Real-People Reviews

We’re starting a new recurring feature wherein we review actual human beings.

Hi or NOT
My older sister Laura is one of my best friends in the world. This review isn’t about her, though; it’s based on the same joke that we’ve been telling each other for 15 years, the centerpiece of which is one unforgettable human being. It all stems from a supermarket trip that took place when I was five and she was six. Our mom would send us together to run errands for her in the store, and on one of these jaunts to the canned foods aisle or wherever, we met the girl who would leave us irrevocably changed. We turned a corner and almost ran directly into the cart that she was sitting in, buckled up top in the baby seat. We were super bewildered in that moment, (a) because we had nearly knocked over a toddler, and (b) because of what, exactly, that toddler happened to look like. She had blonde hair that PUFFED in perfect spheres of fuzz in three directions, I think maintained with bulky scrunchies: one on each side of her head, and one perched directly on top. The rest of her face reminded me deeply of a woman from the comic strip The Far Side, which Laura maintains as well despite the fact that those characters all look well over 40. On its own, the wacky appearance of this little girl probably wouldn’t have made a permanent impression, but it was burned indelibly into our memories when she spoke. She glared at us with the craziest consternation you could ever expect to see on a small child—it was SERIOUSLY bitchy—and, in a voice that was half-bored, half-accusatory, sassed, “Hi, or NOT?” To clarify, the underlying message of this was “Are you going to say hi to me, or are you going to KEEP IT MOVING already?” We were able to squeak out a tiny “…hi” before simultaneously having to turn tail and laugh our goddamned crazy heads off about this wonderful weirdo. She continues to come up in conversation at least once a month when we’re feigning attitude at each other, often while answering each other’s phone calls. Hi or NOT, to me, starts with five stars for her punchy personality and overall look, as well as the lasting power of the impression she made on us, but maybe loses one for being mean 2 me!! —Amy Rose

People Protesting at the Local Library
I saw four people rather meekly protesting the closure of my tiny local library. I give their handmade signs one star because they were not very colorful, creative, or eye-catching. They didn’t have a good slogan to chant, but I give them four stars for trying. Involved was the rather crazy lady who also works in the charity shop and calls everybody “Curly-locks” no matter what their hairstyle and randomly bursts out singing. I give her five stars for her enthusiasm and for the confusion she caused passers-by deciding whether they liked her or were scared of her and for entertaining me and making me smile despite myself. —Naomi


My Dentist
I went to the dentist after one of my teeth started hurting like crazy. After she had taken a look at my mouth, she decided to write me up a prescription for antibiotics. She looked me up and down and said, “I can see that you’re really skinny, so you probably don’t eat a lot. You have to take this medicine with food—real food, not like water or a salad or anything, so mentally prepare yourself.” For being a totally judgmental asshole, I give this dentist ONE STAR (only not zero because she did cure my mouth pain). SCREW YOU!!! —Laia

Black Sabbath Cover Bands
The former bassist for Hole and Smashing Pumpkins (and obviously a musician in her own right, under her own name, Melissa Auf der Maur) had a Black Sabbath cover band in the early naughts. I thought that was a cool time to have a BS cover band. It was called HAND OF DOOM. But the BEST Black Sabbath cover band name I have ever heard—and possibly best cover band name I’ve ever heard—lives here in Whitehorse, Yukon (where I currently reside), and that cover band name is: A Bunch of BS. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars. A solid B for BULL. —Sonja

Colby the Disneyland Guide
There is nothing so faith-renewing as an adult who believes in the magic of Disney. When I went to Disneyland we had the BEST tour guide. His name was Colby and he moved to California to be an actor but started working at Disneyland because he figured he should “make [him]self useful.” A utilitarian, I see! His sincerity perfectly matched his plaid vest and red pants, and his nose was even upturned a little bit like Mickey Mouse’s. Whenever we couldn’t decide what to do next and asked him what he would recommend, his eyes would widen as if we’d just asked him to steal us the princess costumes so we could run around in them and clobber children, disguised as representatives of the Walt Disney Corporation. He would take a step back, hold up his hands, and say, “I am just here to make y’all happy.” But Colby’s best moment was when we recalled a fellow we’d met earlier named Paul, and he said, to no one in particular, “Oh yeah, Paul. Paul the rubber ball.” Then, after a quiet chuckle, “I just came up with that out of nowhere.” COLBY 4EVER. —Tavi

Anna came to see the Magnetic Fields with her boyfriend. She was probably 16, and very tall, over six feet in her heels. She had a camel-colored cloche around her bouncy blonde curls, and that, along with her short, perky nose, made Anna look just like Taylor Swift. This girl could have entered a 5,000-person Taylor Swift lookalike contest, and she would have won. Anna and her boyfriend hung around the merch booth, touching each other affectionately and occasionally stepping back to call one of their mothers. They swooned over the setlist, and kissed, once. I am 90 percent sure that Anna was born a boy, but standing there in front of me, she was a teenage girl just like any other, excited about being out on a proper date. I would give her 10 stars if I could. —Emma S.
* Not her real name.

RIDICULOUS Couple on Bikes
There’s really nothing like the first day that the weather gets warm enough to bring back all your memories of summer fun. You know it’s not going to stay that beautiful for long, but you can’t wait to start planning all your warm-weather adventures. On this one particular such day I was outside ogling the passerby when this SUPER HOT tattooed dude rode by on his bike. My boss and I were all, “DAMN!” There was a girl, also riding a bike, next to him, and a couple seconds later the dude extended his arm and GRABBED THE GIRL’S HAND and then they continued riding their bikes down the street while holding hands. I give them both five stars for being the cutest ever and reminding me that LOVE IS REAL AND BEAUTIFUL. But I also give them one star because of the puking that ensued after witnessing such a scenario. —Laia

London Messiah
A couple of months ago I was sitting at the front on the top of a double-decker bus in London. The bus had momentarily stopped at the Liverpool Street station. I watched the rather bored- and sullen-looking faces of suited businessmen droop along the sidewalk. It was a cold, English winter, and everything was looking predictably gray and fed up. Before I knew it, I saw a flash of color whiz out around a corner. There he was: a man, wearing only a pair of orange Hawaiian shorts, with a beard and long waving hair, both down to his waist. Barefoot, he skateboarded down the street, his long locks dancing through the air wildly as he slalomed around passersby, high-fiving every dreary Londoner as he passed. His happiness was contagious, and I watched through the bus window as everyone he touched instantly grew an enormous grin. A man in a gray suit spun around and laughed as he made contact with this man, who, I’m almost sure, was a reincarnation of Jesus. And I give that man five stars…not just from me, but from the whole of London. —Eleanor

My Friend’s Little Sister
Lauren is the little sister of my friend Megan. She’s 10 years old and enjoys insulting me, making song parodies with her friends, insulting me, and coning. She has fiery hair and she wears cute Boden-style outfits that she picks out herself. The other day I was with Megan at the mall, and Lauren was with us. At Dairy Queen, she ordered a cone, and sweetly asked the cashier if he believed in unicorns. When he said no, she angrily shoved the cone onto her head like a unicorn’s horn. “Well, ya should!” she yelled, and strutted away, ice cream dripping onto her face. I truly do like Lauren for her spunk, but I will have to deduct one star for her calling me a shiny-nosed moron (or some variation) on a regular basis. —Ruby B.

This One Kid in Line at Six Flags Two Summers Ago
In the summer of 2010, two friends and I rented a car and drove to New Jersey to spend the day at Six Flags Great Adventure. The whole day was spent observing HUMAN BEINGS and what weird creatures they are—especially the child variety, who just do crazy shit in public with zero embarrassment and no apparent awareness that they might be observed. Which they were, with a vengeance, by us. Like, a five-year-old would be walking along a promenade with her parents and would suddenly bust a crazy disco/ninja move, then just proceed like everything was normal. The best example of this has become a legend in our lives. I was in line for a ride with my friend Julie. The line was long and winding, so you’d be standing right next to people way farther down the line for like half an hour waiting for this damn ride. Two of these other people were a pair of boys, probably about nine years old. One was big and one was small. They were unremarkable. UNTIL! The big one suddenly, out of nowhere, grabbed the small one around the waist and violently humped his butt for five seconds, calmly stating, while doing so, “Nuts. Nuts. Nuts.” Then he loosened his grip and they both acted like nothing had happened. When in reality EVERYTHING HAD HAPPENED. I give this kid five stars for showing me that you just can never tell what is going to happen anywhere at any given time. —Anaheed
P.S. When I was assigning these reviews I ordered all the Rookie writers to draw pictures to go with their pieces. I bragged to them that I had just downloaded a program called Seashore and taught myself how to use it and made a GREAT illustration in like 20 seconds. Amy Rose insisted I show them the picture. When I revealed the drawing above, it led to three solid hours of full-on internet HYSTERIA. Naomi made a video of herself laughing at it. At one point I think Hazel rolled clean off her bed. (I give myself five stars, too, for setting a good artistic example for the Rookies.)


  • ivoire March 22nd, 2012 11:10 PM

    i give anaheed ten stars for being the best person ever ★★★★★★★★★★

    • Anaheed March 22nd, 2012 11:14 PM

      It took me like half a day to figure out how to make those stars and you did it in five minutes, so either you’re a genius or I’m an idiot…or BOTH.

      • Nomi March 22nd, 2012 11:36 PM

        omg how do you make them
        is it just ****
        probably not im guessing
        also, cute article! <3

        • Anaheed March 22nd, 2012 11:38 PM

          No! It is & # 9 7 3 3 ; (without the spaces)

      • casey March 23rd, 2012 2:15 AM

        ★ &#9733 ★
        omg I hope this works that’s so cool!

      • ivoire March 23rd, 2012 3:27 AM

        Guys… there’s a thing called copy and paste haha. Also there’s character map if you use Microsoft, really handy:
        ✞virgin suicide crucifix ✞
        ♀riot grrrl♀
        ✩star thing✩

        it’s endless y’all

  • Moxx March 22nd, 2012 11:13 PM

    Oh my this is cooooool
    I wanna make oneeee

  • Toria Crux March 22nd, 2012 11:17 PM

    THIS IS FUDGIN HILARIOUS!!!! I believe in ice cream unicorns!!!!!!!

    • Ruby B. March 22nd, 2012 11:49 PM

      good, because if you didn’t, the cupcake ghost would come haunt you!

  • tinklebot5000 March 22nd, 2012 11:38 PM

    Thank you for this!!! I laughed soooo hard at all the amazing stories :) ROOKIE FOREVSSS <3

  • SweetThangVintage March 22nd, 2012 11:42 PM

    Eleanor, I love you for using the word slaloming.

  • Adrienne March 23rd, 2012 12:36 AM

    Hahaha love this feature! Can’t wait to see more. :)
    I’d give my English teacher 5 stars. Sometimes, we’d just watch Youtube videos for half of the period! Or all of us write random subjects and put it in a hat. Then my teacher draws subjects and we have to write about that particular subject for five minutes, then share it to the class! He is also hilarious. He pokes fun at students (in a good manner, of course) and also makes fun of his (not too) old age. PLUS, if someone’s phone goes off in class, that person has to bring FOOD for everyone else!

    But besides that, he is a really good teacher.

  • EliseChenevere March 23rd, 2012 12:46 AM

    hi or NOT made me die of laughter.

    • Amy Rose March 23rd, 2012 4:54 AM

      I really wish everyone could meet her. Defining person in my life for sure.

      • Maggie March 24th, 2012 2:36 AM

        What if I was like, “I AM THE HI OR NOT GIRL. THAT WAS YOU?!?!?”

  • Franny Glass March 23rd, 2012 1:41 AM

    OMG. “NUTS NUTS NUTS.” My roommate and I cannot stop laughing. It makes us want to cry its so good.

    • Naomi Morris March 23rd, 2012 5:16 AM


  • Carneece March 23rd, 2012 1:50 AM


    • Carneece March 23rd, 2012 1:51 AM


      • cleobea March 23rd, 2012 9:59 PM

        hahahaha!!! (not meanly, but that actually made me laugh really hard)

  • poppunkgurrrlx March 23rd, 2012 2:04 AM

    Tavi’s and Anaheed’s had me literally LOL-ing…
    Also, for some reason, when I picture Colby the Disneyland Guide, I think of Kenneth from 30 Rock.

    • suburban grrrl March 23rd, 2012 6:22 AM

      Haha me too! Colby=Kenneth Ellen Parcell

  • whisperedglasswords March 23rd, 2012 3:06 AM

    ★ (Did it work? xD) Oh, god, Anaheed’s made me crack up! I’m still trying keep in the giggles…..

    I totally have a friend that deserves to be reviewed….she makes me laugh every day!

    • whisperedglasswords March 23rd, 2012 3:08 AM

      Ha! It worked! Yay! I give this article five stars. :) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

  • mayaautumn March 23rd, 2012 3:18 AM

    these made me chuckle! and now I know how to do stars ★ (i hope that works!)

    • mayaautumn March 23rd, 2012 3:20 AM

      ooh yaaay! ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

  • Susann March 23rd, 2012 4:06 AM

    “Hi or NOT” is the best, closely followed by the unicorn-loving girl! :)

  • h100000 March 23rd, 2012 6:28 AM

    i love rookiemag with all my heart and i come here every single day
    but when i read this article i got very disappointed with the phrase
    “I am 90 percent sure that Anna was born a boy, but standing there in front of me, she was a teenage girl
    just like any other, excited about being out on a proper date”.
    i am a tall girl myself and nothing is more frustrating than trying to be really awesome and kickass only to then
    be mistaken for a boy. can we please get over this?!?! not all tall girls were born boys and yes, we are just like any other teenage girl and like dating. no need for pity.
    i also recommend this movie:
    apart from that i enjoyed the article, keep on being awesome! love from cologne

  • purplebabaushka March 23rd, 2012 6:57 AM

    Ruby- When I read this to Lauren she replied “Whats so bad about a shiney nosed moron?!” She also wanted me to tell you she was pleasently suprised with the rating – she predicted 2 stars. The drawing is really cute as well!


  • AnguaMarten March 23rd, 2012 9:06 AM

    I’m curious… What made you so sure Anna was trans? Not all tall girls are, you know.

  • erin March 23rd, 2012 10:10 AM

    hahaha little kids are the best. Love this post, can’t wait for more! The one about Colby was so funny! “I just came up with that out of nowhere.”

  • KinuKinu March 23rd, 2012 12:28 PM

    THIS WAS SOO FUNNY.I read it last night and again today. It made me crack up in the middle of the night remembering this. FIVE GLORIOUS STARS FOR WONDERFUL-NESS
    Anaheed,sometimes I find myself observing human beings,too. Peculiar beings,aren’t they?
    oh, I ♥♥♥♥ today’s background. I literally just looked at this yesterday on APOD :)

  • aliceee March 23rd, 2012 12:36 PM

    This is the greatest. I can feel an ice cream cone unicorn within me longing for freedom!!! Hi or NOT reminds me of this little girl who yelled at me to leave a theater, complete with one hand on her hip & the other making a sassy circle-circle-point to the door. People are so weird, it’s fantastic.

  • missblack March 23rd, 2012 12:40 PM

    hahahahahahahahahahhaah Colby the Disneyland Guide just made me laugh so hard I amost choked.

    hhahahahahahahahahahahah It’s still funny.


  • Abby March 23rd, 2012 1:39 PM

    I once saw this REALLY OLD lady at Target, and I joked to my friend that she was probably buying cat food, because she was like a walking definition of old, crazy cat lady. Well, we ended up in line behind her, and guess what she was buying? About 100 cans of cat food. We saw it, began to giggle uncontrollably, and then proceeded to literally fall down laughing. Not even joking. The cashier was kind of giggling, too, but trying to look mad… anyway, 5 stars for this crazy cat lady buying a shit-ton of cat food. &#9733 &#9733 &#9733 &#9733 &#9733 ( I hope this works…)

    • Abby March 23rd, 2012 1:40 PM

      Darn it, it didn’t! Lame.

      • Anaheed March 23rd, 2012 1:55 PM

        You have to put a semicolon at the end of each one.

      • KinuKinu March 23rd, 2012 3:12 PM

        Hold the alt button and press 9 7 3 3 . ♣
        To do a heart hold alt and 3.♥
        Oh and My favorite is ♪ .Hold alt and 2 2 5 4 1.♪♪♪♪♪♪ I love these things. ♦

  • Kathryn March 23rd, 2012 2:11 PM

    But Colby’s best moment was when we recalled a fellow we’d met earlier named Paul, and he said, to no one in particular, “Oh yeah, Paul. Paul the rubber ball.” Then, after a quiet chuckle, “I just came up with that out of nowhere.”

    hahhahahah that made me die of laughter…
    It just makes it even better that his name is a type of cheese.

    • Amy Rose March 23rd, 2012 4:43 PM

      HAHAHA! Five stars for you for the cheese observation. HA!

      • Kathryn March 25th, 2012 10:14 PM


        Someone needs to make a movie about Colby the Disneyland guide and his dreams of becoming an actor. Or possibly a comedian because seriously, I would watch his stand-up. He could have a segment where he comes up with rhyming nicknames for audience members, such as “Drake the metal rake” or “Polly the grape lolly.”

  • potameides March 23rd, 2012 5:00 PM

    “Hi or Not” is something else; I tried to read it to my boyfriend but after erupting into uncontrollable laughter every 5 words I eventually had to give up and just pass him the laptop.

  • neenah March 23rd, 2012 5:21 PM

    Great reviews! As an avid people watcher I have to share this person with you.
    Last summer while walking to my fave resale shop my hubby and I happened upon a man on a motorcycle dressed in full Santa Claus gear (p.s. it was about 95 degrees out), with a sexy woman riding on the back of the bike, blasting “I Believe in Miracles” by Hot Chocolate from a boom box strapped to the back! It was a magic moment. We gave Biker Santa the thumbs up, but he only gave us a weird look. 5 stars for the amamzing outfit, bike, and tunes, no stars for being kind of a jerk. How can you not expect to get some kind of reaction when you’re dressed as Santa on one of the hottest days of the year?

    • Ginny March 23rd, 2012 11:40 PM

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The Santa thing is hilarious by itself but “I Believe in Miracles” (the only song that ALWAYS makes me crack up) pushes this OVER THE LIMIT.

      • neenah March 24th, 2012 5:07 PM

        I know! It was so amazing. My nly regret is that I am one of the few people on the planet without a camera phone to document such moments :)

  • roosa March 23rd, 2012 6:02 PM

    This article is perfect, PERFECT. I read this in the morning and all day I’ve had this huge smile on my face every time I think about those boys in the Six Flags line, Colby the Disneyland Guide, Hi or Not-girl, London Messiah, etcetera. So I was smiling at the university (oh so rare), when I was walking down the street, when I was sitting in the subway… everywhere, really.

    (Also, I just registered only because I had to comment on this perfectness. Not that everything in Rookie isn’t perfect, because it IS. ♥!)

  • awesomelikeapossum March 23rd, 2012 7:04 PM

    I love this. A good read for sure. Hooray for everyday obscurities that make us want to laugh! Rookiemag is THE BEST :D

    • KinuKinu March 23rd, 2012 9:49 PM

      HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY !!!!!!!!!

  • cleobea March 23rd, 2012 9:57 PM

    Rookie, I love you. So much. Can there be a submitted version of real-people reviews? Please!

  • ada March 23rd, 2012 11:09 PM

    this is the greatest article ever! just spent half a day writing a list of some of the memorable characters that have entered into family and friends folklore :) fact file guy, flannel head man, ‘you cussin’ ma muvver?’, sauce explosion lady and mrs salmon – you all get five stars for being so unforgettable

  • Gretchyn March 24th, 2012 1:52 AM

    This is srsly perfect. I have a journal consisting of TONS of people reviews (most of ‘em are appreciation odes). A large portion are about adults that say sweet clever things. I’ll hafta submit some of them to Rookz. WITH LUV XX

  • Lotta March 24th, 2012 5:47 AM

    If ‘Colby’ ever does make it as an actor, Rookie can claimed to have ‘discovered’ him!!!!!

    • caro nation March 25th, 2012 4:27 PM

      The Sevigny of Rookie.

      only BETTER

      • Anaheed April 3rd, 2012 4:12 AM

        I agree so much with this comment.

  • tallulahpond March 24th, 2012 9:26 AM

    I rated someone 5 stars! This randomer came up to me in Sainsbury’s (I’m in the UK) and gave me a massive long lecture.

    Problem was, I had no idea what he was saying because he was speaking Russian or Romanian.
    Hell, I don’t even know what language it was! And then my friend just looked at me and said (very loudly) “Yeah Izzy!”

  • Purpledragonlover March 24th, 2012 2:31 PM

    I love this article, except it bothers me that you mention that you think “Anna” isn’t cisgendered. So what if she isn’t cisgendered? Is that really what matters in this situation? Sometimes trying to sound tolerant just ends up making you look like you’re constantly watching for differences between cisgendered people and noncisgendered. I know the writer was not doing this intentionally, but it can be hurtful to people that aren’t cisgendered if you point out that they don’t “completely pass” for their gender. If someone told you they were 90% sure you were born a boy when you were female gendered, how would you feel?

  • Jenn March 24th, 2012 2:45 PM

    Now I know what my friend and I are doing tonight! SO excited. Also I give this new segment infinite stars for justifying the creepy people watcher/enjoyer in me!
    ★ ★ &9733; &9733; &9733;
    Now I’m writing a journal with illustrations of all the perfect great people I’ve encountered (and all the crappy people too).

  • chicanery March 24th, 2012 3:48 PM

    Wow, I wish I could meet Colby. He gets ALL my stars, each and every one of them!

  • neenah March 24th, 2012 5:09 PM

    I picture Colby looking a little like Kenneth from 30Rock.

  • Serafina March 24th, 2012 5:14 PM

    This is hilarious, I am definitely submitting an entry!! I will be patiently awaiting a new set of these in the (near?) future.

  • Toria Crux March 25th, 2012 7:36 PM

    ★ ★ ★

  • Kaede March 25th, 2012 11:13 PM

    These are hilarious! Can this PLEASE become a regular(ish) feature???

  • raptorpr1ncess March 26th, 2012 12:07 AM

    omg I stupidly read this during english class and I fell off my chair from trying to keep my laughter under wraps. hahahaha I love you guys! omg Tavi’s and Anaheed gfbjkddgj

  • Bruno March 26th, 2012 8:52 AM

    Im at work, trying so hard to control my laughts. NUTS NUTS NUTS

  • saltwater March 26th, 2012 9:40 AM

    i was writing an essay for my literature class but now i guess i’m going to HAVE to write a short story about colby. Lauren and “hi, or NOT” also sound just so perfect.

  • bibliovore March 26th, 2012 12:24 PM

    I found the story about Anna pretty offensive. You want to give her 10 stars just for the fact that she might be trans*. Just because she was able to get over the fact that she’s trans*, and enjoy a concert with her boyfriend, while you were not able to do so. Also the phrase “born a boy” is extremely offensive. Most trans* people know and believe they were not born as their originally assigned gender. You obvious just wanted to point out the fact that you are accepting of trans* people, but you are basically acting like you are at a zoo and saying, “aw, look at that cute couple. They’re just like me, only she was born a BOY.”

    • poppunkgurrrlx March 26th, 2012 7:33 PM

      I think you are interpreting the story in the wrong way. She was admiring Anna for being unashamed of her identity, as it is tough for many people in the LGBTQ community to be public about his or her dating life.

  • Tiffany March 26th, 2012 5:53 PM

    just died laughing thank you such a relief from mondays at sk00000L

  • tenrei March 27th, 2012 1:12 AM

    its been about 20 minutes and im still laughing so hard at the NUTS NUTS NUTS thing oh ymg od somebody call an ambulence im dying

  • Hedwig March 27th, 2012 9:32 PM

    I love dis!!!! Colby<<<3

  • modaveloce April 3rd, 2012 1:54 AM

    I was at a bar the other night in the hick town I grew up in and we overheard this guy telling a girl “I would like to eat cake off your tits.” I give him four stars for the creative pickup line but only one star for the tight black tshirt and general skeeziness.
    #9733; #9733; #9733; #9733;

    • modaveloce April 3rd, 2012 1:55 AM

      I missed the ampersand! Damn it!
      ★ ★ ★ ★

  • chloelrd May 3rd, 2012 2:16 AM

  • peanutbutter May 16th, 2012 11:25 PM

    I really hope Rookie has another one of these planned! Because it was awesome.

  • I.ila June 19th, 2012 10:23 PM

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini July 9th, 2012 6:14 PM

    Anaheed I love you.