Chubby Checker in twist over app that checked, um...

HP's Palm WebOS platform enjoyed an app that guessed a man's, er, manliness based on shoe size. '50s pop star Chubby Checker was so amused he's suing HP.

No, I don't know his shoe size. Barnaba Pinco/YouTube; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

A lot of apps are designed by boys.

Because a lot of boys are quite linear, they design largely with boys in mind.

Boys then buy these apps, which are often based on relatively puerile forms of humor and behavior, for which boys are quite renowned.

However, occasionally boys design with girls in mind. And therein lies disaster.

One such disaster has affected Chubby Checker's pants. For he has them in a twist about an app that's called, well, Chubby Checker. (Must I explain the derivation?)

This app, which appeared on HP's Palm WebOS platform, performed a function for which many women hadn't realized there was a need -- the ability to guess someone's penis size by knowing his shoe size.

Somehow, one might guess that the proximity of Checker's name to such an app might be annoying. However, Checker feels that it impugned his integrity.

I confess I had never considered that penis size and integrity were even distant cousins. But Chubby Checker is suing HP and Palm over hosting his namesake.

His lawyers issued a press release, in which they insisted that they are "preserving the integrity and legacy of a man who has spent years working hard at his musical craft and has earned the position of one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time."

For those of you who were born in, say, this century, Checker was famous for popularizing a dance called the Twist. It was quite demure, relative to what is performed in Vegas by my engineer friend George and his particle physics cohorts.

So it's understandable that Checker's lawyers might describe the app that bears his name as "degrading and derogatory."

Some might find this lawsuit's numbers, though, a little confusing. Checker is demanding $500 million, yet as WebOS Nation happily points out, the app was downloaded only 84 times and cost a mere 99 cents.

It was taken down in September of last year, and WebOS Nation calculates that the combined profits of HP and the creators, the now defunct MagicApps, might have been $100.

Which suggests that the amount of damage this app is alleged to have caused Chubby Checker's image is $499,999,900.

This seems a trifle odd.

I hadn't heard that, as the 71-year-old formerly known as Earnest Evans was performing, women had suddenly begun throwing sand-filled dildos in his direction.

I hadn't even heard that the Westboro Baptist Church was picketing his gigs. And I thought they picketed everything that was rude.

I therefore conclude that this app did minimal harm to his reputation.

I am, however, not a lawyer. Lawyers operate in a very different reality.

Some might call it twisted.

 

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