Illustrations by Ellen Forney
The Oregon Wildlife Federation has been studying a cross section of the local population for some time now and, in an official report released last week, has identified five distinct variations of Homo Erectus living in the greater Portland area. Originally believed to be as unique as a snowflake, each human being has been found to be only as unique as a snowflake-shaped cookie cutter. We have taken excerpts from the scientific document and reprinted key findings below for your education. As you are reading, you will likely find yourself fitting into one of the five categories. If you do not, it means either you are a robot, you have been living under a rock since Reagan was in office, or you just moved to Portland and will soon be one of these five types.
Please note: the OWF document warns that in-breeding and "the casual urban lifestyle" may cause increased hybridization over the years which could result in the creation of new variations altogether. So, please, use a condom.
SPECIES VARIATION: Indie Rocker
IDENTIFYING FEATURES: 6' Tall; 89 lbs.; tight jeans; black T-shirt faded brown that says something blue collar, or marginalized by post-modern society; quasi-shag-mullet; black "Buddy Holly Nouveau" glasses; complete lack of body hair (except for the astonishing ability to grow huge chops); three-row studded leather belt; chain wallet; intentionally crappy sneakers; black leather wrist bands
BODY MARKINGS: Old Skool tats: star on elbow, sparrow on back
NATURAL HABITAT: The NE and SE of Portland
FAVORITE MUSIC: White Stripes, Wilco, Magnetic Fields (all of which the Indie Rocker will have complete disdain for in a few days as they are already no longer cool)
TRANSPORTATION: 1965 Lincoln Continental; the bus; brown one-speed Schwinn with swingback handlebars
FAVORITE HANGOUT: Dots
DRUG OF CHOICE: Heroin, SSRI's
EMPLOYMENT: Bartender/barista/works at thrift store/plays drums in alt. country/ garage/post-apocalyptic punk band; works for the Portland Mercury.
PASTTIME: Cultivating ennui
MOST IMPORTANT ACCESSORY: Irony
CATCH WORD: "Derivative"
WAY TO WIN THEIR HEARTS: An extra ticket to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a pocket full of Xanax
SPECIES VARIATION: NW Trendy-Third Cosmo Drinker
IDENTIFYING FEATURES: Over-the-shoulder halter top in pink, white, or "champagne blue" to show off deep, artificial tan; low-rider pants with red thong sticking out the back; microscopically thin bag carried directly under left arm which is only big enough to hold half a jelly bean and a tampon; 6.3 lbs. of makeup, two-tone fake Gucci sunglasses; stilettos that come to a point in the front; a look on her face that says "I'm so much better than you, but I still might let you fuck me if you buy me something."
BODY MARKINGS: Toe rings, belly-button ring with dangling cubic zirconia, tattoo of butterfly on ankle that she still thinks is "totally cute"
NATURAL HABITAT: NW 23rd Avenue (can sometimes be seen in the Pearl looking for solace after she's shopped every boutique on 23rd)
FAVORITE MUSIC: Dave Matthews, Compilation CD from Banana Republic
TRANSPORTATION: 2003 VW Bug (for street cred)
FAVORITE HANGOUT: Brazen Bean, Jo Bar, Aura
DRUG OF CHOICE: Alcohol
EMPLOYMENT: Works in a cubicle in a non-descript office at a job she doesn't care about that pays well
PASTTIME: Fervently searching for the new trend in French manicures
MOST IMPORTANT ACCESSORY: Silver cell phone the size of a pencil eraser
CATCH WORD: "Omigod!"
HOW TO WIN THEIR HEARTS: Order her a grande fat-free caramel white chocolate double-whip latte with toffee sprinkles
SPECIES VARIATION: Bike Nazi
IDENTIFYING FEATURES: Hat with flipped-up brim; spandex shirt with nipple corporate sponsorship; padded spandex shorts; cycling shoes; helmet with dental mirror next to left eye
BODY MARKINGS: Shaved legs and a thick glistening layer of sweat at all times
NATURAL HABITAT: Can be seen speeding past you in every part of town trying to blow up your car with the sheer intensity of his gaze. Tends to reside in the NE
FAVORITE MUSIC: The sound of rubber making contact with the road
TRANSPORTATION: Three road bikes (one with drop bars, one with aerobars, one for back up), two mountain bikes, one cargo bike with trailer
FAVORITE HANGOUT: Whatever place has the best bike racks out front
DRUG OF CHOICE: Gu
EMPLOYMENT: Works for BTA, bike messenger
PASTTIME: Timing himself
MOST IMPORTANT ACCESSORY: Ball sac
CATCH WORD: "Recumbent"
HOW TO WIN THEIR HEARTS: Get a tattoo of a bike chain in the shape of an infinity symbol with initials inside
SPECIES VARIATION: The Cruncher
IDENTIFYING FEATURES: Chaco sandals/hiking boots; non-descript shorts that provide freedom in all sorts of athletic situations; unflattering XL T-shirt they got from participating in some cross-country bike ride
BODY MARKINGS: A sundry of scars
NATURAL HABITAT: Can be found clinging to the sides of mountains, tearing through the woods, paddling upside down in the ocean
FAVORITE MUSIC: The sounds of their own grunting
TRANSPORTATION: Subaru Outback with Thule cargo box, kayak rack, and bicycle rack
FAVORITE HANGOUT: Eating granola together in their kitchen
DRUG OF CHOICE: Adrenaline
EMPLOYMENT: Non-profits, work with children
PASTTIME: Doing things that human beings were never meant to do, camping in their backyard, trying to find the best price on a case of Cliff bars
MOST IMPORTANT ACCESSORY: Nalgene bottle with a sticker that says "Eat Organic" on it
CATCH WORD: "Stoked"
HOW TO WIN THEIR HEARTS: Casually mention the newest advancements in poly pro technology
SPECIES VARIATION: Vegan Hippie
IDENTIFYING FEATURES: Dreadlocks with cowry shells hanging from them; backless halter she got at a Dead show which shows off her paunch she couldn't possibly have gotten from eating tofu; floor-length skirt she sewed with a friend one night while high on 'shrooms; Birkenstocks or bare feet
BODY MARKINGS: Tattoo of a faerie on back; tribal tattoo around belly button
NATURAL HABITAT: Living in a house with 12 other people in NE or SE Portland paying approximately $18 a month in rent
FAVORITE MUSIC: Bob Marley, Grateful Dead
TRANSPORTATION: VW Bus; bicycle with a real basket and fake flowers on front handlebars
FAVORITE HANGOUT: Vita Cafe
DRUG OF CHOICE: Ganja, mushrooms
EMPLOYMENT: Sells weed, Reiki master
PASTTIME: Trying not to let "The Man" keep anybody down; sprouting food; holding "gatherings"
MOST IMPORTANT ACCESSORY: Universal love
CATCH WORDS: "Intense," and "Energy"
HOW TO WIN THEIR HEARTS: Tell her you saw God while participating in an ayuasca ceremony at yoga teacher training