whatshouldavlcallme_2013Here we go! Here’s the second installment of what I hope will be an ongoing collaboration between Ashvegas and the popular whatshouldashevillecallme. Known for their quippy, hilarious takes on all things Asheville,whatshouldashevillecallme was voted the most popular local social media personality in the recent Best Of issue of the Mountain Xpress. Follow wsavlcallme on the twitters.


As an observer and scientist of Asheville life, I present to you, some of my field research of the specific species who inhabit this crazy city we live in called Asheville. Yes, stereotypes are shortcuts to prejudice and that’s bad – unless you create your own! Treat this one like a scavenger hunt. Can you find all species in the same day? Remember to comment and tag-and-release your friends to call them out. It’s what the interwebz is for!

1. Binomial Nomenclature: Homo Sapien Hula Patchoula

Like a gyrating phoenix rising from the ashes of discarded glow sticks and incense Patchouli is the ever social no-bra-dancing-girl humping her hula hoop. Transformus is the traditional mating ground of this species. You have probably encountered this beast as she frequents the Friday drum circle, every EDM music festival, and once was arrested for trying to buy Ecstasy from a troupe of traveling Whirling Dervishes who she confused with Burning Man devotees. You have been entranced by her pendulous breasts with no support, anxiously awaiting for the hippie nip slip to take your gaze away from her chia-pits.

2. Homo Sapien Hoppianus

Oh, you again. The beer that I’m pouring in my face isn’t good enough for you? Good thing you’re not the one drinking it. Inordinately proud of their beard and beer gut (the two shall eventually meet), they are the ultimate authority on all things craft beer. You know this person, you might even be this person, but let’s admit that they spend way too much time sniffing beer in order to make estimates of the hop quality, making the one up comments to bartenders who really don’t give a fuck, and just have that pretentious smirk as they walk to the bar with their specific brewery growler. There’s an unspoken rule: when offered a beer, one is only allowed to complain about the temperature. You argue this one out with your fellow hoppiansuses while I crack a cold ‘Gansett with the rest of the plebeians.


3.  Homo Sapien Nativium

There are always one of these in every group: they are the person that grew up here (they let you know every chance they get) and have the utmost authority on all things Asheville. They often complain about all the changes of Asheville, and that Asheville is changing ‘for the worse” but they will never move away to that big city “Charlotte.” You constantly bang your head in conversations with them as they inform you what cooler bar this place used to be, how Vincent’s was the entirety of 1960s Greenwich Village rolled into one, how Spyboy was the best speakeasy you weren’t cool enough to know about. Move away already, or go back to your actual hometown of Candler because you’re not fooling anybody.


4. Homo Sapien Hipster Obscurum

This type of creature has a fondness for hunting through The Bins at Goodwill, proudly displays their collection of moldy fedoras and vintage keffiyehs, and can be spotted standing outside Lexington Avenue establishments chain-smoking cigarettes. They have obscure musical tastes that they always interject in simple conversations to show dominance in groups. I’ve actually heard “This Danish pastry reminds me of the psychedelic rock scene in 70s Denmark. Fujara, specifically.” Surprisingly, you have to dress like a 1980s garbage collector to have a one-night-chance with that bisexual alcoholic New York 6 / Asheville 10 girl with one side of her head shaved.


5.  Homo Sapien Barefoot Bohemian

The white entitled trust fund hippie is another sub-species created by cross breeding the obscure hipster with the environmentalist. Their worldviews change with every Humanities 124 reading in college, often protest the constraints of oppression by not wearing shoes to class, and force feed their liberal worldviews in every night class discussion at college (chill, we get a 20 minute break). They come up with the most extreme liberal-environmental-lack of diversity argument in every discussion you have but then realize they are constantly in a hazy cloud of hash smoke and their parents run a nanotechnology company.


6.  Homo Sapien Patchwork Skirt Hippie Mamas

They insist on all organic local vaccinations for their children if any at all, make their own baby tie dye shirts and lavender milled soaps as a side project, and often reflect on the meaning of life near their composting piles outside. The hippie mamas are proud of the endless nights sewing their reusable diapers while watching their one PBS station about organic tomato farming from around the world. They wear their nicest Solstice dress skirt on their romantic dates with their bearded farmer husbands at the recycling center. Their children are already growing dreadlocks and can hold their own in a climate change debate.


7. Homo Sapien Mumfords

The ‘white mountain dude with banjo’ frequents every bluegrass band that comes to the Grey Eagle as it is their prime mating ritual destination. How they attract their mountain mamas include wearing their best flannel, the ever so sexy wool sock/Birkenstock combo, and have at least one skill in these categories: banjo, ultimate frisbee, or winning cornhole with a beer in one hand. They can be found at impromptu jam band porch sessions in any neighborhood, cruising the craft beer aisles at Ingles in their worn Carhartts, the Contra-Dance, or driving around town in their truck with a Huskie mutt hanging out the window. Ironically, they hate Mumford and Sons because of the drums. Wrong. The reason to hate Mumford and Sons is Mumford and Sons.


8. Homo Sapien Hobo Buskus

They just got off the train in Biltmore and walked up to Lexington to play a Will Roger’s song and try and score some free food for their dog. Not to be confused withHomo Sapiens Seventy Three Centus, who is just trying to score a beer on your dime,Hobo Buskus actually has an ideological belief in living anywhere but home. They smell bad, but they transport actual folk music from place to place and rarely get in knife fights. They often appear with inexplicably attractive-if-you-cleaned-them-up tap dancing girlfriends. If you’re considering a railroad themed Halloween costume this year, this is your inspiration. Try and learn their secret Hobo Chalk Language!


9. Homo Sapien Crystal Yogi

After a recent divorce or just in a chronic state of transition, this person has discovered all things New Age. They’ve changed their to name to Skye (silent e of course!)  and talk to you about the goddess within til your ears bleed rainbows. A full believer in the healing powers of crystals, the rooms in their Craftsman style Montford houses are filled with glistening amethyst geodes, Tibetan prayer flags, and an extra meditation room with a sun ray tapestries. You do not understand their sheer excitement for 7 AM Bikram Yoga as you haven’t even seen 7 AM in three years. The crystal yogi is often seen in their natural habits of the wellness aisles of Greenlife, stocking up on herbal supplements for their aura as told to them from their metaphysical directories.


10. Homo Sapiens Social Media Expertus

You really need to work on your personal brand!  You don’t have enough Twitter followers to engage your community. Your use of hashtags is downright Jurassic (*cough* #Belieber *cough*) and if you pay this species, you no longer have to stay up at night wondering how your LinkedIn account is creating synergy with your Instagram and OMG did I accidentally public tweet that Carlos Danger DM from my business Twitter? Social Media Expertus will tell you they can help, and then tell you about that time they met a ‘famous’ green architect and how every 140 characters needs to have a ‘call to action.’ They often use the phrase “blogging is just a form of self expression.” Get these people to “work” for free. Or just learn to use the internet your damn self. Your mad skillz on OKCupid don’t count. Hashtag time! #socialmedia #instagram #boobs #hotchick #followback #LOCAL #MOVERS


  1. I’m a Homo Sapiens GotOutAliveus

    …is someone who lived in A’ville for a few years and all I heard was “people never leave Asheville, once you move here you talk about it but never do it”

    Well, I did, sold all my crap at the Texaco on Tunnel Rd. 21 years ago, 21K miles later ended up in Los Angeles and I will say I sometimes do miss it, but not really. SoCal is so much better and diverse and OPENMINDED.

    Leave it at that!

    • Agree. I grew up in L.A. and have lived in Montana, Colorado, Michigan, and Ohio. Last year I ended up in AVL and got the heck out of there as soon as my lease was up! This article sums up EXACTLY what got to me over time.

  2. Don’t forget the rare homosapien Lottamelanins that get super included to bolster the notion of this diversity we’re well known for.

  3. I’ve been lampooned quite a few times, so I say relax.

  4. Love it!

    However, it’s missing Homo Sapien Humorless Perpetually Offendius. #howdareyoupokefunpeoplearedyingforgoddesssake

  5. Yeah I’m pretty much all of those. Especially the “I’m from Asheville” person (6 generations of mtn folk, except I went to an Asheville city school so f-off). Funny, but Im sure you fall into one of those categories too! Hahahah! Once you move to Asheville you automatically get labeled as something.

    • Maybe the next column can comment on the rigid self-segregation of urbanites vs ruraliens. Everyone I know within city limits (including local cartoonists) routinely stereotype the rurals as fat, illiterate, uncultured, camo-clad, inbred, beer-swilling rednecks, while the rurals avoid downtown as they claim it is overrun by unwashed, patchouli-stinking hippies, godless witches, gaudily-clad sodomites, and pretentious snobs whose worthless liberal arts degrees limit them to minimum-wage service-industry jobs, but they get to wear their favorite color: black! AND they get to swill dozens of craft brews.

      Maybe the beer thing can bring them together???

  6. Homo just-tryin-to-make-it-happen-everydaysapians.

    IE Me. Moved here for the scenery. Spend everyday in the town makin money to take a vacation in the scenery. Spends all extra monies on camping gear or dinner with all friends of the above types of peoples. Can be found workin out to be healthier & raising well rounded healthy kids who appreciate both technology & the environment. Or, growing as many plants as will fit upon the uncovered deck of one of the only decent trailers in a semi-clean trailer park -wishing they could afford the atrocious rental pricing of just a basic house with yard & dreaming of buying a homestead with a view. May be a little too forward with trying to help others & seen as slightly bitchy when in a hurry & in the middle of makin it happen. Too opinionated & a little disorganized but always has the best of intentions.

  7. I’m an Asheville proper native (Homo Sapien Nativium Properitus), but I will never say things were better when I was growing up than they are now, or that they are changing for the worse.

  8. Also: People from New Jersey who now say y’all (full disclosure: me).

  9. ashevilliangirl says:

    Wow… I can’t even believe how spot on some of these are… I’m concerned you have too much time on your hands. I definitely tell people I’m from here, and darn that new “neo-art deco” hotel downtown, it looks atrocious!

  10. Jennifer S. says:

    Friend has awesome addition:

    But they forgot Touristus Trepidatious: A migrating species that flocks through Asheville several times a year because of its cool reputation, but who are frightened of all the things that give us that reputation. TTs spend all of their time complaining about the drum circle noise, whining about the lack of outlet malls and eating at Olive Garden because “spicy/ethnic/vegetarian/’weird’ food doesn’t agree with me”.

  11. Who cares? Enough with the labels and stereotypes…Just let people be people, and soak in the diversity.


  13. What about kayakers? I thought you loved kayakers?

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