Today may be April Fool’s Day, but this image of the storefront sign of Hawaiian Rent-All is no joke. An equipment rental company located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Hawaiian Rent-All has had a long standing reputation for its humorous and punny signs, which changes weekly. This week’s sign pokes fun at a controversial legal debate centered around the fact that it is not currently illegal for Honolulu police officers to have sexual contact with prostitutes when investigating them for prostitution.
However, the Washington Post reported that some members of the force were lobbying against the new law, citing the need for legal protection, causing understandable outrage at such a notion.
Since then, Teresa Bell, spokesperson for the department, has gone on record saying that the Honolulu Police Department supports the legal action and approves of the law’s passing.
However, that did not stop Hawaiian Rent-All from cracking a joke about the whole affair, putting up the sign on their marquee that reads, “Don’t worry HPD still OK to rent hoes from us.” Local political action group IMUAlliance did not find it amusing.
“We think it’s extremely offense for a rental company to suggest that women are objects who can be bought and sold for sex and we are very surprised they didn’t take that into consideration before they put up their sign,” said Kris Coffield, legislative director for the group.
Hawaiian Rent-All issued a statement that further accentuates their brand of humor, simply stating, “Hawaiian Rent All carries lawn and garden equipment. Tools that are available for rent include garden hoes, concrete hoes, mortar hoes and back hoes. Hawaiian Rent All is unaware of any other meanings or uses for these tools.”
While the sign’s message is technically referring to gardening tools, one local parent felt it could be an uncomfortable conversation to have with a young child, “I look at and it and well, it might be a little bit inappropriate because of the topic. As a parent if you have to explain that to a child, it might be a little bit challenging.”
The company has no intention of taking the sign down until its regularly scheduled weekly sign change on Thursday.
Pictured above is another Hawaiian Rent-All sign from a previous week, which reads, “For rent: Parachute, used once, never opened, small stain.”
What do you think? Do the people taking offense need to simply lighten up or is Hawaiian Rent-All crossing the line with their sign?