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.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Rigolatte, the Local Opera Loon with a zany religious streak, threw me for a loop this morning at 7th and Montana.  Out of the blue, he tapped me on the shoulder, took a seat at my table and asked me for a favor.  "Could you use your cell phone to help me out a bit?," he asked.  "Why of course," I replied, pointing it in his direction and quietly switching on the camera.  "I need you to look up the definition of the word 'anoint,'" he said, "I must find out what that means!"  "Oh," I said, "Well I think it means rubbing ointment on yourself in a religious kind of way."  He laughed.  "It can't mean that," he said.  "To anoint," I said, reading from my Spycam, "is to pour or smear with perfumed oil, milk, water, melted butter or other substances, a process employed ritually by many religions."  "Ahh," he replied, walking away, "Then I know what I must do."  I'm not exactly sure what he was up to, but he was last seen making a beeline for the condiments bar ...! 

Monday, September 17, 2012


Greetings from London, where I arrived safe and sound yesterday just in time for dinner, followed by a morning meeting and a quick trip back to Los Angeles (where I land in time for another meeting).  All I can say is I hope I have more privacy at dinner tonight than I did last night.  The woman above was seated at the table next to mine -- with barely three inches between our tables.  I didn't have any problem with it until the check came and I put my credit card on the table.  The restaurant didn't have the usual folder to put a credit card in for security purposes, just a silver tray.  No sooner did I put my card on the tray then the woman whipped out her mobile phone and seemed to point it towards my credit card.  I know a spycam maneuver when I see one, and I think she might have been trying to take a quick photo of my card.  I immediately pulled the tray away from her, turned my card over and whipped out my own Spycam.  Pretending to make a phone call, I said, "Hi, it's me ... just wanted to catch up with you ... did you get the photo?  (brief pause).  Great, isn't it amazing how quickly photos can end up with the authorities these days? ... and thank God for that facial recognition technology.  (brief pause).  Thanks again, will keep you posted."  I'm not sure if she was up to something, but better safe than sorry ...!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the "Damsel in Dis Dress," a Fashion Half Wit who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning wearing half a dress.  For some reason, the blond bombshell tore off the front part of her dress, leaving the back -- a long gray skirt -- to trail behind her like the caboose in a train wreck.  I'm not sure what she did with the rest of her ensemble, but something tells me it contained the last shred of her fashion sense ...!  

Friday, September 14, 2012


It was raining Sick Puppies at 7th and Montana yesterday and if you don't believe me, just ask Poor Gordo (above left) who made the scene feeling dog tired.  "He's been throwing up and having diarrhea all morning," said Robin, "Here, would you mind watching him while I grab my coffee?"  Rumor has it Gordo had one too many Beggin Strips ... and with an ingredients list that includes "artificial smoke flavor" and mysterious "meat," it's a wonder his head wasn't rotating around like something out of the Exorcist.  That's more than I can say for the other Sick Puppy in our midst, an Anonymous Loon who hovered over his table blasting a transistor radio.  Not only was he playing it at full volume, but he was yelling at it, too.  "I can't take you anywhere!," he screamed.  Something tells me he's heard that line before ...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the “Plaid-a-pus,” an Unfortunate Fashion Victim who made the scene at 7th and Montana  on Sunday wearing a clashing plaid pair of baggy pajama bottoms and a plaid top that looked like it was designed by Omar the Tent Maker.  He sauntered up 7th Street as if it was his own personal catwalk, then – inexplicably – pulled a chair up to the foliage and began communing with nature.  “What do you think?,” I asked Joyce, who had called the Plaid-a-Pus to my attention.  “It’s … just … unseemly,” she replied.  Then, again, she hasn’t seen him on Argyle days …!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


It was Ruff Times at 7th and Montana yesterday as an enormous, black SUV made the scene bearing a warning -- "Beware of Pitbull" -- under the driver and passenger side windows.  The driver, a man who looked a lot like Mr. Clean, wasn't kidding, either.  Just as the vehicle pulled up in front of Starbucks, a black sheet which had been covering the passenger side window was swept aside and out popped the head of a pit bull.  The dog eyed the crowd suspiciously and growled.  I'm not sure where they were heading to, but I hope it wasn't anywhere with valet parking ...! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Cheers erupted at 7th and Montana yesterday as Rigolatte -- the local Opera Loon with a song in his heart and bats in his belfry -- did what he does best.  He locked himself in the Men's Room and belted out a tune.  This time, instead of the usual aria, he channeled Tom Jones.  Moments after slamming the bathroom door, he could be heard crooning "Why, Why, Why, Delilah ...?"  I don't know what Delilah did to him, but he was plenty mad about it.  Each time he got to her name, it sounded as if he was throwing something against the wall.  Who knows, maybe Delilah is a wall flower ...!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I returned late last night from a trade show in Berlin and, by the looks of it, not a moment too soon.  I quickly stopped at Pavilions on my way home to pick up some provisions, only to find that the "Nibbler" -- a local matron known for grazing her way up and down the produce aisle, nibbling everything she can get her hands on -- was having a field day.  I caught her munching a bunch of grapes.  I whipped out my Spycam to take a few pictures, then had an idea.  Thinking quickly, I connected to my Rhapsody music account, then began streaming the Diana Krall hit "Peel Me a Grape."  I followed her around the produce section for a few minutes while the lyrics "I'm getting hungry, peel me a grape" poured out of my Spycam.  Did it work?  I'm not sure.  The Nibbler simply grabbed what looked like a handful of berries and slowly waltzed her way to the cashier in tune with the music.