John Boston | Ask Not For Whom the Crow Caws…

John Boston

I have questions about Mr. Crow Guy. For one thing, I don’t know if he’s a guy. Crow Guy could be Crow Girl, Crow Woman, Crow Lilliputian, or, in these libertine hepcat pre-apocalyptic times, a Crow Person.

Wait. Limbering up the neck, stretching, bouncing in place, shooting for the valuable Politically Correct bonus points — a Crow Persyn.

The human inside the suit could even be Native American. Then one would naturally have to ask:

“What tribe you from?”

He’d answer: “Crow.”

Crow Man and I? We wave at each other.

Lyons Avenue is Newhall’s very own version of Rodeo Drive. Standing tall on watch, every day, rain or shine, in front of Old Orchard Center, is that yellow and black mime, dressed like a Corvus bracnyrhynchos gigantisaurus.

Normally, if I saw a 5-foot-5 American crow waving at me, I’d jot a mental reminder to lay off the month-old mushroom appetizer leftovers for breakfast from Salt Creek Grille.

(The tony eatery at the Valencia Mall, next to the movie show; 222-9999 for reservations; ask Salt Creek owner Greg Amsler about your John Boston 75 Percent Off Special Discount!)

I mean, it’s natural to conclude that if there are such things as giant crows wandering the SCV, there could be giant mountain lions, giant horses and giant 5th-grade teachers, all intent on eating you. This Crow Guy person? He seems friendly enough. In drizzle, fires, earthquakes, rain or snow, he’s there on Lyons. He’s there in August, when it’s hot enough to melt aluminum, waving at disinterested motorists speeding past. Mr. Crow Guy doesn’t hold a sign, like other malformed carnies. No spinning advertisements touting First Tattoo Free, Townhouses in the Low Millions, Valencia Sperm Bank & Trust or Mongo’s House of Damaged Pet Perms & Grooming.

Would that help our Mighty Signal’s cause, to have someone tirelessly stand on Soledad Canyon, spinning, gyrating and flipping a




placard while doing somersaults and waving daftly to motorists? I’d nominate Signal Editor Tim Whyte. Tim’s my friend. I like waving at Tim. Tim likes waving at me.

I’ve had awful jobs in my life. Cleaning out turkey pens. Loading hay bales onto a double flatbed at 3 a.m. Most loathsome, I was assistant Signal sports editor for Phil Lanier. You know what it’s like to work for your best friend who ends every sentence with: “Chop-chop!?”

Heavenly careers compared to writhing in a rash-inducing crow suit.

Poor guy.

Do you think he’s more easily susceptible to Bird Flu?

I never see an ice chest next to Crow Man. Never saw him hoist a freezing cold 64-ounce tall can of Budweiser to beak to stifle the mind-numbing heat. What if Mr. Crow Man DID have an on-the-job drinking problem?

Now that would be community theater.

I’d be the first at Yum Yum Donuts across the street, in a camp chair and watching through opera glasses. Imagine. An intoxicated giant crow, stumbling onto Lyons, stopping traffic, madly pecking on the hoods of cars, swearing, throwing empty beer cans at windshields, screaming:


Many existential cans of worms here.

What has gone wrong with your life that you look around and say: “Hey. It’s summer. In Newhall. Instead of getting a job like towel boy Dr. Eric von Harnish for Dr. Dianne Van Hook in complete air-conditioned splendor, I’ll work outdoors where it’s so hot the asphalt’s bubbling and I just waved at Satan driving by. I’ve never taken LSD, but, I look down at the sidewalk and see size 398-1/2 smoldering crow’s feet. Sadly and alas, they are mine. Zounds. Why are my feet a sickly Caltrans yellow, not dark grey, as Nature intended?”

“Bravo! Bravo!” a hydrated audience of several thousand applaud.

I don’t know. Maybe the guy is the identical twin brother of the king of France and rightful heir to the throne. At birth, instead of sticking him in a baby iron mask and throwing him in a stinking baby cell, they chained him to the sidewalk on Lyons in front of the Old Orchard Shopping Center.

In a baby crow suit.

Here’s something to think about:

What if the affable mascot was to be captured and his merry papier-mâché head and hat removed to reveal his true identity? What if the person inside turned out to be a 50,000-year-old caveman?

Why, he’d be a Crow-Magnon, wouldn’t he?

Earth’s most prolific humorist, Boston has penned more than 11,000 blogs, columns, essays, books, features and stories. He’s been named both Best Serious and Best Humorous columnist in America, is the recipient of The Will Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award and feels the city should start a sanctuary for animal-costumed street mimes.

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