Friday, June 10, 2011

Can't we all just be a hon?

We talked about the little part of Baltimore known as Hampden (HAM-den) right before Christmas, when this little brou-ha-ha started up down there ('down 'ere,' in local parlance.)

Our story so far: one woman with a sense of vision and business sense got in on the ground floor when someone - who ? - decided to take a formerly run-down-at-the-heels neighborhood and turn it into the happenin' part o' town.  She turned an old corner lunchroom into a diner and a bar and a gift shop, all for the point of celebrating the special Hampden-ness that B'more for years turned away from and then decided to embrace.  So the young people broke their necks to get down there, and they bought and rented houses and apartments, and moved their businesses in, and everyone prospered, and if you really got lucky, you went down there one night, had a "hot roast beef sammich" with gravy on the fries and a hot fudge sundae and you walked out and ran into John Waters of movie fame.

And so, Hampden kept growing and they had an annual celebration called Honfest.  For the benefit of our friends in far-flung places, "hon" is the everyday appellation that B'moreans bestow upon each other, as in, "Gimme a ham 'n' cheese on rye, hon" and the reply, "Hey, you want mustard on that, hon?"  We just say it all the time around here, hon. 

But the woman who copyrighted the word "hon" for her exclusive use in promoting her diner/bar/gift shop has put out an edict to all the shopowners all across the land.  Hear ye!  Hear ye!  At this year's Honfest, no one else can use the H-word in their ads, nor shall they sell any merchandise like those corny cats-eye glasses from the 1950's.  It's all copyrighted, hon!

This year's Honfest is this coming weekend. Already, there is a lot of talkin' 'round here about what this fiat will mean for the participants and vendors.  It's going to be a shame when the split hits the ban, and it winds up taking away from the aura that the area has built up for itself.

You have to wonder why this always seems to happen. People hit upon a good thing, and someone just has to wreck it for everyone because someone wants to make that one more nickel.

Now, I guess I won't be asked to judge the Miss Hon contest.  Ah, whaddya gonna do, hon?

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