It was a historic moment for the Laguna Ocean Foundation and me this past Jan. 12, when President Obama announced that Bird and Seal Rock and five other sites would be added to the California Coastal National Monument. The Laguna Ocean Foundation had worked hard for this prestigious status change. I didn’t do anything except be on a Southwest flight where bags fly free out of John Wayne Airport. How I got on a flight as the only paying guy among 136 old bags flying free was indeed historic and the fact that our takeoff was right over Bird Rock when it became a monument on a flight plan the FAA swears doesn’t happen. But in all the excitement, the ladies and I left proof that planes do fly over Laguna when we dropped blue ice right there and christened the new monument.
Not everyone is as happy over the new monument designation. I asked a Main Beach Boardwalk stool pigeon to tell me what his fine feather friends thought. “So predictable. We work for crumbs here, while the big marine birds get the best property over there. And now that it’s declared federal land the crumbs we do scrounge for will be taxed to pay for the marine birds’ lavish island lifestyles.” Geez, I felt bad for the pigeon toed guy and tried to think of a way to lift his spirits. “Why, don’t you just fly over there and demand your rights to be taken care of by Uncle Sam?” The pigeon whirled around at me. “We’re Americans. We work for crumbs. We don’t take handouts without doing something for it. Our continuous nodding and strutting is break dancing that takes years of training to get right. It’s dangerous work, too. Dogs, cats and children break up our routines and bully us out of these rightful handouts.” Wow. I gave him my entire Shirley’s bagel and promised to take my dog back to the shelter and drop the grandkids off at the fire station. “Bless you,” he cooed.
For the sake of balanced reporting, I swam out to Bird Rock to get they’re opinions on the new national monument designation. “Halt. Who goes there?” asked the biggest brown pelican. “Ahh, Crantz goes there.” The pelican pecked my forehead to make his point. “Sorry, bud. I don’t see any Crantz on the approved federal visitor list. “Swim on. Go whale watching, instead.” I was treading water here. It was sink or swim time. I took a chance and asked, “Who’s on the approved visitor list?” I waited while he downed a mouthful of fish. “Well, let me see…there’s Ranger Rick, Birdman of Alcatraz, Santa Monica Fish Purveyors and Molly Maids.” I swallowed some unwanted water and sputtered, “I’m with Molly Maids.” He plucked me from the drink and said, “Why didn’t you say so? Get to it.” I coughed out, “Get to what?” The big brown pelican said, “Clean up all this poop. It’s a federal monument now. We have to have the place looking spic and span.”
Oops. I needed to make a hasty retreat. “Ahh, I have to go back. I forgot my cleaning uniform.” The pelican smiled. “Don’t bother. An Amazon drone drop shipped your French maid uniform ahead of time. Welcome.”
Crantz tells the Indy that the French maid uniform fit, the cleanup went fine and he enjoyed the show of support from the whistling tourists.