Monday, December 31, 2012


The ball at Times Square isn't the only thing dropping today, and if you don't believe me, just ask Señior Droopy, an anonymous newcomer who lowered the boom at 7th and Montana this morning with a surprising Wardrobe Malfunction.  One minute he was schlumping his way passed the espresso machine, wearing the kind of loose-fitting pants that never seem to go out of style these days, and the next -- "wham!" -- his pants fell to the floor exposing his underwear for all to see.  "There's something you don't see every day," I said, quietly whipping out my Spycam.  Señior Droopy, for his part, took the incident in stride.  He kept walking towards the condiments bar as if nothing had happened, dragging his pants behind him.  I'll say one thing, if anyone deserves to ring in the New Year with a couple of belts, it's him ...!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Eyes were popping yesterday at 7th and Montana as a tourist couple spent nearly 30-minutes examining every mug on display at Our Favorite Starbucks.  They didn't buy anything, not even a cup of coffee.  They just scrutinized each and every mug in the store at length.  I couldn't understand their conversation (I think they were from India), but my guess is that it was a nearly endless loop that went something like this:

Husband:  Ahhh, here is an interesting mug.
Wife:  Let me see.  No.  It's all wrong.  I don't want anything that has the Starbucks logo on it.  That would be tasteless.
Husband:  OK, let's look at this one, instead.

I don't know what prompted them to finally leave.  Maybe their cup runneth overtime ...?

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Mew-sick Man, a local Hep Cat who has been walking around the neighborhood all week blasting out tunes on his harmonica and sounding a lot like a cat in heat.  "Sheesh," said Kathy, "He must have got that harmonica for Christmas."  Indeed, no one would accuse him of having owned it for any length of time.  It was attached to his neck via a metallic clip, the kind professionals use to hold the instrument in place while they sing.  And while he wasn't exactly singing, he could be heard belting-out two words to passersby at three-minute intervals:  "Foxxxxxy Lady!"  All I can say is, if this was his Christmas gift, I wish Santa had brought the rest of us ear plugs!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It was Happy Holidaze at 7th and Montana yesterday as an Anonymous Fashion Plate stumbled-into Our Favorite Starbucks wearing a paisley shirt and shorts atop a pair of bright blue 'camouflage' slacks.  "That's some camouflage outfit," I said, "Looks like he's trying to blend-in ... with a Jackson Pollock painting!"  Who knows, maybe he got the ensemble as a holiday gift?  Halloween, that is! 

Monday, December 24, 2012


Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a louse.  That's because the louse was camped out at 7th and Montana.  An Anonymous Shutterbug made the scene today, intent on taking Spycam photos of passersby when he thought no one was looking.  The nerve of some people.  Where, I ask you, is his sense of common decency?!?  Besides, doesn't he know this corner is taken ...?

Sunday, December 23, 2012


It was Death by Chocolate at 7th and Montana this morning as an Anonymous Evildoer left an open box of gourmet chocolates at an empty table and fled the scene.  "Want one?," asked a passerby.  "You must be drunk on Blitzen Juice," I said, "Those things are probably poisonous to the touch.  God knows what they've been laced with."  And so, the chocolates sat there all morning as table-after-table of customers drew the same conclusion.  Not even Forrest Gump would touch them with a ten-foot pole.  Finally, one Good Samaritan threw them in the trash, but minutes later they mysteriously re-appeared at the same empty table.  Trust me, one bite of these holiday treats and Yule be sorry ...!

Friday, December 21, 2012


The world didn't end today, but that was little consolation for anyone sitting near 'Mr. Megaphone,' a man who spoke so loudly and for so long on his cell phone this morning that his voice had folks in the Mayan capital of Teothiwacan running for cover.  Every few minutes he let out a belly laugh worthy of Jabba the Hutt.  "Please," I begged, "Let the world end now!"  But it didn't.  He just went on and on.  I even tried fighting fire with fire by blasting him with the "Laugh Track" app on my Spycam.  Nothing worked.  Oh well, I guess you could say it made my morning a real scream!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


When the going gets tough, the tough get going.  And if you don't believe me, just ask the Guru, the all-knowing local eccentric with a pipeline to the Gods.  "Disturbing news is afoot," he said this morning with a wink, "Get a load of this."  He plopped a local newspaper on my table and pointed to a banner headline reading, "Moody's Downgrades Santa Monica."  "Yikes," I said, "I don't know what bothers me more, this headline or the Pending Apocalypse."  "They're related, my friend," he replied, "Everything is related."  And with that, he whipped out his cell phone and proceeded to carry on what sounded like a lengthy conversation with a real estate broker.  "It's time to liquidate," he said, "Sell, sell, sell ...!"

Monday, December 17, 2012


The stars were out at 7th and Montana yesterday, but I was so engrossed in the Sunday crossword I hardly noticed.  The fun began when a friendly woman took an interest in the fact that Gen, Kathy and I were working separately on the same crossword.  "Do you always do the crossword together?," she asked.  "Yes," I grunted, engrossed in Pinocchio's relationship to Geppetto (82-Down).  Gen patiently chatted with the woman, explaining that the crossword has become something of a Sunday ritual.  After the woman left, Kathy said, "You know who that was, don't you?  Catherine Keener!"  All I can say is Kathy must have a Keener eye than I do.  Moments later, I finished the crossword, looked up and noticed that Ben Affleck had made the scene.  Kathy wished him luck with Argo.  I wished I had another crossword ...!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Holy Moly, Folks ... I go away for two weeks on business and come back to find Big Changes at 7th and Montana:  They've added buns to the menu.  Eyes were popping yesterday as a parade of buns in skin-tight Lycra bobbed and jiggled their way up and down 7th Street.  Take the woman pictured above.  She squeezed herself into such a tight fit I was afraid she might pop.  "The problem," said Gen, "Is that there's a gap near her waist."  "There's also a Gap on the Third Street Promenade," I replied, "Maybe she should go there for a nice pair of jeans ...!"

Saturday, December 1, 2012


If you think Mo's "Donut Theft" at 7th and Montana was bad, wait till you hear what happened yesterday near the Starbucks at 15th and Montana.  I made the scene yesterday afternoon at about noon to pick up some lunch, only to find traffic blocked by multiple fire engines, at least six police cars and two ambulances.  I whipped out my spycam and started asking questions.  "What happened?," I asked.  "Some thieves walked into a jewelry shop, broke all the display cases and then maced all the employees," said one witness.  "Oh," I replied, shocked.  This kind of thing doesn't happen often on Montana.  Even our so-called "bank heist" years ago was really just a harmless crackpot who handed the teller at Wachovia a note with a smiley face on it and told her to "have a nice day."  "The thieves were armed and got away on foot," the witness continued, "Police are combing the neighborhood right now trying to find them."  "Bye, bye," I replied, putting away my spycam and walking in the opposite direction.  There's a fine line, my friends, between simple blog coverage and a gun-toting, mace wielding felon and I wasn't about to cross it.  According to local CBS News, the actual theft took place at 17th and Marguerita, where armed assailants stole a backpack filled with nearly $300,000 worth of diamond and gold jewelry from a pair of 'carriers' who were transporting it from the shop on Montana to a showing at a private residence.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It was Grand Theft, Donut at 7th and Montana on Sunday as Mo "inadvertently" grabbed someone's bag of donuts and brought them to my table.  Several minutes later, she laughed, "What have I done?  Somehow I just picked up this bag as if it were mine and walked off with it!"  Why someone would purchase any baked goods at Starbucks is beyond me, but Mo did the right thing.  She brought the bag inside and quietly left it on the counter where she found it.  When she got back, she announced that it was her birthday and left shortly thereafter.  I'd say "Many Happy Returns," but that might be redundant ...!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Eyes were popping yesterday at 7th and Montana as a man bearing a striking resemblance to Santa Claus made the scene.  He walked through the door carrying a large sack over one shoulder, plunked himself down at a table by the window and ordered an Egg Nog Latte.  "Sheesh," I said, "They start pushing Christmas earlier and earlier every year.  Can't we at least get through Thanksgiving first?"  "I hope he didn't park his sleigh outside," said Bob.  I waited for Kringle to regale us with a few 'Ho Ho Hos," but no such luck.  Maybe he heard that Ho Ho's -- like Twinkies -- are an endangered species.  Instead, he pulled a Net Book out of his sack and began typing up a storm.  I guess he was making his list and checking it twice ...! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The hills were alive with the sound of music this morning at 7th and Montana, thanks to Rigolatte, the man who put the erratic in operatic.  He made the scene this morning with an obvious chip on his shoulder.  "Who the hell are they to say I need an agent?" he shrieked, "Faith is all you need.  If you have Faith you have everything!"  He marched into the rest room, carrying a bottle of mouthwash, and slammed the door behind him.  "I'll show them," he continued.  Moments later, he could be heard gargling loudly, then angrily reciting what sounded like the lyrics to the Rogers and Hammerstein classic, "My Favorite Things."  I'll say one thing, the man has talent.  What I can't figure out is why he's always locked in the Starbucks rest room.  Maybe he's Von Trapped ...?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Thanksgiving might be around the corner, but you wouldn't know that based on the behavior of the "Gobbler," a regular at 7th and Montana who evidently doesn't know how to give thanks.  The Gobbler arrived recently at Our Favorite Starbucks at the same time as me.  Rather than rush by her to get in line first, I did what I always do in a situation like this, I held the door open and said, "After you!"  She looked at me -- or to be more precise -- looked right through me as if I was beneath her notice, then marched right by me without so much as a "Thank You."  This is a pet peeve of mine.  I could have yelled "You're Welcome," or at least given her a gentle reminder that common courtesy works both ways, but why risk a perfectly good photo opportunity?  Anyhow, I guess we can all be Thankful this holiday season that there aren't too many Turkeys like this one.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Rigolatte -- the local loon known for locking himself in the rest room at Our Favorite Starbucks and belting out opera tunes for hours on end -- has finally met his match.  Meet 'the Church Lady,' a woman who was so taken with Rigolatte this morning she decided to impersonate a church.  The fun began when Rigolatte started warming-up his pipes at about 11:30 a.m.  "Mi, mi-mi-mi-mi .... Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti ...," he sang out as he walked up 7th Street and marched through the front door.  "What was that all about?," asked the Church Lady.  "Oh, he's just preparing to sing Opera," I replied.  "I LOVE opera," she said, "Maybe he'll give us a concert?"  "I wouldn't ask him if I were you," I warned, "He's also very religious and will try to get you to join his church."  "Oh," replied the Church Lady, "There's nothing to worry about there ... I AM a church ... I'm my very own Church and I worship at my own altar!"  She stretched her arms skyward to form a makeshift steeple and sat there waiting, as if for her congregation to arrive.  "Yup, I'm a Church!," she repeated at various intervals, "I'm still a Church!"  Who knows, maybe one day Rigolatte will join her and, together, they can form their own Moron Tabernacle Choir ...!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It was Lights, Camera, Action last night as a number of us -- Gen, Kathy, both Robins and me -- made the trek from 7th and Montana to Paramount to see Nat's new show, See Dad Run.  It was a blast.  Truth be told, I had my fears about sitting in a live studio audience.  "What if I don't laugh out loud enough?," I wondered.  I even downloaded an app on my Spycam that laughs like a hyena just-in-case.  But -- as anyone who knows Nat and watches the show could tell you -- it was completely unnecessary (and wouldn't be allowed, anyhow).  The show is funny and the acting is great.  I especially enjoyed watching them shoot various versions of the same scene with different nuances.  That's where you can see the real artistry involved.  See Dad Run stars Scott Baio (pictured above with Gen, Kathy and me) and airs on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. -- or 7:00 p.m. Central time -- on Nick@Nite!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


The Pajama Game continued at 7th and Montana yesterday with the arrival of a young woman wearing 'bunny rabbit' pajamas, a long-hooded bathrobe, fuzzy slippers and a sleeping mask.  "Looks like someone just rolled out of bed," said one witness.  "Oh, she's just sick," replied another, who I presume was her father, "She's not going to school today."  The girl sneezed, as if to illustrate the point.  Who knows, maybe she was at Starbucks on Doctor's orders ...?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Tse Tse Top, an Anonymous Newcomer who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning in a near catatonic state.  He somnambulated his way through the front door, set a laptop up as if to do a little work, then promptly fell asleep on it.  At first I wondered if he'd been bitten by a Tse Tse fly, but then it occurred to me, his behavior probably has more to do with the election than anything else.  The poor schlub has elected to tune everything out!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Roberta, the latest Fashion Victim to traipse up and down 7th Street in her 'evening' wear.  This time, it was a pink, fuzzy bathrobe with Ugg boots ... at 3:00 p.m. yesterday.  And that was nothing compared to Ms. Nightie-at-Noon who made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks yesterday wearing what looked like a light blue nightgown, purple Ugg Boots and -- strangely enough -- long, purple gloves.  At first I wondered why folks would be dressing like this in broad daylight, but then it dawned on me:  They must have turned the clock all the way back to Halloween ...!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Sometimes I wish we had an Election Protection program at 7th and Montana.  It would work just like Witness Protection except that it would give us respite from politicians who like to press the flesh this time of year.  "I'm Jimmy Bupkiss and I'm all about change."  Actually, yesterday I sort of brought this on myself.  I don't know the local candidates and usually try to get advice from someone who does, Our Favorite Ex-City Councilman.  I asked him yesterday for his picks for City Council and he helped me out.  Then he asked me who I was voting for on the School Board.  "That's an area I know nothing about, but I made some guesses," I replied.  "Well," he replied, looking at my sample ballot, "You made the right choice.  Let me introduce you to Seth Jacobson."  It was then that I noticed someone was standing next to him.  "Nice to meet you," I said, "You have my support."  Truth be told, I picked him almost randomly -- he was identified as a public policy advisor which I thought might be helpful -- and he does seem like a smart guy.  And, also a plus, he wasn't walking from table-to-table with a clipboard.  Anyhow, from now until Election Day, if I see any other local candidates at Starbucks, I'm going to run for office myself.  My office, that is, in Playa Vista ...!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Halloween can be a confusing day at 7th and Montana.  No one, it seems, wants to cross that fine line between "Is that a costume?" and "That's a good look for you!"  I'm pretty sure, however, that the Barista wearing snakes on her head yesterday was dressed as Medusa.  "Nice look," I commented, "and perfectly appropriate.  The Stones should be here any minute!" 

Meanwhile, the Priest outside on the sidewalk had some folks standing in line to confess.  "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned!," I said.  The Priest just posed and smiled.  I knew as soon as I saw him that he was a fake.  The real priest who holds impromptu confessionals at Our Favorite Starbucks  never wears his robes! 


It was a daily dose of doily at 7th and Montana on Sunday as an Attractive Young Newcomer made the scene wearing what appeared to be a doily around her waist.  "Is it my imagination, or is she wearing a doily?," I asked.  Cathy chuckled.  "That's a doily, alright" she replied, "But I doubt any of your readers would know what a doily is."  A doily, according to, is "any small, ornamental mat, as of embroidery or lace" or "a small napkin, as one used during a dessert course."  Years ago, doilies were used to protect wooden furniture, but seeing one now, reincarnated as a dress, made me think of a cross between Arsenic and Old Lace and the Mod Squad.  To the fashion plate responsible, I have just one comment, it's not a bad look, but Whistler's Mother called and she wants her napkin back!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Wild Bill Hiccup, an Anonymous Newcomer who made the scene yesterday dressed like he took a wrong turn at Rodeo Drive.  He wore an expensive leather coat with fringe and a matching hat with tassels.  All that was missing was a lasso.  He looked every inch like Wild Bill with just one hiccup:  His beard and mustache were strictly from the Colonel Sanders school.  I can't say I blame him.  I'd be chicken, too, if someone asked me to ride a bucking bronco or rope a steer ...!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana on Sunday as an Anonymous Newcomer tried to throw her weight around.  "Watch my stuff, will you?," she asked, placing her purse and an appointment book on an empty table.  Gen and I were focused on the crossword puzzle at a table nearby.  "I can't promise to watch your purse," Gen said politely, "We're doing the crossword puzzle.  But I'm happy to watch it if you leave it at our table."  The woman was perturbed.  "The whole point is that I want you to save this table.  Whatever!"  She left her stuff on the table and huffed away.  I took a quick picture for future reference.  For all I know, her stuff is still sitting on the table.  But now, thanks to the miracle of the Internet, we can all keep an eye on it!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Howard is All Ears
What do you get when you combine three birthdays, a derelict, a mariachi band and a flash mob?  A party, 7th and Montana style, that's what.  Today marked the celebration of Howard's 70th birthday and when you combine that with the fact that he shares the same birthday as his son, Greg, and his mother, otherwise known as Supernana, well, let's just say something extraordinary was in order.  Howard's wife Cathy, daughter-in-law, Jude, and Greg cooked-up a plan so devious it belongs in the Surprise Party Hall of Fame.  It went something like this:

"I Did it My Way ...!"
Greg disguised himself as a Local Loon, complete with a black fright wig and beard, sunglasses, two dogs, a pushcart and a ukulele.  He arrived early and sat at the bus stop, blending in with the crowd.  Meanwhile, at least 30 of Howard's friends and family, including Supernana, gathered in secret around the corner.  A number of us 'regulars' arrived extra early and grabbed the "table of choice" near the bus stop.  I should add that Jude, a TV producer, distributed manuals in advance that were so detailed and professional one would think we were planning the Invasion of Normandy.  It all hinged on everything looking "normal."

Howard and Cathy arrived and took their seats, as usual ... and that's when the fun began.  Greg grunted, danced and wobbled around the bus stop, acting increasingly demented, rocking-out to tunes only he could hear.  "I hope he's listening to Jazz," said Howard, unaware it was his own son, "Maybe I should recruit him for the Vail Jazz Festival!"  One by one, Howard's friends, people who usually don't go to 'Our Favorite Starbucks,' began walking by in a series of staged "coincidences" -- the Flash Mob -- until finally the jig was up.  The full crowd swooped-in, Greg revealed his identity and everyone ripped off their jackets revealing that they were wearing "Happy Birthday Howard" Starbucks Shirts.  A mariachi band materialized out of nowhere, playing Happy Birthday.

Three Generations, Same Birthday!
When they were done, the band played the only other English song they knew, "My Way," joined by Greg who still looked every inch the LoonAs Cathy later said, the song was completely appropriate for Howard, who truly has lived his first seven decades his way.  It was, as the T-Shirts said, "The Best 6-Minute Birthday Party Ever."  Congratulations, Howard, and many happy returns to you, Greg and Supernana!

Friday, October 19, 2012


A funny thing happened a few weeks ago while I was reading a local restaurant review in The Santa Monica Lookout.  Two words in the review -- "tragically hip" -- really struck me.  I've only heard one person use that expression, my friend Barbara who I hadn't seen in 20 years.  I scrolled-up to the byline and, sure enough, it was her.  Barbara coined the term years ago to describe a restaurant called Tryst -- one of those trendy celebrity spots that come and go in L.A. faster than you can say "B-List" -- and I never forgot it.  You see, Tryst slapped us in the face.  Shortly after Barbara and I ordered dinner there one fateful night, the maitre d' told us we had to move to a 'lesser' table so they could give ours to Sylvester Stallone.  We left in disgust -- which was "tragic" for them -- as it was just a matter of time before the next "hip" replacement came along.  Treat enough customers the way Tryst treated us, and your business will be Rocky in more ways than one.  Now, 20 years later, Barb is in a position to help folks make more informed restaurant choices.  I e-mailed her right away and we made plans to meet for lunch.  Not only that, but she encouraged me to pick the location -- a place I had never tried -- and said she'd review it.  I picked "Cora's Coffee Shoppe" on Ocean Avenue, mainly because their 50's style neon sign has always intrigued me.  The food was good but the company was better.  You can read all about it in Barbara's "Good Taste" column:  Cora's Coffee Shoppe.  And guess what?  I'm now officially part of the "Good Taste" entourage!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet “Terry,” a local matron who popped out of her home near 7th and Montana yesterday wearing nothing but a Terry Cloth bathrobe.  The poor thing must have assumed no one would notice her schlumping around her driveway, but you can’t be too careful these days.  For my part, I took the incident in stride.  I just wish the lighting was better and that there were curlers in her hair ...!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I interrupt our regularly scheduled coverage of 7th and Montana to bring you an important news bulletin:  Police have released a sketch of the suspect wanted for a sexual assault last Wednesday at the 800 block of Palisades Beach Road.  And in an interesting twist, some say he matches the description of the local “Spiderman” who has scaled two buildings on San Vicente in an effort to break-in to upper story apartments.  The suspect is described as a white male, about 30 years old, 5 feet 6 inches with a thin, muscular build.  He has short, dark brown hair and a full beard.  Oh, and for whatever reason, witnesses report that when he scales buildings, he’s only half-dressed.  If you see him, call the police right away at 310-458-8495.

Monday, October 15, 2012


 The Guru -- a local expert known for knowing everything -- was full of surprises this morning at 7 th and Montana.  It turns out that he’s much more politically savvy then I gave him credit for.  He used his cell phone to call a man who sounded like an advisor of some sort, turned on his speakerphone and said, “Trust me, I have a plan.  There’s not enough time in the world for me to explain it to you, but I have a plan!”  I must say, I was impressed.  “You belong in the White House!,” I said.  Of course, I really meant a certain facility in a faraway land where men in white suits escort you to basket-weaving classes and the walls have more padding than the beds, but who needs details ...?


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Sooie, a larger-than-life local 'Diva' who decided yesterday that her feet deserve a chair more than anyone else at Our Favorite Starbucks.  Despite the fact that it was 'standing room only,' Sooie refused to let any of the various customers who were looking for seats -- including Neighbor Larry -- have the chair.  It was clear that she wasn't saving it for anyone, and she didn't seem to have any other reason, like a medical condition, requiring an extra chair.  She just liked having a foot rest.  I felt like shouting, "Move your ham hocks, you sow!," but others were already making the point for me.  It's been my experience that people like this never learn basic manners.  Obviously, no one ever taught her to chair and chair, alike ...!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Hot Lips," a mysterious newcomer whose lips made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning several minutes before the rest of her.  Her lips were so full of collagen they looked like two zeppelins on a collision course as she growled -- in Russian -- into her cell phone.  Who knows, maybe her plastic surgeon was on the other end, telling her "You look maahvelous."  If so, I guess there's no end to his Lip Service ...!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as Malissa revealed a deep, dark secret.  “Have I told you all how I communicate with birds?,” she chirped.  Evidently, a pair of Blue Jays raps on her window every morning, looking for breakfast.  Malissa calls out to them – “I’ll be right there!” – then opens the window and smiles brightly as they alight on her hand.  She feeds them a variety of nuts, then sends them on their merry way.  “What are you, Snow White?!?,” I asked.  Melissa laughed and went on.  “It’s not just birds, either” she said, “I’m friendly with a variety of local squirrels and mice, too!”  One thing's for sure, Malissa has Animal Magnetism to spare ...!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


It was a collective Big Gulp at 7th and Montana last week as an Anonymous Loon seemed intent on proving what happens when you drink too much coffee in one sitting.  The fun began when the Loon -- a man in his mid-fifties wearing short-shorts atop skin-tight black leggings, with more implements dangling from his belt than Batman -- filled what looked like a 32-ounce "Thirst Buster" cup with Starbucks' finest.  He added half a container of sugar, chug-a-lugged to his heart's content, and the rest was history.  Within minutes, he made a beeline for the bathroom and hasn't been seen since.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


It was Lights, Camera, Action at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that the pilot episode of Nat's latest TV show, See Dad Run, aired last night on Nick-at-Nite.  The show stars Scott Baio as a former sitcom actor who suddenly finds himself in his most challenging role yet, that of being a stay-at-home father.  And there are some familiar "local" faces, too.  Barista Tyler (pictured above, next to Scott Baio) was an extra in last night's episode.  Congratulations, Nat, on a great, new show!  And for the rest of you, See Dad Run airs weekly on Sunday's at 8:00 p.m. on Nick-at-Night. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Love was in the air at 7th and Montana yesterday as Malissa and Adam spread the good news:  They've been seeing each other for exactly one year.  And they met at Our Favorite Starbucks.  "Wow," I said, "That makes 365 lattes and yogurt parfaits for each of you," I said.  "Probably more than that," said Adam, "Sometimes we go back for more."  Congratulations to the happy couple ... and many happy refills!

Friday, October 5, 2012


We've all seen our share of spectacles at 7th and Montana, but get a load of this:  A woman made the scene on Wednesday wearing Apple Eyewear.  Her sunglasses were shaped like Red Delicious Apples.  "Good God," I said, "She must be sauced!"  What next, Kiwi Contact Lenses?  Banana Hearing Aids?  Cabbage Leaf Underwear?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Al Pine, our Friendly Neighborhood Ski Bum.  Never mind that it's 80-degrees in Southern California and that the only moguls around here run movie studios, Al's ready to tackle the slopes with his ski poles in tow.  "Where does he think he is, North of Montana?," asked one witness.  "Oh, Shoosh," I said, "Give the guy a break.  Somehow he's been able to convince himself he's on a Ski Slope."  Now that's what I call mind over Matterhorn ...!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Just when I thought I'd seen it all, a Fashion Victim made the scene at 7th and Montana this weekend wearing a get-up that left the neighborhood -- well -- floored.  Meet the "Rug Rat," an attractive young woman who proved once and for all that furry shag carpet samples don't make attractive ponchos.  Not since Tommy Toupee went two-tone has so much rug been used to so little effect.  And it gets worse:  I think it was real fur, despite the 80-degree temperatures.  I felt like saying, "Excuse me, I have Conan the Barbarian on line one.  He wants his shirt back."  But you know what they say, "Hell hath no furry like a woman scorned ...!"

Sunday, September 30, 2012


It was Yak Season at 7th and Montana today ... but darn it all, I forgot my hunting rifle.  Meet Sir Yaks-a-Lot, an Anonymous Nincompoop who made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks shouting nonstop on his cell phone.  "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!," he shrieked.  Then, "No, No, No!."  It was like listening to a flip-flopping presidential candidate.  At one point he shouted, "I have one more question for you! ..."  "So do I," I muttered, "When are you going to shut up?!?"  Some people shouldn't be allowed to use a cell phone!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming at 7th and Montana to deliver a Shout-Out to The Dog Whisperer.  Cesar Millan, if you're out there, we need you.  Gordo the Wonder Dog, the lovable pooch rescued from death's door by Robb and Robin, needs help.  You see, Gordo can't bear to be away from Robb or Robin ... but this is more than just separation anxiety.  He gets so nervous whenever they're not around that he bolts -- does whatever he can to escape from whoever is looking after him and runs off to find Robb or Robin.  Some months ago, he nearly reached the Freeway in an effort to find Robb, and the whole neighborhood mounted a search and rescue mission.  Last week, he literally leaped off an overhang of a three-story building to find Robin, breaking a bone in his paw, cracking three ribs and ruining a canine tooth in the process.  Now, his leg is in a 'doggie cast' and he's doped-up on pain killers.  If that doesn't call for a little Dog Whispering, I don't know what does ...!

Friday, September 28, 2012


'Barnacle Bess,' the local eccentric with a heart of gold, paid me an interesting compliment on Sunday.  "I like your costume," she said.  "Costume?!?," I thought, looking at my usual weekend duds.  "Just getting an early start on Halloween," I replied, "But enough about me.  Your outfit looks brand new!"  I could say this with confidence, knowing that a large, purple price tag was dangling from her sunglasses.  "Oh, thanks," she said, "It's always good to shake things up a bit!"  As for the price tag, she wears it proudly -- sort of like a modern-day Minnie Pearl -- to avoid that her sunglasses get lost in the shuffle.  A little individuality never hurt anyone, I always say ...!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


It was a tug of war at 7th and Montana on Saturday as Louie, the Adorable Fluff Ball, tried to show everyone who's in charge.  The fun began when Kerry got up to leave.  Louie decided he wanted to stay put.  He dug his heels in and refused to budge.  Kerry pulled at the leash, but Louie displaced his weight, almost daring her to drag him across the sidewalk.  "Come on, Louie," said Kerry.  But Louie just looked at her as if to say, "Heh, heh, heh ... I'll fix her."  I guess you could call it poetic justice ...

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Neighbor Gavi had stars in her eyes at 7th and Montana yesterday ... and can you blame her?  The sheer wattage of the luminaries in our neighborhood is enough to blind anyone.  "Hey," she cried, "Isn't that the Actor John Hawkes over there?  He's great!"  "Ummm, I don't think that's him," I said.  "He stars in 'Deadwood'," she continued, "And he's amazing."  "Ummm, I don't think that's him," I repeated.  But next thing you know, she had sprung into action.  She ran right up to him and said, "I just have to ask, aren't you John Hawkes ...?"  As it turned out, he wasn't John Hawkes.  He wasn't even Stephen Hawking.  He was just another face in the crowd.  Dejected, Gavi and her faithful pooch Jemima walked up 7th Street with me and Gen.  We didn't make it half a block before we ran into Neighbor Valerie who seemed pleased to meet Gavi and tried to lavish some attention on Jemima.  But Gavi just yanked Jemima's leash and said, "Sorry, we're rushed, gotta go!"  I waited a few minutes before telling Gavi that she did, indeed, get her celebrity sighting for the morning.  "That was Valerie Harper," I said, "Perhaps best known for playing Rhoda on TV!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Quick, call the Fashion Police!  A fugitive from their most wanted list made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning wearing enough foliage in her hair to start a rain forest.  A giant, red plastic flower protruded from her hair like a Bromeliad in the Amazon .  "Careful," I thought, approaching from behind, "She might be armed and dangerous.  That flower probably squirts seltzer water!"  Someone needs to read this woman her Carmen Miranda rights ...!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Security was out in full force this morning at 7th and Montana in the wake of a mysterious break-in at the 500 block of San Vicente.  At approximately 4:00 a.m. this morning, neighborhood residents were awoken by a blood curdling scream and a crash.  An intruder -- who by all accounts sounds like a cross between Spiderman and Norman Bates -- scaled-up a three-story apartment complex, entered a third-floor unit through the balcony and scared the hell out of the single woman who lives there.  When the woman screamed, the man apparently ran back out the balcony door, clawed his way to the ground, leaving a bloody trail in his wake, and tried breaking into a couple of other units.  "He was like a crazed animal," said one witness.  Police and helicopters arrived on the scene within minutes.   Locals, while shocked, wasted no time speculating about the incident.  "Do you think it was one of the Starbucks Loonies?," asked one.  "I don't think so," I replied, "It's not Rigolatte's M.O., or that of the Newspaper Thief."  The suspect remains at large.