A straight line is the shortest distance between two locations, and since crows are considered to be very intelligent birds, they will take the most direct route without any detour and fly straight to where they are headed, as opposed to following an overland path where the distance is likely to be much longer. Perhaps the crow was not the best choice for this idiom, as unlike many other birds that migrate, their flight isn’t especially straight. Crows normally fly in large wheeling arcs, while they are looking for food. Anyway man is encumbered by roads and landscape features that restrict us from going directly from point A to point B and obviously crows have the ability to fly. If you are given a distance that is said to be as the crow flies, then traveling to this destination in real life will normally involve longer distances, thus the relative distance would be less than the physical distance. If you are given a distance that is as the crow flies this may not be all that helpful, because it does not take into account all the twists and turns one would have to take to get around big buildings, mountains, or other obstacles on the ground.
This idiom is similar to ‘make a beeline’, which refers to the route that worker bees take when they are bringing nectar and pollen back to the hive. In Monopoly the Community Chest has a Go To Jail card that states you should go directly to Jail, Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, which would be as the crow flies. Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, two of Trump’s closest advisers seem to be headed toward jail with no ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card. Crow is tough to eat, because it’s gamy and it goes down bitter, but I hope that Trump will be forced to eat crow soon, for being such a pathological liar.
Written for Linda G. Hill Life in progress One-Liner Wednesday – August 22 prompt Power Outage.