Thursday, September 30, 2010


A funny thing happened yesterday as I walked up Figueroa Street in downtown L.A. with a colleague. I stumbled across Riordan's Tavern, a restaurant owned by former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. "Wow," I said, looking at the picture of Riordan that is part of the tavern's logo, "I think this place must be owned by the former mayor of L.A. ... I've met that guy." And indeed I had. Many years ago, while he was on the campaign trail, I met him at a popular local restaurant. He came over to my table, sat with me for a while and asked what I did for a living. At the time, I worked for a PR agency. "You don't say," he replied, "I own a business that needs PR ... if you give me your business card, I'll get in touch with you to see whether your agency can help us out." Naturally, I was thrilled ... and naively told my colleagues at the PR agency that Riordan might have a new business opportunity for us. But weeks went by, and I didn't hear from him. I called his office several times to follow-up, but no one ever got back to me. Now, nearly 20 years later, I had my chance. "Wait here," I said to my colleague, "I have some unfinished business to attend to." I walked inside and asked the bartender, "Is Richard here?" He wasn't. "Tell me," I said, undaunted, "Do you stay open late?" "It varies," said the bartender, "But depending on traffic we stay open until midnight." "Great," I replied, "I'm here with a large group ... 30 visitors from Europe and they all drink like fish. Can you save a spot for us at the bar? We'll probably arrive at about 9:00. We're likely to take up the whole bar, drink nonstop and stay until you close!" And with that, I left. Don't get me wrong, I do plan to bring a group to Riordan's someday... just as soon as Richard gets back to me regarding that "new business opportunity."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I've been holed-up in meetings this week in downtown Los Angeles. While this hasn't been a good week to be downtown -- a record-breaking 113-degree day on Monday literally broke the city's official thermometer -- I'm looking on the bright side: I'm getting a chance to rediscover downtown L.A. Unlike other major American cities, downtown Los Angeles has always struck me as being a place to work rather than a place to live. For years, people have tended to commute here to work, then leave as fast as possible and, as a result, downtown L.A. really went downhill. That seems to be changing, now. My meetings are at a place called L.A. Live and I think they call it "live" for a reason. It's chock full of lively restaurants, shops, museums and theaters ... and I've noticed a few new, upscale condo complexes, as well. I took the photo above from a banquet last night atop the new Ritz-Carlton. Granted, the neighborhood is in transition (the area behind the Ritz and the L.A. Live complex is pretty run down) but it all looks a lot nicer from 30 stories up, doesn't it?

Monday, September 27, 2010


"Cross words" were exchanged at 7th and Montana this morning as a Friendly Regular implied that I get lots of help with the daily crossword. "I've been watching," he said, politely, "And every time you open the newspaper to do the crossword, all these attractive women flock around you to help." I wasn't entirely sure where he was going with this, but I smiled as he went on. "I do the crossword every day," he continued, "And nobody comes over to my table to help!" Truth be told, I'm not always surrounded by beautiful women when I do the crossword. This morning, for example, a gaggle of toddlers descended on my table to play peek-a-boo. But I humored him, nevertheless. "I'm telling you," I said, "It's your choice of newspaper. You're doing the New York Times crossword. That's too much ... it's too intimidating. Try the Los Angeles Times and they'll be attracted to you like bees to honey!" I left quickly, before he could put my advice to the test ...

Sunday, September 26, 2010


It was a Ruff day at 7th and Montana today for "Injun Joe," a poor golden retriever who has suffered a humiliating indignity. Several months ago, his owners decided to give him a Doggie Mohawk. The whole thing was intended to be a joke ... but the joke was on them when their dog's hair didn't grow back. Now the poor thing mopes around town, as if he swallowed his last ounce of pride with his morning kibble. Cheer up, "Injun," at least they didn't give you a permanent ...!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Skin was crawling at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that someone lost a snake near Our Favorite Starbucks. "Found Snake," read a sign at the corner of 7th and Alta, "Call to identify and claim if it's yours." I was tempted to call and say something like "What a relief ... I'm so glad you found my snake. It's a 49-Foot Python which answers to the name Monty, and it ran away last week to join the Flying Circus." But I decided to lay low, instead. The last thing I need is to make an asp of myself ...!


It was a Laugh Riot at 7th and Montana yesterday as Barista Tyler entertained the crowd with impressions. At first, I wasn't impressed. "That's the worst Al Pacino I've ever seen," I said. "It's not Al Pacino," Tyler responded, "It's Robert Dinero." "Wow," I said, "In that case, Bravo!" Indeed, he looked like Robert Dinero. Speaking of raking in the dinero, Tyler's DJ business seems to be taking off. He's just started a website -- -- and is officially available for weddings, bar mitzvahs and more ...!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Thin was in at the CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation) show in Atlanta today, as consumer electronics manufacturers showed off the latest and greatest flat panel displays and remote controls. Take the 3D TV pictured above. It's thin as a pencil and comes with a touchscreen remote that streams video, meaning you can send your own photos and videos from the remote to the TV. You can also watch a Blu-ray Disc or DVD on the TV and preview what's on TV on your remote. Unfortunately, TVs weren't the only thing that was thin this year. Attendance was down at the show due to the decline in the economy. The CEDIA audience is primarily the "installation" community, folks who install high-end audio-video systems in new homes. When the housing market is down, the installers are among the first to suffer. I sure hope things turn around soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Susie Queu," the scourge of Delta Flight 2054 to Atlanta. Susie doesn't like to wait in lines and will apparently do whatever it takes to avoid them. I first noticed her in the security line next to mine. She boldly cut right in front of a woman who, for her part, wouldn't stand for it. "Excuse me, honey," said the woman, "But some of us have been waiting here for a while. The end of the line is that way." I watched out of the corner of my eye as Susie went to the end of the line, looked around for an Unsuspecting Sap, and then meandered her way in my direction. At first she kept her distance and then, just when she she thought I wasn't looking, she quietly slipped in line ahead of me. I was ready for her. I whipped out my Spycam, pointed it in her direction and started taking photos of her from various angles. "Don't mind me," I said, zooming-in for a close-up, "I'm just doing an online expose on people who cut in line and the forces that motivate them." "Oh," she stammered, "Did I cut in front of you? I'm so sorry ..." She again walked to the back of the line, only to attempt the same trick, yet again, in another line. This time, she succeeded. Some people say 'life's too short,' why sweat the small stuff when someone cuts in front of you in line like that ... but I say you have to draw the line somewhere!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


If you're like most people, you probably think the fog that has been hovering over Santa Monica for the past week is a direct result of our proximity to the coast. Not so, said a Mysterious-but-Kindly Woman who sat at my table on Sunday. "We're getting our comeuppance," she said, waving her stirrer like a magic wand in my direction. "Mother Nature is angry with us." She combined various ingredients in her coffee cup and stirred it all together, vigorously. "Mark my words," she continued, "This fog will be with us until Christmas!" As she spoke, the fog thickened and she smiled, knowingly. I couldn't help wondering what kind of potion she was brewing, but she disappeared before I could ask. Who knows? Maybe she flew East for some Eye of Newt ... Gingrich, that is!

Monday, September 20, 2010


It was Lights, Camera, Action last night as Neighbor Fabrizio invited the crowd from 7th and Montana to a screening of his new documentary, "Samba, Choro e Chorinho neu Casa do Gilson" at the Warszaw Restaurant on Lincoln. The documentary tells the story of a group of musicians who perform at a club called Gilson's in Belem, Brazil. Fabrizio really brought the story to life by delving into the lives of each of the musicians, allowing them to tell in their own words why they love the Samba genre and what motivates them to perform. Congratulations, Fabrizio, on a job well done. In related news, Neighbor Leslie announced that her latest documentary, Industrial Light and Magic: Creating the Impossible will air on Encore on November 14. Industrial Light and Magic is the driving force behind the special effects in blockbuster movies ranging from Avatar to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Leslie's documentary is narrated by Tom Cruise and features interviews with top filmmakers including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard. Between Fabrizio and Leslie, there's no shortage of talent behind-the-camera. I just wish one of them could have shown me how to get my Spycam to work in the dark ...!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as a group of "Interior Decorators" made the scene, intent on giving Our Favorite Starbucks a makeover. I knew something was up when the woman pictured above pulled out a tape measure and began measuring the sidewalk facing 7th Street. I whipped out my Spycam, pretended to be making a phone call and zoomed-in on her conversation. "We'll put the couch here," she said, "An end table can go there ... and we'll need to leave the space by the door open for a walkway." Her friends, meanwhile, offered-up helpful advice on curtains. It sounded like she was planning to convert the sidewalk into her own, private luxury condo. I tried my best to stifle my laughter. Afterall, I wouldn't anyone to think I have no sense of decor(um) ...!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Harry Kerschener," a curious hybrid of a man who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning looking like a cross between a Hollywood talent agent and a Hare Krishna. He rushed into Our Favorite Starbucks like a bat out of hell, grabbed a cappuccino and left ... all the while barking orders into his cell phone. It sounded like he was negotiating a movie deal. On the other hand, he was wearing white robes and his head was completely shaven, as though he were just as likely to recite the Maha Mantra. "Let this be a lesson to us all," I said, as he jumped into his Hybrid Vehicle and zipped up 7th Street, "This is what you get when you read too much Deepak Chopra ...!"

Friday, September 17, 2010


They say crime doesn't pay ... and nowhere was that more true today than at 7th and Montana, where the strategic use of two separate Spycams thwarted the biggest crime wave in town since the Happy Face Bandit terrorized the local Wachovia bank. The fun began at 8:30 a.m., when Barista Tyler walked right up to The Accountant -- the man who spreads his confidential paperwork all over Our Favorite Starbucks -- and pretended to steal his reading glasses. "Stop, thief!," yelled the Accountant in mock surprise. I whipped out my Spycam and pointed it in the Accountant's direction. "Call the Police, quick!," he joked. "First things first," I replied, "Right now I need to gather some important photographic evidence." Hours later, after I was long gone, another would-be criminal -- the Notorious Neighborhood Newspaper Thief -- made the scene, intent on stealing The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. He walked boldly through the back door, made a beeline for the newspaper rack, and began thumbing through the used newspapers. It's usually at this point that he quietly slips fresh newspapers from the sales display inside the leftover, "used" ones and runs out the door as fast as his spindly legs can carry him. Today, however, Producer Robb was on the scene, pointing a Spycam inches from his face and recording the entire incident for posterity. The Thief eventually noticed him and fled the scene, empty-handed. You can check-out Robb's video here: Heard at Starbucks Youtube Channel.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you're sitting down, because what you are about to learn will amaze you: A mysterious newcomer made the scene at 7th and Montana last weekend riding a bicycle without a seat. "Hi there," I said, quietly whipping out my Spycam, "Your bike seems to be missing a seat." "It's supposed to be that way," she said, "It's called an Elliptigo and it's really cool ... it gives you a great workout, like a cross between a bike and an elliptical trainer." She pulled out a brochure and handed me a business card which identified her as an "Independent Enthusiast." According to the brochure, the Elliptigo is "the closest substitute for running outdoors." I guess that means you can either buy one for $2,199 or run outdoors. "These things must be really popular," I said. "Oh yes, they are," she agreed. One thing's for sure, there's standing room only ...!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I had a chance today, after my meetings ended, to explore San Diego's famed Gaslamp Quarter, a 16-block neighborhood with personality to spare. The area was first developed in the 1860s. While the architecture resembles some of the East Coast cities that were built-up during the same timeframe, the atmosphere is strictly Californian. It's like M Street in Washington with a sense of humor.

From the start, the Gaslamp Quarter attracted an eclectic crowd. Wyatt Earp opened three gambling halls here shortly after winning the Battle at O.K. Corral. As the years went by, the area went downhill until, by the 1960's, it was known primarily as a "Sailor's Entertainment District." It wasn't until 1982 that the city mounted a serious effort to clean it up, though I'm happy to say the neighborhood is still true to its roots. Today, you can have dinner at The Gaslamp Strip Club: A Steak Place, then swing by The Tipsy Crow for a drink or two. My personal favorite is Croce's, a restaurant and jazz bar opened by Jim Croce's widow, Ingrid. I tried to order Time in a Bottle, but it wasn't on the menu ...!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


It was a sign of the times last night at the Westin in San Diego as the woman at the check-in desk tried to convince me that I don't need a maid to clean my room. "Have you heard about our new Green Policy, Mr. Gordon?," she asked, "From now on, we give you a choice regarding whether or not you want to have your room cleaned. It's all part of our program to eliminate waste!" "Eliminate jobs is more like it," I said. Let's face it, if Westin had its way, the Cleaning Lady, like the Telephone Operator and the Parking Garage Attendant, would go the way of the Dinosaur. Speaking of extinct species, I found the Missing Link this morning: He was hiding out at a Starbucks in San Diego's Gaslamp District, pouring an entire container of cream into his latte. It looked like he hadn't showered or shaved since the Mesozoic Era. I wonder whether Darwin would consider that a Natural Selection ...!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Blythe," a flexible, young newcomer who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning intent on bending herself into a pretzel. At first I thought she was in pain. "Quick," I said, "Someone get her a Pumpkin Spice Latte!" But then I realized there was a good chance she already had one. Her head was between her knees and it sounded like she was panting. Just when I was ready to dial 911, she straightened up and went back about her business as if nothing was wrong. Some say she was doing Yoga, but I think that's a stretch ...!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It was Many Happy Returns this morning at 7th and Montana as Howard and Cathy made the scene, fresh from nearly three months in Colorado where they were busy with the Vail Jazz Festival. Welcome home, Howard and Cathy ... we missed you!

It was also many happy returns for Actress Renee Zellweger who I think beat my record today for the most hours spent at Our Favorite Starbucks on a Sunday morning. She arrived when I did, at about 9:00, and was still there when I left with Kathy and Genevieve at 1:30. Good for you, Renee, you know a good thing when you see it.

Speaking of "good things," it was also many happy returns today for Starbuck's signature fall drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. They were giving out free samples by the cash register. "Yikes," I said, noting the bright orange color, "What's that?" "That's just the Pumpkin Spice Latte without any whipped cream," said one insider. I quietly whipped out my Spycam. "You are going to say something positive about it, right?," asked the insider. "Of course," I replied. Indeed, the Pumpkin Spice Latte looks positively disgusting without its protective layer of whipped cream, almost like a urine sample of someone who tested positive for jaundice ...!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Gentlemen, start your dog sleds. An Unfortunate Fashion Victim trudged into Our Favorite Starbucks this morning wearing the zaniest pair of Mukluks I've ever seen. They were brown with pink and blue stripes and matching pink fur, the result, no doubt, of an unlikely collaboration between Nanook of the North and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. "Good God," I said, "It looks like she's ready for the Iditerod" I crept up behind her and zoomed-in for a closer look. "Correction," I said, "Make that the Idontarod."

Friday, September 10, 2010


It was a Grape Escape at 7th and Montana this morning as the crew from Malibu Grapes -- a premiere tour service offering one-of-a-kind wine-tasting excursions through the Malibu Hills -- made the scene. I don't really know this group that well, but they are regulars at Our Favorite Starbucks and I admire how they've cultivated what sounds like an amazing business despite the tough economy. They were sitting at the next table over this morning, and I couldn't help noticing that they were brainstorming ideas for a new brochure. "I know," said one of them, "Let's use some quotes, like the studios do in movie ads." They began discussing the wonderful things various reviewers have said about them. And then it dawned on me: I've never been on a Malibu Grapes tour, but why should that stop me from waxing poetic? Here goes: "The Adventure of a lifetime. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Anything else is just Sour Grapes." "An edge of your seat thrill ride from one decadent wine tasting to the next ... let the Oscar Buzz begin!" "A Gorgeous Escape ... Julia Roberts is radiant!" To the folks from Malibu Grapes: Feel free to lift or use anything you like. I have no journalistic integrity. But if I were you, I'd be careful when it comes to the bit about Julia Roberts. I stole that from an Associated Press review of "Eat, Pray, Love."

Thursday, September 9, 2010


It was a case of mistaken identity this morning at 7th and Montana as one of the locals walked right up to a woman and said, "I know you ... you're the famous Spinning Lady!" My mind reeled. Spinning Lady? Was she a seamstress ... a black widow ... a PR maven? The possibilities seemed endless. That is, until she replied. "You must have me confused with someone else," she said, "I'm a Pilates Instructor." The least she could have done is put some spin on it: Pilates Instructor by Day, Ballerina by Night ...!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Cheers erupted aboard Lufthansa Flight #456 to Los Angeles today as word spread that Lufthansa is selling used aircraft seats to anyone who wants them. "What Joy!," I said to the woman sitting next to me, despite the fact that she didn't speak English, "Fourteen hours sitting in this seat somehow just doesn't seem like enough. How thrilling to know we can buy the seat and take it home!" Indeed, an ad on page 65 of Lufthansa's inflight magazine encourages folks to e-mail Juergen Rumstig ( as soon as possible if they want to buy a seat. I didn't waste any time. "Juergen," I wrote, "Lufthansa's seats are the best in the business ... I could sit in them all day. Tell me, does your offer apply to every seat?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


As a rule, Berliners don't like to talk about the Holocaust and, maybe it's my imagination, but one particular topic seems especially tabboo: The location of Hitler's Bunker, the underground complex where Hitler spent his last days and ultimately committed suicide. No one mentions it and they scowl when you ask about it. I knew the location was not too far from the Brandenberg Gate, on the East side of the old Berlin wall, and that the Russians had done their best to destroy it. Today I decided to look up the address -- which turns out to be 4-6 Vosstrasse -- and boy was I in for a surprise. It turns out I walked right by there yesterday and was "creeped out" without even knowing why. You see, they've pretty much left the area "alone." While everything else all around this small stretch of road has been 'gentrified,' the area surrounding Hitler's Bunker still looks like it's trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Trees are untrimmed, buildings are falling apart and the whole block reeks of decay. Yesterday, I crossed the street specifically to avoid the area but today, after finding out what it was, I poked around a bit to see if I could find the actual bunker location. I came close, but an old East German apartment complex -- which stands atop what was once Hitler's Chancellery Building -- blocked my way. I think the bunker location is behind apartment building pictured above. I don't blame the locals for going out of their way to make it hard to find. They're obviously afraid it will become a Neo Nazi shrine. I just wish they'd clean up the street, maybe put in a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise or something. Leaving the whole thing untouched just makes it more noticeable.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I've been in Berlin for meetings at the Internationale Funkausstellung (or IFA, for short) for the past five days. IFA is the world's largest consumer electronics show, and -- because it's open to consumers as well as the industry -- it's even more crowded than the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I've been coming to IFA for 15 years and, in my opinion, this year is the most exciting in terms of new innovations. My company is showing some pretty cool stuff this year and I thought I'd take a few minutes to share it with you.

3D TV is all the buzz this year. We're showing a range of products, including a new 3D TV with a 21:9 Aspect Ratio, which is the same aspect ratio used in movie productions. It's a bit wider than a 'normal' (16:9) TV screen, meaning you see the whole movie as you would in a movie theater, without any black bars. We also have a range of Blu-ray 3D Players so you can watch everything in full high-definition. For now, you need to wear 3D glasses when watching 3D TV but in the future there will be glasses-free 3D TVs, as well. We're also demonstrating a 'glasses-free' 3D TV here at IFA, too. Most of the latest TVs and Blu-ray players also connect to the Internet, meaning you can stream movies and other special content on demand.

Speaking of TVs, we won an award for Europe's Greenest TV, a 42", energy-efficient LED TV made from largely recycled materials. It features a solar-powered remote control (pictured above).

I think one of the coolest things we're launching is a special docking station for iPads, iPhones and iPods. It features high-end speakers and built-in wi-fi meaning, for example, you can walk around the house with your iPad or iPhone and still get high-quality sound from the docking station. The design is pretty sleek, too. The casing is made of wood -- which I understand helps amplify the sound.

We also announced an array of new kitchen appliances. The most interesting, in my opinion, is an Air Fryer which can fry food without oil by using rapidly moving hot air. In other words, it can fry foods just by using their own natural oils ... you don't need to add any additional oil. Anyhow, speaking of fried, it's time for me to turn-in now. Stay tuned for further updates ...!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Today I visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a 4.7 acre apology from the City of Berlin to the world for the brutal murder of 6 million men, women and children during World War II. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for any memorial that might help us remember and therefore avoid repeating the atrocities of the past, but ever since it was built, something about this memorial has struck me as being wrong. First off, there's the design: It consists of 2,711 concrete slabs on a sloping, grid-like field near the Brandenberg Gate, right atop the bunker of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's notorious Minister of Propaganda. Then, there's the controversy. Local Jewish leaders were against this monument, especially when they learned that a specialist in the development of anti-grafitti chemicals, a company called Degussa, had been hired to coat the entire memorial with a substance called "Protectosil." Perhaps you've heard of another one of their chemicals: Zyklon B, the Nazi gas of choice when it came to snuffing out lives. I thought about all this as I walked between the slabs and made my way to the underground exhibit below. The exhibit provides detailed information on the Nazi's extermination policies, then brings everything to life by sharing the stories of individual victims and their families. They say that "those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it." I just wish they didn't have to cover it in Protectosil ...

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Whenever I'm in Berlin, I like to stop by the Starbucks on Hans-von-Bulow Strasse -- right on the old border between East and West Berlin -- simply to have fun with the Baristas. I always order a Grande Half Caff and they always look at me like I have three heads. You see, they don't serve brewed decaff in Berlin, so they've never heard of a half caff. That's what makes it all so much fun. Today, however, the joke was on me. I arrived at Starbucks at 9:00 a.m., only to find one lone Barista standing outside at the door. "Sorry," she said, "We're not open yet due to circumstances beyond my control." "I hope it's nothing major," I said. "Well," she replied, "An assistant manager overslept." I couldn't wait and was forced to grab my coffee at a portable coffee cart called an "Espresso-Ambulanz." It was, perhaps, the worst cup of coffee I've ever tasted. As for the assistant manager at Starbucks, I hope someone called him or her an "Espresso Ambulence."

Friday, September 3, 2010


If you want to see stars in Berlin, Borchardt restaurant on Franzosische Strasse is the place to go. The upscale bistro apparently attracts celebrities from far and wide. I went there with several colleagues last night and we sat watching while the waiters bounced from one celebrity table to another, ignoring us all the way. One man, evidently a well-known German television commentator for something called "Science Media TV," held court while virtually everyone in the restaurant bowed and scraped for him. Movie director-actor Eli Roth also made the scene. But after more than four hours of dismal service, I wouldn't have cared if the Pope himself walked by balancing a plate of Schnitzel on his head. Speaking of celebrities, I ran into a Loony Guitarist on the subway this afternoon. He jumped onto my train and played an off-key version of Volare while his assistant collected donations. After checking with my local colleagues for just the right words, I said "Ich bezahle dich wenn du aufhorst zu spileu" which, roughly translated, means "I'll pay you to stop playing." I threw two Euros into his hat and he disappeared faster than you can say Auf Wiedersehen ...!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


A funny thing happened last night on Lufthansa Flight #457 to Frankfurt: There weren't any Loons sitting beside me. Instead, I sat next to a polite, interesting man named Wilson who has been working in China. We spent a good deal of time talking about what it's like to do business in other countries. The Loon was sitting directly behind him. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Doughboy, a man whose motto -- like Marie Antoinette -- should be "let them eat cake." Shortly after dinner, the Doughboy tapped Wilson on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, sir, I can't finish my cake. Would you mind offering it to the adorable young lady sitting in front of you?" Sure enough, sitting directly in front of Wilson was a girl who looked a lot like a ten-year-old Lindsay Lohan. Wilson was stunned. "I'm sorry," he said, "You want me to offer your leftover cake to the girl sitting in front of me?!?" The Doughboy stood up, reached over Wilson's seat and held his leftover cake in front of him. "Yes," he said, "And please tell her it's from me." Wilson did as instructed, but -- not surprisingly -- the girl's mother intervened with a polite "Thanks but no thanks." From then on, it was open season. "Excuse me, Wilson," I said, "I have a perfectly good leftover dinner roll here. Would you mind offering it to the man sitting behind you?" Several minutes later, I tried to get him to accept an unopened packet of crackers, followed by a package of pretzels, some ranch salad dressing and a used napkin. Like I said, I wasn't sitting next to any loons today ... but maybe Wilson was!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Intrigue filled the air at 7th and Montana this morning as Rigolatte -- the local loon who alternates between belting out opera tunes and preaching to the masses -- made the scene dressed for a luau. "Look," I said, "He's wearing a Hawaiian shirt ... he must have Tiny Bubbles on the brain." And indeed he did. He waltzed into Our Favorite Starbucks, made a bee-line for the free samples, and stuffed two handfuls of artificial sweetener into his shirt ... all the while reciting the Lord's Prayer over and over like a mantra. He left as mysteriously as he arrived, saying his prayers all the way down 7th Street.