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The Buzz

> Curb appeal

Kudos to area residents around York and Summer streets, for decorating their curbs with big pots of flowers and greenery. Only problem -- they'd better watch out who sees them. Monday, Buzz and the husband, going to a party, parked at the corner of Richmond and York and saw a big, fat fern in a huge, heavy pot sitting on the curb. This conversation followed. Buzz: "That's a healthy plant." Husband: "Yeah, why are they throwing it out?" Buzz: "We'd never be able to get it into the car." Husband: "Maybe we could go home and get the Scout." Walking toward the party, we continued plotting how to garbage-pick the fern until, gradually, we began to notice similar plants sitting here and there, up and down the street. And we realized: Oh, darn, this is a neighborhood beautification project. Either that, or we'll need to borrow a really big truck.

> School daze

It's going to be one of those school years. In East Aurora, teachers gathered for an organizational meeting quickly shrugged off matters of curriculum and protocol to devote themselves to a more pressing matter -- how to save on gas. Teacher after teacher spoke up: I live in Buffalo, so if anyone wants to carpool... Meanwhile, back in Buffalo, one teacher new to our glorious public school system found himself having to devote an entire class to teaching kids to walk into his classroom. "Walk," he kept telling them. "Don't stomp." He made them enter the room in groups of twos and threes. He sighs: "One group had to walk in six times to get it right." Oh, dear. Benjamin Franklin never told us there'd be days like this.

> Tofu, Aisle 18

That new Lexington Food Co-op -- it's like one of Saddam's palaces! Co-ops used to be dives, with someone's bootleg Grateful Dead tape playing and the ambience assuring us that we were paying rock-bottom price for our cheese and tofu. Now, in these gussied-up digs, items like Save the Earth cookies and Leftist coffee seem strangely out of place. We wonder if the co-op felt a twinge of guilt over displaying what could be interpreted as capitalist tendencies. Because, we noticed, they invested in a floor that's a kind of distressed concrete, as if worn down by generations of Birkenstocks. Nice touch -- and expensive one, too, we're guessing -- but it doesn't fool us. Someone, give us a cup of Leftist coffee, so we can cope.

> Men in black

Curtain Up! this Friday is sure to leave us with a song in our heart, because we've got two dramas about music. The Irish Classical Theatre is doing "Amadeus," while Studio Arena Theatre has a dandy revue focusing on Johnny Cash. The more we think about it, the more the two have in common. Mozart: Wrote grand old opera. Cash: Sang at the Grand Ol' Opry. Mozart: Father played violin. Cash: Wrote "Daddy Sang Bass." Mozart: Was saddled with a name, Wolfgang, that a lot of people laugh at. Cash: Empathized with that predicament by singing "A Boy Named Sue." Mozart: Was visited in his last year by a guy who has come down through history as "the man in black," asking that Mozart write a Requiem. Cash: Was known as "The Man in Black." Did Cash, in fact, commission the Requiem? Now we're all mixed up.

> The buzz

You've seen the show -- now drink the drink! The best thing about "Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical Show" was the Folsom Prison Breeze, a rum-and-coconut concoction being sold at the bar. Yum! What's the Irish Classical Theatre selling at "Amadeus," the Don Giovanni Daiquiri?

> Quote

"Baton Rouge 'Bout Ready to Burst."

-- Headline in the New York Post, reporting on the plight of hurricane victims

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