on transatlantic flights with a nifty fold away wireless keyboard to write large tracts of 'The Journeymen' on during a particular phase of my working life. It wasn't perfect - I can remember one such trip when I'd written the battle between the Sons of Arlgon and the Journeymen on board the comet hurtling towards Earth and the Palm crashed, losing six hours of work with it. I hastily wrote down a synopsis of the story on the last leg of the flight and typed it all up in a hotel room in Little Rock. But apart from that, I loved Palm products and it's a shame they are so marginal nowadays.
Anyway, Mr Checker has quite rightly decided to stop Palm using his name without his permission, and perhaps more importantly without paying him a royalty. In fact he's claiming that the app has done irreparable damage to his reputation. He wants to try going through life as a size seven and a half. It seems that if HP or Palm or anyone who wants to dig deep can see their way to paying him $500 million he'll let it slide. Now I don't want to sound mean here, but until I stumbled across the article on the web I didn't know Chubby was still alive, let alone performing (I'm still clueless about that part). I certainly didn't know he had a reputation for being well served in the manly appendage department and having looked him up on the fount of all trivia, Wikipedia, neither did they. Or at least they suppressed the information if they did know. I was prepared to accept unreferenced entries, but there was zilch about his endownment levels, which sounds like a huge oversight.
So, if Chubby hadn't complained about an app that implied he was more of a man than most of us (and who really should complain about those kind of allegations?) then apart from the two people still using Palm products, assuming they were aware of the app, nobody else would have known about them. But he's determined to milk this one and has engaged a lawyer named Willie Gary - I don't know if the name Willie has the same alternative meaning outside of the UK but fair to say he couldn't have done worse if he'd engaged a lawyer called Dick.
If Mr Checker has suffered reputational harm then fair enough, but half a billion dollars? Even Apple would blush at claiming that much. Personally I think most people reading the allegation would just think 'respect'. Chubby doesn't need the money - it would appear that life has dealt him a disproportionate benefit and in this economy it's likely to be the next thing to be taxed, either by the inch or the pound.
And at least I can look forward to a tax rebate.
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