1. Liable to be from divorced, stressy parents. Unhappy.
2. Fiercely intelligent. Love to read specialist adult books, do anything school related independently, and pepper conversations with adult concepts and social commentary. Tech wizards, bordering on nerdy that can parent their parents. Occasional penchant for making their own breakfast and overall an outstanding example of the American school system/ internet generation though somewhat lacking in emotional life skills.
Like that semi-autistic kid at school you secretly ached to kick.
3. Constantly playing main roles in upcoming class plays, productions, science or sporting galas, that coincide with important work, relationship, life or global events .
4. Being taught baseball by their father. They suck at it. Increasingly play soccer at school.
5. When stressed they tell their long suffering, divorced parent that they hate them. Then slam the door. But they don’t really mean it. They lie in bed a long time.
6. ALWAYS keep a diary, usually hidden. Sketchbooks with dark drawings and eyes.
7. Liable to be kidnapped. Cry a lot. Love and hate their mothers. Investigative of eerie sounds.
8. Older kids eye-rollingly hate their little siblings, and often have to parent them in certain forced situations, like breakfast or the school run. Older kids are rebels, younger ones nerds.
9. School is like the prison system, fraught with hidden codes, treatises, tribes, hierarchies, subtleties and constrictions, but for dwarves. Plus pimples, body shaming, fashion police, class systems, race politics, sex, drugs, social media and braces. Like everything in general society actually.
1. Will attack public transport, preferably train carriages or streetcars. Despite wrecking the vehicles, smashing glass and crushing metal, everyone inside will miraculously survive. The vehicle ends the ordeal the right way up again.
2. Will head ‘to the Eastern seaboard’ and attack only crowded city centres at rush hour – notably, exclusively, New York.
3. Aliens only ever seem to converge on Earth for our resources, despite there being a billion billion other planetary and solar resources out there.
(Truth is they’re here for the one thing Earth has that a very rare few other places have – biodiversity. And to protect this rare natural resource from its doom-makers. You heard it here first).
3. When catching up, they only approach slowly, sinisterly after their prey. When finally cornering the quarry, they will circle, drool and drag out the situation while the victim ekes out a sudden escape route, weapon or rescuer.
4. Multiple heat seeking weapons that take down concrete and create craters 100 feet across are easily dodged, badly targeted or result in firecracker bangs that inflict minimal damage on organic flesh. Armour piercing volleys of bullets are ephemeral nuisances at the worst.
5. Buildings can be easily climbed with no fear of a single layer wall, roof or floor giving way or engineering an entire catastrophic collapse.
6. In a constant state of mid-growl/ roar. Never anything else on the visage. If human you cannot do this (I mean who outside the Presidential race does that??), so a deadpan covering of the face will be needed, preferably an impossibly inky and hard to shake shadow that manifests itself over your head in any given situation, angle or hour of the day. Or twisted, child-like mask, always handy.
1. All Black folk be talkin like they from the ghetto. Even if they’re a stockbroker, an office manager, cop, priest, mayor or judge. Man, whatchoosayin?
2. If you’re a Black man you shoot the hoop on your time off. You are kool n the gang with your White buddy. In a family friendly, Neighbourhood Watch friendly, approachably middle class yet gangsterly kinda way. Like LL Cool Jay in Deep Blue Sea.
You’re funny, likely musical.
3. If you’re a Black woman, you’re sassy. Empowered. Endearingly obnoxious – you tells it how it is. You are the salt o’ the earth easy to anger, easy to laugh. You are big but you wear it tight. You take no prisoners and do not shy from anything Heeelll No!
4. Every Black church is the heart of the working class community, evangelical and full of shafts of morning light, uplifting music, and clapping. The preacher will be fiery and impassioned, as will be the be-hatted congregation who will sing, shout or nod their exhortations throughout the service. There will be several middle aged women fanning themselves and mhhhmmming.
5. If you’re an older Black woman with a serious expression, there are many, many opportunities to become a High Court judge. Approximately 85% of all judges in America are made up of older, Black women with serious expressions. You will be firm but fair, and liable to call all lawyers up to the bench to give stern admonishments to over your serious glasses.
6. If you’re British there are many, many opportunities to become an evil, globally dominating villain of the highest order. Or a butler. If you’re not insufferably posh (first choice), you can settle for being Cockney. This is the closest to foreign you will ever see.
7. All spies are White, 30 something, fit and 99% male with a token female who is a real ballbreaker, STRIKINGLY good looking, made up, manicured and well dressed the entire time she’s jumping rooftops, like a supermodel striding around on a corporate shoot. For some reason they blend seamlessly into any crowd, however foreign, and will not be looked at by anyone ever. All spies spend most of their time running around shooting stuff (East European shaven headed thugs mostly, which most men from that part of the world are), attending gala events (transformed!), getting involved in spectacular car chases, with minimal office work, shopping, going to the loo, queueing for a latte, getting their cat de-wormed, or dayjobs. They do not keep a low profile at all.
8. All muggers are stupid, pale Wasp men in their late Twenties who bear striking resemblances to LA waiting staff, but with dark leather jackets/ hoody, hobo hat and needing a shave. They will often have the tables turned on them.
9. All people with dark hair, at some later stage in the story, will reveal themselves to actually be Jewish, usually by namedropping Bar Mitzvahs, bagels, schmucks, or their super Jewish parents. Chances are they are also loud, sassy and endearingly obnoxious as Black women. But more highly strung. -They are people too. Like if they didn’t announce their religion you woulda carried on thinking how lovely they were haa!
10. Ethnic minorities do not cry. Given the opportunity, they are stoic. Though really it’s just they never reach that stage of character development in their lives and loves (unless you’re single in NYC, ridiculously skyscraper-owningly rich, powerful, handsome, well groomed, funny, inventive, kind, educated, strong, rich, did I mention rich? like billionaire rich, ripped, fatherly and heart-rendingly widowed enough to court Waspy new secretary in town, Dakota Johnson).
11. All maids are lovely Mexican women who can barely string a sentence together in English. They work hard and look after several impoverished families back in Latin America, for which their low paid job is a lifeline for the entire favela, and 75% of the Mexican economy that’s not drug related. As a loving, kind and surrogate mother they brought up generations of neglected yet sweet rich kids who dumped them on gaining their inheritance. They are all resoundingly, frailly illegal. Live in a cupboard (or possibly the stairs at night) with a crucifix on the wall.
12. LA is riven with Latino gang members who wear slick hair, 90s plaid, do their top buttons up, and sport bandanas like Notorious B.I.G. Their quasi-Mexican accents are as thick as yo mamacita’s guacamole. They prefer knives to guns. Those are for Black people. Statistically they are the least represented on-screen race per capita to their real time population, more so than even the semi-mythical East Asians.
13. Italian Americans have lovely, huge nouveaux riches families and are adoring to their kids, despite their murderous mafia links. One of these ‘family friends’ will be obese and thuggish; and they will all talk with the Italian East coast accent ( not to be confused with the pan Jewish East coast accent, or New Jerseyitians). The long suffering wives wear a lot of gold, peroxide and have big hair, and can be just as ruthless despite their feminine charms. Not to be confused with Jewish princesses.
Actually fuck, it Jews, Italians and New Jerseyudlians are one and the same. They just change surnames on set.
14. Native Americans are middle aged, wise, long haired and monosyllabic. They live on reservations or national parks and often sport cowboy hats paired with clinking jewelry, beads and totems as constant reminders of their timeless, majestic, pre-modern culture that collective forefathers truly fucked to the tune of 98.7% of their missing gene pool. They tend to drive vintage trucks and have guns they use for manly stuff, especially when they switch to horseridin’ (they’re all hunters and trackers). They do not catch trains or hang out in cyberspace, schools, libraries, malls, cities, gyms, Chinese restaurants, nail bars, playgrounds, hair salons, comedy clubs, theatres, sports clubs or bars. They prefer to buy their alcohol and drink it copiously at the trailer park or on the range. They are all male.
15. East Europeans. Women are pale, blonde, blue-eyed gun-toting Slavs, cold, beautiful and casually evil. They will sleep with you for money, perhaps sell their child. Men are dark, shaven-headed, chain-smoking, gun-toting Gipsies, whether you’re a henchman or an oligarch you’re the same side of Dodge city. They have yet to register a personality among them, being sociopaths yet lacking the narcissism. Children are on an autism spectrum.
It’s always cold. There is no music where the sun does not shine. And Vodka, lots of it.
16. Asians don’t really exist. Except as news reporters; or waiting staff.
16b. South Asians, despite being the world’s biggest ethnicity, really don’t exist.
Race appropriate(d) roleplay.
White folk: Spies, office workers, bartenders, truckers, pilots, captains, muggers, parking attendants, waiting staff, shop assistants, artists, art students, subjects of art, ballerinas, ex-pats (not to be confused with ‘immigrants’), travelers, firefighters, surgeons, mountaineers (not to be confused with Sherpas, ‘locals’, or guides who do the same thing), ice skaters, ice hockey players, skiers, snowboarders- pretty much anything cold related
…swimmers, lifeguards, divers, pool babes – pretty much anything water related, farmers/ ranchers, cowboys, Mounties, line-dancers, woodcutters, hunters, hippies, eco-warriors, extreme sports enthusiasts, – hell, pretty much anything outdoors related.
…Europeans, American tourists, academia, hipsters, nerds, rock enthusiasts, Goths/ emos, toll booth operators, Icelandic fishermen. Serial killers. Vampires. Ghosts. Werewolves. Dinner party guests involving pent up, over-the-hill upper middle class people, in melodramas with endless discussion, trying hard to be funny and blasé by talking about sex.
East Europeans: henchmen, oligarchs, thugs, prostitutes, sociopaths, spies, cruel women.
Black folk: Hip hop/ rap, R n B artists, musicians, gang members, basketballers, anything else just so long it’s not academic/ science / tech / finance/ rural / outdoors / er, water / or art related. Judges (see 5. Black women).
Mixed race: Hip hop/ rap, R n B artists, gang members, techs, nerds, occasional hipsters.
Latinos: Maids, gang members, policemen (California only). US/Mexican border control, border crossers, cross dressers. Mexican prostitutes. Drug lords. Token cowboys.
East Asians: You are not in the army, you are not in the arts, you are not in academia, you are not in entertainment, you are not outdoorsy. You are not bar staff, surf instructing, cheer leading, basketball playin’ or any sport in general. You like business school, medicine, tech or nerdy stuff and news presenting. You do not hang out in bars, have family picnics, wait in post office queues, operate toll booths or any random activity that you do (but don’t – I mean do). You are peripheral.
Arabs and Middle Easterners: Terrorists. Misunderstood terrorists. Understandable terrorists. Innocent civilians terrifically terrorised by terrorists. You do not hang out in bars, have family picnics, wait in post office queues, operate toll booths, or any random activity that you do (but don’t – I mean do). Terrorists.
South Asians: Sorry, who are you again?
South East Asians: Sandra! Can you show these nice people where the coffee machine and cookies are?
450 million Burmese/ Indonesians/ Malays/ Filipinos – Wait, no. What???
We know how it is, the world. We know because we saw it on our screen with our very own eyes. So many rich, talented people can’t be wrong.
1. Every student halls and Frat house is like ONE BIG PARTY DUDE. All the time. It will be a miasma of smoke, flying balloons (water, helium), bikinis, graffiti, underwear, flying bog roll, pillow fights, skateboarding, running, shouting and jumping day and night. Like, totally.
2. Every teenager’s party will be in a big house with a banging/ RnB DJ, a pool that a screaming blonde will be jumping into that very second, a big crowd (token minorities and everything!), lots of outdoor lights and free beer kegs. Upstairs in secluded rooms couples will be enjoying drunken, teen sex, with mixed results.
3. Outdoor pools are exclusively populated by young bikini-clad titty models with lavishing curves, big hair and clicking heels swinging to some loud hiphop or dubstep. And normal, flabby men who are obviously on the same level (such as Dave from Accounts), just much more covered up.
4. Every nightclub in the States has more of the same – big haired strippers with clunky stilletos, cascading locks, and forgetting their dress in a slow mo of hair swinging podium epilepsy (must be all those flashing lights). Overweight or well – normal – women don’t exist.
5. Behind every second door in a hospital holds a drifting clothes hangar full of lab coats. All beds, even empty ones, have clip boards with patient details at the end of them. There may be a flabby policeman dozing off in the corridor.
6. At every hospital reception sits an overweight Black woman who will steadfastly deny anyone access to highly sensitive, confidential patient records. However, she is also liable to turn the screen towards this complete stranger, wink or nod conspiratorially, then move her chair away.
7. Metro systems are clogged with people on either side of the escalators. Dumpy people are very likely to be upended into complex retail displays by charging criminals. A train will ALWAYS be drawing up at a station at any given time. Assailants almost always choose not to board it. If they do (there will always be more than one), they start at either end and work toward the middle. A chase ensues in which they never, ever catch their trapped target.
8. Every city in Asia is drenched in neon, steam, chattering crowds, street stalls and rain. There are no other ethnicities.
9. Every city in Europe is chock full of pavement cafes, cobbles, Italian scooters, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and classy restaurants. Unless it’s Eastern Europe at which point it’s commie blocks and cold, sunless skies over poverty. There are no other ethnicities.
10. Every American city centre is riddled with fuel laden container trucks slowly crossing through intersections at any one time, or trundling slowly, dangerously along elevated highways. Bright yellow school buses full of primary age kids also feature heavily on any given stretch, even if it’s to the airport.
12. Every American city centre is riddled with alleyways mere steps away from busy civilised streets, full of stray rubbish, chain link fences, steam outlets and occasional bums (each of whom are white, bearded, wear fingerless gloves, long coats, woolly hats and in pouncing, shouty stupor). Every – and I mean EVERY – fire escape has a dumpster below, that’s been left wide open.
13. All forests, coastal areas, bridges, isolated farmsteads, new houses, and hilltop mansions have patchy or nonexistent phone reception. Civilised peoples remark on it to each other all the time like IT’S NOT THE END OF THE FUCKING WORLD, the freaks.
14. Large mansions hold Victorian furnishings, heavy furniture, creepy dolls and sombre paintings of former residents. 20W lighting is needed throughout the day via dozens of lamps where windows don’t suffice, such as southern California. Attics harbour old photographs and disturbing toys. Residents and staff are monosyllabic, serious, buttoned up and speak like they’re in the 1800s, despite being teens during the 90s.
15. All basements are dank, badly lit, rammed with junk and shelving, and have those trap doors that open out to the garden. There is always a random rake/ spade leaning outside, with a wooden handle.
15. All forests are riddled with sudden drops and unseen gullies, that act like leaf litter slides to new, instantly untraceable areas of the woods. They are also liberally peppered with rushing rivers that edge into spectacular single drop waterfalls.
16. All caves or cave-like interiors hold unique subterranean ecosystems made up of sudden flurries of screeching bats, squawking birds (crows mostly), or loudly flapping, crazed pigeons that do that stupid pigeon hum but earsplittingly so.
17. NASA HQ in Houston has a massive control room full of computers and one really big screen, like a cinema perpetually showing architectural drafts and complex graphs. Staffed by bespectacled engineers, IT people and scientists in white shirts and discarded ties as time goes on. They like to whoop and clap and hi-five each other every time anything goes right, after days of silent, brooding tension. You might even see confetti. When things go wrong, a young female intern will stand there and cry, staring at the screen.
18. The Southern states are full of trailer parks, poverty, simmering racism and religious hypocrisy. Everyone has a porch and rocking chair, an unlocked screen door and guns leaning on the side or next to the mounted deer head. It is always high summer and sweaty. Spanish moss cloaks all.
19. California is perpetually sunny, sprawly and upbeat. Its highways are traffic-laden and dotted with convertibles, blondes, sunglasses and palm trees. Venice Beach is full of dudes and dudettes on wheels, while the LA skyline always has a setting sun by it through the smog and a 70s soundtrack. Frisco is wooden, White and Chinese. Everyone everwhere is in showbiz, or clammering for it by being fake.
20. New York is perpetually under attack by dark forces, tsunamis, or aliens. Or lawyers. It’s totally amazing to wear your suit to drinks, unless you’re a woman, whereby you will have to pack your cocktail dresses to work everyday. Everyone is like SO full of personality and character and coolness and wiredness and the city is just like SO stunning and it’s SO like Friends with singles roof parties and twinkly lights ( but with token minority pals), and people just can’t stop gushing loudly about how amazeballs they all are for moving there and making it even more fucking amazeballs. One of their mates will be stupidly /secretly rich and they don’t care for it, coz that’s New Yawk! Yeah! Streetlife and central heating and everything!
You know you want it.
21. All drivers in America keep their keys cunningly hidden above the visor mirror/ sun shield. No one, just no one knows anyone else does this.
22. Everyone lives in big family houses of fake clapperboard, with gardens and cars, loaded with toys and posters in the kids rooms, endless expensive junk in the garage and basements, huge flatscreens, occasional pools and big suburban plots with manicured lawns out front. As per rule, it is highly unlocked at all times. Every teenage daughter will have a roof and pipe/ tree/ robust climbing plant below her window.
23. Everyone everywhere is upper middle class, even deceptively so. Like when your wise-talkin sister will pick up the phone one day in a suit from her spotless FTSE 500 boardroom, or your humble, funny bestie actually works in a high end law firm somewhere, or is a surgeon (and possibly the President). Everyone knows a surgeon.
24. …Unless you’re ‘ethnic’ and somewhere highrise, whereby you live in a crowded tenement with kids playing in the foyer. Every so often a terrified criminal or chase victim will hammer desperately at your door which obviously makes no one want to to open it – unless you’re an old Black lady with spacky glasses. Who is easily barged past for a window leading to a metal fire escape, with -you guessed it! -those open dumpsters below.
This apartment is oft next door to covert drugs factories, that if you poke your telescopic camera into are populated by lounging Blacks/ Blatinos/ token-White-guys-with braids. These are gang members centred around a huge, dingy sofa perpetually watching tv (occasionally gaming) in a haze of smoke, snacking and quick talkin’ lazy jibes.