Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It was a morning of Freebies at 7th and Montana today as Our Favorite Starbucks unveiled some Bold, New Menu Items. First-up was the Strawberry Banana Vivanno™ Smoothie (pictured above) -- a healthy drink combining a whole banana, strawberry puree and Starbucks' own special blend of whey protein and fiber powder. It looks just like Pepto Bismol. "Would you like some?," asked Barista David. "No thanks," I replied, "Are you sure it's not medicine?" Later, Manager Extraordinaire Gabe made the rounds with free samples of a new Cinnamon Scone. I declined, but Neighbor John readily accepted. "How do you like it?," asked Gabe. "It's OK," said John, and then, after Gabe walked away, he added, "It's dry and has a Very Disconcerting, Chemical Aftertaste." Not to worry, John, I know where you can get some Pepto Bismol ...!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Warning: If you're one of the estimated 3 million Americans suffering from Tree Nut allergies, you'd best steer clear of 7th and Montana for a while. There's a new Tree Nut in town and something tells me he means business. He can be found most days at the corner of Ocean and San Vicente, dangling from an Australian Bottle Tree. He doesn't climb. He doesn't do chin-ups. He just hangs there, suspended in mid-air, like a semi-catatonic Tarzan. "Hmmm," I thought to myself when I saw him yesterday, "Is he blogworthy? Afterall, I don't want to give anyone the impression that our neighborhood is Chock Full O'Nuts." Then again, human interest stories like this don't exactly grow on trees. I guess it's like the good people at Peter Paul always say: "Sometimes you feel like a Nut, sometimes you don't ...!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The Dog Days of Summer came early at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that Richard has booked a luxurious, three-day getaway for his beloved Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Charlie. For a few days next month, Charlie will be staying in his very own "penthouse" at the Rover Kennels, a posh animal care facility in Culver City where they strive to "make the world a happier place, one pet at a time." Charlie's penthouse will come complete with its own High-Definition TV playing a selection of "canine-friendly DVDs," a leather sofa, a luxurious dog bed and a state-of-the-art ventilation system that changes the air every six minutes. An onsite Doggie Spa features everything from a Hydrosurge Massage Bathing System to customized hydraulic tables. There's even an Espresso Bar and Art Gallery. I tell you, if this Pet Friendly Paradise doesn't cure Charlie's "separation anxiety," nothing will ...!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Hurry, Hurry, Hurry ... Step Right Up! Meet "Amber," the delightful tw0-year-old who toddled her way onto the scene at 7th and Montana this morning. Thrill at Amber's antics as she zips from table-to-table, unsupervised! Marvel at Amber's determination as she makes a bee-line for every dog in her path! Gape in amazement as she frolics dangerously close to oncoming traffic! Yes, indeed, her mother -- "Oblivia" (pictured below) -- must be one proud woman. Then, again, it's tough to tell. She was so engrossed in sending and receiving text messages on her cell phone this morning that she couldn't be bothered to watch her own daughter. Given her "addiction" to texting, perhaps she'll be among the first to receive an alert when her child goes missing ...

Friday, June 26, 2009


Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning as Neighbor Hunter announced that he and his wife, Camilla, are in the process of planning a fun-filled holiday in the Czech Republic. "We're off to Bohemia," he announced, "To soak in some beer." He meant that literally. They're planning a trip to the Chodovar Brewery, a spa in West Bohemia where patrons actually bathe in vats of beer. "What else do they do?," I asked, "Cover you in yeast and sprinkle hops on you?" Apparently, the answer is "yes." Promotional literature suggests that guests at Chodovar "luxuriate" in a combination of beer, mineral water, yeast and hops ... all mixed together. Somewhere, I'm certain, there's a Czech version of Madge -- the ubiquitous manicurist from the 1970s Palmolive television commercials -- who smiles at each guest as they arrive and announces, "You're soaking in it!" Inside sources claim the "beer treatment" is "very good for the skin and hair." Sure, but does it cure what ales you ...?!?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


It was Judgement Day for my blog this morning at 7th and Montana as Kathy and Genevieve made the scene with some editorial advice for me. "We need to talk," said Kathy, "It's about your Blog." "What's up?," I asked, playing dumb. "Well, you're making the whole neighborhood look strange," she continued, "Enough with the Wikipedia of the Weird. Can't you balance things out with some normal stories?" "Hold that thought ... duty calls," I said. An Anonymous Clodhopper walked in the door wearing an Upside Down Visor. "Seriously," Kathy continued, "You've been missing some good Human Interest Items, lately." We were interrupted again, this time by Barista Tyler. "Yoo Hoo," he yelled from behind the Espresso Machine, "You're missing a Big Story: I only shaved half my face today!" "Not again," I snapped, "I told you last time, that's only blogworthy when you let it grow for another few weeks." I turned back to Kathy and Genevieve. "I'll tell you what," I said, "I'll add some more normalcy into my blog, starting today." Here goes:

Shock waves rippled across 7th and Montana this morning as Kathy (pictured above) unveiled a bold, new hairdo. "It's called a Brazilian Blowout," she explained, "If I'd known about this, I would have done it years ago!" The secret, experts say, is in the conditioning agent. Stylists use a special, formaldehyde-free formulation to smooth the hair, leaving it with plenty of volume and body. "You leave the salon with beautiful, frizz-free hair with amazing shine," say the experts at PremiumGradeHair.com. Kathy will be sporting her new "do" tomorrow in Denver at the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy Medicine, where she is launching her new Trinfinity 8 Algorithmic Anti-Aging Technology. Good luck, Kathy!

In related news, Rigolatte (pictured below) -- the Local Loon known for spontaneously bursting into song at the drop of a hat -- startled the crowd this morning with a new addition to his repertoire. He sang three back-to-back renditions of the Hallelujah Chorus and giggled for no apparent reason between each one. Now that's what I call Human Interest!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


It was a morning of surprises at 7th and Montana today as an Anonymous Matron (pictured below) made the scene pushing a Baby Carriage. At first I assumed, based on her careful, deliberate movements, that her bundle of joy was fast asleep ... but boy was I in for a shock. It turned out she was wheeling around a large block of Styrofoam. "Mamma Mia!," I muttered, "I sure hope she didn't give birth to that." On the other hand, how many parents do you know who can call their child a chip off the old block and really mean it ...?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Hang on to your platelets, folks, there's a mystery brewing at Our Favorite Starbucks and something tells me it'll take a real Blood Hound to solve this one. Eland, our Friendly Neighborhood Author, was sitting near what appeared to be a congealed pool of blood at his table this morning. "Let me guess," I thought to myself, "Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen with the Candlestick?" But I didn't say anything. Afterall, everyone knows it takes a lot of Blood, Sweat and Tears -- and perhaps a Jelly Doughnut or two -- to get the creative juices flowing these days.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning as work neared completion on the Interesting New Home under construction on Georgina Avenue. Not since Opening Day at the "monstrosity" otherwise known as Casa del Bozo has one home meant so much to so few. "It's outrageous," said one woman who was up early, walking her dog, "It looks like a Giant Coffee Grinder." Indeed, the focal point of the new home is a larger-than-life, glass cylinder. "And what's with the Golden Gates?," she continued, "Isn't all that gold a bit over the top?!?" "Not at all," I replied, "They're making a statement. This isn't just any Coffee Grinder. It's the Deluxe Model, complete with Gold Filters!" Rumor has it the home has been commissioned as a Love Nest for Mr. Coffee and Mrs. Olsen.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Heads were turning at Our Favorite Starbucks this morning as an Anonymous Automaton made the scene, intent on celebrating Father's Day by staring off into space with what can only be described as an Inanimate Bundle of Joy in his arms. Amazingly enough, the Automaton (pictured above) sat silent and motionless for close to an hour. He didn't blink. His face was frozen in a Perpetual Scowl. He held a motionless bundle close to his chest which, for all I know, might have been a Ventriloquist's Dummy or a Kilbasa Sausage in a Baseball Cap. "Don't look now," I said quietly, "But I think we're having a Very Norman Bates Father's Day here at 7th and Montana ... if he hails a Taxidermist, I'm outta here!" Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


"Calling All Cars, Calling All Cars ... there's a DUI -- a Dazed Undercaffeinated Individual -- on the loose at 7th and Montana and witnesses report that he's Nuttier than a Fruitcake." That message must have been burning up the airwaves this morning as local law enforcement officials responded to reports of an "erratic driver" at Our Favorite Starbucks. The driver (pictured above) careened up 7th Street in his Shiny, New Lexus GS 400 (California License #4ZYD967), slammed twice into the curb in front of Starbucks and finally crashed into the back of a Silver Mercedes (California License #5AXV953) near Goose Egg Park.

"Good Lord," said one witness, a tourist from Houston, "Does this sort of thing happen a lot around here?" "Welcome to 7th and Montana," I replied, grabbing my Spycam and heading to the scene of the accident.

By the time I arrived, a small crowd had gathered and someone had already called the Police. The driver didn't seem to be hurt. "Looks like it's a bit smashed," I said of the Lexus. "I'm fine," slurred the Driver, "Just a little tired." To prove his point, he got out of his car and reclined by the side of the road. "Are you sure you're OK?," I asked. "My back hurts a little but I'm O.K.," said the Driver. He tried to get up -- and leave -- but someone had wisely taken away his car keys. Of course, he did leave eventually ... in an ambulance and under police escort.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Shock waves rippled across 7th and Montana this morning as Barista David announced that he's "going Hollywood." "I'm looking into getting some work as an extra," he said, modestly. Personally, I think he should set his sights higher. Elsewhere in Tinseltown, Variety reported yesterday that Actor Sean Penn is backing out of his commitment to play "Larry" in Peter and Bobby Ferrelli's re-make of "The Three Stooges." I tell you, everything happens for a reason ...!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It was Many Happy Returns at 7th and Montana on Sunday as Susan -- just back from her recent trip to Paris -- made the scene with her beloved Australian Bearded Dragon, Sophia. Sophia, who remained at home under the watchful eye of a neighbor, seemed thrilled to have Susan back in town. In fact, she was so happy she practically jumped out of her skin. "She's molting," Susan explained. Evidently, she's not the only one. I ran into Robin (pictured below, right) at an industry event today and, when a photographer (pictured below, left) tried to take a picture of her, Robin replied, "Oh, no ... I'm peeling!" Maybe there's something in the water ... !

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet HRH Puffenstuff, the scourge of our local Whole Foods market. I had the pleasure of running into Ms. Puffenstuff this evening ... or, to be more exact, she ran into me. There I was, minding my own business, looking for that perfect bunch of bananas, when Ms. Puffenstuff -- a Surly Matron in her mid thirties -- came barrelling out of nowhere and shoved me aside. At first I thought I was in her way, that somehow I had done something wrong. "I'm sorry ... excuse me," I said politely. She ignored me, elbowed someone else aside, and made a grab for a jumbo bag of pecans. I stood there staring at her, dumbfounded. She scowled at me and continued along her merry way. And that's when I had a sudden inspiration. It was too late to yell at her -- the moment had passed -- but, by God, I could see to it that she doesn't get away with this. I whipped out my trusty Spycam and followed her around the store, getting enough "evidence" to fill a website: Ms. Puffenstuff at the Meat Counter; Ms. Puffenstuff at the Bakery; Ms. Puffenstuff splurging on a bag of Bon Bons. You name it, I got it. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I guess that means I'll be plotting mine ... in the Frozen Foods aisle!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as the Fashion Plate known as Sammy the Somnambulist made the scene once again in his Pajamas. This time, he abandoned the "Zany Moose" print for something a bit more subtle: A pair of Plaid, Cotton Pajama Bottoms with Grungy Slippers and a T-Shirt. "At least he's not wearing one of those one-piece ensembles with built-in footsies and a flap on the behind," said one witness. "No," I replied, "I'm sure he saves that for Special Occasions!"

Sunday, June 14, 2009


The Local Tai Chi Community was in an uproar today as Goose Egg Park -- the loony landing pad just steps from Our Favorite Starbucks that's become a Mecca for everyone from Taekwondo Masters to Jedi Wannabes -- was closed for a neighborhood wedding. Just how did the park go from the Martial to the Marital in the space of a day? Neighbor Samara got a permit to close off the area so she could get remarried there, that's how. Since I don't know Samantha personally, I lurked in the background taking pictures and standing guard against any black-belted extremists. It was a beautiful wedding. The Happy Couple entered the park to strains of Bach's "Air on the G String," followed by a short-but-sweet ceremony and a reception at Samantha's house. Congratulations to the Happy Couple. If I were you, I'd steer clear of men dressed like Ninja Warriors for a while ...!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Frosting was flying at 7th and Montana this morning as Stuntman Mike revealed the details of his Latest Daredevil Assignment. "I'm heading out to the desert where I'll be driving around in a Giant, Motorized Cupcake," he said. "What?!?," I asked, incredulously. "I'm on a commercial shoot for a pastry company," he explained, "They need me to drive a Giant Cupcake and perform some stunts." If you ask me, simply driving a cupcake is a stunt in and of itself, but what do I know? "Look on the bright side," I said, "There's nowhere to go but up from something like this ... maybe one day you'll get to drive the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile." "Been there, done that," he replied, "I drove the Wienermobile fifteen years ago." I didn't know what to say. The Accuweather Forecast calls for 94-degree temperatures in Palm Springs ... more than enough to melt anyone's frosting. Something tells me it's not a good day for a drive in the Dessert!

Friday, June 12, 2009


It was yet another Mexican Standoff at 7th and Montana this morning as the Notorious Newspaper Thief -- known far and wide for stealing copies of The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times from Our Favorite Starbucks -- proved once again just how brazen he can be. As usual, he crept in the side entrance, glanced furtively around to make sure no one was looking, and sidled his way over to the Newspaper Bin. "Don't even think about it," I muttered, pointing my camera in his direction. He simply glared at me, grabbed a newspaper from the sales display and walked out the door. In his book, The Vanishing Newspaper, Philip Meyer predicts that newsprint will die in America sometime during the first quarter of 2043. Something tells me that'll be the day that the Newspaper Thief -- cockroach that he is -- finally admits defeat ...!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Head for the Hills, folks! There's a Rogue Trombonist in our midst and something tells me he's 76 Trombones short of a Parade. I caught up with him "in concert" last night, not far from Our Favorite Starbucks, creating the kind of noise one might expect from a dying Sea Lion. It took me a while, but I finally realized that he was trying to play Sentimental Journey, the 1944 ballad made famous by Les Brown and his Orchestra. "Wow," I said, in an effort to distract him, "That's the best Slide Trombone Solo I've ever heard in this neighborhood!" He let my remark slide ... and carried on as if I wasn't there. Believe me, soon enough, I wasn't ...!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Quick, call the Fashion Police: A Gangly Newcomer -- known among insiders as "Ichabod" -- committed a moving violation this morning at 7th and Montana by wearing shorts, sneakers and ... brace yourselves ... argyle socks. "Now we know who put the arrrgh in argyle," said one witness. In his defense, inside sources suggest that Poor Ichabod had an accomplice. Rumor has it he's been getting fashion tips from the Headless Horseman ...!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


It was a taste of Hollywood at 7th and Montana this morning as Barista Tyler auditioned for a part in my blog. "Good-a morning, Maaaaty," he said, "Did-a you know that today is-a speak with an Italiano accent day?" He sounded like the man in the classic Alka Seltzer commercial, the one who always cried, "Mamma Mia, what a spicy meatball." "No dice, Tyler," I said, "That accent isn't getting you into the blog." He disappeared in the back room and returned moments later with a backpack. "This ought to get you," he said, pulling a laptop computer and several mysterious boxes out of his backpack and waving them in my direction. "Nothing doing," I replied, "I do have some journalistic integrity, you know!" "Alright," he said, lowering his voice and speaking in a monotone, "I stand corrected ... it's Russian Accent day!" "Look," I explained, "It's nothing personal but you have some pretty stiff competition today." Outside, the One-Eyed Bandit was parading up and down 7th Street wearing a pair of swim trunks on his head and Rigolatte, known for belting out Opera Tunes for no apparent reason, was warming-up at the bus stop. "Wait ... I'll come up with something," Tyler vowed, "Just watch this!" And with that, he he ran right up to Hanna, the woman formerly known as Pajama Girl for occasionally wearing her pajamas in public, and threw himself at her feet. "Will you marry me?," he cried. Hanna seemed to take the proposal in stride. I guess when you work in Hollywood like she does, you learn pretty quickly how to recognize a publicity stunt when you see it ...!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Sirens were blaring at 7th and Montana this morning as an ambulance pulled up to the red zone in front of Our Favorite Starbucks and the driver, a young man in his mid-twenties (pictured below), ran inside. I followed suit, intent on getting a handle on the emergency. "What seems to be the problem?," I asked, authoritatively. "Nothing," he replied, "I'm just getting a cup of coffee." "I see," I said, quickly glancing at the promotional literature on display behind him, "Might I suggest the Iced Caffe Mocha? I hear it's 'made with 100 percent love for real coffee!'" He was about to respond when we were interrupted by a Frantic Young Woman in her early thirties. "Are you on your way to respond to a call on 6th Street?," she asked. "Why, yes," replied the driver. "That's my house," she said, "I called for my husband, but don't rush. We're not ready for you yet!" That's what I love about 7th and Montana: Everyone has their priorities straight ...!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Yapster," the World's Most Annoying Pooch. Yapster made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning intent on waking the dead ... and his owner, a woman known locally as "Mrs. Buttersworth," didn't seem to mind it one bit. The minute Mrs. Buttersworth went into Starbucks, Yapster, who remained outside tethered to a newspaper bin, started barking to beat the band. He treated the neighborhood to a series of nonstop yips and yaps for more than 20-minutes while Mrs. Buttersworth did what she does best: She took her own sweet time. Finally, Cathy couldn't take it anymore. "La montarde m'est monter au zes!," she cried, her French blood boiling. She stormed into Starbucks to give Mrs. Buttersworth a piece of her mind. The result was instantaneous. Mrs. Buttersworth (pictured below) flew out of Starbucks like a bat out of hell and hightailed it down 7th Street with the Yapster in tow. We'll never know exactly what Cathy said to Mrs. Buttersworth, but the English translation for her French comment above is: "The mustard is climbing up my nose!" "Was it Grey Poupon?," I asked. "No," said Cathy, "It was Colman's Extra Spicey!"

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Puss-in-Boots, an Unfortunate Fashion Victim who made the scene at 7th and Montana this week wearing a pair of fur-lined boots that made her look like Yukon Sal. "Quick," said Howard, "Grab your camera ... she's getting away!" Indeed, her boots were made for walking, albeit at a Glacial pace. I moved quickly to grab a photo. "Do you think she realizes that it's June in Southern California?," I asked. "I've met her before," said Howard, "She's from Texas." Let's hope she's from the part that wants to secede ...!

Friday, June 5, 2009


How would you like to travel 3,000 miles for a little rest and relaxation, only to have a complete stranger dredge-up your worst problems as soon as you arrive? Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Yehuda, a man who has been dealing with a scandal so ugly it followed him all the way from Boston to Santa Monica. As President of Brandeis University, he recently decided that the University should sell a number of valuable works of art to raise money. The resulting uproar -- from the art community, alumni, and insiders -- made international headlines. When I read about it, I couldn't help putting myself in the position of the people who had donated the art to begin with, all of whom have passed away. How would you like to give a valuable gift -- designed to create a legacy in a world-class museum -- only to have it sold-off to the highest bidder? I guess that's why I tackled Yehuda as soon as I saw him. "Howdy," I said, "I've read all about ... your controversy." "Yes," said Yehuda politely, "I have some artwork to sell. Are you interested?" "How much?," I asked. "Trust me," he replied, "you can't afford it!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009


It was Many Happy Returns at 7th and Montana today as Ace Photographer Kovar made the scene fresh from a business trip to Roswell, New Mexico. What kind of business could Kovar have in the UFO capital of the world? That, my friends, is Strictly Classified ... but rumor has it the trip will be well-documented on Explore.org. Naturally, I pressed Kovar for details. "You can tell me," I began, "Did you see any Little Green Men?" "No," he replied, "It was just a small town in the middle of nowhere. A lot of the shops had been shut down." "So, you're telling me there was no sign of Aliens?," I continued, "Surely you don't mean to say ... err ... wait a minute ...!" A man resembling a cross between Chewbacca the Wookie and Grizzly Adams walked by guzzling a Grande Americano. "Forget it," I said, "Who needs Roswell, anyway ...?!?"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Politics reared its head at 7th and Montana this morning ... but -- surprisingly enough -- it was sound asleep and snoring. Ladies and Gentleman, meet Ms. Pundit, a Sweet Little Old Lady who made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks this morning intent on making a curious political statement. "Oh dear," she said, turning to me in a whisper, "I'm running late. Do you know what time it is?" Before I could respond, she appeared to slump her head forward and doze off. I did what any gentleman in my situation would do: I whipped out my trusty spycam and zoomed-in for a close-up. As I did so, I couldn't help noticing just how late she was. A large button on her broad-brimmed straw hat read: "McCain Campaign Leadership Victory Team" ...!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


If you were watching the season finale last night of NBC-TV's psychic detective series, 'Medium', you might have thought you were seeing a ghost in more ways than one. That's because at precisely 10:24 p.m., Barista Tyler appeared on the screen. "I nearly fell out of my chair," said one regular at Our Favorite Starbucks, "I had a sudden urge to run to the kitchen and get a cup of coffee." Tyler, whose debut lasted for nearly five seconds, played the role of a Federal Agent sitting at a conference room table. The series lead, Patricia Arquette, took one look in Tyler's direction and collapsed in a heap on the floor. Blood was pouring from her nose. She was later rushed to the hospital where inside sources say she will remain unconscious until next season. And boy is she in for a surprise when she wakes up. The series is moving to CBS this fall ...!

Monday, June 1, 2009


The Gossip Mill was working overtime at 7th and Montana this morning as a handful of "nonbelievers" called me to task on some of my recent blog coverage. "Last Thursday, you mentioned something about a Wombat in a Pith Helmet," said one particularly disgruntled reader, "But I've never seen anything like that around here. Frankly, I don't believe you." I was shocked. In the past year, we've seen everything from Jittery Nutcases who treat hot chocolate like a weapon of mass destruction to Superheroes who perform Yoga in the middle of the street with underwear on their head. And some people find it hard to believe there could be a Wombat with a Pith Helmet in our midst?!? Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, here he is -- pictured above -- the Wombat in a Pith Helmet. I rest my mental case ...!