Spoofs & Satire

Do You Have Hipsters?

You’ve seen the warning signs—now’s the time to do something about it. A step-by-step guide on how to rid yourself of a hipster infestation.

Credit: Richard Masoner

Have you recently found yourself asking any of the following questions?

Whose fixed-gear bicycle is that in my garage?

Where do I keep misplacing the charger for my iPod Nano?

Why are there vast amounts of food mysteriously not missing from my pantry and refrigerator each week?

Yes? Then, chances are, you’ve got hipsters.

Hipster infestations have become commonplace in modern times. One day, life seems completely normal. The next, you’ve got an anorexic in a train-conductor hat scurrying across your kitchen in the middle of dinner. This, understandably, can be a pretty disconcerting sight.

Not to worry, though. While hipsters can really slaughter a nice mood, they are otherwise harmless and probably just as frightened of you as you are of them. Still, they are a nuisance, of course, and need to be treated as such. Following are suggested measures to pinpoint the location of hipsters in your home, coax them out from their hiding places, and capture and return them to their natural habitats.

Zeroing in on Your Hipsters

An effective way to start your search is by identifying all the nooks and crannies wherein hipsters may hide. Most commonly these include the crack between the wall and the fridge, underneath French baguettes, behind their iPod Nanos, and between the pages of Charles Bukowski books. These are all great places to begin looking. (Note: If you are feeling brave, demand that someone justify Bukowski’s literary merit. Frequently this will prompt the hipsters to emerge, incredulous, indignant, and sometimes crying.)

Maybe they’re sitting in your living room brooding, or writing in a journal, or looking uncomfortable and ostracized.

Also, hipsters prefer dank, dimly lit areas, should you have any in your abode. These provide ideal quarters for them to set up makeshift darkrooms in which they can develop the countless photographs they’ve taken with their vintage cameras. Usually, these are pictures of idled trains, abandoned bus depots, or of themselves (for their MySpace profiles).

Finally, keep a sharp eye on dressers and closets. Hipsters love tight clothing, usually on the darker, more weathered side. Have any pairs of your 14-year-old daughter’s jeans suddenly gone missing? What about her nail polish kit?

For many, this suggestion sparks additional fears: If hipsters are ransacking my daughter’s closet, how do I know they won’t cause her any undue additional (i.e., sexual) harm? Parents should rest easier knowing that most hipsters are either asexual or bi-curious. That being said, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on your son, too.

Capturing Your Hipsters

You’ve located where your hipsters are camped out—now comes the hard part.

Hipsters are freakishly antisocial; some argue it is genetic. This trait becomes especially magnified in unfamiliar or non-hip environments. So, the last thing you want to do is alienate hipsters further from society than they’ve already alienated themselves. Here are a few things you must understand before attempting to communicate with hipsters:

  1. Hipsters know more about music than you do.
  2. Hipsters know more about clothing than you do.
  3. Hipsters know more about Charles Bukowski than you do.
  4. Your sense of fashion is “fin” (bad).

Embracing these ideas as fact will not put you on the same level as hipsters—that would be ridiculous—but it will let the hipster know that you are keeping it real, which they can respect, sort of.

With that, you’ll want to open the dialogue on a fairly benign topic so as not to indicate that you mean the hipsters harm, or that you are in fact a poseur. Here are some suggestions:

  • “That deck [good] Conor Oberst is signing autographs at Amoeba Records today.”
  • “Check out my new tattoo!” (Or new fixed-gear bike.)
  • “Anyone for a really small slice of vegan soy pizza?”

Hipsters have usually attended a liberal-arts college for at least two years, however—and are thus extremely smart—and often won’t take the verbal bait. In this situation, you must be cruel to be kind and exploit the hipster’s Achilles heel: music.

There are two approaches to smoking them out musically:

  1. Play non-hip music, and play it very loudly. Remember, hipsters all have iPod Nanos, so it’s going to have to be extremely ear-shattering to overpower the sonic armor of Death Cab for Cutie. Recommended selections include anything by Kenny Rogers or Green Day, or Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief (hipsters generally agree that this is when Radiohead sold out). Really, any popular, major-label artist will do the trick.
  2. Play music they enjoy, such as Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah!, the National, or Monorchid. These recordings may prove a bit harder to find, however, so there’s always the “the” band theory: the Strokes, the Faint, the Hives, the Killers, the Vines, the Bravery, et al. are usually considered deck by hipsters, despite their popular major-label status. (Note: “the The,” however, will NOT work using approach number two. See approach number one.)

When it comes to “The” bands, you might ask: Well, which one? Don’t hipsters like one better than the others? Trust us when we tell you that it isn’t going to make the slightest difference.

Returning Your Hipsters to Their Natural Environment

Hopefully by now, you’ve got the hipsters out in the open. Maybe they’re sitting in your living room brooding, or writing in a journal, or looking uncomfortable and ostracized. This is totally normal, and means you’ve done everything by the book thus far.

Yet at this stage you will likely encounter the following critical conundrum: When removing hipsters from your home, your paternal instinct may kick in at the sight of their waif-like appearances, and you will feel obligated to nourish them. Do not attempt to do this.

In the first place, it is highly unlikely you have hipster food. Kraft macaroni and cheese or microwaveable Bagel Bites will only make them angry. (Though it completely defies logic, hipsters also know more about food than you do.) Hamburger Helper is a grave insult to hipsters and will undoubtedly evoke a derisive response along such lines as, “Do you have any idea what’s in that stuff?!?” Obviously, no, you do not.

Moreover, it should be noted that hipsters’ eating cycles differ greatly from those of non-hipsters. As an example: What are the chances of you uncovering your hipster infestation on, say, the third Wednesday (or designated feeding day) of that particular month, and of having enough organic soy-based products in your fridge to feed them all? Admittedly, it would not require much. But, you have to agree, the odds are pretty slim.

The best thing for them, and for you, is to simply return hipsters to the habitat from which they came. And don’t think you can just pile into the SUV and drive them there—they will spurn you for your wanton consumerism. Get that archaic road bike out from the garage—they’ll probably buy it from you when all is said and done—and cruise them around the local arts district to coffee shops and record stores until they are all given low-paying jobs based solely on their stylish appearances and morose demeanors. Hipsters are much happier when they are poor (although you’d never know this by looking at them).

With the hipsters now returned to their milieu, you deserve a pat on the back. Keep alert for future infestations, though, and be thankful you had hipsters instead of hippies, who can lower property values and are more or less impossible to get rid of.