When crows murdered Easter

Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail. Sorry, now the song is stuck in your head. Not my fault; blame it on Easter, which is quickly upon us. A later lyric from “Peter Cottontail” (written, not surprisingly, by Gene Autry) which you might not know, is this:

You’ll wake up on Easter mornin’

And you’ll know that he was there

When you find those chocolate bunnies

That he’s hiding everywhere

You know who’s going to find them before you or your kids do? Crows.

Crows are near the top tier of Easter-egg predators, as I discovered nearly 30 years ago when the Easter Bunny got up early and hid treats all over the backyard and by the time my son and daughter woke up and dashed outside, the lawn was a wasteland of torn-open boxes and bits of foil and other relics of mayhem. It looked like the aftermath of Woodstock ‘99. Crows banked and wheeled before decamping to look for another yard where a young family wasn’t aware of the Crow Problem.

Another, less tragic, Easter memory was when my folks and aunt and uncle took us kids to our lakeside cabin in Fawnskin on the north shore of Big Bear Lake and while I can’t remember who played the Easter Bunny, after my sister and I and cousin Ed found all the eggs, we took turns re-hiding them all morning and afternoon for the other two to find, maybe all the while singing “Peter Cottontail,” though probably not. Boy did Gene Autry ever make a ton of money writing the worst songs. I think he was partly to blame for my hatred toward the Angels, though Ed was always a fan and we had an annual bet on whether the Dodgers would wind up with a better record than the Angels. I think the betting is continuing and Ed probably owes me several hundred dollars by now.

What I’m reading now

I’m having a spot of trouble getting hooked on anything at the moment, most likely because I’m juggling two books that aren’t at all alike.

Because I’m retired at the moment (save for writing this newsletter, which may not continue through eternity), I find myself attempting to fill in some holes in terms of classic American novels. Oddly, the first two I picked up were “Death Comes to the Archbishop” by Willa Cather and Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49.”

You’re wondering if I could possibly select two more disparate books, and, no, I don’t think I could.

You have Cather’s placid story set in the wilds of the New Mexico Territory in the late 1800s that’s written sparsely and elegantly, taking on the landscape itself to tell a simple, peaceful examination of faith and friendship centering on two French clergymen, the archbishop Jean Marie Latour and his childhood friend from Paris, Father Joseph Vaillant.

Meanwhile, Pynchon spins a wild, chaotic and surreal sprawl populated by a wild cast of characters with names like Oedipa (the book’s chief character), Mike Fallopian and Genghis Cohen. Pynchon’s writing is sparkling and fresh and probably unlike anything you’ve read. The novel is a literary madhouse that may cause you to put it down and let it cool off for a while as you bounce back to the calm of Cather.

International Breakfast Tour 2024

My daughter Hannah and I swung by the hospitable and lovely Local Spot on Pacific Coast Highway and Loynes Drive, across from Sim’s Pond, a bucolic stopping-over spot for geese and other waterfowl.

Sitting outside on a partly cloudy Monday morning, I had the California Spuds (when in Rome), a skillet of home fries topped with plenty of avocado, cheddar cheese and sour cream, which I gussied up with salsa.

The place gets top grades for ambiance, middling ones for service and a mid-range price that’s not shocking. I’ll be back because I meant to order a Belgian waffle but got confused at the last minute.

For your viewing pleasure

Just as with reading material, I’ve been bouncing around the streaming services watching documentaries and documentary-like movies. Of the latter category, I enjoyed Hulu’s “BlackBerry,” about the clash of crazy nerd programmers and conniving corporate greed that marked the rise and fall of what was once by far the biggest-selling and most used smartphone/PDA that was perhaps inevitably destroyed and reduced to ashes by Apple’s entry into the smartphone biz.

Also pretty good, was the Netflix documentary “Bitconned,” about the unabashed brazen and lucrative fraud involving three hustlers who apparently didn’t know anything about bitcoin (but then who does?) and their spectacular and doomed grift involving celebrities and investors.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.