Ugly-shoe-wearing Public Interest Guy (Nebbish virtuus)
Family: Gainfully Employed
Plumage: Timex. Battered loafers. Soft-sided briefcase. Tie bought from streetcorner vendor for $4. Carrying the latest Jonathan Kozol, Robert Coles or Henry Louis Gates book. Perpetual haunted look.
Habitat: Jail (note: not the most hospitable habitat for female ethologists), courthouse, community organizing meetings, anti-death penalty rallies, panel discussions on fair housing, ACLU lectures. Does not visit foraging areas frequented by Republicans.
Feeding Habits: Egg salad with Miracle Whip, eaten at his desk. Dolphin-safe tuna on white bread (note: does not mean he has any problems with black bread, which is a perfectly wonderful bread that is equal in every way to white bread). Tagamet.
Sexual Display: Sexual display involves ties. Old stained ties with the lining coming loose and absurdly wide or narrow ends are an indication that the male is not receptive to mating. When he is interested, the ties will be newer and will show some perkiness. Takes out personal ads that start "Sensitive Seinfeld-lookalike seeks..."
Agonistic Display: A shouter. Aggressive vocalizations asserting his special understanding of the problems plaguing the legal system, the environment, death row inmates, the underclass, the criminal justice system in general. Can sing his song of injustice for many, many hours, simply raising the volume when a male from a different species (or often, the same species) attempts to disagree or engage in a duet. More a lone bird than an accomodating member of the flock.
Courtship Behavior: Brings the female articles from socialist newspapers and movies on tape about the plight of the migrant worker. Sings songs of social justice--again, more interested in singing than listening to the songs of others, including prospective mates. Indicates willingness to be monogamous (this species is less flighty than many others)--calls when he says he'll call, displays little fear of commitment, as long as the female does not attempt to come between him and his labors on behalf of all humanity. Mating Ritual: Introduces you to his mother.
Mating Ritual: Introduces you to his mother.
Mating Call: "Wanna come to the public transit authority's open hearing about the fare hike?"
Field Notes: Five calls the female ethologist can use to attract the Nebbish virtuus:
1. "Free Mumia!"
2. "My cat is named Thurgood."
3. "I heard John Grisham cheated on the bar."
4. "I used to be a waitress in Alan Dershowitz's kosher deli, and oh, the stories I could tell."
5. "Gee, I wish someone could explain the history of the Insanity Defense to me..."