Sunday, July 31, 2011


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as "Humpty Dumpster" -- the man known for fishing leftover cappuccinos out of the trash and mixing them together to form his own unique brew -- launched a tirade. "I've had it with these politicians," he shrieked to no one in particular, "They're ruining our country. They only care about themselves!" And then he stopped, smiled at the crowd, and continued along his merry way. I don't know what prompted his outburst, but I found it shocking in more ways than one. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that the two of us would be in such complete agreement ...!


It was an adventure in Road Rage yesterday at 7th and Montana as an Anonymous Hothead put the Parking Lot from Hell to the test. The fun began when a woman driving a silver Mercedes accidentally beached herself on the hidden Curb of Doom (pictured above right). Such mishaps are nothing new. Cars scrape against, then get beached, on the curb that juts out near the trash bins behind Our Favorite Starbucks all the time. Once beached, the only way to prevent serious damage to your car is to carefully back out precisely the way you drove in. Yesterday, however, the Anonymous Hothead -- who was driving a White Chevy -- refused to let the woman 'unbeach' herself. "Go F--- Yourself," he yelled loudly for no apparent reason, "I'm not letting you back out ... I'm pulling in!" Four different witnesses tried to explain to the hothead that the Mercedes was beached, that there was no room for him to pull in, but the Hothead just got angrier and angrier until he yelled "F--- You All, I'm driving through!" Sure enough, he ended-up scraping his car (above left) against the Mercedes, wedging both cars in like sardines. A Police Officer arrived minutes later, forced the Hothead to back out, and asked what was going on. "That Mercedes backed right into me!," yelled the Hothead, "She's at fault!" A group of witnesses stepped forward to set the record straight, each calling the Hothead (below right) a liar. In the end, there was no damage, except perhaps to the Hothead's ego. After the police officer disappeared, the Hothead started to pull into the parking lot, only to notice that a large audience was staring right at him. "Aren't you going to Starbucks," asked one witness. "Ummm ... No ...," the Hothead stammered, "I think I have to go to the bank first." And with that, he drove away ... hopefully never to be seen again!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


It was "Goodness, Gracious ... Great Balls on Tires" yesterday at my office when -- as part of a company celebration -- a truck laden with the most creative lunch food I've ever seen rolled-up and provided freebies for all. The truck specialized in "meatballs and other savory balls of food." Their slogan was "Meat Our Balls." Actually, they were worth meeting. My particular favorite was the "IncrediBall," a combination of ground Kobe beef, applewood smoked bacon, Gruyere, wild arugula and garlic aioli on a toasted brioche. I highly recommend this truck for any party. Trust me, you'll have a ball!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


It was a slow news day today at 7th and Montana. The woman on the left announced that she has bunions. The woman on the right can't get the speakerphone in her car to work. Remember, folks, you heard it here first ...!


They say that variety is the spice of life, but a bold newcomer spiced things up just a bit too much for my taste yesterday at 7th and Montana. “Howdy,” he said, introducing himself, “I’m a Food Engineer.” “Ah,” I replied, “You’re one of those people who modify foods to create a better tomorrow?” “Yes,” he replied. Visions of Killer Tomatoes and Mutant Cucumbers danced in my head. He went on and on, turning his attention to Robb and Robin, while I quietly inched my way up 7th Street. This morning, when I saw Robb and Robin, they gave me the full scoop. “Would you believe we spoke with that guy for more than twenty minutes,” Robb said, “He’s really nice … he even gave us some special spices.” I was shocked. Not only did he give them a collection of his own, private blend of spices, but Robb and Robin actually sprinkled one of them, an enigmatic mixture called something like Rosemary Surprise, on their dinner. “Let me get this straight,” I said, “You accepted a bunch of unknown spices from a Food Engineer and sprinkled one of them on your dinner?!? How are you feeling?” “Well, now that you mention it, I did sleep more deeply than usual last night,” said Robin. If you ask me, a Rosemary by any other name doesn't necessarily smell as sweet ...!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


If you've ever wondered where Johnny Depp gets his dreadlocks, look no further. An attractive newcomer made the scene at 7th and Montana yesterday wearing a shirt that said "Pirates of the Caribbean Hair Crew." She looked somewhat disheveled, as if she'd just escaped some terrible torture. Who knows, maybe she was forced to walk the plank ... or worse, maybe she sat through one too many sequels!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the "Motorcycle Mama," a friendly local matron who lives high on the hog. She regularly zips through 7th and Montana on her Harley-Davidson, stopping just long enough to fuel-up with an Espresso before leaving the rest of us in the dust. She made the scene this weekend, purse slung over her shoulder and shopping bags dangling from her handle-bars. Her gear might not pass muster with the Motorcycle Safety Council (they favor boots and head-to-toe leathers over sensible shoes and slacks), but she makes a statement all her own: Part PTA, part STP ...!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The stars were out at 7th and Montana today. In addition to the usual suspects like Renee Zellweger, a genuine "Hero" made the scene this morning. Greg Grunberg, the actor who played Matt Parkman -- a police officer with the ability to read and control minds on the hit TV series Heroes -- showed up with some industry friends. Too bad he can't read minds in real life. Otherwise, he might have been able to stop me from quietly whipping out my spycam and snapping a somewhat unflattering picture. There he is (above, left), chatting with Screenwriter Nat. Sorry, Greg. Next time I'll try to get a better shot.


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "the Phony," an anonymous nincompoop who made the scene at the BofA machine on 5th Street yesterday, intent on doing anything but a bank transaction. Despite the fact that a long line was forming behind him, the Phony decided to hold up traffic by taking a lengthy phone call. "Ha, ha, ha ...," he laughed, evidently at some joke, "That's a good one. Did I send you that e-mail I got from Nick? You'll laugh your ass off ... Just a sec, I have it here, I'll forward it." The line meanwhile kept getting longer. The bank machine beeped and spit out the Phony's card, but he just reinserted it and continued his conversation. Ten minutes later, I was gone but he was still at it. Phonies like him give new meaning to the word ATM: "Any time, Moron ...!"

Saturday, July 23, 2011


What do you get when you cross the Japanese flair for healthy food, artfully presented, with Starbucks? The Bistro Box! I first noticed these boxes -- a collection of Asian-influenced cuisine presented in neat little compartments -- last week and couldn't help chuckling. I could almost imagine the conversation that must have taken place at Starbucks headquarters.

Starbucks Research & Development Maven: "Eureka ... I've got it! Let's offer our customers Bento Boxes, just like you find in Japan. They're quick, they're healthy ... research shows consumers want that."

Starbucks Marketeer: "Bravo, my friend. But forget the 'Bento' nonsense. Sounds too much like Mento. We'll call them Bistro Boxes, Americanize the contents and market the hell out of them! Finally, something on our menu that can transform Starbucks into a food destination. (Stifles evil laugh ...).

And so, a new food concept was born. Starbucks launched the Bistro Boxes on July 11. "Customers are always looking for wholesome, delicious and convenient food options for their on-the-go-lifestyle," they said, "Bistro Boxes are available all day and provide customers delicious and balanced nutrition with wholesome ingredients comprised of proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains." It appears they forgot to mention one ingredient: Listeria Monocytogenes. The USDA this week forced a recall of some of the Bistro Boxes in Georgia and Alabama when it was discovered that the chicken -- provided by a supplier called the Flying Food Group -- was potentially contaminated. On a positive note, the Apple Fritter is looking pretty good right now.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "the Expert," the know-it-all who loudly decided to catalog his accomplishments Wednesday night aboard United Flight #663 to Los Angeles. He sat one row behind me but he might as well have been shouting into my ear with a megaphone. "I'm a rocket scientist," he announced to the man sitting next to him, "You'd be amazed at what just a little science applied to everyday life can do ...!" He went on and on. His three-year-old daughter, meanwhile, spent the flight coughing-up a lung and projectile sneezing all over the woman sitting next to me. "I'm going to need a shower when I get home," she said. "Looks like you're getting one right now," I replied. A copious amount of spittle landed on her shoulder. The woman turned around and glared at the Expert, but he was busy talking with the man sitting next to him. Sheesh. It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to teach a child how to cover her mouth ...!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


My father did the "unthinkable" yesterday at a Starbucks in Brookline, Massachusetts: He ordered an Apple Fritter. "I did it for you," he said. "It's your funeral," I thought. But actually it was my grandmother's. We had arrived early for her funeral service and were killing time across the street. My father, a journalist by trade, gave me a blow-by-blow account. "It's not bad," he said, giving me a thumbs-up. "Well, it can't be healthy," I replied. "Just because it has some Apple in it doesn't mean it will keep the doctor away." "Actually, I feel as if I've just frittered away six-months of my life expectancy," he replied. Hours went by and he looked sort of queasy. "I'm not sure anymore if that was a fritter or a critter," he said. "Keep me posted," I replied. By dinner time he had a severe case of indigestion. "I have a new name for that pastry," he said dryly, "It's an Apple Shitter!" ...!


Please excuse my brief "intermission" from blogging. My grandmother passed away over the weekend and I dropped everything and flew to Boston for the funeral. My grandmother, known as "Ma" to some, "Nana" to others and "Toots" to my late grandfather, was a remarkable woman. She lived to be 93 years old and was healthy almost to the end. Until last year she even golfed several times a week. She had a great sense of humor and just reminiscing with my family over the past few days makes me admire just how strong -- and funny -- she was. Rest in peace, Nana, you've earned it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


What could be nicer than a picnic lunch on the "grassy knoll" near Our Favorite Starbucks? That must have been the thought process which led a couple of Anonymous Loons to dine al fresco by the corner of 7th and Montana yesterday. No doubt they wanted to escape all the crap that went along with "Carmageddon" this weekend. Little did they know, they were merely substituting it for another kind of crap. They were sitting directly atop the now petrified "deposit" left behind last week by Craptilla and her One-Eyed Pug ...!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


It was time to pay the piper at 7th and Montana this morning ... and if you don't believe me, just ask the Piper, a slightly scraggly newcomer who made the scene this morning looking like his last paycheck had just gone up in smoke. And maybe it had. The man chain-smoked all morning from an old fashioned pipe, running in and out of Our Favorite Starbucks so often it was enough to give a body whiplash just watching him. Each time he passed by he waved and said a cheery "hello" to everyone on 7th Street. I gave him a friendly salute. "Do you know him?," asked Joyce. "No," I replied, but I was starting to form an idea. "Something tells me that was no ordinary tobacco in his pipe ...!"

Friday, July 15, 2011


Hunker down, folks! The weekend we've been waiting for -- Carmageddon -- has finally arrived. For the next two days, the 405 freeway will be closed while construction crews work their magic, making a section of the Mulholland Bridge disappear. What this will mean for the crew at 7th and Montana, I don't know. Most folks around here are generally AWOL (Always West of Lincoln) on the weekends, anyway. At least one nefarious character -- none other than Adolph Hitler -- has been ranting and raving about the freeway closure all day. You can catch his temper tantrum here: Carmageddon for Hitler. As for the rest of us, let's hope no one else gets whipped up into a Fuhrer!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Head for the Hills, folks ... there's a local loon with a Sugar High on the loose. The loon-in-question, a tall man in his early forties, made the scene at 7th and Montana yesterday with an empty Big Gulp cup, which he filled nearly halfway with sugar. At first I thought he was just stocking-up on sugar, the same way "Rigolatte" grabs handfuls of Sweet 'n Low to go. But no. This guy asked one of the Baristas to add some kind of liquid to the cup -- I think maybe it was just hot water -- and he began guzzling it right away. I, for one, don't want to be around when all that sugar kicks-in ...!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The stars were out in full force at 7th and Montana this morning. Unfortunately, they were all over the body of an Attractive Young Fashion Victim who made the scene wearing a one-piece jumpsuit that was made out of an American Flag. I whipped out my Spycam and zoomed-in on her rear end. "What are you doing?," asked one witness. "Checking to see if there's an escape hatch," I said, "Who knows ... dressed like that maybe fireworks pop out her butt!" In the end, it turned out there was a rationale explanation for her outfit. Today was "Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day" ...!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Glenda the Glutton, the scourge of the Whole Foods Market at 6th and Wilshire. I found Glenda yesterday at her home away from home -- the Fruit and Nuts display -- brazenly reaching into container after container of granola, dried fruit and nuts, stuffing her face with carefree abandon. It was disgusting to watch ... but at the same time riveting. I made no effort to hide my Spycam. Why bother? John Philip Sousa could have strolled by with a 27-piece marching band playing Stars and Stripes Forever and she wouldn't have noticed. I waited until she was between fistfulls and said the magic words: "Pssst ... Don't spread it around, but they're giving out free samples of carrot cake at the bakery!" I was lying, of course, but you know what they say about Glenda. She really takes the cake ...!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


It was a picture perfect day today at 7th and Montana ... and you know what that means: The Loons were out in full force. Take the man pictured above. He walked most of the length of Palisades Park this afternoon balancing a bottle of water on his head. What a goofball. I guess he had too much fluid on the brain ...!


Opportunity knocked at 7th and Montana this morning as the Powers-that-Be at Our Favorite Starbucks put up a help wanted sign. The sign shows a smiling barista and invites would be applicants to come on in and learn what it takes to "be a partner." The sign left out what I suspect are a few requirements that won't be in the job description: (1) Must love Fritters; (2) Experience wielding Pooper Scoopers (indoors and out); (3) An affinity for Opera; (4) Quick reflexes (for dodging flying cups of hot chocolate); (5) An affinity with animals of all kinds (including dogs, toucans and lizards); and (6) A minimum of five years of experience working in a psychiatric ward.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, meet "Craptilla," an Anonymous Local who -- together with her One-Eyed Pug -- caused a commotion this morning at 7th and Montana. There I was, minding my own business, walking behind them on 7th Street, when the One-Eyed Pug decided to do its business near the sidewalk. "Craptilla" glanced suspiciously in my direction, then crouched as if to clean-up the mess. I continued watching out of the corner of my eye and, sure enough, as soon as I passed by, Craptilla said "Come on, honey," and pulled her dog away, leaving a steaming load of dog feces in her wake. I whipped out my Spycam and followed them into the Starbucks parking lot. Pointing the camera in her direction, I pretended to make a phone call. "Hey, Poopsie," I yelled into the phone, "You forgot something!" Craptilla beat a hasty retreat and I made a bee-line for the evidence she left behind. I'm telling you, some people have no sense of doody ...!


In case you're wondering what's up at "Greens Up," the new salad restaurant at 7th and Montana, I can tell you in two words: the Clientele. Why? Because Nincompoops like the one pictured above steal chairs from Greens Up when it gets crowded at Our Favorite Starbucks. "There ought to be a law against such thievery!," said one witness. I couldn't agree more ... I think this woman should get the Chair!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


This just in: An Anonymous Reader just sent me a live shot of Arnold Schwarzenegger dining with his daughter. The ex-Governor and soon-to-be ex-husband is listening intently while his daughter shares details suggesting just how upsetting the divorce proceedings must be to Maria and the kids. Since this is happening live, I won't say where they are other than somewhere "near" Santa Monica. Some would say Arnold had it coming, but the real tragedy here is all too common. A whole family has to suffer because Arnold maid a mistake.


It was Kudos to Kovar this morning at 7th and Montana as the Ace Photographer spread the word on his latest endeavor, "Dog Bless You." The site, which began as an interesting celebration on Facebook of all things canine, has evolved into a powerhouse -- featured this week on CNN -- where more than 266,000 fans do great things for dogs and people. Currently, for every 5,000 people who "like" Dog Bless You on Facebook, the group will give a dog to a soldier living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I especially like the "I Want You" poster below featuring the Dog Bless You mascot, Lucky, posing as Uncle Sam. I haven't seen such creativity since someone plastered the neighborhood with "Wanted" posters seeking the capture (dead or alive) of the Notorious Neighborhood Newspaper Thief ...!


It was another bombshell yesterday at 7th and Montana as our Friendly Neighborhood Unabomber -- known for his taste in Rambo-style attire -- made the scene in a smart, new workout vest which, despite its resemblance to a straight jacket, drew rave reviews. Not only that, but for the first time ever, his hands -- normally encased in a combination of weights and silver duct tape -- were completely free. "What a positive change!," I cried. I guess you could say I was shell-shocked ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


The Guru, known for knowing everything, once again surprised the crowd at 7th and Montana this morning, this time with what seemed to be a well-informed discourse on genetic engineering. "It can all be done with genetics," he said loudly into his cell phone, "You can engineer your way to perfect health, it's just a matter of science!" And then he hung up his phone, came over to my table and said, "Cheers." He tried to take a big gulp of coffee but somehow missed his mouth and ended up spilling it all over his beard. Now that's what I call frenetic genetics ...!

Monday, July 4, 2011


They say that high on a hill was a Lonely Goatherd but -- if the gentleman who made the scene on 7th Street yesterday is any indication -- I'd say the Goatherd was high on something else. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Yodeling Yokel, an Anonymous Newcomer who made the scene yesterday dressed in a business suit and a bright red Goatherd hat, complete with a yellow feather in it. He stood at the corner of 7th and Georgina all day. He was there in the morning when I walked to Starbucks; He was there in the afternoon when I walked to the beach; He was there at night when I went for an evening stroll. "Howdy," I said. He just stood there motionless like an overgrown Garden Gnome. Something tells me he needs alp ... I mean help!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


"Eva Fangoria," the local actress who for years has complained of being typecast as a ghoul, finally took on a new role this morning ... that of low-hanging fruit. "Quick," she said, pointing at a trio of chihuahuas on the sidewalk, "Someone take a picture ... take a picture. Does anyone have a camera?!?" I felt several sets of eyes look in my direction. She wore a baggy plaid shirt, sweatpants, bright green clogs and a biker bandanna over hair red enough to make one wonder if she'd been embalmed in Red Dye #2. She was also carrying a parasol. "Take a picture!," she shouted to no one in particular, again pointing to the dogs. "Cutesy Wootsey Wittle Doggies ... " She went on and on, finally using her own camera to photograph the Chihuahuas-in-question. "I got some great shots," she rasped as she continued down 7th Street. And so did I ...

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Crassanova," the would-be ladies man whose lack of diplomacy landed him in the doghouse this morning at 7th and Montana. The fun began when a group of his acquaintances arrived and tried to introduce him to a potential lady friend. "Nice to meet you," he growled, "But I like Asian women." She smiled and walked inside to drown her sorrows in a grande drip. As for Crassanova, he went about his business as if nothing had happened. Poor Crassanova. If you're out there, this one's for you:

Friday, July 1, 2011


It was Lights, Camera, Action at 7th and Montana this morning as a new Mystery Celebrity landed in our midst. I found out about it from Neighbor Robb, who texted me a video with an enigmatic message. "Listen carefully to the ladies asking 'Who is that ... Is he famous?'" The video -- taken near 7th and Montana -- was grainy but as near as I could tell, it showed one man rushing down 7th Street and another crossing the street. "Thanks for the video," I replied, "But I can't tell who it is." That's when the surprise kicked-in. "Ummmm ... that's you!," Robb answered. Evidently, Robb turned the tables on me. He saw me walking down 7th Street and let his Spycam do the rest. Sheesh ... what an appalling invasion of privacy!