Where I live I’ve come to realize what it means when someone tells me they are a native. I see a number of profiles saying they are a native of the area. This does not mean Native Americans this means they were born here and didn’t move here. Not a transplant, not a refugee, not an outlaw hiding out in this wretched hive of scum and villainy.

When they say this code word, a series of red flags pops up on my radar. By far the largest flag that waves, blinks and has an odd high pitched keening sound is what I call, “cocktail friendly”. I mentioned this in an earlier post. Cocktail friendly is what you have a cocktail parties.

You smile and nod, talk about insubstantial things like the weather, organized sports and their new iPhone. Then move onto the same conversation with the next face. You might get a name. Might not. You might meet Bill. In fact, you may meet half a dozen Bills. In a row.

I have a good friend who is a native. He’s a great guy and through the early years of interacting with him I often wondered if this guy was in some sort of witness protection. He never told me his last name. Never gave me his phone number, insisting on email only. Is not on social media. Didn’t know he was married until about 6 years in. Took another year to find out her name.

To date, nearly 10 years later I still don’t know exactly where he lives. When I drop him off he insists that I drop him at a major intersection and he’ll “walk the rest of the way.” Again, I thought this was unique until I asked mutual friends, who are also not natives, that he does the same with them.

Through empirical evidence and in dealing with many natives, you can spot them by the stickers on their cars proclaiming thus if you don’t actually get to speak to them, I’ve come up with a list of how to act like a native in case you need the camouflage.

  1. When asked your name say your first name only. If pressed look intently at your cell phone and say, “I’ve got to take this.” Think, like you’re a heart surgeon and someone has just called about your patient. It is imperative you leave the area immediately.
  2. If anyone comes over to your house, they must be someone you knew as a child. You can never have anyone over that you met after the age of 10.
  3. If by some quirk some non-native shows up at your house: Say you were just visiting, grab your stuff, leave and never return. You must sell the house.
  4. In social gatherings, speak softly in small groups of people and look around constantly like you’re afraid you’ll be caught by Nazi guards and your escape plans will be foiled. If anyone comes by, collectively laugh loudly and so hard that you cannot speak with them, then disperse like a school of fish.
  5. Never reveal the name of any other native or person you live with.
  6. Never have a conversation with anyone that hints at anything personal. The riffraff must be kept at arm’s length. They are invader after all.
  7. If you ever date any non-native, you can never tell them you love them unless you are at least several years into the relationship and only under extreme duress.
  8. You must have on your car a sticker proclaiming that you are indeed a native. This is how others will be able to identify you at distance.
  9. If you do any outdoor activity, it must be by any other standard an extreme activity. If you tell someone you like the outdoors be prepared to free climb a cliff, scramble up a mountain or hike for distances of no less than 20 miles carrying heavy gear. This is dogma.
  10. And the biggest give away is that you must have a superior attitude when dealing with any outsider. Even if you mother shows up you must act accordingly.
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