The Scariest Monster of All

In today's WSJ Steve Stecklow's front page story is about a couple who unwittingly, or maybe wittingly, named their mini-golf franchise Monster Mini Golf. I don't know about you, but as soon as I heard the name I wanted to go there and putter around.

But Christina and Patrick Vitagliano are in big trouble for using the word "monster" to attract folks of all ages to their obviously delightful 18 hole glow-in-the-dark (wow) amusement parks of goblins and ghouls.

Monster Cable Products Inc. has the trademark on the word "monster". The California producer of audio cables, has sued every company over the radar for labeling products with this word, companies like, Junk Food Monster T-shirts, and Disney's Monsters, Inc.

Now I, personally, am a little worried.

I used to tell my kids, after losing lost my temper and yelling a few decibels too high for their sensitive ears, that it wasn't really me yelling. I told them that I tend to be a pretty nice person, but that they bring out the Mommy Monster in me.

I never swore or called them names, but knowing how sensitive little kids are to sound (if they're not desensitized to it, I never wanted to scare the little tykes, set them up for anxiety disorders. It was more like, Take the shoes upstairs! NOW!

When they completely tuned me out, when their toys decorated the entire landscape such that if I stepped out of the shower and cried in pain because I stepped barefoot on a Leggo before finding my slippers, in these emotionally vulnerable moments, the Mommy Monster felt comfortable inside of me.

Not that it happened often. After my tantrum I would tell them that this wasn't me, rather it was this Mommy Monster in me that I didn't like to let out, but under extreme stress, things happen.

She came out a few times, I explained it to them rationally, and after awhile, all I had to do was warn them, maybe say, "Uh, oh,the Mommy Monster is gasping for air," and it would be, "Let's clean up!" Never laid a hand on them, never had to, never had to break a wall or a toy, although I did bag and hide many.

So now I feel the Mommy Monster really, really has to hide, not that I can even remember what she looks like.

Trademark infringement, you know.



Lisa Marie said…
Kids appear to be afraid of nothing these days. My 6th graders are seeing movies that I as an adult would be scared to see. I just don't understand the joy in feeling scared out of your mind!

While there is merit to teaching kids not to be afraid of monsters, the feeling of invincibility is getting mixed in there too.
Cheryl said…
seriously?!? Sighs & shakes head
Too funny; love the Mommy Monster.

But I'm pretty outraged that a company can get away with claiming to "own" a common word like Monster for any purpose. It's one thing not to allow another Monster cable company, but going so far beyond that has got to be a 1st amendment violation.

I hope as the new administration gets more control over regulators and courts we get less of this "let big companies own EVERYTHING" attitude towards intellectual property.

Makes me monstrously mad. (Whoops, am I in trouble too?)
blognut said…
Well... I guess they're going to have to sue me. There's a monster within; she's well-kept, well-fed, and usually well under control. However, she has been known to flip out and make herself known a time or two.

By the way, TD, I'm not even thinking dragging you into a lawsuit for putting my picture in your post! :0)
Mark said…
Very funny and sad!
Alice said…
Americans are crazy! I'm deliberately going to call everything "monster" from now on.

prin said…
leggos will bring her out everytime...oh, and puzzle pieces that never end up back in the box.