Is “Hon” the New “Ma’am”?

“How many do you have, hon?” the sales associate at the Express in Liberty Place asked me last week. The week before that, a young woman on the 13th Street El platform asked, “Hon, can you break a ten?” Before that, it was a former student who thanked me for my feedback on her work and then said, “See you tomorrow, hon!”

For the last year, I’ve been getting “hon”-ed down all over Philadelphia — and not from the usual suspects, but from women who are definitely younger than me. And quite honestly, I’m baffled.

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David Brenner, Philly Comedian and Carson Protegé, Dead at 78

David Brenner told the first mildly naughty joke that I can remember. This was the very early ’80s, I was very young but being allowed to stay up late, and he was doing one of his kabillion appearances subbing for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

“Italians, they make food with their entire bodies,” he said, musingly. “They stomp around on grapes to make wine. They use their hands to really knead dough and toss pizza crusts. (A beat passes.) That’s why I never eat Italian donuts.”

Brenner was old enough to have some Borscht belt in his blood, young enough to spice up his act with some implied blueness, and big enough to become Carson’s alternate. The Philly comedian died over the weekend at the age of 78.

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The Word “Hipster” Is So Over


Photo | Jeff Fusco

A few years ago, I told someone I lived on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. Their response was to grill me on the status of then newly opened Barcade.

“I mean, what kind of bar is it?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “A bar with arcade games.”

“Yeah, but like… who goes there?”


“But what kind of people?”

“I don’t know. People who like arcade games?”

“Yeah, but like… hipsters?”

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The Official Wiz Wit Man T-Shirt Is Here

Last week, we presented Wiz Wit Man, Philly’s “official” superhero. His angry dishwasher persona basically makes no sense, and his name apparently has more to do with his acerbic humor than with cheesesteaks. Still, there’s something magical about him. So half-jokingly, I asked someone to deliver a bunch of Wiz Wit Man t-shirts to our office. Two days later, Philly-based Rush Order Tees dropped off a dozen of them in our lobby, unprompted and free of charge. Here’s your humble narrator, looking his most heroic.

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Princeton Meningitis Vaccine May Be Backfiring

After getting an FDA-unapproved meningitis vaccine (like the rest of the meningitis-stricken campus) one 18-year-old Princeton student fell down with a very strange illness called rhabdomyolysis, which the Princetonian describes as “an acute breakdown of muscle tissue that causes muscle fiber and protein to be transferred into the bloodstream, risking severe kidney damage.”

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“Rich Girl” Was About A Guy

A TMZ paparazzo caught up with John Oates (has that ever been typed before?) in Nashville of all places, and asked him who “Rich Girl” was about. Oates, as Hall&Oatesophiles know, told him it was actually about a guy. Not because Hall and Oates are gay. Because Daryl knew this guy who was the son of this now-deceased pancake tycoon who was the ex-boyfriend of one of Daryl’s girlfriends, who ended up being the subject of “Sara Smile.”

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