Tuesday, July 18, 2006

gdmf CROWS

Sausalito is a quaint, picturesque hillside “village” just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. A joke I heard as a kid (ca 1960s):

Q. How do they separate the men from the boys in Sausalito?
A. With a crowbar.

I don’t know if Sausalito did or does have a high number of homosexuals, but the place is definitely fruity. I’m finding the word fruity more and more useful. It has a sort of anti-pc punch because it used to be a slur. Now it’s simply descriptive, of male behavior that is annoyingly un-masculine. So it’s a put-down, but not a slur.

“So why do they call it a 'crow' bar?” Pud asked.

“Do I look like Google?” I replied. (Current events in the Middle East have me sounding more and more like a New Yorker.)

Since I started my blog, Pud’s been telling people that he’s doing “research” (sitting on my couch) for a “publisher” (me), so I figure he can start looking things up himself. He did and I’m proud of him.

“It’s not totally obvious,” Pud reported. “It appears around 1400. The nail-pulling end probably resembles a crow’s foot. Or, get this, it might be from Old French cros, which is the plural of croc, meaning ‘hook.’”

In the last ten years, or less, there have been a lot of big black birds in our ocean-beach neighborhood of San Francisco.

I notice them because I don’t like them. They’re large and nasty looking. They have the same defiance about their ugliness that hyenas have, like “What are you looking at—fuck you!”

So I’ve been asking people, “Have you noticed we’ve had crows around? We never used to have crows…”

People mostly don’t care.

Aren’t crows a symbol of death? Certainly Poe’s raven. There’s the caw caw caw at the end of Ginsberg’s Howl, or is it Kaddish?

Anyway, we got crows, we didn’t used to, and we hate them. Their droppings are enormous!

So I made Pud do some more googling and guess what—I'm not crazy. There ARE a lot more crows around these parts these days, as counted by some very nice folks just south of here.

“Crows belong to a family of asshole birds, called Corvids, which also includes ravens, magpies, jays, and nutcrackers.

“You know,” Pud went on, “the metaphor of ‘family’ doesn’t work with me. When a prospective employer says that the work group is like a family—that’s a red flag. Family members say and do horrible things to each other, things that mere friends or acquaintances, or certainly co-workers, wouldn’t dream of doing.

“So next time I hear some prick say ‘we’re like family around here’, I’m thinking—yeah, and the name of your family is Corvid.”

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1 comment:

sfmike said...

You're right, they are new, abundant and horrible. At Lincoln Golf Course and the Golden Gate Park golf course near the ocean, they're omnipresent and genuinely creepy. It's interesting watching other, smaller birds attack them when the ravens/crows get too close to their nests.