The Steely Dan Dictionary: H

Listing 3 entries:

Driving like a fool out to Hackensack / Drinking his dinner from a paper sack
Song: Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More   Album: Katy Lied

A city in New Jersey, about 10 miles north of New York City, population 42,000. (Also a small town in Minnesota.)

Used to be thought of as the "Hell's Kitchen" of New Jersey, but since gentrified. Not particularly famous for anything, but everyone knows it's there.

Also namechecked in the Billy Joel song Moving Out: "Who needs a house out in Hackensack? Is that all you get for your money?"

Link: Hackensack: Small, Ethnically Diverse and Affordable

Oh — congratulations / This is your Haitian Divorce
Song: Haitian Divorce   Album: The Royal Scam

A slang term for a "quickie" divorce.

During the 1970s in particular, Haiti became a popular overseas destination for divorcing Americans — because its laws allowed unilateral separations (where only one party is seeking divorce), unlike typical US state laws, which required both parties' consent.

The phenomenon no longer exists, due to less strict US divorce laws introduced in recent decades.

Link: The New York Times: A weekend in Haiti can include a divorce

There's a Cobra Gunship for his golden boy / And a Hello Kitty for his pride and joy
Song: Book Of Liars   Album: 11 Tracks of Whack

Japanese cartoon character.

Created by Sanrio Corporation in 1974, this friendly feline appears on a wide range of merchandise, including lunchboxes, pencils, stickers, clothing and even a Hello Kitty car!

Link: Official Hello Kitty merchandise store