That's what I heard as I got to Municipal Court to cover a council meeting. I recognized the voice - it was Danny Dunn.
Again: "Hi, honey!"
I didn't answer, but inside the court a person who also heard Dunn yelling at me from his van shook his head and wondered aloud at Dunn's behavior.
As the meeting concluded, Dunn, who had delivered scathing comments to a council member during public comment, approached me and again called me "honey." I have absolutely no relationship with Dunn, not even the remotest degree of friendship, so I said firmly, "Don't call me 'honey.' It's inappropriate."
Of course, inappropriate behavior is Danny Dunn's hallmark, so I'm sure he could care less about my feelings.
Interestingly, on the Brian Lehrer show Thursday, there was a discussion of this very topic, about being called "honey" or "sweetie" in a professional setting or by someone who is not a relative or partner. It was related to a New York Times article about the American Bar Association declaring use of demeaning language a form of professional misconduct.
Women listeners called in to say how they felt demeaned in the courtroom, office or even in a medical situation when they were called "honey" or "sweetie."
An EMT said part of his training included a warning never to use terms of endearment when helping a woman.
Turns out there are federal guidelines on the use of such language and behavior. One example is posted by the U.S. Department of the Interior. I had actually considered filing a harassment report on Dunn, because that's how it felt. I am a female, age 78, present in a quasi-professional capacity as a blogger gathering news at a council meeting and here comes Danny Dunn to mess with me. Not having it.
I'm sure there will be more attempts at unacceptable behavior from Mr. Dunn as the local election season heats up. However, there are some rules for public comment:
NO SPEAKER SHALL ENGAGE IN ANY PERSONALLY OFFENSIVE, DEROGATORY OR ABUSIVE REMARKS. THE PRESIDENT SHALL IMMEDIATELY CALL TO ORDER ANY SPEAKER WHO VIOLATES THIS PROVISION. AN OFFICER FROM THE PLAINFIELD POLICE DIVISION MAY REMOVE ANY DISRUPTIVE PERSON AT THE DISCRETION OF THE PRESIDING OFFICER. PUBLIC COMMENT IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PUBLIC TO PRESENT THEIR VIEWS – BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE.
It's a temptation to cut up on camera, but that's one reason why the president has a gavel. Meanwhile, is there anywhere to send somebody for remedial home training?