Merritt, who moved to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1971 with his family, describes himself as "the whitest white man known to man." The 39-year-old makes his living as a clerk at a pet food store while working on, pitching, and selling screenplays and short stories. This list represents dudes who work clerk jobs by day and on their screenplays at night. "Being a clerk is what I do," Merritt says. "A writer is who I am."
Royal Coffee (6255 College Ave., Oakland). "I also like Peet's, but they're everywhere."
Aquatic Park ( at the foot of Bancroft Ave., Berkeley). "Good for taking the dog for a walk, even though people probably get mad."
Tanjia Moroccan Restaurant (4905 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). "Belly dancing nightly!"
Second Edition Bookstore (6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland). "They do something unique: book rentals, like movies."
The Orinda Theater (2 Orinda Theatre Sq., Orinda). "Not a lot of crowds, which is unfortunate."