Into the wild

Buffalo Passport Agency is in an old building on Genesee and looks like something out of Dickens. Get inside, though, and you're in the 21st century, with a metal detector to walk through, and officers screening your bag. "It's like the airport," Buzz joked to the officer. Deadpan, he answered: "We're still working on getting a bar." . On the other hand, who needs a passport? The United States is strange enough. Buzz's brother George, away last week in Southern California, got talking with a guy who was thinking of visiting our town. "There's a lot of history in Buffalo," the Californian said. George said, "There sure is. What are you interested in?" Pause. Then the West Coaster said: "Isn't Rick James buried there?"

Such a deal

Speaking of strange, last weekend Buzz and Mom were tooling up Main Street in the Village of Williamsville, saw a yard sale sign and turned. The sign had no address, so we kept an eye out for the sale. Ah! There it was. We couldn't exactly see the sale, but there was a box of junk at the curb, marked "Free with purchase." After examining the stuff - a beach ball, a dollhouse, a few other oddments - we headed up the driveway. A man said hello. Then, as we drew closer, he said, "Can I help you?" "We're here for the garage sale," we said. "There's no garage sale," he told us. As if we were crazy! Puzzled, giggling, we retreated. And we saw our mistake. The house had a "For Sale" sign. And the sign by the junk said: "Free with purchase of house."

Watermelon woman

Buzz loves Tops' self-service checkouts. We love the robot woman's voice. "Welcome, Tops Bonus Card Member," it greets you. Then it kills you with "please." "Please scan your first item." "Please place the item on the scanner and wait." "Please place the item in the bag." Sometimes it gets confused. "Please place the item in the bag. Please place the item - please place - please - ." At that point you look over at the attendant, who reboots it and says, "Go ahead." These machines add much-needed drama to our life.
A friend found that out when she hefted a huge watermelon onto the scanner. The machine went nuts. While telling her to please do this and that, it began ringing up, again and again, her last purchase, which was peaches. "Peaches. Peaches . Peaches . ," the screen scrolled. The poor thing. She sure knew how to push its buttons!

The Buzz

Get a bigger piece of the pie. Better still, get a bigger pie. Buzz, a card-carrying, hearty-eating Buffalonian, salutes Racers Pizzeria in South Dayton for its battle cry: "Home of the Super Large 18" Homemade Pizza! Why Settle for a 16" Pie?" Never again will we settle. . Got those September blues? Wallow in them when Mr. Conrad and the Excellos play the Sportsmen's Tavern on Amherst Street in Black Rock at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Cover is $3. . ROTPDSP! That stands for Rolling on the Pavement Didn't See Pothole. Buzz saw a guy riding a bicycle while texting....


"I had a piano, and my wife made me get rid of it. Now I got rid of my wife, and I can buy anything I want, and, damn, I want a piano. A big one."
- Overheard at the piano firm Denton, Cottier and Daniels