by Fern Shen (The Baltimore Brew, 12/11/2010)
What would a real “hon” say to Café Hon owner Denise Whiting, upon hearing that she has trademarked the term and claims to “own” it?
“A real hon would kick her ass and she’d cry,” said Baltimore writer Rafael Alvarez, sort of kidding and sort of not, but definitely among those spitting-mad yesterday morning to read about Whiting’s legal claim to the local form of address.
Since yesterday, when news of the trademarking plopped onto Baltimore’s consciousness like a glob of crab guts on a linoleum floor, there have been calls for a boycott of Whiting’s restaurant and civil disobedience at the next Honfest. A Facebook page has been created — “No one owns HON, hon “ – with over 600 “likes.” There’s a Twitter site (“don’t retweet this or you’ll owe Cafe Hon ten dollars.”), parody stickers (“pHONy”) are proliferating and on the Internet there has been a tsunami of angry comments.
“It’s the final straw for a lot of people. The cheesification of Baltimore culture has got to stop,” said Baltimore writer Michael M. Hughes, who started the Facebook campaign. “It’s the disneyfication of something, the cheapening of it, it’s not real anymore, it’s hollow. People are disgusted by this.”