Everyday People

Reviews of actual humans we have encountered.

Coffee Shop Doughnut Girl
Near my apartment there is a coffee shop that is famous (at least to me) for their delicious doughnuts—which are advertised as being AS BIG AS YOUR FACE—so every Sunday before work I stop in and grab one. Recently, right after I was done ordering, a girl walked in and asked for a coffee and a glazed doughnut—the last glazed doughnut, that is—and as she was paying the unspeakable happened: the doughnut fell off the counter and while in midair it fell out of the little bag it was in and then SMACK right onto the floor. We all looked on horrified as she quickly picked it up, and a sense of panic started to fill the room. The baristas tried to offer her another doughnut, but alas, it was the LAST one! What happened next was the best thing I have ever witnessed in my life. She asked. “Well, is your floor clean?” to which the baristas replied, “We clean it every morning,” and she said, “Don’t judge me,” and I said, “I am only judging you BETTER now because you are going to eat it.” We all had a good laugh about it and cheered her on for her A+ attitude. She went outside and sat on the bench and ate her doughnut and drank her coffee and I give her five stars for knowing that a good doughnut is a terrible thing to waste. —Laia

Laughing Thumb Lady
All best people-review stories come from Six Flags. Remember Anaheed’s NUTS NUTS NUTS story? Once I was there in the bathroom stall getting ready to relieve myself (a thing which I still don’t totally understanding as meaning “to pee” but whatever), and said to my friends who were waiting for me, “Crap, guys, I’m wearing a one-piece!” I guess I was annoyed because it’s annoying when you have to pee and you have to basically take off your whole swimsuit? LIFE IS HARD. Anyway, right after I say this, I hear through the stall wall next to me a horrendous laugh, which I can only describe by asking you to imagine a giant thumb melting while trying to slurp spaghetti while chuckling at a thing a co-worker said earlier that day at Being A Thumb Work. The laugher left her stall before I got the chance to get out—another thing I imagine she enjoyed about my misery is that she would have time to make a getaway after LAUGHING AT IT—but my friends say she was most definitely a grownup and also didn’t wash her hands. She gets four stars, because I would totally laugh at someone for being such a whiny annoyance too, but I wouldn’t flee the scene and I would definitely wash my hands first. —Tavi

Dancing Dude at a Show
I went to see my friend’s band play last Friday night, and the room, at first, was kind of quiet, because people were still shuffling around and doing that head-nod thing they do when they’re trying to rev the rest of their body up enough to actually move it to the dance floor. Eventually a bunch of people pushed toward the band and began dancing around and yelling or whatever, but one dude, who was probably 25-30 years older than everyone else, just shut everyone else down as soon as he hit the floor, jumping and kicking and spinning and smiling and FEELING IT CAPITAL F CAPITAL I in a punk-rock display that was miles above everyone else’s dumb little “your band is cool” shimmy. I suddenly recognized him as the sweet, mild-mannered guy who runs a store in town. Whenever I’ve seen him at his job, he’s been in “have a nice day” mode, but on this night, he was in his own rock-out universe and I LOVED him, because he was the epitome of someone just going to a show to kick that shit out and have some fun. Also? He was wearing a shirt that said Old Guys Rock. You know when you recognize the secret side of someone, and you realize that they’ve been around far longer than you have, and have more stories and more nights out and more dance moves and they don’t intend to slow it down anytime soon? That is an awesome thing to see. “Look at that dude,” one of my friends said, pointing in the dancer’s direction. “That dude kind of rules.” Yup. —Pixie

Tan Man
I knew it was officially summer when I was biking around the lake last week and saw TAN MAN. He is tanned to an extreme degree like the New Jersey mom who was recently accused of taking her five-year-old daughter to a tanning booth. However, I am fairly certain that TAN MAN does most of his tanning the natural way, by biking around the city barely clothed. He wears neon-pink swimming trunks and has long tousled bleach-blonde hair, surely engineered to accentuate his tan. I give TAN MAN 5 stars for enjoying the short summers we have in Minnesota to the fullest, but remove one for putting himself at such a high risk for skin cancer! —Kelly

My Bra Fitter
This is a shout-out to the woman who conducted my first bra fitting in years. I don’t think we even exchanged names. With her swiftness and knowledge, she was like some kind of bra magician. Because let me tell you, I had been wearing the wrong bras. Something that could have been embarrassing and uncomfortable was worth it for the wonderful knowledge she gifted to me that day. Like, I may be a 30FF, but that is still in the medium section of bras! She reassured me with her expertise. She was awash with bra and boob knowledge, and that puts her high up in society in my eyes. Thank you, kind bra fitter lady! I am forever indebted to you. Or at least until my next bra fitting. —Naomi

Old Man on the the Champs-Élysées
Last week, I went to Paris for the first time, and it was beautiful and old and overwhelming in many ways, one of which was the incompetent feeling of exploring such an incredible city with only the smallest workable French vocabulary. Many people didn’t seem to like this, despite the amount of times I would sputter “JE SUIS DESOLÉE” after butchering yet another phrase. I was visiting the Champs-Élysées on the third or fourth day of my trip, and I had let people’s dirty looks get to me a little. While I should have held my head up high and continued to at least TRY to speak French, albeit in my weird, slurring pan-European accent that sounds like it belongs to the offspring of Pepé le Pew and Super Mario, I minced around silently instead, responding to people with mute shakes of the head and so on, because that totally isn’t a weirder way to communicate at all. I walked into one small shop that sold scarves and other accessories, the proprietor of which was a man who looked to be 80-plus years old. He sagged into an armchair near the door, but it was clear from the way the other employees deferred to him that he had the run of the place. As I walked in and very quietly looked around, he asked in French where I was from. “Je vis à New York City,” I carefully responded, hoping that he wouldn’t roll his eyes when he heard my poorly pronounced answer. Instead, he smiled and made polite conversation for another minute or so. I left after browsing a little, my French-confidence slightly elevated. Since I had to wait for friends to come out of a nearby shop, I stalled on the block for a few moments. All of a sudden, I saw the man slowly approaching me with a white paper bag in his hands. When he reached me, he handed it over and said in English, “I wanted you to go home with a souvenir,” then walked away as I called out, “Thanks,” dumbfounded. I opened the bag and found a gorgeous black, white, and gold scarf with locks, chains and keys all over it, which I proceeded to wear wrapped around my head like some babe protecting her hair in a convertible for the rest of the week. Five stars for this guy for renewing my desire to improve my French unabashedly, as well as for giving me a lovely scarf and an even better memory. —Amy Rose

My Friend
A close friend of mine has an alter ego named Zora. Her name is Zora because that’s the name on the fake Croatian ID that my friend uses to get into 21+ shows. While Zora may have originally been imagined for sneaky purposes, she has taken on a life of her own. Zora is my friend’s wild party-girl European double, and at any mention of the name Zora in the real world, she gets very excited. She works in the gift shop of a science museum, and was at the cash register one day when a woman approached to be rung up. She was a middle school teacher, she said, and was purchasing a few books for her class, one of which included the name Zora in the title. My friend got all excited and felt the urge to say something…but what? Somehow, telling a middle school teacher that the book she is about to buy has the same name as your fake ID doesn’t seem appropriate. Instead, my friend blurted out, “ZORA! That’s my…that’s my little sister’s name.” The teacher’s face lit up. She asked my friend how old her “sister” was. My friend said 16, conveniently too old to enjoy a children’s book—but something had been sparked in this teacher, who told my friend she’d be right back. She returned with another copy of the Zora book. With a smile, she said, “Tell your sister that a teacher of 37 years wants her to keep learning.” Fake-Zora had no choice but to accept this kind gift from the nice lady she had lied to. My friend gets two stars because she came home after work with this book in hand and I asked her to explain, then I got this story, setting off the most powerful five minutes of laughter I have produced in a long time. She gets no more because it is kind of a sad story. —Dylan

Know-It-All at a Cindy Sherman Show
Last month Tavi, Rivkah, their dad, Lauren, and I went to see the Cindy Sherman show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Do you know Cindy Sherman’s stuff? You can look at a little bit of it here. She’s a photographer who takes pictures of herself embodying different personae, and the resulting images give you the sensation of spying on some character’s private moment, making that normally two-dimensional character into someone with a complicated inner life that you feel weird intruding upon. By exaggerating these people, Cindy grants them humanity. Suddenly you can’t make generalizations about a pinup or a tanorexic cheerleader or a grande dame. But that didn’t stop this one guy who was walking behind me and Tavs and Rivks for a while. He did not hesitate to tell his female companion what she was looking at, in case she was tooooooo stupid to understand: he said, verbatim, “It’s all about woman as victim slash sex object.” OH REALLY, IS THAT WHAT IT IS “ALL ABOUT,” MORON? I give this guy zero stars for being bossy and wrong, but then I begrudge him one star for going to a Cindy Sherman show in the first place. —Anaheed

My Friend Charlie’s Mom (Mum)
IMPORTANT BACKGROUND INFORMATION: I have both a British friend on my improv team named Charlie whom I love because he’s crazy easy to just hang out with, and a dark apartment in a complex called “Carolina” that I hate because it doesn’t have Wifi or gas, so I can’t internet or cook. Charlie has both an awesome and hilarious personality and an awesome and hilarious giant family. His awesome and hilarious giant family has a GORGEOUS home and welcoming personalities. Thus, I am there, like, ALL the time. Seriously. SO MUCH of the time. In a span of two weeks, I managed to spend nine days at their house. And when I say “days,” I don’t mean we hung out for an hour or two each time. I mean eight hours a day, comprising two meals and at least one movie or television marathon. Two of those days happened in a row, because I ended up drinking wine and chatting too late to drive home, so his family fixed me a bed. Occasionally Charlie had to leave to go do some standup, and I just sort of hung out at the house, cleaning up after dinner or jumping on the trampoline with his brother or whatever. This seems like a glowing review of Charlie, or maybe an abstract “person” review of the house as a living thing (I AM in college, I could do it), but I now come to the focus of my review: Charlie’s mom. OR SHOULD I SAY, “MUM”?! I shouldn’t, I’m not British (USA! USA! USA!). Although I am extremely mild-mannered and have decent hygiene, I was still a guest in her home. She did not have to be happy about my being there. But she was so nice, you guys! SO NICE! Even better, she was really, sincerely OK with my basically living in her house. We chatted! We joked! She alerted me when I had some rice in my hair and gently asked Charlie and me to quiet down when we were talking too loudly in the kitchen. It’s really cool and—fuck, I’ll say it—beautiful when someone can just accept another human being into their home seamlessly. It shows a certain compassion and level-headedness to not let yourself be flustered or upset by a whole new PERSON in whatever order you’ve worked to establish. AND FOR THAT, Charlie’s mom, I give you ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD. But for the sake of space, let’s make it five. —Shelby
P.S. SUPER IMPORTANT BONUS STAR because when I woke up, in their home, for the 25TH HOUR STRAIGHT, Charlie’s mom greeted me with: “Good morning. Did Charlie make you tea? If you saw someone creeping around your bed this morning, it was the termite man—as in, the man to exterminate termites, not some sort of half-man, half-termite. I forgot he was coming today! Charlie better have made you tea.” —Shelby

Gold Dust Woman
I was on my way home from a work meeting a couple of weeks ago—it wasn’t that late, but it definitely wasn’t early. While transferring from the subway to the bus, I crossed paths with an older woman; it’s hard to say her exact age, but her face was lined and her frizzy bob was turning gray. What caught my attention was her outfit: a gold-brimmed hat with appliquéd gold flowers, gold sunglasses, gold purse, gold bomber jacket, gold flats. They were all different shades of gold, too. I didn’t know if she was intentionally trying to coordinate, or if her whole wardrobe just happened to be blessed by King Midas. The only non-gold aspect of her outfit were her muted green snakeskin pants, though as I passed her on the walkway I noticed said pants were flecked with sparkles. She sat down on the bench near her stop, unzipped part of her jacket, and I learned that her pants were actually part of a jumpsuit, connecting to a snakeskin shirt. I expected her to burst into sparkly-gold flames and rise from the ashes like a phoenix before the bus came, but she did no such thing. Because of this, I’m only giving her four stars. —Anna

My Roommate
My apartment is about six blocks from this cute manmade lake that people like to run around; sometimes my roommate and I are those people. One afternoon, we were doing our warm-up jog through the neighborhood. It was trash day, so the cans were out on the curb. Leaning against one recycling bin was a cheap acoustic guitar, albeit a totally functioning one with all of its strings in tact. My roommate sees it and, without breaking stride, picks it up and continues to run with this guitar in hand. Well, first in hand, then across the body, then over the shoulder…for our entire three-mile run around the lake. We had gangs of large, intimidating men stop us, pleading, “Please, baby, play us a song!” Children in strollers pointed. Geese flew from our path. Normal people gave quizzical looks. Most noticeably, my roommate was gleeful at her new acquisition of a free guitar, and ran like a giddy schoolgirl all the way home. Five stars because it was too awesome to ever be embarrassing. —Dylan


  • Naomi Morris May 31st, 2012 7:06 PM


    • Anaheed August 24th, 2012 3:01 AM

      This one was, like, really realistic.

  • Eric Rangel 57 May 31st, 2012 7:29 PM

    Hello. I’m like dancing dude, so I’m Everyday people. Thank you Pixie! Fun reads!

  • abigail May 31st, 2012 7:32 PM

    Tavi – never have I heard a laugh described in such a way, but somehow I know what you meant.

    I <3 people reviews. This should be a regular segment!

  • northernground May 31st, 2012 7:36 PM

    I just have to say how much I love this. NOW I WANT TO GO DO THIS IN MY JOURNAL.

  • darksideoftherainbow May 31st, 2012 7:38 PM

    first of all, i LOVE these. secondly, kelly, as i read yours i was like, DO YOU LIVE IN PELHAM BAY?! we have the same dude! except our has white hair and keeps it short. but man oh man, he’s basically naked for most of the year and his skin is like leather. during the winter he wears a neon puffer coat! he’s rad.

  • nia May 31st, 2012 7:39 PM

    Oh my goodness I love this so much, mainly because I always fall in love with strangers and just want to cherish them and tell everyone all about them but I can’t because that would frowned upon socially.

    Like the other day I was in a convenience store and there was this skinny guy who was microwaving some soup and singing that Berries and Cream song from that old Starbursts commercial in this really slow, dramatic opera voice. It was really great because I could kind of tell that he did this every day while waiting for his soup to be ready.

    • back2thepast June 6th, 2012 1:47 PM

      This comment just made the article 10x more amazing than it already was

  • Susann May 31st, 2012 7:40 PM

    Great article! The old man in Paris sounds like the most lovely person!

    Fashion in Pepperland

  • Amy Rose May 31st, 2012 7:42 PM

    Shelby’s review and drawing fucking killed it this month. “You def have termites; British flag(?)” Hahahaaaaaaaa!

  • Adrienne May 31st, 2012 7:43 PM

    Hahaha I love these reviews!!! Tavi’s situation reminded me of something that happened to my dad.

    My dad’s story:
    In the men’s locker room of the gym, there’s this very odd man who says the most random stuff, and for all my dad knows, doesn’t he go to the gym to work out. One day, my dad was in the locker room’s bathroom stall. The odd man took the stall next to him. Suddenly, my dad hears that this guy is knocking on his stall’s wall. Then the man answered to his own knocking, saying “Come in.” while he’s on the toilet. Realllllly weird! My dad could barely hold in his laughter!

    • back2thepast June 6th, 2012 1:48 PM

      Omg that’s so awesome!!!!

  • Sterling87 May 31st, 2012 7:47 PM

    This made my day, and let me say i had an AWESOME DAY so you go rookie woo!

  • EmilyJn May 31st, 2012 7:52 PM

    Oh my god – half man half termite!
    Can readers send in their own people reviews? x

  • AnguaMarten May 31st, 2012 7:53 PM

    i love cindy sherman. her art is so unsettling and three-dimensional.

  • GlitterKitty May 31st, 2012 7:57 PM

    I love these! Dylan’s roommate sounds hilariously amazing. I would definitely like to see someone run three miles with a guitar in hand/arm/shoulder.

  • tellyawhat May 31st, 2012 8:20 PM

    Dylan, I wish I could have seen it.

    I think you may be referring to Lake Merritt which happens to not be manmade! It is actually a large tidal lagoon which connects up with the bay, which is why it has such biodiversity. My favorite thing to do is watch the pelicans and seagulls snatch clams and such from the lake and try to eat it while dodging pedestrians.

    I am not a fan of the Canada Goose who decided to stop migrating back to Canada and settle here permanently. I swear I am not xenophobic, my mom is Canadian! But we need to make more room for the American Coot, my favorite lake bird.

    • Dylan May 31st, 2012 9:15 PM

      Ah, sweet fact! I love fun facts!!!! Geese are assholes. Geese are a problem in Seattle, my other hometown, too. Geese shit everywhere. Geese suck.

  • missblack May 31st, 2012 8:45 PM

    hahahahahahahahahahahahah I love these!!! they’re so funny!!!! I seriously want to be best friends with the Doughnut Girl. (Also I went and read all of the other Real People Reviews and they were soooo funny all over again)



  • teenager May 31st, 2012 9:45 PM

    YES YES YES these are my favorite!

    amy rose — what an adorable story, my French teacher never fails to remind us that “French people don’t really like Americans”… coffee shop doughnut girl is a boss

    + I hope I encounter a gold dust woman in my time! awesome job everyone c:

  • moonchild May 31st, 2012 10:04 PM


    I need to go read Amy Rose’s article again.

  • bluesforspacegirl May 31st, 2012 10:12 PM

    Half man, half termite. Im still laughing at that. Also, I’m sooo going to look for an “old guys rock” shirt, even though I’m not terribly old or a guy….

  • Ben May 31st, 2012 10:15 PM

    When I saw this I said “YES!” I love people reviews! They’re so funny! They really should be a regular thing!

  • Tara May 31st, 2012 10:43 PM

    dancing man at the show sounds like me when I’m older.

    Anaheed! there was this really annoying person at the cindy sherman show when I went too. he was describing the photos in a word or two in a really stupid obvious way like in the room of the panoramic color photos where she’d be sitting on the floor and such he’d say “sitting” “waiting” etc. and then there was someone else my friend said who was ‘disturbed’ by the work and other people who funnily enough couldn’t perceive self portraits asking “how did she take them herself?” okay sorry that was a really long ramble.
    Tavi, that is the funniest sounding laugh I’ve ever read about. wowzas.
    Amy that man in france sounds so adorable!!! despite my getting hit on by old french men which I think I told you about I met some really cool strangers who redeemed my faith in strangers.

  • Emily Condon May 31st, 2012 11:58 PM

    These made my day, you guys.

  • SweetThangVintage June 1st, 2012 12:09 AM

    Shelby you kill me! I laughed out loud about the termite man and then I had to explain to my dad what I was laughing about and then he laughed. Oh beautiful moment.

  • blazerg June 1st, 2012 12:12 AM

    oh my god tanning man! i see him around lake calhoun alllll the time. so sad i won’t be in the cities this summer to catch glimpses of his oh-so-supple skin.

  • bedazzledbandannas June 1st, 2012 1:28 AM

    no guys
    wait no though guys
    imagine if one of us was just going about our daily life and suddenly did something weird/funny/interesting/nice
    and we looked up and suddenly noticed that a young woman who looked cool and writer-ish was watching us with a HIGHLY AMUSED look on her face
    but we just went along with our lives
    we clicked on the latest ‘everyday people’
    and we had been WRITTEN ABOUT
    (idek sorry, it’s like 1am)

  • mayaautumn June 1st, 2012 3:24 AM

    oh my god, this was the best. ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. we have a ‘tan man’ in our town and everyone knows of him…it’s so cool.
    ps. can i send my own people review in??

    • Anaheed June 1st, 2012 3:49 AM

      Yes, please do! Include an illustration. Write “people review” in the subject line. And tell us how you want to be credited. Thank you!

      • mayaautumn June 1st, 2012 11:29 AM

        yay! i will do… soon:)

  • zoeah June 1st, 2012 5:20 AM

    I grew up in Amsterdam, and there it’s not rare to see tanman types, but there was one dude who really took gold. Every Saturday at our local supermarket we’d see him- rollerblading around the store with his basket in nothing but black leather underpants, a studded collar and a black leather cap. And he was like 60, with lots of long blonde hair. This was his outfit all year round- apart from one super cold winter morning when he decided to keep warm by throwing on a tiny black leather gilet. The best thing of all, however, was that this dude was ridiculously nice- he would help old ladies out by getting them stuff they couldnt reach on the shelves. Nobody was fazed by this guy and he would always smile and politely greet everyone. Where I live now he’d probably be arrested :(

  • lylsoy June 1st, 2012 6:40 AM

    I love this part of rookiemag probably the second most! Dylan, your roommates are genius!!!
    This guy I wrote about here was probably my person of the week

    • Dylan June 1st, 2012 9:53 PM

      They are, indeed, magical creatures.

  • Laia June 1st, 2012 8:47 AM


  • Flavia June 1st, 2012 12:28 PM

    The french man’s story oh god I’m going to cry of joy

  • Miss Erin June 1st, 2012 12:47 PM

    Ahhhh I wanna go to that Cindy Sherman show! Blast living on the opposite coast.

  • Impybat June 1st, 2012 1:25 PM

    OMG, these stories are hilarious!!

  • Maddy June 1st, 2012 3:19 PM

    I reread “NUTS NUTS NUTS” and laughed once out loud. Tavi, are you talking about these ghastly creatures from Spy Kids? Because that’s all I could think about when I tried to picture a laugh sounding like a thumb.

  • NotReallyChristian June 1st, 2012 4:18 PM

    The moment you realise someone’s been around longer than you have … was that like the moment my boyfriend realised his cat was older than me?

  • cleobea June 1st, 2012 9:14 PM

    best best best

  • zoki June 2nd, 2012 12:33 AM

    My actual real-life birth name that people call me and that I write on exams and receipts is Zora (named after Zora Neale Hurston). And I kid you not, I squealed with delight at reading my obscure eastern European name repeated multiple times on the internet, and as the pseudonym of an under-21 badass at no less. Thank you for writing this!

    • Dylan June 3rd, 2012 1:13 PM

      Hehe. She would love to hear that. Guess there’s something about the name that gets Zoras across the world SUPER STOKED to hear it! Magical properties, perhaps.

  • eliselbv June 2nd, 2012 11:10 AM

    On behalf of all the french people who looked at you strangely, I apologize Amy Rose! If only you had asked me I would have answered you with a large smile and my best Ameritish accent (my english teacher told me I still have half american half british accent).
    And don’t worry, parisian people are not impolite only with tourists, they are like that with EVERYBODY! (Being one for only 5 years I’m not already an aggressive monster

  • bethleeroth June 2nd, 2012 12:24 PM

    Okay, I love this one. I smiled so much while reading this!

  • dr. keborkian June 2nd, 2012 2:46 PM

    As a Twin Citian in MN, I’m pretty darn sure I know which Tan Man you’re talking about. There’s also an older version of him who runs rather than bikes, I know him personally from being a runner too. :)

  • la fee clochette June 2nd, 2012 9:41 PM

    YOU GUYS, you reminded me of Running Man & Dancing Steve, back home in Tenn.

    And the Icelandic Cowboy.

    And also, i am currently visiting Paris for the first time, as well! (Goin on day 3). And the people I am staying with have made me the snuggliest bed and wish me to stay here at any time, at any given moment, for the rest O ME LIFE! And they surprised me with my favorite cereal. and bought me milk. to have my favorite breakfast each morning. And have already showed me to soo many great places, want to take me for a picnic, let me use their towels, bring me home crepes after they get off work at midnight…jeez, aren’t people so so nice?

    Thank you for this post.

  • shelley June 4th, 2012 12:18 PM

    this made me so happy, especially zora! today at work a little girl told me I was gorgeous and then said bonjour as a goodbye. that’s five stars from me

  • erin June 4th, 2012 7:01 PM

    this is one of my favorite rookie series! People can be so great! And France sounds like an equally frightening and beautiful place and I want to go there so badly!

  • back2thepast June 6th, 2012 1:57 PM

    Ahhh I have totally seen a TAN MAN four years ago my mom my sisters and I were in Germany at some park and this reeeaaaally tan guy with wavy locks was lounging by a river COMPLETELY NAKED. We decided to call him Fabio. Then this old guy with a pony tail came jogging by (clothed) and tapped on Fabio’s shoulder, shook his hand then continued on his jog.
    Probably the greatest moment of my life.