America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
The Field Guide to People of the USA (Selected Entries)
By Martin H. Levinson
9 April 2017
The Field Guide to People of the USA is the most up-to-date resource for identifying Homo sapiens living in the United States of America. From the Lame-Brained Politico to the Loose-Lipped Rumormonger to the Bigmouth Yenta, the People of the USA is replete with a dizzying array of creatures unrivalled in the animal kingdom. The following are ten entries from the guide. I hope you find them informative.
Wild-eyed Evangelical (Religioso Offthewallum)
This religious fanatic is found mostly in the southern and Midwestern regions of the United States. Typically very sure of themselves, wild-eyed evangelicals believe they are going to heaven while everyone else is going to hell. They also believe life begins when they say it does and that God is a Republican.
Distinguishing characteristics: An intolerant attitude toward the opinions of others and a smug grin.
Song: Moralistic and angry mutterings, especially when discussing evolution and abortion.
Callnote: “Amen, brother” and “Death to Roe v Wade.”
Bigmouth Yenta (Know-It-Allus You-Bet-I-Dous)
Bigmouth yentas think they know all about everything. As a consequence, having a dialogue with them is impossible since they can’t imagine anyone else would be able to add anything to a conversation. If you are forced into having a discussion with a bigmouth yenta just shut up and listen. Eventually they’ll talk themselves out.
Distinguishing characteristics: Deeply held beliefs that they know what they’re talking about despite little empirical evidence that this is actually so.
Song: Inane and endless prattling.
Callnote: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. blah, blah, blah.
White-Collared Bureaucrat (Rules Uber Allae)
Ensconced in workplaces all over the country, this sedentary conformist works hard to ensure they won’t do anything wrong that will jeopardize their pension. At lunchtime they tend to flock together and grouse about how they can’t understand how they wound up working in the same place for such a long time. Likes to take extended coffee and bathroom breaks.
Distinguishing characteristics: Never having had an original thought and an inability to empathize with individuals needing their assistance.
Song: Constant whining about unfair conditions in the office.
Callnote: “Where does it say that in the organization manual?”
Lame-Brained Politico (Public Service Don’t-Make-Me-Laughus)
One of the most duplicitous and craven life forms, lame-brained politicos have led the United States to the brink of disaster on more than one occasion. Currently, this genus has us mired down in alternative facts and alternatives to alternative facts. When on rare occasions they agree on something, such agreement does not last very long.
Distinguishing characteristics: An inability to tell the truth, a phony smile, and a firm handshake.
Song: Short sound bytes containing meaningless information.
Callnote: “Always glad to greet a constituent.”
Red-Necked Red Neck (Good Old Boyo Americanae)
The red-necked red neck migrates to bars in the winter and NASCAR races and pubs the rest of the year. Dislikes gays, immigrants, and anything French. Rarely strays beyond what they know.
Distinguishing characteristics: Carrying a gun, tattoos, and a conviction that women should be seen and not heard.
Song: Country and western music about the good old days when men were men, women were women, and trannies were auto transmissions.
Callnote: “Hell yeah” and “Who you looking at, boy?”
Big-Breasted Long-Legged Gold Digger (Boobes Coquetti)
Frequenting yacht shows, polo matches, and Sotheby art auctions, this female raptor is prominent for her ability to entice wealthy men into marriage. Once that goal has been achieved she habitually lets herself go and gains weight. Dwells mostly in mansions, chateaus, and penthouse apartments.
Distinguishing characteristics: Low-cut dresses, short skirts, high-heeled shoes, a come-hither look, and a wiggle when she walks.
Song: Soft cooing and sweet chirping sounds.
Callnote: Varied; her voice may be husky or reedy when she says, “Honey, is that a wad of money in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”
Common Commuter (Going-Nowhere-on-the-Roadus)
Frustrated and frequently late to work, the common commuter spends a large part of his life stuck in traffic. Sometimes two or more of them will band together and use the HOV lane on the highway. When they finally return to their nests in the evening they are often in a pretty foul mood.
Distinguishing characteristics: A proclivity toward road rage and a yearning for retirement.
Song: Whatever’s playing on the car radio.
Callnote: “I’ll be getting in late. The traffic isn’t moving.”
Loose-Lipped Rumormonger (Bogus Storyitis)
Favoring great big whoppers over little white lies, the loose-lipped rumormonger tends to disparage whomever they can. When confronted with their verbal sniping most deny it. Frequently blames others for feeding them false information.
Distinguishing characteristics: Feelings of immense glee in destroying people’s reputations and shock when they are accused of the deed.
Song: Rapid chattering filled with invective and innuendo.
Callnote: “Did you hear about…?”
Nutty American Uncle (Shmucko Idiopathologicum)
Most people have one of these loons amongst their kinfolk to contend with. Can often be spotted making inappropriate comments and dancing wildly at and weddings and family reunions. Specializes in embarrassing everyone around them.
Distinguishing characteristics: Showing up when not invited to family functions and acting like a complete fool.
Song: Off color jokes and insults.
Callnote: “Your father never liked me.”
Dipso Undergraduate (Alcoholus Inebriatu)
This tanked-up student goes to bars in the evening and sleeps through classes during the day. At spring break, they migrate to Fort Lauderdale for round the clock partying. Commonly accompanied by a designated driver and a six-pack.
Distinguishing characteristics: Unintelligible speech and constant trips to the toilet.
Song: Hysterical crying and the sharing of inappropriate personal confidences.
Callnote: “Where’s the fuck’s my beer?”
Martin H. Levinson is the author of nine books and numerous articles, plays, and poems on various subjects, including The Levinson Report: Cutting Edge Satire for Geniuses Like You. He is a member of the Authors Guild, National Book Critics Circle, PEN, and the book review editor for ETC: A Review of General Semantics. His website can be accessed at martinlevinson.com.