Thursday, December 31, 2009


No matter how you look at it, 2009 has been a rough year. The national unemployment rate is at 10 percent, its highest level in more than 26 years, the budget deficit is at $12.1 trillion and we're fighting two wars at the same time while fending off terrorists who store explosives in their underpants. But if you think you had a bad year, consider the case of the "55-year-old Virgin," the marble statue who stands sentinel in front of St. Monica's Church at 7th and California. Shortly before Easter Mass this year, someone hacked off her head. Local priests tried to glue it back together but, alas, how many resurrections can you celebrate in one day? For weeks, the Virgin suffered the ultimate indignity: Someone covered her unsightly stump with a plastic garbage bag. And then she disappeared.

"The statue is out for repairs ... and will return soon," read a sign on the pedestal where the Virgin once stood. Months went by; Summer yielded to Fall; Winter arrived ... and still no Virgin. Frankly, I began to worry.

And then today, like a New Year's Miracle, she returned, stronger and more resilient than ever. Sure, she looks a bit jaded now, but that's just because she's been re-cast in bronze. I just hope whoever chopped off her head doesn't own a blowtorch. Meanwhile, here's hoping you all -- like the 55-year-old Virgin -- get a head in the New Year ...!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The Unthinkable happened this morning at 7th and Montana: The Dignified Walking Lady, known for wearing Arctic Attire in 85-degree heat, was finally appropriately dressed. Don't get me wrong ... she didn't change a thing. She was clad in the same heavy, woolen jacket, sweater, multiple scarves, long skirt and hat that she always wears. But the temperature was unseasonably cool at only 53 degrees. "It's official," I said, as she smiled and waved her ivory-tipped cane at me, "Hell has finally frozen over!" And then, something wonderful happened. It started raining ... and the Dignified Walking Lady wasn't prepared. I think there's a lesson to be learned here: Mess with the world order and you'll get all wet ...!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It was a Hair Raising experience at 7th and Montana this morning as a woman known among insiders as Penny Dreadful made the scene with such a scary hairdo I wasn't certain for a moment whether I was looking at her from the front or behind. Her hair fell below her waist in a mass of greasy dreadlocks that made her look like the love child of "Cousin It" and Ziggy Marley. "Good God," I muttered, "Her hair is so tightly wound it must be cutting off the circulation to her brain!" Now that's what I call twisted ...!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Mister Transistor," a Local Eccentric who made the scene at 7th and Montana yesterday with a noisy transistor radio. Not only did he blast static up and down 7th Street, but he held the radio right up against the ears of his beloved pooch, "Barbara Boxer." Indeed the radio, like its owner, seemed to be tuned to a peculiar frequency all its own. "Should we ask him to turn that thing off?," asked Neighbor Richard. "Go ahead if you want," I said, "But I'm keeping my distance." Something tells me the only way to reach this guy is if you hand him a hat made of aluminum foil with a built-in antenna ...!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


They say "all the monkeys aren't in the zoo" ... and nowhere is that more true than at 7th and Montana. Meet Jungle Jim, a Local Loon who spent the morning dangling from a Eucalyptus Tree in front of Our Favorite Starbucks. I have to admit, I felt the slightest bit guilty walking up to him with my Spycam and taking his picture. Afterall, it's not much of a challenge grabbing a photo of someone who's just hanging around, practically asking to be photographed. Then , again, sometimes you just have to go for the low-hanging fruit ...!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


It was Mother's Day today at 7th and Montana as Barista Amanda made the scene with her mother, Susan. Susan beamed with pride -- and let us in on a little secret -- as Amanda went about her business. "Coffee's in her blood," confided Susan, "Amanda's grandfather was a Buyer and Roaster for Polly's Gourmet Coffee in Belmont Shore." Research suggests that Polly's is to Starbucks what Filet Mignon is to McDonald's. According to one recent report, the owner of Polly's keeps a side-by-side display of Starbucks coffee beans next to his own to show everyone just how much more "plump and shiny" the Polly's beans are. Maybe that's why Starbucks has been going all out to attract more business. No sooner did Amanda's mother take her leave, than Barista Anthony posted a sign on the front door offering one and all a free coffee as part of a new Starbucks Rewards program. Take that, Polly's ...!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Jolly Old Saint Nick may have come and gone last night, but if the crowd at 7th and Montana is any indication, he intends to leave us laughing. Everyone, it seems, got a pair of Snazzy Yuletide Pajamas and decided to wear them out in public. Meet the Swiss Family Somnambulists, a group so groggy they rolled into our Favorite Starbucks this morning wearing Bright Red 'Onesies' with built-in Santa Slippers. "Those onesies are very impractical," said Joyce, "especially if they need to use the toilet." "You're right," I replied, "There's no escape hatch in the rear end!" I, for one, hope they all ordered Bran Muffins. Meanwhile, the Pajama Girls -- not to be outdone -- made the scene, as usual, in matching plaid PJs with coordinated Ugg Boots. I wonder what they wear to bed at night, their school uniforms ...?

Thursday, December 24, 2009


'Twas the day before Christmas ... and lots of creatures were stirring at 7th and Montana. Some folks have skipped town for the holidays, but others -- like me -- are hunkering down at Our Favorite Starbucks if for no other reason than to watch Barista Sammy serve-up Grande Drips wearing a pair of Candy Canes on her head. Here are the latest in local Comings and Goings: Howard and Cathy are in Vail; Robin is in Wyoming; Robb is in Sacramento; Malissa is in Ann Arbor; Eletra is back in town with Fabrizio but Terry and Morgan are in D.C.; Genevieve is in Oregon, but her kids are in India; Screenwriter Nat and Robin are at home, nursing Einstein the Wonder Dog back to health; Barista Tyler is in Connecticut; Susan is in Paris; Leslie is local but will spend tomorrow in Ventura; the Screenwriter Brothers are back in town after ten days of re-shoots in New York; Bob and Joyce, Kathy and Richard are all, like me, staying put. As are the Pajama Girls who descended en masse at 7th and Montana this morning, giggling up a storm. Wherever you are, near or far, have a Happy, Healthy Holiday ...!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


They say "you are what you drive" in L.A. That's why -- if you want a first-hand look at how some of the locals are riding out the recession -- just take to the streets around 7th and Montana. The car pictured above, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage (CA License #6GUZ581) -- would turn heads any day, but look a little closer. The owner has been delivering pizzas for Dominos up and down 7th Street. I'm sure it takes a lot of (pizza) dough to make ends meet when you're saddled with payments on a $132,000 sportscar. Then there's the Mini Cooper pictured below. The owner of this car was so busy cutting corners he accidentally lopped-off the back seat. The result is a car so "stubby" it can pull-in head-first where others need to parallel park. Now that's what I call tightening the seat belt ...!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The Holiday Gifts just kept on coming this morning at 7th and Montana. First of all, Barista Veronica made the rounds with some extra generous gifts, including a very nice lantern-candle holder for me. Thanks, Veronica! And if that wasn't enough, an Attractive Blond Woman sitting two tables away from me dangled what just might be the most unusual gift of the season in my direction. "Hey," she cried, "I have an extra piece of Chicken Leg ... would you like it?!?" It took me a second to realize that she wasn't offering it to me, but rather to Charlie, the Irascible Sheepdog, who I was watching while Neighbor Richard ran inside to get his coffee. "No thanks," I replied, "Charlie isn't my dog ... and as far as I know he only eats Freeze Dried Lamb Lungs." According to Richard, the chicken leg would have been the gift that keeps on giving. "It would have given Charlie diarrhea for ten days!," he said. I guess that's why God invented Freeze Dried Lamb Lungs ...!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Ten lucky 'regulars' at Our Favorite Starbucks rang in the Winter Solstice in high style this morning, thanks to Barista Tyler, who presented us all with a Holiday Surprise: a bottle of Sam Adams Winter Lager. Bob and Joyce (pictured above) could hardly wait to propose a toast. I, on the other hand, pretended to add the "dark wheat lager" to my Grande Drip. Perhaps the happiest customer of all was an attractive blond woman who, on receiving Tyler's gift, shouted, "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you ... this is the best gift I've ever received in my Entire Life!" Who knows, maybe she was born yesterday. Thanks, Tyler ...!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states aren't the only ones who were blanketed in snow this morning. We had more than our share of the white stuff at 7th and Montana, courtesy of Barista Sammy who gave the "regulars" at Our Favorite Starbucks what just might be the most thoughtful gift of the year: Customized Snow Globes with our photos in them. If you ask me, the Snow Globes prove once and for all that the Christmas spirit is alive and well here in Santa Monica and that -- despite appearances to the contrary -- not everyone around here is Stark Raving Mad. Everyone I talked to who received one of the Snow Globes -- including Howard, Cathy, Bob and Joyce -- was as tickled as I was by Sammy's creativity and generosity. Even "The Hyena" -- the local psychopath known for laughing uproariously at unpredictable intervals -- seemed impressed. He laughed so loudly and for so long today that for a minute I thought he was Santa Claus ...!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as a Local Eccentric made the scene with a peculiar message for one and all. "You're screwed!," she yelled, striding confidently towards the bathroom, "You're all screwed!" And with that, she barged into the bathroom and locked the door behind her. Indeed, anyone who needed to use the bathroom was screwed, given that she remained locked inside for what seemed like an eternity. By the time she emerged, she was a woman on a mission. She marched outside, sat on the edge of the sidewalk facing 7th Street and whipped out a plastic bag filled with a substance that looked a lot like feces. "It's time for the Dog Poop!," she announced, then carefully surrounded herself in a semicircle of moist, brown nuggets. She placed one on top of her head for Good Luck. Depending on how you look at it, she actually was lucky. She was gone by the time the authorities arrived to take her away ...


Heads were turning at 7th and Montana this morning as a Disgruntled Doughboy made the scene on his bicycle, cursing up a storm. Just what exactly made him so crusty? Apparently he thought an ordinary laptop bag would make a great container for an extra-large loaf of French Bread. However, no sooner did he come to a stop in front of Our Favorite Starbucks then the bread popped out of the bag like a guided missile and landed on the sidewalk with a resounding thud. "^#&*(#!," he said, angrily, "*&^%$%# ... *&^%$(!& ...!!!" Hey, Doughboy, look on the bright side, if "Lady Marmalade," an employee at the Marmalade Cafe -- home of the $5.00 brownie -- can drop bagels on the floor and put them back in the display case when she thinks no one is looking, who's to say there's anything wrong with serving-up a Sidewalk Baguette ...!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Head for the Hills, folks! Typhoid Tillie is in town and she's taken-up residence at Our Favorite Starbucks. She was last spotted on Sunday, coughing up a storm near the espresso bar ... and she wasn't covering her mouth. Her coughing grew louder and more intense until Barista Kenisha offered the poor woman a cup of water. "Yes, water might be a good idea," said Tillie, "Before I infect the whole place!" Just when I was wondering what to reach for first -- my Spycam or my Purell -- Tillie walked right up to my table. "Pardon me," she rasped, "May I borrow your Travel Section?" She started reaching in my direction. "You can have it," I said quickly, "I won't be needing it back." "Oh no," she said, "I insist on returning it ... I just want to look at it quickly." With any luck, she was researching airfares to a nice, relaxing destination where she can recuperate. Like Siberia ...!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Swiss Mister, a fashionable newcomer who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning wearing short, Lederhosen-style pants, Alpine hiking boots, a plaid shirt and a feathered hat. "What's the Matterhorn with him?," I wondered, as he poured several grande drips into an enormous commuter mug and chug-a-lugged the whole thing. It was almost like watching Oktoberfest with coffee. At least he wasn't yodelling ...!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Not a creature was stirring last night at 7th and Montana ... that is, except for Barista Amanda, who burned the midnight oil making personalized stockings for all of the employees at Our Favorite Starbucks. The stockings, which have become something of a local tradition, hang over the partition by the cash register and espresso bar. Barista Tyler was quick to notice me photographing them this morning. "Make sure you get a decent photo of my stocking," he said. Poor Tyler. Little does he know, there's a conspiracy afoot to fill his stocking with coal this year ...!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Don," a welcome addition to the family at 7th and Montana. And believe me, with his vintage Vito Corleone trenchcoat, black suit and matching Fedora, he's family alright. Whenever Don makes the scene, as he did yesterday, things get real quiet. Conversation stops, people bury their faces in their newspapers and mothers clutch their children for dear life. As for Don, he seems somewhat oblivious, almost like a cross between a Mafia Don and Don Quixote. He shuffles down 7th Street, sits briefly in front of Our Favorite Starbucks and continues on his merry way. Just where does he go? I don't know ... but let's hope he's not sleeping with the fishes!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


My ears were burning at 7th and Montana this morning as I walked in the door just in time to catch the tail end of a conversation about my blog. The baristas seemed to be spilling the beans to the couple standing in line in front of me. "He's always taking pictures for the blog," said Barista David, cheerfully, "You've probably been in the blog without even knowing it!" "Really," said the husband, "A blog ...?" I couldn't restrain myself any longer. "Yoohoo," I said, whipping out my Spycam, "I'm right behind you!" It turns out that the couple -- Paul and Judy -- are moving to Arizona tomorrow to be near their family. I didn't recognize them, but apparently we had just crossed paths a few minutes earlier. "We almost hit you this morning when you were crossing the street," said Paul. And then it struck me: They were the nice couple who waved to me from their SUV at 7th and Georgina ... and Paul was kidding about almost hitting me. Bon Voyage, Paul and Judy ... I'm sorry we didn't meet sooner!


It was a beautiful morning at 7th and Montana. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and everywhere the scent of Eucalyptus hung in the air like a gentle perfume. It was the perfect morning to crash at Our Favorite Starbucks. Just ask "Helmut," the Fashionable Newcomer who made the scene today wearing a Crash Helmet. I guess he was afraid he might get hit by a Flying Apple Fritter ...!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


It was a Walk down Memory Lane this morning at 7th and Montana as Hanna, formerly known as Pajama Girl, reminisced with Screenwriter Nat and me about her Pajama-filled past. On a fateful Winter's day -- back on January 21 to be exact -- I first realized Hanna was "on to me." She made the scene that day wearing Plaid PJs and a clashing sweatshirt, but every time I tried to get a decent photo of her she glared at me and shook her head "no." Now, nearly a year later, the truth can finally be told. She had heard about my blog and was determined to avoid giving me any photo opportunities. But times have changed. "I sort of miss being Pajama Girl," she confided, "Maybe one of these days I'll show up in my PJs again so you can get a picture!" "Thanks," I replied, "But I don't want to stage anything ... I do have some journalistic integrity, you know!" And right then, as if on cue, a pair of Giggling Schoolgirls walked by wearing Pajamas. I asked Hanna for her professional opinion. "Well," she began, "They're much more coordinated than I was. They look more put together." "Don't knock yourself," I said, "You looked more like a Seattle Pajama Girl ... they're strictly L.A.!" Hanna continued, "They're at that age where they still call each other in advance to coordinate their outfits." They were both wearing matching pink pajama bottoms, a gray hooded sweatshirt and Ugg Boots. They even ordered the same thing: Matching Top Pot Old Fashioned Doughnuts. They giggled, then hugged each other, in unison. It was like watching Chip n' Dale at a Pajama Party. Say what you will about this new generation of Pajama Girls ... I prefer the Original!

Friday, December 11, 2009


A funny thing happened this morning on my way to return the "SS Albatross" -- my rental Cargo Van -- to Budget Truck Rental in San Jose. They wouldn't accept it. Evidently, when my colleague rented the vehicle, he promised that it would be returned to Los Angeles. "What were you thinking?!?," I asked. "That you would drive it back to L.A.," he said. The problem with the van -- aside from its lack of shock absorbers -- is that there are no rear windows and the visibility is terrible. To make a long story short, I forced my colleague to drive and I rode shotgun ...!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It was 'Up, Up and Away' for me today as I stumbled across a Flying Elephant in the courtyard at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. And it wasn't just any Flying Elephant. It swooped-in directly from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Apparently, before he died, Michael Jackson began selling off bits and pieces of his rides at Neverland. A company called Butler Amusements acquired the Flying Elephant pictured above and the rest is HIStory. Between the Neverland ride and the Gingerbread house, I can't help wondering what the Fairmont will think of next. Far be it from me to criticize, but I have a sneaking hunch that one of the waiters in the restaurant downstairs is Bubbles the Chimp in disguise ...!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


It was a case of "Nibble, Nibble at my House" this morning at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose as I stumbled across a genuine, life-sized Gingerbread House ... and nibbled at it. How I missed it when I checked-in last night is beyond me -- perhaps it had something to do with the fact that it was 1:00 a.m. -- but this morning I literally walked right into it. Indeed, the hotel encourages you to walk right into the one-room cottage and explore. "This Gingerbread House was built by our Engineering Department and hand-decorated by our Pastry Chef," reads a sign by the door. Something tells me the Engineer didn't exactly expect guests to break off shingles and eat them, but I did sample a tiny piece from below one of the window sills. It was as dry as sawdust. No evil witches emerged, but the Concierge didn't look happy ...!


I've hit the road, again ... this time for a series of meetings in San Jose. The good news is, I do know the way to San Jose. The bad news is that I had to get here in a large Cargo van filled with equipment and badly in need of shock absorbers. I spent most of last night driving. Stay tuned for further updates.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It was a Mystery for the Ages this morning at 7th and Montana as a hooded figure arrived on the scene and ordered an Apple Fritter. "Did I just hear what I thought I heard?," I asked Barista Veronica. She laughed, knowing my opinion of the Fritters, but I was dead serious. "Who," I wondered, "would actually order one of these things ... and for what nefarious purpose?" I followed the hooded figure -- a woman in her early thirties -- around the store, trying to catch a glimpse of her ... and overheard her telling someone that the Fritter was for her mother. I don't know about you, but I feel a case of Double Indemnity coming on ...!


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Bowser," an Alpha Female who got into a bit of a tussle with Neighbor Richard yesterday over dog protocol at Our Favorite Starbucks. The fun began when Bowser sat down with her dog at the table next to Richard and his Irascible Sheepdog, Charlie. "Excuse me," said Richard politely, "but my dog isn't trustworthy ... he sometimes attacks other dogs." Charlie began looking at Bowser's dog as if it were an h'ors d'oeuvre, but Bowser seemed oblivious. She looked Richard right in the eye and barked, "Just like his Master, I'll bet!" Was she joking? I don't think so ... but something tells me her bark is worse than her bite ...!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The stars were out at 7th and Montana this morning and I was right there with my Spycam to capture them. First came Actor Christian Bale, still looking somewhat emaciated from his dramatic weight loss for The Fighter, a film due out next year chronicling the early years of Boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward. I'd have recommended a few Apple Fritters, but something tells me that would do more harm than good.

Next-up was our very own Hanna -- formerly known as Pajama Girl for her tendency to occasionally wear her pajamas to Starbucks. Hanna has been working on the ABC-TV series Castle -- about a famous mystery novelist named Rick Castle who helps the NYPD solve crimes -- and, since Barista John is a big fan, she brought him a copy of the book Heat Wave which is based on the series. Actor Nathan Fillion, who plays Castle on the show, autographed the book as follows: "Hanna can't do without coffee. We can't do without Hanna. In essence, we can't do without you!"

And, last but not least, a Famous International Newswoman made the scene. I'm sworn to secrecy regarding her identity, but trust me when I say millions of Americans have tuned-in regularly to get her view on the news. I'd say more, but a promise is a promise ...!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as a man made the scene balancing a Red Fright Wig on the tip of his scalp. The look was part Ringling, part Ding-a-Ling. "Good Lord," I said as he adjusted the wig, "Where did he get that head of hair, Rugs R' Us?!?" Moments later, he and his girlfriend began passing the wig back and forth, and taking turns modeling it. I couldn't resist asking him about it. "It's just a little something I found in my closet," he said, "I decided to wear it today instead of a hat." Now all he needs is a whoopee cushion and a boutonniere that squirts seltzer water ...!


Be on the look-out, folks, the roads of Los Angeles just got a little more bizarre. There I was, driving near my office in Beverly Hills yesterday, when a quick glimpse in the rear view mirror confirmed my worst suspicions. I was being followed by a full-service McDonald's on wheels. "Just what I need," I said, as the Golden Arches drew closer, "I'm being tailgated by Ronald McDonald." I pulled over on Hillcrest to let the restaurant pass, but -- to my surprise -- it pulled over, too. Curiosity got the better of me and I got out of my car. "I'll have a Big Mac and and order of Fries to Go," I said to the woman who seemed to be in charge. "You're back!," she said, "You're Mr. Annenberg, right?" Her brain was obviously more scrambled than an Egg McMuffin. I'd never seen her before in my life ... and how strange that she seemed to be confusing me with Neighbor Charlie. "I don't know what you're talking about," I said. She went on. "Are you trying to tell me that I didn't just see you two hours ago at the Post Office?" I looked around, half-expecting Rod Serling to appear. "Cancel my order," I said, "I'll just grab something from the Drive Thru, instead." I later learned that the McDonald's-on-Wheels was in town for a video shoot.

Friday, December 4, 2009


It was a Mystery Solved at 7th and Montana yesterday as I finally cracked the case of the Dueling Blogs. Three weeks ago, Barista David gave me a taste of my own medicine. He pointed his cell phone at me, took my photo and said "This is for my blog." But he refused to give me the URL ... leaving me to wonder what he was writing about. Now, at last, the truth can be told: His blog is a buyer's guide to medicinal marijuana. He calls it The Stoner Avenue Review and take it from me, he leaves no stone unturned in his candid assessments of the various marijuana dispensaries around town. In a post-Thanksgiving review of a location called The Dutch Masters Collective (DMC), for example, he writes, "DMC is the spot for a chill smoke overlooking Westwood and Santa Monica with superb weed at a capped price." Of the Westwood Caregivers (WCG), he writes, "For late night needs, this place is unbeatable." I'd warn David not to get too carried away with the whole blog thing, but that might be a bit like the pot calling the kettle black ...!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Head for the Hills, folks ... there's a Twisted Sister in town and she's set-up shop at 7th and Montana. The woman in question -- a slim young lady in her mid twenties -- made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks yesterday sporting a mass of twisted hair piled nearly two-feet high on her head and held in place by a bright purple ribbon. She wore a black fur coat, dark sunglasses, and skin-tight spandex pants with holes running up and down each leg. A collection of safety pins dangled from her left ear. Now that's something you don't see every day ...!


It's official: NBC-TV's Today show should be called Yesterday, if Matt Lauer's interview this morning with TV Uber-Mom Meredith Baxter Birney is any indication. Birney, perhaps best known for her role as Alex Keaton's mother on Family Ties, announced that she is Gay this morning on the Today show, but anyone with two eyes in their head at 7th and Montana could have told you that months ago. I would have mentioned it myself except for the fact that I live for other people's privacy. Speaking of which, someone needs to put a muzzle on the Tiger Woods bevvy of beauties. The latest "Tigress" to go public, Jamie Grubbs, shared the following voicemail she reportedly received from Tiger on November 24 with Us magazine: "Hey, it's, uh, it's Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Um, can you please, uh, take your name off your phone. My wife went through my phone. And, uh, may be calling you. If you can, please take your name off that and, um, and what do you call it just have it as a number on the voicemail, just have it as your telephone number. That's it. OK. You gotta do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right. Bye." Perhaps if Tiger were just a bit more tech-savvy he wouldn't be in such a pickle. Even my two-year-old nephew could probably tell you that the function which displays a person's name on a smart phone usually has more to do with the address book on the recipient's phone than anything else. Tiger: If it's not too late, I suggest you go into the address book on your phone, find the entry for "Jamie Grubbs," and just change her name to something less likely to arouse your wife's suspicions. Might I suggest "Meredith Baxter Birney ...?"


It was a case of the Screaming Meanies on United Flight #167 to Los Angeles last night as an Energetic Young Toddler literally screamed his way through the entire six-hour flight. "I've heard babies screaming on flights before, but this is ridiculous," said the woman sitting next to me. "Yes," I agreed, "It gives a new meaning to the word nonstop." While the rest of us watched in amazement, the child's father simply smiled at his son, offered a few gentle words of encouragement, and donned a pair of noise cancellation headphones. The screaming didn't stop until we came in for a landing, at which point the toddler -- worn out from the whole ordeal -- fell fast asleep ...!