Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It was skating on thin ice this morning at 7th and Montana for an Anonymous SK8 Boy who rolled his way into Our Favorite Starbucks astride an oversized skateboard. He quickly kicked the tail and maneuvered the skateboard into position by his side, but I couldn't help thinking the whole thing was an accident waiting to happen. Then, again, I guess it could be worse. He could have been riding a Harley ...!


X marked the spot all weekend at 7th and Montana as a team of skywriters repeatedly circled the airspace over Our Favorite Starbucks, leaving a stream of Xes in their wake. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of it. Was someone marking our neighborhood as a warning ("Keep your distance ... you're entering unpredictable local loon territory!")? Or was it a UFO alert ("Danger: Unidentified Fritters Onsite!")? It turns out it was none of the above. Twentieth Century Fox was behind the whole thing: It was a teaser campaign for the latest X-Men movie. X-Men: First Class hits theaters on Friday.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Yankee Doodle Mandy," a patriotic newcomer at 7th and Montana who decided to celebrate Memorial Day in style. She wore a bright blue patterned dress, a purple sweater and a baseball cap which she decorated with an American Flag. Normally, I'd call the Fashion Police but today I was ready to salute, put my hand over my heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Have a happy, healthy Memorial Day ... !

Sunday, May 29, 2011


It was a silent but deadly morning at 7th and Montana today, thanks to an Anonymous Young Woman who made the scene with her laptop computer and a case of indigestion. There I was, working on the Sunday crossword, when the woman-in-question let loose a muffled fart and ran to the restroom. She ran so quickly that she left her laptop open ... and I couldn't help peeking at what was on her screen. It was a scientific presentation of some sort that read: "Gas to Liquid = Condensation. Liquid to Gas = Evaporation. Solid to Gas = Sublimation. Gas to Solid = Deposition." I guess the poor thing must have been studying too hard ...!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Maybe that's why I let today's power outage at Our Favorite Starbucks go to my head. Through no fault of their own, the baristas at 7th and Montana were forced to close their doors today due to a neighborhood power outage. But that didn't stop me from grabbing my coffee at another nearby Starbucks and enjoying it at one of the sidewalk tables facing 7th Street. When folks arrived and found the doors locked, I hoisted my coffee in their direction and said things like "Sorry, folks, it looks like they're closed ... for you!" and "Oh, well, I guess Starbucks doesn't like the cut of your jib. Cheers!" Most people took it in stride, but one local, Tommy Toupee, known for his peculiar taste in hair pieces, practically wigged out. "It's their electrical system," he muttered, "That's why they tell me they're not able to get a toaster. They're never able to toast anything in there." "Really?," I replied, "They toast everything for me ... all the time. You name it, they toast it!" Something tells me if I'm not careful, one of these days I'll be toast ...!


It was Neighbor Cathy's lucky day today at 7th and Montana. Not only did Howard surprise her with a fresh bouquet of flowers -- just for being her wonderful self -- but the crew at Our Favorite Starbucks presented her with a free baked good, despite the fact that they were closed today due to a power outage. I guess Cathy's horoscope must have said "Good things will come your way today ... and pastry, too!"

Friday, May 27, 2011


Love was in the air at 7th and Montana this morning ... but I couldn't help wondering who put it there. Someone posted a sign on the Eucalyptus Tree in front of our Favorite Starbucks reading: "Single Girl? Professional Caucasian male, early 30's, blonde, blue eyes, college grad, very athletic, over 6' tall looking for a serious girlfriend." It went on and on. Respondents were invited to send the writer an e-mail. In a sense, I guess this isn't too far off from Internet dating, but I must say, it seems like a risk to staple an anonymous personal ad to a tree, especially at 7th and Montana, where you're as likely to snare a Zombie as anything else. Now that's what I call barking up the wrong tree ...!


Well, folks, I didn't get picked for the jury. It's actually worse than that: I was given the boot by a defense attorney who all but accused me of being inherently biased against her client. I can't say any more than that ... other than to note that some good did come out of the experience. I met some nice, new "friends" -- potential co-jurors -- who joined me for lunch at the only decent restaurant near the courthouse, a quaint, hole-in-the-wall that specializes in Soul Food. Nearly everything on the menu was "smothered" (chicken, pork chops or meatloaf). But what really caught my eye was a sign near the cash register that read "Smile You're on Camera." I guess two can play at that game. When the friendly hostess -- a woman so cheerful she practically smothered us in kindness -- made the rounds, I whipped out my Spycam and said, "Right back at ya ...!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Screenwriter Nat made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning aglow from the set of his latest TV series, Supah Ninjas, a new show on Nickelodeon about a pair of seemingly normal teens who turn out to be "crime-fighting, butt-kicking, villain-battling Supah Ninjas." The show is generating a lot of positive buzz, so check it out. Meanwhile, I don't mind telling you, they could have used a few real-life Supah Ninjas today at the L.A. County Superior Court to keep the prospective jurors in line. There I was, waiting with everyone else to be interviewed for potential jury selection, when an Anonymous Nimrod tried wiggling out of his civic duty in a most creative way. "Tell me," he said to the bailiff, "If I were to say that I had Tourette's Syndrome and random obscenities tended to burst out of my mouth, would that get me out of Jury Duty?" To emphasize his point, he started jerking his head around and muttering incoherently. The bailiff just looked at him and said, "You'll feel right at home here. The judge tends to have outbursts, too. Words like 'fine' and 'jail sentence' pop out of his mouth all day ...!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Suspicions ran high this morning at 7th and Montana as an Anonymous Hood made the scene wearing -- you guessed it -- a large hood obscuring most of his face. He also wore shorts and a strange pair of sneaker-clogs. He looked like a garden gnome on steroids. Oh, well, I guess I'd better get used to it. Tomorrow I have to report for Jury Duty where no doubt I'll see more than my share of hoods ...!

Monday, May 23, 2011


It was the shock heard round the world yesterday at 7th and Montana as an Anonymous Newcomer had a close encounter with the Local Loon known as Rigolatte. Most folks know that Rigolatte (pictured above) is famous for locking himself in the bathroom and belting out Opera Tunes, not to mention his curious addiction to Sweet 'n Low, but if you've never seen him in action, it can be a bit of a surprise. The newcomer gaped in astonishment as Rigolatte yelled across the room "Anyone mind if I take two Sweet 'n Lows?" "No problem," answered one of the Baristas. And so, Rigolatte danced his way to the condiment bar, hummed an Aria to himself, and grabbed fistful after fistful of Sweet 'N Low. He shoved it all down his shirt, then ran out the door laughing like a hyena. "But ... But ... But ... did anyone see that ...?!?," stuttered the newcomer. "What do you mean?," I asked. "That guy, he just stole all the Sweet 'N Low and ran out the door." "Oh, that's nothing," I replied, "You should see him during Opera Season."

Sunday, May 22, 2011


We interrupt our regularly scheduled coverage of 7th and Montana to bring you a breaking news update from the corner of Lincoln and Montana, where reports suggest that an Inconsiderate Shopper held up traffic at the Pavilions Express Line. The Shopper (pictured above) tried to get away with placing more than 30 items -- a regular-sized order -- in the Express Check-Out line. Her ploy, which I'm sorry to say worked, was to hide half her order on the bottom shelf of her cart. After the cashier scanned the first half of her order, she suddenly reached down, grabbed the other half of her groceries and placed them on the conveyor belt. "I guess that's why they call this an express line," I said, dryly. She didn't answer. Then -- in a vain attempt to speak her language -- I started snorting like a pig. But that didn't work, either. Finally, I just whipped out my Spycam and took a picture of her for posterity. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you find yourself behind this woman in the Express line, run don't walk to another cash register ...!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


It was a beautiful morning at 7th and Montana. The sun was shining; the birds were singing; and everyone, it seemed, had a spring in their step. In short, it was a perfect day for an Apocalypse. I arrived early and grabbed a good seat in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Jesus or Beelzebub. By noon I would have settled for an image of the Virgin Mary on an Apple Fritter. But all wasn't lost. Desperate Housewife Marcia Cross (pictured above) made the scene, as did TV Uber-Mom Meredith Baxter. And then there was "Chase," a Giant Blue Dog who was busy pounding the pavement for the new Chase Bank across from Our Favorite Starbucks. "What are you looking for, a bailout package?," I asked the dog. A bank employee quickly intervened. "He doesn't talk," explained the banker. I guess all his money does the talking for him. Chase received $25 Billion in bailout money from the American Public two years ago. I guess to them that was Rapture ...!


It was another agonizing wait at 7th and Montana yesterday as the prime seating area with a sunny southern exposure was taken by a woman who seemed intent on sitting there forever. "We'll have to keep an eye on her," said Kerry, who was waiting for her to leave. "I'll try to make her uncomfortable by hovering nearby and taking photographs," I replied. I tried, but it didn't work. Nothing, it seemed, would make her budge. The good news is, the forecast for today -- according to Christian Activist Harold Camping -- calls for an Apocalypse. If that doesn't free up some prime real estate, nothing will ...!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Dr. Cyclops," a snappy newcomer whose glasses were a spectacle this morning at 7th and Montana. "Wow," I said, "Those are some glasses ... they're extremely striking." And indeed they were. They were round with bright yellow plastic frames and black and white checkerboard accents. He was also wearing a blue clip-on bow tie and a belt made of Indian beads. His glasses may be striking, but something tells me he needs the lenses checked ...!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I've really got to hand it to Neighbor Malissa. She found just the right way to make me feel like even more of an Inactive Slug than I already am. "I have an idea," she said this morning, "Let's go Paddle Surfing this weekend!" I wasn't quite sure how to respond. "Paddle surfing?," I said, "That sounds serious." "Oh it's great," she said, "You stand on a surboard and use a paddle like an oar." "Hmmm," I replied, "I think it would be an -- aaahm -- cold day in Hell before I tried something like that!" Visions of me scraping the ocean floor swam through my head, but I tried to keep my feelings to myself. "You know, I think I have an idea that just might make Paddle Surfing even more fun," I said, "How about if we add large walls, a mast and an outboard motor to the surfboard and call it a boat?" Do that -- and hire a captain -- and you can count me in ...!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It was a first at 7th and Montana this morning: Every chair and table was taken ... there wasn't a seat in the house. I stood there dumbfounded, looking from table-to-table for a place to sit but ... no dice. Not only that, but no one seemed blogworthy, either. Sure, a Giant Moron wearing an "Extreme Bootcamp" sweatsuit was standing in the middle of store jumping up and down and laughing like a hyena, but that's an everyday occurrence. Oh well ... tomorrow's another day!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Mr. PC," the anonymous newcomer at 7th and Montana whose bark is worse than his megabyte. Actually, PC in his case stands for Puffing Constantly, which is exactly what this idiot does. He walks into Starbucks, sets his PC up and connects to his e-mail, then walks outside and chain smokes one cigarette after another, leaving the PC open and unattended for all to see. One day, if he's not careful, someone's liable to walk away with his laptop and then he won't be just Puffing Constantly ... he'll be Huffing and Puffing!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


There was a whole lot of moving and shaking going on at 7th and Montana this morning as a team of workers pulled-up to Ponte Vecchio -- the posh shop across from Our Favorite Starbucks -- and started loading a truck with imported Italian bric-a-brac. We've known for some time that Ponte Vecchio would be moving, but no one knew exactly when. "Now there's something you don't see every day!," I said, as the movers struggled to lift an ornate fountain carved with cherubs onto their truck. Either Ponte Vecchio is moving or we were witnessing a case of Grand Theft Fountain ...!


It was close but no cigars yesterday at 7th and Montana for anyone hoping to get a breath of fresh air. Why? Because a smoker dragged a chair a few yards away and lit up a cigar. As the carcinogenic aroma wafted down 7th street, I was tempted to say something. But the smoker, a friendly 'regular,' was trying to be polite and, as far as I can tell, was within his rights. I guess this is what you'd call a gray -- or smokey -- area.

Friday, May 13, 2011


There must have been something in the air yesterday at 7th and Montana as an Affable New Friend (pictured above) introduced herself to me in the most unusual way. "Hi there," she said, "Have you ever noticed how wonderful people around here smell in the morning?" "Why yes," I lied, "It's almost like an exotic perfume!" She went on. "I've lived around here for years and this intersection has always been an inspiration to me, creatively speaking." "I know what you mean," I said, quietly whipping out my Spycam, "I feel inspired even as we speak!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It was a 'nasty little spill' this morning at 7th and Montana as I treated my pants -- once again -- to a small portion of my Grande Drip. While I wasn't too concerned about it, Barista Nada saw the spill and flew into action faster than you can say 'scrubbing bubbles.' She rushed over with a couple of damp rags and said "Here, try this ... it's our secret formula ... it'll get the coffee stain out in no time." Then she wiped down the table and dried it off, as well. Now that's what I call VIP service. Speaking of VIPs, the Newly-Separated Ex-Governator rode by, as usual, on his bike. "Wow," said a tourist, "Was that Arnold Schwarzenegger?" "I don't know," I said, "It probably was, he rides by all the time." "That's great," he replied, "I've had a real celebrity sighting!" I'll bet by the end of his trip, the tourist will be as sick of him as everyone else ...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Mr. Important," a businessman on-the-go who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning in a chauffeured limo. I knew something was up the minute he stepped out of the car. "No," he told the driver, "I'll take my luggage." And, with that, he pulled a "wheelie" suitcase out of the car and dragged it with him into Starbucks. My guess is that he was making a quick stop at Starbucks on his way to the airport, but didn't trust the driver enough to leave him alone with his luggage. I guess the feeling was mutual, because the minute Mr. Important's back was turned, the driver left the scene. "Hey, where'd my car go?," asked Mr. Important when he returned moments later with his latte. He got on the phone immediately and started yelling at the driver to come back. I didn't stick around long enough to see what happened in the end, but if Mr. Important's tone of voice was any indication, he probably tore the driver apart limb from limo ...!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Life is Ruff ... and if you don't believe me, just ask the Puppetmaster, a Poor Schmo who has set up shop in front of the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles with his faithful friend, a sock puppet designed to resemble a Cockapoo. Together, they belt out show tunes all day for anyone willing to make a small donation. I haven't seen them in person yet, but I plan to make a special trip just to request they sing the theme from "Cats" ... and to give them a little advice. I think they'd have much better luck if they moved to 7th and Montana. There's been a vacancy ever since Rigolatte stopped belting out Opera Tunes in the restroom ...!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


It was Scones from the Stones this morning at 7th and Montana as the Stone Family made the scene with delicious, fresh-baked scones and jam for everyone. Everyone, that is, except me since I was late. Fortunately, Genevieve took a photo in my absence and Kathy saved me a bit of one of the scones. It was fluffy and delicious, not too sweet with a hint of lemon ... just what you'd expect from the tasteful House of Stone. Meanwhile, speaking of Stones, an Anonymous Jewelry Designer made the scene today wearing such a collection of large rocks I thought she'd sink under their weight. A huge chunk of what looked like Amber hung around her neck, but it turned out to be Carnelian. And that was nothing compared to the rocks on her fingers. They were so large she could use them as anchors. I whipped out my Spycam and got into position on the sidewalk -- waiting for the perfect photo opportunity -- but she went inside and stayed there for more than ten minutes. Finally, I lost my patience. "What the hell is she doing in there, anyway," I asked, "Passing a stone?" Rumor has it she was making a necklace out of slightly used Fritters ...!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Most folks occasionally want a little down time. You know, a chance to read the newspaper, sip your coffee and just relax, undisturbed. But finding a little solitude can be next to impossible, especially in today's busy world. That's where we can all take a lesson from Zoe, the Tibetan Terrier. This morning she taught us how to get all the privacy you'll ever want and then some. Just roll around in a steaming pile of garbage and watch in delight as folks slide their chairs away from you. Poor Zoe: I doubt she understood why she was getting the "cold shoulder." I'm not sure what she missed most, sitting in her usual spot with Cathy or sharing a bagel with Howard.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Hold the mustard, folks ... there's a Giant Talking Sandwich in town and if you're not careful, he'll talk your buns off. The sandwich, known among insiders as "Subbie," is really just a Poor Schlubb in a costume, hired to promote the new Subway location across from Our Favorite Starbucks. He claims to be a Giant Turkey on Rye, but anyone who saw him skip across 7th Street this morning would agree he's all Ham. He made a beeline for Ace Photographer Kovar (pictured below) and wasted no time telling him about the Super Subway Special. "Just for today," he cried, "Buy one sandwich and get one free!" "Really," Kovar said, "What a deal ... thanks for sharing!" And then, as "Subbie" ran across the street in hot pursuit of a jogger, Kovar said what he was really thinking. "So this is what it's all come down to," he said, "Stuck at the corner of 7th and Montana, shooting the breeze with a Giant Sandwich. Can I sink any lower?!?" Kovar -- who usually travels the world from one exotic assignment to the next -- has been home for more than a month and he's obviously getting bored. Don't worry, Kovar, I'm sure you'll be sandwiching something new into your schedule in no time ...!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


It was a covert operation at 7th and Montana this morning as Neighbor Kerry plotted to nab the one table in the sun. You see, a pair of bicyclists (pictured above) had been sitting there soaking up the California sun while the rest of us were shivering in the shade. Kerry kept her eyes trained on them and at the first sign that one of them might be moving, she pounced. "Are you leaving?," she asked politely, maneuvering her way into a chair. Personally, I'm not sure they were leaving -- perhaps they were on the verge of getting up -- but by that point Kovar and I both joined Kerry, in effect rushing them along. "Isn't it so much nicer in the sun?," asked Kerry. "Absolutely," I agreed, "And it would be perfect if we could just get those annoying bicyclists to stop hovering near our table!"


New parents always gush about their kids, but Proud Papa Hunter took the cake yesterday at 7th and Montana. "Look at 'Baby B's' feet," he said, hoisting them in the air, "His toes are so expressive!" "Talking toes?," I asked skeptically, "How exactly do they communicate?" If Baby B's toes were talking, I thought, it must have been on a frequency so high that only dogs could hear it. And then, as if on cue, Reggie, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, ran right up to Baby B and started licking his feet. I guess Hunter should count himself lucky that his son communicates with his feet. At least he wasn't talking out of his ass ...!

Monday, May 2, 2011


If you've noticed an extra spring in Neighbor Larry's step lately, it's likely more than just the cappuccino from Our Favorite Starbucks that put it there. The veteran actor just announced that he's appearing in a national Viagra commercial. Entitled "Apologies," the 18-second spot shows three golf buddies who are forced to suffer the presence of an idiot in their midst because their usual fourth -- Murray -- is "otherwise occupied." That's Larry in a photo from the commercial above, wearing a golf hat and leaning on his wood. For those who don't know, Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. For some reason, experts have posted the following warning online: "Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby."

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Emily," an attractive blond woman who sat at my table this morning at Our Favorite Starbucks. I'd like to say it was my animal magnetism that attracted her, but the fact is, there was only one seat left in the whole place and it was next to me. She read the newspaper and I worked on the crossword. As time when by, others joined us, including Neighbors Greg and Hunter. I guess folks started assuming that "Emily" and I were together ... and they wondered why I wasn't introducing her around. Finally, Greg asked me about her. "Oh," said Emily, laughing and pointing at me as if we knew each other, "Don't mind him ... He never introduces me to anybody!" I guess she wasn't counting the blogosphere ...