Christmas card pokes fun at Cafe Hon

One of the best Christmas cards out there can be found at NotCafeHon, the Twitter feed created after cafe owner Denise Whiting trademarked the word "hon."

There's a photo of Whiting celebrating with the mayor who came to her rescue a little over a year ago when the restaurant's pink flamingo was imperiled.

"Merry Christmas," the card reads, "from a disgraced woman who stole from Baltimore … and Sheila Dixon."

On the same topic, a Baltimorean posted on Facebook: "Just realized that the Boycott Cafe Hon Facebook Page is registered under the username 'Cafe Hon.' What a huge mistake on Cafe Hon's part for not getting to it first."

"Wow ... major Social Media FAIL," a Facebook friend commented. "Guess she was busy Trademarking the name."

For her part, Whiting, through a publicist, insists she hasn't "profited a dime" from licensing efforts, which she said are needed to protect against copy-cat merchandise.

Keeping the lights on

Organizers for the Baltimore Grand Prix, who missed a deadline this fall for an $800,000 bond payment to the Maryland Stadium Authority, have sent an e-mail to people who have brought tickets for the high-speed road race planned for Labor Day.

"We would like to thank you for purchasing tickets to the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix," it reads. "While we are not going to be sending out hard tickets or processing the print at home options until summer of 2011, we understand that many of you may wish to give the Grand Prix tickets as holiday gifts. To that end, we've designed a holiday graphic that you can print out. It is a basic holiday message and does not constitute a receipt or invoice for your purchase, but we hope it will be enough to generate the excitement you intended by letting your family or friends know that they will be part of something very special next Labor Day weekend: The Baltimore Grand Prix!"

Here's another interpretation of the message we've come up with: Thank you for sinking your money into our tenuous and poorly planned event. Generous purchases such as yours will help us keep the lights on another month. As a token of our gratitude, we are sending you some of the same Monopoly bills we used to pay the stadium authority.

Or maybe not

And you thought the light bulb had finally gone on for Ernie Grecco, president of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions.

After issuing an official union e-mail earlier this month under the headline, "Christianity Under Attack," he sent out a retraction. Putting Christ back into Christmas may be a lofty goal, but it is not, Grecco seemingly conceded, an official position of the AFL-CIO.

Or is it?

Grecco has since mailed out Christmas cards in the union's name. And they sure aren't the generic "Happy Holidays" variety.

"May Jesus rest in your heart today and always," they read.

Nice sentiment, but I wonder how many AFL-CIO members want their dues spent on it.

A secret for Santa

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake may have a city to run, but that's not her only challenge. There's also Christmas shopping for her 7-year-old daughter, Sophia, who has been keeping her wish list secret.

"My daughter is testing the limits of Santa," Rawlings-Blake told The Sun's Julie Scharper. "Her list is private, and only Santa will know what she wants."

The chickens come first

Duff Goldman, the extreme cake-maker known for thinking and baking outside the box, wants his chickens outside the cage.

The Humane Society of the United States announced this week that the "Ace of Cakes" star has decided to use only eggs from cage-free hens at his Baltimore-based bakery.

"Charm City Cakes is pleased to have switched to only using cage-free eggs, which is a great way to improve animal welfare and meet our customers' expectations for being socially responsible," Goldman said.

Health hazards, OC-style

The Ocean City Town Council considered a plan to ban smoking from its beaches, boardwalk and parks this week.

"One guy got up and said, 'Eating funnel cakes on the boardwalk was a greater health hazard than the smoke,'" said Annapolis lobbyist Bruce Bereano, who was there on behalf of the Maryland Association of Candy and Tobacco Wholesalers.

The council voted to allow smoking to continue on the beaches and boardwalk, but did ban it from parks built specifically for children. Maybe they should keep the funnel cakes out of the kiddie park, too.

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