I spoke with the crows before leaving for Los Angeles. They were the resident storytellers whose strident and insistent voices added the necessary dissonance for color. They had cousins in California, and gave me their names and addresses, told me to look them up. They warned me, too, what they had heard about attitude there. And they were right. Attitude was thick, hung from the would-be's and has-beens and think-they-ares, so thick that I figured it was the major source of the smog.