You wouldn’t say it looking at the weather, but summer is not too far away from Europe. And summer brings the greatest migratory animal to the old continent – the Touristus Americanus Vulgaris (there’s no hidden message here, vulgaris simply means common in Latin). The improving economy in the US and the weak Euro will probably mean that this season Europe will see an exceptionally large number of these colourful visitors. As with any migratory species, the observer needs to know its “prey” – how to identify it by sight and sound and where are the best chances of spotting it. This publication aims to fill in the blind spot shared by all guides to European flora and fauna – the Touristus Americanus Vugaris.
The Americanus Vulgaris is easily recognized by its plumage, usually bright and shapeless. Most worn by the Americanus Vulgaris are sweatpants (worn both by males and females). Younger females usually wear top-tanks of poisonous colours, young males wear T-shirts, regardless of the weather (the Americanus Vulgaris shares this habit with its British cousin). The older specimens often wear bright, flowery Hawaii shirts. Most striking feature of the plumage of the Americanus Vulgaris are the decorations. The Americanus Vulgaris often decorates itself with baseball hats, in addition the older specimens usually wear name tags (“Barbara” and “George”). The younger ones promote themselves to the opposite sex through T-shirt and hoodies of “The University of I Never Could Afford Attending” and “College of Nobody Has Ever Heard Of”. All Americanus Vulgaris are decorated with bags saying “I HEART random place where I spent half a day and bought this bag”.
When you can’t see the Americanus Vulgaris, you can usually detect its presence by the characteristic call. In a loud, nasal voice and without any connection to the situation, the Americanus Vulgaris will exclaim “Awesome!” or “Amazing!”. This call signals to other Touristus Americanus Vulgaris within hearing range that the Americanus Vulgaris has spotted something he or she thinks worthwhile spotting (a bridge, a European, another Americanus Vulgaris or a McDonalds) and is claiming the bragging rights for the discovery. Further calls of the Americanus Vulgaris include “like”, “you know” and “Oh My God !”. Separated from the group (the Americanus Vulgaris always travels in large swarms), the Americanus Vulgaris will call the names of its group members (“Barbara!” “George!”) with increasing intensity until reunited with its pack.
The watering hole
As with any animal, the best chances of spotting the Touristus Americanus Vulgaris are near one of its watering holes. Fortunately, the Touristus Americanus Vulgaris is a creature of habit, and it rarely ventures outside its usual hangouts or changes its diet. Therefore, in Europe, just as in its native North America, the Americanus Vulgaris is easilly obesrved in a Starbucks, McDonalds and of course in an iStore. The Americanus Vulgaris usually stands in one of these establishments, calling “Oh My God! George, look, they’ve, like, got here the same burgers/lattes/iPads as we’ve, like, you know, got back home in Memphis, isn’s it just AWESOME?!”
The Americanus Vulgaris shares many of these features with its British and Australian cousin, but a combination of 3 or more of the identification marks described above is usually sufficient for a confirmed sighting. This summer in Europe – watch one of the greatest migration spectacles on the planet – the summer track of the Touristus Americanus Vulgaris!