It was a case of Auld Anxiety at 7th and Montana this morning as Mr. Transistor -- the man known for walking up and down 7th Street blasting his transistor radio -- left his pit bull tied-up in front of Our Favorite Starbucks again and disappeared for at least 30-minutes. As usual, the dog barked non-stop. "This is getting ridiculous," said Bob, "Someone ought to do something about it." "I'm on it!," I replied, whipping out my Spycam and activating the "GoRequest" application. GoRequest, for those who don't know, is an iPhone application offering a direct pipeline to the City of Santa Monica. It's easy-to-use: Just take a photo of whatever offends you, add a brief explanation, hit send and -- voila -- Instant Complaint. I took the photo above and added the following message: "This pit bull is the pits. Every morning its owner ties it up at 7th and Montana and walks away, leaving it barking nonstop. Isn't there a law against this? Oh, and the guy sitting behind the dog is wearing a Funky Turban ... please send the Fashion Police!" You might be wondering "should old acquaintance be forgot?" Let me tell you, if that old acquaintance is Mr. Transistor, the answer is definitely "yes!" Happy New Year, everyone ...!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Some days you just want to throw in the towel ... and if you don't believe me, just ask the Zombie-in-Training who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning wearing a rolled-up towel on his head. No doubt he was trying to create a makeshift turban, but it kept coming unravelled. I guess he could use a little turban renewal ...!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Slick Willie, an Anonymous Nincompoop who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning wearing the kind of raingear one might expect if we were having a monsoon. Granted, it was drizzling, but his outfit -- a full-fledged, bright yellow rain jacket and matching pants -- seemed like overkill. "Get a load of Mr. Slick," I said. Bob took one look at him and said, "I've seen slicker ...!"
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
It was out with the old year and in with the new at 7th and Montana this morning as Genevieve made the scene with an official 2011 Crop Circle Calendar, which she got as a gift from Kathy. Kathy made the calendar herself by artfully combining various photos of crop circles and sending them to Apple to be printed and bound. The result was inspiring. "That looks great," I said, "I think I'll make something similar using photos I've taken here at 7th and Montana ... only we'll call it the Official 2011 Crap Circle Calendar." As I spoke, an idea began to take shape. The Crap Circle Calendar could feature a different load of crap each month, each carefully selected from the array of souvenirs Barista Kevin has cleaned off the floor of the rest room at Our Favorite Starbucks. "And why stop there?," I continued, "This thing has movie rights written all over it!" I, for one, smell a sequel to the 1957 classic which won Joanne Woodward an Oscar for Best Actress. We'll call it "The Three Feces of Eve."
Monday, December 27, 2010
Tarnation! There's a dead ringer for Huck Finn in town and I'll be hornswoggled if his straw hat ain't enough to make you say "Hee Haw." I caught up with the would-be Huck today near the FedEx office on 6th Street and -- take it from me -- he left his brain somewhere in the Antebellum Period. "Howdy, that's some hat," I said. He looked at me and -- in a voice not unlike Mickey Mouse's sidekick, Goofy -- he let out an enormous guffaw. Poor Huck. On the one hand, there's his hat. On the other, there's good fashion sense. Something tells me, never the Twain shall meet ...!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Shock waves rippled across 7th and Montana this morning as the Zombie -- known for sitting in the same chair, in the same position, for hours on end -- got up from his table at Our Favorite Starbucks and somnambulated his way to the bus stop outside. He resumed his standard position but, in a shocking new twist, he started smacking his lips together again and again, like a cow chewing his cud. A Nearsighted Pedestrian (pictured above) tapped him on the shoulder and asked, "Do you know the bus schedule?" The Zombie swiveled around to face him, took one look at his head, and started smacking his lips together even more loudly. I knew it was time to intervene. "I wouldn't expect an answer if I were you," I muttered, "The only bus this guy's waiting for is heading straight to the Twilight Zone." "I see what you mean," said the Pedestrian, who took off up 7th Street. As for the Zombie, he eventually went back inside and ducked into the restroom, only to emerge several minutes later in a Gossamer Skirt. "Yikes," said Genevieve, "Did you get a photo of the slit in that skirt?" I must admit, I can't figure out why the Zombie sometimes wears this skirt. Maybe it's for Ghouls Night Out ...?
Saturday, December 25, 2010
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen ... but I'll bet you don't know the latest addition to Santa's Band of Yuletide Hoofers: Brazen. Yes, it's true, the Notorious Neighborhood Newspaper Thief made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning and he's more Brazen than ever. The Thief -- known for stealing copies of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times when he thinks no one is looking -- snuck up to Our Favorite Starbucks, double-checked to make sure the coast was clear, then swooped-in for the kill. Normally -- for some inexplicable reason -- the very site of me and my Spycam sends him peddling away at warp speed on his getaway bike, but today he didn't see me. He marched right into Starbucks and grabbed both newspapers without so much as a "Feliz Navidad." I sidled up to his getaway bike outside and waited for him to return. When he did, I pointed my Spycam right in his face and said, "Howdy, nice day to steal the newspaper, eh?" He recoiled, as usual, then jumped on his bike and peddled like crazy -- doing a strange loop-de-loop in the middle of 7th Street -- before regaining his composure and zipping off into the horizon. Yes, he's Brazen, alright. Then, again, I guess it takes one to know one ...!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Elfish Presley, the Anonymous Newcomer whose fashion sense was All Shook Up this morning at 7th and Montana. He made the scene wearing a green felt fedora balanced precariously atop a helmet of perpendicular red hair. He looked like a refugee from Santa's Workshop. "Leprechaun Alert!," cried Howard, warning me to get my Spycam in position. As for Elfish, he walked right on by, rushing up 7th Street as if trying to escape the fashion police. And good thing, too. I, for one, wouldn't want to hear him sing Jailhouse Rock.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Good news, folks: Ebenezer Scrooge is alive and well ... and he's hanging around at the Brentwood Country Mart. I ran into him this morning at the Bank of America branch there and he was in rare form. He stood behind me in line muttering "move it, move it, move it" under his breath like a mantra. I could tell he was getting impatient with the woman in front of me, who was taking her time making a deposit. When she was done, instead of leaving, she started talking with the teller about her holiday plans. "I'm heading to Sun Valley tomorrow," she said, "I'm really looking forward to it." "Shut up and get the f-ck out of here!," shouted Scrooge. The woman left in a huff. I stepped up to the teller to make a withdrawal, but could still hear Scrooge muttering in the background. Evidently, I took too long, too. "Will you hurry the f-ck up?!? ... I haven't got all day!," he shouted. By this point I was fed up. I turned around, whipped out my Spycam and said, "Why don't you just shove it up your chimney, Santa? We're all doing the best we can." So much for Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards men ...!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times at 7th and Montana this morning as two customers within minutes of each other had very different experiences at Our Favorite Starbucks. Let's start with the best. An attractive blond woman was so thrilled with her beverage that it sounded like she was having an orgasm. "Oooooooh, Tyler," she cooed to Barista Tyler, "You did it again .... this is perrrrfect." She continued moaning for a while until I couldn't resist asking her what she ordered. "It's the combination of whipped cream, caramel and salt that makes it," she said, "You haven't lived until you've tried salted caramel." To each their own, I guess. Speaking of which, another customer came along moments later with something he had ordered from the pastry case. I'm not sure what looked more petrified: the customer or his pastry. Maybe that's why he resorted to eating the paper bag it came in, instead ...!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
It was Lights, Camera, Action at 7th and Montana on Sunday as a real Hollywood Insider made the scene with the kind of career challenge you don't find every day. "I'm an actress," she announced, "But I've been typecast as a ghoul." "You don't say," I replied. She had bright red hair and was wearing a black coat, festooned with tiny, stuffed people. "Oh, yes," she continued, "I've played corpses, zombies, witches, ladies of the evening ... you name it, I've played it. I was even on the cover of Fangoria Magazine!" I couldn't have been more surprised had she said she played Maria von Trapp in the Sound of Music. "Really," I said, "Fangoria?!? That's amazing!" I tried to learn more about her stint as a zombie, but she changed the subject on me. "Let me introduce you to my friends," she said with a laugh. And then, one by one, she pointed out the various stuffed people that were dangling from her jacket and purse. Oh, well ... I guess every actress needs an entourage!
Monday, December 20, 2010
You've got to give Screenwriter Nat credit, he's a big wheeler-dealer. And if you don't believe me, just ask Barista Tyler, who was strangely compelled this morning to waive his credit card in Nat's direction. Fortunately for Tyler, there was a pain of glass separating him from Nat, because the very sight of the credit card sent the normally mild-mannered Screenwriter into a frenzy. He ran over to the window and reached desperately for the card, his face assuming an expression not unlike Smeagol, the Gollum from Lord of the Rings. I can't be sure, but I think Nat was crying, "Myyyy Precccccious ...!" Don't get me wrong ... I know how important a good credit history is these days, but Nat is obviously doing just fine without Tyler's help. In fact, he has more screen credits to his name than almost anyone I know ...!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Ahoy there, mateys! Captain Dreadlocks -- part-time scourge of the seven seas and part-time local loon -- made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning after a hiatus of nearly a year. And he brought his latest booty with him, too: a defective cell phone which he was examining in great detail with a magnifying glass. Not much has changed about the Good Captain in the past year: Same sportcoat, same shocking white dreadlocks, same patch over his right eye. Even his aroma -- a scent I like to call "Essence of Poopdeck" -- was the same. I went in for a closer look. "Hey there," I said, whipping out my Spycam, "It looks like you're really interested in that cell phone." Indeed, he had taken it completely apart and spread the pieces across the table like a pile of gold doubloons. "I'm just trying to figure out the serial number," he said in a spotless English accent, "But I can't quite see it ... maybe you can help?" I read the numbers to him out loud and thought that was the end of it. But who knows ... maybe once he gets the silly thing working, I'll have some "Spycam" competition on my hands ...!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
It was out with the Viagra, in with the iPhone at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that Kathy has launched a new iPhone application designed, among other things, to boost the libido. Ever the entrepreneur, Kathy in recent years has put her considerable knowledge of quantum-based technology to good use by developing a computer program called Trinfinity 8, a tool which "awakens positive vibrational change" in people by exposing them to a series of fractal images and specially coded algorithmic data which -- when transmitted to your body through the USB port of your PC or Mac via a pair of quartz crystal rods -- can do anything from reducing stress to rejuvenating your skin and hair. Kathy's new iPhone Application works a bit differently: It offers "energy on the go" by streaming the data through the faceplate of your iPhone and the earbuds of your headphones. Just switch on the iPhone, launch the Trinfinity 8 application and -- voila -- you can Balance your Energy, Feel Good or Boost your Libido. Who would have thought that by just looking at your iPhone you could "increase desire, arousal, stamina, energy and erotic activation"? I say, "Bravo for Kathy!" Let's erect a statue in her honor ...!
It's been raining for two straight days in Santa Monica ... but don't get me wrong, there are plenty of silver linings in the clouds around here. For example, there's nothing like a good storm front to let you know who has the good sense to come in from the rain. I found that out the hard way yesterday when I took a seat at the last empty table inside. I hadn't been there for two minutes when I was startled by an unfamiliar voice. "Mind if I join you?" It was the Zombie, known for sitting in the same chair, in the same pose, for hours on end. Lately he's been spotted wearing a skin-tight, translucent mini-skirt, but yesterday, thank God, he was just wearing a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. I was aghast. Before I could say anything, he sat across from me and assumed his usual position, with both hands firmly glued to his head, as if to keep it from spinning completely around, Exorcist-style. "Err, I'll just be going now," I stammered, but I doubt he heard me. On my way out the door, I ran into Rigolatte, the local Opera Loon known for locking himself in the men's room and belting out scenes from the Marriage of Figaro. He was standing by the espresso machine slowly reciting the Gettysburg Address. I drank my coffee outside, which I guess makes me the Odd Man Out in the rain ...
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Shock waves rippled across 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that one of our very own had a past life as an Accordion Player. Yes, it's true, as a budding young whelp -- or Welk, as the case may be -- this current regular at Our Favorite Starbucks enjoyed a certain share of celebrity in accordion circles. "All that was missing was the monkey," he joked. Can you guess his identity?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Ick-arus," an Unfortunate Fashion Victim who made the scene at the San Jose Airport today with bright yellow and orange feathers in her hair. "Good God," I muttered, "Why would she be taking a plane ... she could probably fly south for the winter on her own steam." In addition to the feathers in her hair, she wore a leather jacket with a feather collar, black Ugg Boots and a pair of bright pink Betty Boop flannel pajamas. I didn't waste any time whipping out my Spycam. I took photos of her from a variety of angles, and would probably still be at it were it not for a pesky airport security agent who saw what I was doing and distracted me. "Now there's something you don't see every day," she said, quietly gesturing at Ick-arus. "As a matter of fact, I do see this kind of thing every day," I replied, "You don't know my neighborhood Starbucks ...!"
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Do you know the way to San Jose? If not, just follow the mold spores. You see, I'm here in San Jose for a quick business trip and since I lived around here for several years, I thought I'd pay a visit to one of my old haunts, the Mollie Stones grocery store in Palo Alto. Mollie Stones is a high-end store featuring great, gourmet foods with one exception: Their baked goods. During the years I lived here, they'd frequently leave the same pastries on the shelf until they got moldy. Every Tuesday, I'd make it my business to gather up all the expired baked goods, put them in a shopping cart, and wheel them over to the manager. "Howdy," I'd say in a loud voice so all the other customers could hear, "I found lots of additional expired goods in your bakery today but not to worry ... only a few are actually moldy!" Every week, he'd cringe and remind me that he wasn't responsible for the bakery. Today -- seven years later -- I decided to stop in, just to see how things were going. Have they changed the pastry since I moved away? Fortunately, everything looked fresh and there was no mold in sight. As for the Manager, I didn't recognize him anymore. I guess over the years my memory has gotten a bit fuzzy ... just like a Mollie Stone's crumb cake!
Monday, December 13, 2010
It was the advent of an adventurous, new Rigolatte this morning at 7th and Montana as the local loon -- known for locking himself in the men's room and belting out opera tunes for hours on end -- tried something new: Handing out Advent Calendars. It was a particularly bold move for the man who has been repeatedly kicked out of Our Favorite Starbucks for handing out religious literature. He started out carefully enough, walking through the door with all the stealth of a crack FBI agent, but all bets were off when he started cracking up. "Here," he giggled, "Take one ... it's for you ... it just might save your soul!" Within seconds, the manager was at his side, escorting him out the door. As the door shut behind him, the tenacious tenor summoned up all his strength and bellowed, "Was it something I said ...?!?"
It was Local Politics at its best at 7th and Montana yesterday as Kathy gave Mr. Mayor some valuable advice. "Why don't we do the same thing in Santa Monica that they do in Manhattan Beach and put cute little Santa Hats over all the parking meters for the holidays?," she asked. Manhattan Beach, for those who don't know, basically waives all the parking meter fees throughout the holiday period to encourage folks to hang around and shop. "That would never work here," said Mr. Mayor, "People would just show up to park for free and never leave." Then, to cheer Kathy up, he gave her a fistful of change and said, "Here ... why don't you use this for the parking meter, instead?" Kathy laughed and gave him back his money, but the whole thing gave me an idea. Five minutes later, I approached Mr. Mayor with the very same question, fully expecting a fistful of change. But the Mayor just looked at me suspiciously and said, "She just asked me the same question." It was clear, there would be no fistful of change in my future. Oh, well, that's what I get for giving the Mayor my two cents worth ...!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Audie Bull, the scourge of United Flight #139 from New Orleans to Los Angeles. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Audie yesterday and, take it from me, he's a shoe-in to succeed Ted Turner in the Mouth from the South department. I knew something was up from the moment he sat down. "Girlie," he shouted to the Flight Attendant, "Bring me a Bloody Mary." It was 6:20 a.m. and the flight hadn't taken off yet. Two hours and four Bloody Marys later, he was shouting his life story to a group of six college girls who were sitting three rows ahead of us. When it was obvious that they weren't listening, he ordered Bloody Marys for the lot of them and two more for himself. With each Bloody Mary he became successively louder. An hour later, he cracked open a newspaper and began reading the real estate section aloud. "I'm from the Bayou," he shouted, "We sure know how to live down there and man-oh-man houses in my neck of the woods are cheap!" He spread his newspaper across not only his own, but my tray table, as well, and busied himself lining up mini bottles of vodka across the armrest between our seats. "Girlie," he shouted to the Flight Attendant, "I'll take another Bloody Mary!" By this point, I knew it was time to retaliate. I asked the Flight Attendant for a Yogurt Parfait, which was the only item they had left on their "meals on board" menu. When "Audie" wasn't looking, I began spooning the Parfait bit by bit over his newspaper, starting with the Sports section and working my way to the Funny Pages. I didn't stop until I covered every page that was sitting on my tray table. "Lordy, what a mess!," he shouted. While he was busy trying to wipe his newspaper off with a cocktail napkin, I knocked the mini vodka bottles off the armrest between our seats. Why, you might ask, do I end up sitting next to these Goofballs on nearly every flight I take? I guess it's just Parfait for the course ...!
Friday, December 10, 2010
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Cafe du Monde, the original French Market cafe famous since 1862 for its coffee and beignets. Not that the coffee or beignets are that great, but it's just one of those places you go when you're in New Orleans. Cafe du Monde somehow lost its luster for me when I discovered that they also had a branch in Kyoto, but still, it's a New Orleans tradition. I woke up extra early this morning and walked there before my meetings began ... and, as always, they made me feel right at home. Indeed, it might as well have been 7th and Montana. Standing right there on the sidewalk, not far from the Cafe, was an Interesting Gentleman wearing a bright orange bucket on his head and singing Christmas Carols. His voice carried for blocks, no doubt amplified by the bucket, which he kept completely over his head. He used his fists to beat on the bucket as if it were a Bongo Drum. Somehow, he sensed my approach. He removed the bucket. "You've got real talent, kid," I said, trying to sound like a Hollywood talent agent. "What?!?," he cried. I tried again. "You ought to be in pictures!," I yelled. "What?!?," he cried. Finally, I gave up and just gave him a dollar bill. No doubt the fact that he uses his head as a percussion instrument has taken a toll on his hearing. I just hope he doesn't kick the bucket ...!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I normally don't like to mix work with my blog, but I had the honor of participating in an event on Monday evening that was pretty amazing. One of the industry groups I'm involved in, the Blu-ray Disc Association, was inducted into the Home Entertainment Hall of Fame. The BDA includes more than 160 companies -- consumer electronics manufacturers, movie studios, computing companies -- who have been working for years to develop and market Blu-ray technology. Here is a link to a brief item on the event from Variety, which organizes the event every year. They were also nice enough to provide me with this photo (caption info is in the link to their article). My company's news blog, Pulse, also ran an item on the event as well as an interview with me about another interesting new trend in home entertainment, Connected Televisions. The Hall of Fame marked a real milestone. In my speech, I compared milestones to kidney stones, but this particular milestone was much more of a pleasure ...!
I made it safe and sound to New Orleans yesterday and, shortly after emerging from my hotel on Canal Street, was pleased to see that I'm conveniently located right near the "Voo Doo Mart." This could come in handy. For starters, I'll go see if they can put a curse on the woman sitting across the aisle from me on my flight here (pictured below). While trying to load her oversized 'carry-on' bag into the overhead compartment, she accidentally dropped it on one of my colleagues, giving him a mild concussion.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie ... you start screaming. That is, if you're Baby Bryce and you're being serenaded by Neighbor Kathy. Kathy, much smitten with young Bryce, convinced Hunter to let her hold him this morning. Hunter passed the baby over and Kathy immediately started singing the classic Dean Martin tune "That's Amore." All I can say is, it certainly didn't sound like "Amore" to Bryce, who immediately started screaming. "Oh, Bryce," said Hunter, trying to calm the baby down, "This is your 'Auntie Kathy.' But judging from Bryce's reaction, it might as well have been his "Auntie Maim." I guess Kathy put it best: "There's a critic on every corner!"
Monday, December 6, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Bo," an Unfortunate Fashion Victim who made the scene at 7th and Montana yesterday wearing a bright blue boa and a fedora. "Who would wear something like that ... what's taken hold of him?," asked one witness. "I don't know," I said, "Maybe he's channeling Gypsy Rose Lee." I left before he could break out into a chorus of 'Let Me Entertain You" ...!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
America's Sweetheart Molly Ringwald -- star of such '80s films as Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles -- made the scene this morning at 7th and Montana, but all I got was this photo of her looking like a shapeless blob. Let me explain: Molly is a regular at Our Favorite Starbucks, but she keeps a pretty low profile. So low, in fact, that I was never quite certain whether I had seen her or not. For months, people would say, "Isn't that Molly Ringwald?" and I'd say "Really, where?" Today, however, I had a golden opportunity. "Molly's inside," said Hunter. A number of us took turns going in to 'take a peek,' but no one wanted to make her uncomfortable. By the time my turn came around, I sensed that she was suspicious. I tried my usual ruse -- making it look like I was on the phone -- but she was staring directly at my Spycam. Not only that, but she seemed to be holding a Spycam of her own. I knew I had to make it quick. "Can't talk now," I muttered into the phone while taking her picture, "I'm at Starbucks." It wasn't until later that I realized I'd botched the whole thing. Oh well, I guess I've earned myself a 'detention' with the rest of The Breakfast Club!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Yule never believe what happened today at 7th and Montana: Kris Kringle, himself, drove by in a white Mustang convertible under police and fire department escort. Sirens blared, traffic stopped and children ran to the sidewalk, all in an effort to ring in the holidays. As for Jolly Old Saint Nick ... he didn't look especially Jolly. I couldn't help noticing that, as he passed Our Favorite Starbucks, he put his hands together and seemed to be saying a little prayer. Perhaps, like the rest of us, he was praying that there were no crimes or fires in the city while so many of Santa Monica's finest were busy protecting him ...!
All Hell broke loose at 7th and Montana this morning as Mr. Transistor -- known for blaring his transistor radio at full blast as he walks up and down 7th Street -- popped a cog. "Help!," he cried, "My radio is gone!" He ran into Starbucks where witnesses report he went into great detail describing the missing artifact. "It's small, silver and battery operated," he said, as if the entire neighborhood hadn't noticed it again and again over the years. "It's probably at home sitting next to his teeth," said Richard. Be that as it may, the Poor Guy was rattled. I was tempted to get him a new radio, but no doubt I'd catch a lot of static ...!
Friday, December 3, 2010
It was Hats Off to the Montana Avenue Merchants Association tonight for hosting the annual Montana Avenue Holiday Walk in high style. Indeed, some of the participants -- like the woman pictured above -- must have been high as a kite. What else would possess someone to parade around town wearing a hat made of Gargantuan Christmas Tree Ornaments? Then, again, 7th and Montana has always been a bastion of good taste. Just this morning, I finally worked up the courage to commend one local gentleman on his fine taste in plastic boutonnieres. "What an elegant fashion statement," I said. "Well," he replied, "I'm inspired by the Hollywood Classics." "I can see that," I said, "It's the classic kind of look you see on old TV shows." I didn't have the heart to tell him it was usually on The Three Stooges and squirted seltzer water at the push of a button ...!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
It was Another Day, Another Zombie at 7th and Montana yesterday as yet another Space Cadet made the scene. And yes, he was sitting in the infamous chair that seems to have become the source of all things Zombie. "Good God, we've got another live one here," I said. "On second thought, maybe the word live isn't quite accurate." Indeed, he looked like death warmed over. He sat slouched in his chair, his features largely obscured by a mass of long, stringy hair. Strangely enough, he exhibited one peculiar sign of life: He was spinning something that looked like a paperweight attached to a rubber band around and around between his legs so fast you could hear it humming from across the room. He paused only occasionally to take a sip of coffee. The more coffee he drank, the faster he spun. When he left, he shot out the door like a guided missile, much faster than the average Zombie. Perhaps he was late for his Spinning Class ...
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The morning rush took on a new meaning at 7th and Montana today as an Adorable Tyke made the scene in a zippy red convertible. "Beep, Beep!," he cried, passing the pastry counter at lightning speed. He seemed somewhat distracted, and weaved a bit in and out of traffic. I couldn't help wondering whether he was ordering Decaf or Hi-Test ...!
It was Comedy Central at Our Favorite Starbucks yesterday at our very own Mr. Mayor personally apologized to each and every person waiting to order their coffee. The scene went something like this: Barista Nada wished the Mayor a belated Happy Thanksgiving. The Mayor -- always looking out for his constituents -- told Nada to clam-up. "Less small talk, more coffee," he joked. He then went from person to person apologizing for any delay. "It's all Nada," he continued, "She's causing the back-up." Everyone laughed, but I couldn't help wondering if this is how good politicians get elected: Pass the (Star)bucks and appeal to the base. At least it wasn't a Tea Party ...!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Skullery Maid, an attractive young woman who made the scene at 7th and Montana last week wearing nothing but a jacket, an oversized T-shirt and a pair of skeleton tights. What, you might ask, are skeleton tights? Take a close look at the photo above. They're multi-colored tights adorned with alternating horizontal stripes and -- you guessed it -- skulls. I guess you could say she was Dressed to Kill ...!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as the Zombie -- known for sitting in the same chair, in a daze, for hours on end -- made the scene wearing a skirt. "Yikes," I said, "Do you see what I see?" The Zombie shuffled by wearing a gossamer-thin, see-through, skirt cut just above the knees. Mercifully, he was wearing a pair of rolled-up blue jeans underneath. "It's a Sports Kilt," said Joyce. But I had my doubts. What possible sport could he be playing that requires a Kilt ... the Somnambulist Olympics?!? Off-Kilter is more like it ...!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
They say that chivalry is dead ... and if that's true, I'd like you to meet two of the vultures who have been quietly picking at its bones this week at 7th and Montana. The first, a young woman in her early thirties (pictured above), backed into me and stepped on my foot while we were both waiting in line to order coffee on Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong ... the fact that she backed into me didn't bother me at all. Accidents happen, and we all have our klutzy moments. It's what happened next that came as a shocker. Instead of the usual "I'm sorry" or "Pardon me," she turned around and glared at me as if I did something wrong. Next up was the Charmer who stood in line behind Joyce this morning. Every time she thought Joyce wasn't looking, she jockeyed for position like a racehorse ... quietly trying to cut to the front of the line. Ultimately, one of the Baristas had to tell her to wait her turn. I realize these aren't isolated incidents -- stories like this are all too common -- but the whole thing has me wondering. Where do people get such an inflated sense of self worth? I guess it must be that old Hollywood affliction: A case of mistaken nonentity ...!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Space Cadet -- a high flying oddball who recently brought his very own Flight Simulator to the Starbucks at Powell and Sutter in San Francisco. According to Kathy, who forwarded the attached photo to me, the Space Cadet spent hours flying planes on his computer screen -- soaring and steering with headphones on -- while onlookers gaped in astonishment. Some say he was going for his pilot's license, but I think he's just plain cracked. Speaking of cracks, an Anonymous Newcomer treated the crowd at 7th and Montana this morning to a delightful view of her butt crack. Who knows, maybe she's trying to convince the Powers that Be to add Half Moons to the pastry menu ...!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
It sure is nice to get off for Thanksgiving ... and if you don't believe me, just ask the Anonymous Dog Lover who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning. No sooner did she arrive, then she made a beeline for the lonely Pit Bull pictured above. "What a doll!," she said, "Do you mind if I pet him?" The dog belongs to Mr. Transistor, the Local Loon who usually tunes everything out except his transistor radio. "Be my guest," he replied. The Dog Lover, however, did my than just "pet" the Poor Beast. She lovingly stroked its genitals, again and again. The crowd was aghast. "Get a load of that ... look what she's doing!," cried Genevieve. "Oh, don't mind her," I said, "It looks like she's having a ball ...!"
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Rigolatte – the local loon known for walking up and down 7th Street belting out opera tunes -- made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks this morning after a brief hiatus. Last month, he was banished for handing out religious literature. But today he was back … with a vengeance. He poked his head in the door, looked all around to make sure there weren’t any managers around, then made a bee-line for Barista Tyler. “Here,” he said, “I want you to have this.” It was a black and white religious image, which Tyler promptly handed to me. It looked evil. “Who is this, Satan?,” I asked. But by that point it was "mission accomplished" for Rigolatte. He stole two handfuls of artificial sweetener and slipped out the side door. As for the religious image, it turned out to be St. Jude, the patron saint of desperate cases.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Fall was in the air this morning at 7th and Montana ... and if you don't believe me, just as the Elderly Gentleman who took a nasty spill at the corner of 7th and Palisades. The accident happened at about 8:00 a.m. when the man -- a semi-retired writer -- hit the curb with his bike and went flying. He didn't seem to be seriously injured, but I'm pleased to say that literally every passerby stopped to help. One woman called the man's wife. Another called 911 and offered to store the man's bike at her house for the time being. "Be careful with that bike," the man croaked, "I'm very proud of the fact that it only cost me $60 at Target." The woman who called 911 asked me if I could bring her dog home for her and let it into her house while she tended to the man's wounds. The story has a happy ending: The paramedics, who arrived at the scene within minutes, said that the man's injuries weren't serious, but they took him to the hospital just in case. Meanwhile, it seems like a good sign that so many strangers stopped to help someone in need. It just goes to show that the Thanksgiving spirit is alive and well in Santa Monica ...!