A true subspecies or just a meme?
‘Create the breeding habitat and they will come to breed’ is one of the great success stories in nature conservation. The question is “will it work with hominids?”
Well that’s why two rose-pink velveteen sofas with fluffy cushions and soft blankets have appeared in a desert in the north of Spain. The area chosen is known to be on a seasonal migration route for Homo sapiens s.hippiyensis and there have been reports of successful breeding in previous years. It is my mission to observe and record the courtship and breeding rituals of this cosmopolitan yet locally scarce hominid considered by some to be a subspecies and by others to be simply a meme.
My soft furnishings have been shipped to the desert and now I wait to observe.
First to arrive are a group of males, without the breeding plumage it is difficult to determine if they are truly of the hippiyensis meme, beards and long hair are the only typical characteristic but some do not have long hair. They are taking a great interest in the furniture, lounging on the bean bags and testing the couch for length, three or more lolling on the couch with feet draped over the arm rests. A sudden dust twister, irritates their eyes and nostrils so they start to build a structure around the living room area to protect it. They disappear into the desert, apparently to mark the perimeter of their territory with urine, but no! here they are returning with cloth and wood to create a tent structure and feeding station. I do believe they have accepted this area as a nesting site! A lorry appears packed with huge cubes of water and by jumping in front of it they secure one. So this is how they obtain water, they must communicate with local humans. I have heard this tribe described by others as dirty so am delighted to see that one of the first tasks is to bury their faeces. Responsibility for latrines seems to be a respected role in the community the “Shit ninja”. A megaphone voice is heard saying “Thank your shit ninja today, hug them well, “Dusty hugs “are greeting embraces that last a full four minutes and ensure trust within the group as well as determining mating potential.
Soon the females start to arrive and quickly set to the task of knotting brightly coloured dream catchers to protect the breeding area from bad dreams and unicorns. Now just 24hrs after delivery the living room is filled with hippies, all preparing elaborate breeding costumes. Most remove their clothing and undertake mutual grooming, everything from massage with oils or mud to elaborate art work, painting both face and body. Hair is beaded and rolled into matted knots, dyes are used to colour hair bright rainbow colours and now here arrive two females with bright pink pubic and arm pit hair,( this is particularly interesting as many human females remove this hair, these women are celebrating its presence) .Oh look here are a couple wearing merkins! their natural genital hair must be lacking in some way, it may be a shortcoming of the group as one watering hole used to imbibe Margueritas is known as the ‘flaming merkin’ .
Although the mud covered hippy is well documented many choose to cover their bodies with cloth. With this in mind I brought samples of flamboyant costume and have left them to be found. I am delighted to see a big hairy man wearing my mother’s gold lame dress and a second sporting my father’s tweed jacket, many of the hippies are wearing moustaches, women and men. I will be amazed if they can achieve successful breeding with this sexual ambiguity.
As an observer I have to be unobtrusive, this should be easily achieved by wearing a pinny- apron and dusting the furniture, miming vacuuming and sipping cups of tea should allow me to be invisible. Good.. good…. two hours into role and I have not been spotted, until one rainbow haired young hippy comes really close to me “when’s tea ready? You want some MDMA? Or you gonna wait for acid Friday?”
Startled I just shrug and turn away, how fascinating that he thinks I want building material, how wonderful that they have discovered Science, I wonder what they need chemicals for?
Having spent the entire day lounging on the couches rolling herbs in paper only to burn them, the hippies become active as sunset approaches, this evening they climb the hills to watch the sunset. I believe they will then dance until dawn. A sign on one camp with very loud amplifiers simply says “sorry” with earplugs provided.
Later there is a commotion. The hippies suddenly move from their positions and gather together pointing at the sky, pointing at the biggest harvest moon they ever saw…..
This is the best indication yet of synchronised ovulation amongst this meme.
To be continued…..will they successfully breed to produce fertile offspring? Find out next week…