Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Charmin," an anonymous newcomer who made the scene at 7th and Montana on Sunday with egg on her face and something else on her behind. Part of a toilet paper roll -- a strand at least two feet long -- was sticking out of her pants, flapping in the breeze like a gossamer tail. I quickly moved into position, aiming my Spycam in her direction and activating the zoom lens ... but a Good Samaritan intervened before I could get a close-up. "Pardon me," said the Samaritan, "Are you aware that there's a bunch of toilet paper coming out of your pants?" Charmin was mortified. "Don't worry," she cried, "It looks clean ... and I don't have anything contagious!" She flushed in embarrassment, though if you ask me should have flushed something else. "Not to worry," I replied, "Your secret is safe with me ...!"


"Mr. Wiggins," an occasional visitor to 7th and Montana known for his peculiar taste in fright wigs, made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks on Sunday wearing basic black. As usual, his wig was spiky and a tad lopsided, just enough to make you look twice ... for the Fashion Police. But on a certain level the black wig suits him. At first I thought he got it at a Black Friday sale, but evidently he doesn't celebrate that particular "holiday." He was overheard joking with a friend that it should be called "Crack Friday," instead ...!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


This Thanksgiving was a memorable one for me as I spent some time with my family in Massachusetts. We didn't go around the table recounting everything we were thankful for, but everything I was thankful for was sitting around the table, especially my adorable niece, Leah (above) and my nephew Jackson (below). It seems like they're both growing up so quickly. Leah, now two, is talking up a storm. She loves anything to do with princesses and likes to quote a lot from her favorite movie, Tangled, Disney's remake of the age-old Rapunzel story, which she was watching when I took the photo above. For some reason, she's taken it into her head to paraphrase the evil witch in the story. "Don't you EVER, EVER say that to me again!," she likes to say (especially when someone tells her something she doesn't want to hear). Jackson, now four, has a new best friend, the Whoopee Cushion, or as he likes to call it, the Whooshie Cushie. He likes nothing better than to invite guests to have a seat on it, then breaks into peals of hysterical laughter when they're "fooled." They're both such great kids.

Monday, November 21, 2011


It was a case of mistaken identity at 7th and Montana yesterday as a Friendly Local thought Genevieve was a celebrity. "Kelly, is that you?," she asked. And then, realizing her mistake, she continued, "You look just like Kelly Bishop, a very fine actress." Genevieve seemed flattered, of course, but then again, neither of us were too familiar with Kelly Bishop. "Oh," said the Friendly Local, "She was the grandmother in a TV show called the Gilmore Girls." I did a little research and, based on the photo below, I'm half-tempted to say that the Friendly Local wouldn't know a celebrity if one bit her on the behind. But, of course, I'd be wrong. The local was Valerie Harper, the talented actress who won four Emmys and a Golden Globe for her role as Rhoda on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Quick, call Alfred Hitchcock. A flock of strange birds swooped over 7th and Montana this morning and something tells me not even Tippi Hedren could scare them away. They landed on a telephone pole on 7th Street and sat there screeching in unison for what seemed like an eternity. Perhaps they were trying to warn passersby about the rainstorm that was brewing. I, for one, opened my umbrella as I passed by ... but then, again, who wouldn't with a collection of birds like that overhead?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


It was the Dog Days of Fall at 7th and Montana this morning as an Anonymous Dog Owner parked her pooch, a Chihuahua wearing a ski-vest, at my table while she ran inside to grab her coffee. "Mind if I leave my dog here with you fine people while I run inside for a bit?," she asked. Kerry (pictured above) was quick to chime-in. "No problem," she replied, reaching for the pampered pooch. I'd like to say it was our Animal Magnetism that led the woman to trust us with her dog, but then again, I guess her options were rather limited. Only three tables were occupied at the time and we were sandwiched between someone who resembled a cross between an Ax Murderer and a Cro-Magnon man and the Guru, the local loon who knows everything about everything except for one subject: Personal Hygiene.


It was full speed ahead this morning -- and all week -- for 'the Kaiser,' the woman known for zipping-in and out of 7th and Montana astride her trusty motorcycle. Lately, she doesn't even have time to remove her helmet, a jaunty, Kaiser Wilhelm number which, combined with her taste in pastel slacks and shirts, is like going from Baden Baden to worse. "I guess the Kaiser's on a roll these days," I said. At least she's not bulkie ...!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It was 7:30 a.m. and all was well at 7th and Montana ... and if you don't believe me, just ask the Town Crier, a local loon who spent the morning yesterday reading the newspaper at Our Favorite Starbucks. Out loud. At first I thought she was just another loon, but as I walked by I learned there was a method to her madness. "Phase One of the project, from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City, was approved in 2005 and broke ground in the subsequent year," she said in a dull monotone. "Service is anticipated in 2012 ..." It took me a while to realize she was not only scanning, but reading aloud every news item that caught her eye. For crying out loud ...!

Monday, November 14, 2011


It was a full house at 7th and Montana this morning. So full that there were hardly any chairs available; So full that even the Apple Fritters were in short supply; So full that Neighbor Nat suggested we start a movement. He suggested we call it Occupy Starbucks ...!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


They say that "Love is never having to say you're sorry," but if you ask me, the two Lovebirds who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning dressed in identical Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms owe us all an apology. The PJs in question were white and festooned with colorful Mickey Mouse heads. "Something tells me this was all her idea and the guy just had to go along with it," said Robb. "Either that," I added, "Or she slipped him a Mickey ...!"

Saturday, November 12, 2011


It was par for the course at 7th and Montana this morning as the Golfer and his Disciple once again made the scene. For weeks, they've been raising eyebrows as the Golfer (above left), no doubt some sort of pro, talks enthusiastically about the game, often standing up to demonstrate his swing, while the Disciple jots down every word in a notepad. This morning I was tempted to ask what they're up to -- and whether the Disciple felt at all guilty about taking-up space at Starbucks without ordering anything -- but I wouldn't want to get either of them teed-off ...!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as a Shrieking Banshee came unglued, courtesy of Neighbor Robb with a little help from yours truly. The fun began when the Banshee got tired of waiting in line behind Robb for her cappuccino. She reached for her cell phone, dialed a friend and said loudly, "It's me. I'm here at Starbucks, stuck in line behind this guy who's been standing here ordering for a half hour ..." Robb, never one to hold his tongue, turned around and said, "I hear that rudeness coming out of your mouth!" And then he proceeded to move at a snail's pace which naturally infuriated the Banshee further. By this point, word of the incident started to spread and I decided to come to the rescue with my Spycam. I held it aloft as if to demonstrate an interesting new feature and said to Robb, "I just found a great new app. It spews insults at idiots who lose their patience in line!" The Banshee looked at me but didn't say anything. And then Robb went in for the kill. "I'll bet someone around here wishes she got up five minutes earlier ... and that she was 20 years younger!" That did it. The Banshee exploded. "F--ck You!," she yelled. And in case no one heard her, she repeated it again and again as she walked out the door. All I can say is, I hope she ordered a decaf ...!


I'm all for rules and regulations, but the facilities management at my new office building in Playa Vista has really gone too far. Don't do this, Don't do that. All day long it's "don't, don't, don't." Well, I finally hit my wall today when they even tried to deny me a drink of water. There I was, gearing up for a refreshing glass of H2O, when the facilities manager tsk tsked at me and pointed to a sign overhead. "DO NOT drink from the toilets or urinals," it warned, "as they use reclaimed water as a water saving measure." "What are you going to do next?," I asked, "Restrict the air I breathe?!?"

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It's "you snooze, you lose" at 7th and Montana. In recent days I've barely missed catching Actors Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba rushing in for coffee. But today I really messed-up. Jazz Artist and friend Curtis Stigers (pictured above) is in town recording a new album and I told him I'd probably be at Starbucks at around 8:00. Then, as usual, I ended up on a conference call. By the time I arrived, the musical talent had changed somewhat. Rigolatte -- known for locking himself in the restroom and belting out opera tunes for hours on end-- was on the scene warbling a selection of '80s hits. His pipes aren't bad, but I just wish he'd stop hogging-up all the plumbing ...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It was a Battle of the Bags at 7th and Montana this morning as a parade of would-be Santas made the scene slinging bags across their shoulders. One man (pictured above) impressed the crowd with a collection of extra-durable burlap potato sacks. "Look," said Joyce, "The sacks come from a company called Vishnu Traders." "Hmmm," I said, writing furiously on a napkin, "Vishnu Traders ... interesting ... got it." "What are you doing?," asked Bob, "Taking notes for your blog? ... Maybe you should also try walking a mile in his shoes." "No thanks," I replied, "God knows what I'd catch." Besides, lugging potato sacks around all day isn't exactly my bag. Moments later another newcomer arrived carrying one of the largest, industrial-sized plastic bags I've ever seen. The man with the Vishnu potato sacks cast an envious look in his direction. We can all be grateful, however, that his sacks were a little more durable. Research reveals that Vishnu Traders specializes in breeding cages for laboratory rats and mice.

Monday, November 7, 2011


It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas at 7th and Montana, and if you don’t believe me, just look at the coffee cups. Starbucks has formally unveiled its annual holiday cups and, if you ask me, they've outdone themselves. Each cup carries a message so syrupy sweet you’d swear it came directly from Tiny Tim. This morning mine read, “Let’s remember why we go together so well.” “What’s this a reference to?,” I asked in my best imitation of Scrooge, “Apple Fritters and Kaopectate?” But the truth is, the holidays do bring folks closer together. Why just yesterday the Guru – the local eccentric who knows everything about everything – got a bit too close for comfort. He sidled right up to Neighbor David and leaned back, so that – even though the two were separated by a pane of glass – they looked like Siamese Twins. “Don’t look now,” I said, “But you’ve got company.” David took the whole thing in stride, and I guess that’s what the holidays are all about: Peace, Love, Understanding ... and a strategically placed pane of glass!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Robespierre, the historical, hysterical character who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning wearing a terry cloth bathrobe. At first I thought he was a doctor in a lab coat, but after a while it became clear that the men in white lab coats were probably out looking for him. "Good God," said David, "Can you imagine him as your anesthesiologist?" "I'd certainly be knocked out," I replied. Meanwhile, as for Robespierre, he continued traipsing up and down 7th Street in the pouring rain. Some say he was out looking for a shop where he could buy some fuzzy slippers to match his bathrobe, but I'm not so sure. He might look ready for Bed and Bath ... but something tells me he's way past Beyond ...!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Road Rage was all the rage this morning at 7th and Montana as an Anonymous Maniac pulled his SUV into the bus lane in front of Our Favorite Starbucks and began yelling up a storm. "Hurry Up!," he screamed to his wife, who had run in for a cup of coffee. And then, inexplicably, he turned his attention on Neighbor Gary. "What are you looking at?!?," he hollered, "Mind your own %$#$%# business you #@$%$##." Gary, never the silent type, enraged him further. "What are you talking about?," Gary asked. "You %$@#@, leave me the &^%$ alone," the Hothead continued. On and on it went until Robb ran inside to alert folks that something needed to be done about the Maniac outside. As fate would have it, he alerted none other than Mrs. Maniac, who quietly collected her cappuccino, slunk her way outside and tried to slip into the back seat of the SUV unnoticed. Naturally, I was standing nearby videotaping the whole thing. Copies are available on Blu-ray or DVD for $9.95 each ...!