Hey, Hon. Don't give up. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you need to know: Many are we who believe in you and who greatly appreciate the community service you have rendered in the face of government dragoons who destroy your handiwork.
You know who you are. You are the secret civic sprite who, for the last couple of years now, has been attaching "Hon," the Bawlamerese term of endearment, to the wooden welcome-to-Baltimore sign facing northbound traffic on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the city line.
Originally, you painted "Hon" on the sign, but chowderheaded bureaucrats, who did not respect or understand your act of honorable vandalism, ordered it erased by state workers.
Of late, you have returned, apparently with a computer printout of the three-letter word, and stapled "Hon" to the sign.
You have done this either in thick of night or by dawn's early light. We admire your bravery, your persistence and your humility.
"I've seen it tons and tons of times," says a commuter from Linthicum who contacted This Just In recently. "It kept going up, and coming down the next day. But it has been a month or so now that I have not seen it at all.
"I look for it every morning and I'm always disappointed when it's not there. These little acts of rebellion against authority appeal to me more as I get older and more corporate."
You have many supporters, Hon. All of us who believe in "Hon," and what that little word means to Baltimore, implore you to continue your important work. We don't want to know your name; we just want to know you are out there, keeping "Hon" alive. Don't give up.
P.S. If you're taking a vacation, that's cool; just give us an idea about when you might return. Or, if you've been arrested and need help with bail -- if that's the thing -- give us a call. Also, if you're ready to give your first exclusive interview, the phone number for This Just In is 332-6166.
Egg on his face
And now, another great moment from the Baltimore Waitress Hall of Fame:
At Jimmy's, the popular and busy Fells Point diner, proprietor Nick Filipidis has a firm policy: No substitutions on breakfast specials. Look at the signs. Look at the menus. They all say the same thing: No substitutions on breakfast specials. All the regulars know the rules. One day last week, a fellow walks in, sits at the counter (just two seats from U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, enjoying her breakfast special) and orders the hot-cakes-and-eggs special. "But can I have whole wheat toast instead of the hot cakes?" he asks the waitress. And the waitress, Sherry Feehly, sticks her hand on her hip and, with great vigor and purpose, declares: "As our boss Nick would say, 'Just what part of no don't you understand?' " Laughs, smiles everywhere.
A decent proposal
Others might feel the same way, but so far Joe Bloodgood is the only man willing to attach his name to the complaint, so here goes. Joe is upset that Waldenbooks in Hunt Valley Mall (and apparently other locations) has "The Ultimate Sex Book" (illustrated, $29.95) on display in the front of the store, where all the kids can take a peek.
Says Joe: "What kind of a family bookstore is this? ['Ultimate Sex'] is a graphic book and it's right there, three feet off the floor. I went into the store with my wife and 9-year-old daughter and saw the book, and another one similar to it sitting right beside it. I called the area manager who said they'd received several complaints, but that the book was one of their best
sellers. . . . To me, it's one more example of the moral decay of our society. I mean, 7-Eleven sells Playboy and Hustler, but at least the magazines are behind the counter, where you have to ask for them."
Susan Arnold, speaking for Waldenbooks from its headquarters in Connecticut, says the company has received other complaints about the display of "The Ultimate Sex Book," which she calls "a relationship manual." The reason the book receives a prominent display in each store is because it sells well. "It's on our wall of best sellers," Arnold says. "It's height on the wall is determined by its ranking on our best-seller list."
Walden's official statement says: "As a matter of policy, we comply with all local laws and ordinances in the display and sale of our merchandise. Of course, everyone makes personal choices about the value of particular books. We believe that it is not our role as booksellers to make those choices for our customers. Our role is not and should not be that of a censor. . . ."
OK, cut the constitutional rap. Why not move the book to a higher shelf?
An East Baltimore man, marveling at the proliferation of special license plates on Maryland cars, mentions that he has a ** friend whose tag says: "O JEFF." What's it all about? "It's what the dude thinks happens when he drives down the street," explains the East Baltimore guy. "The girls see him and say, 'Oh, Jeff.' " Guess that's why they're called vanity plates.