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White People with Dreads: A field guide

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For some years now, a top-secret crack team of Westword scientists has been working to answer one of life's most persistent questions: What is the deal with white people with dreadlocks? What is the deal with that? As part of our ongoing research, we took to the field last weekend at String Cheese Incident's three-night stand at Red Rocks in an effort to categorize this weird and wonderful species into several sub-phyla. This weekend, use our comprehensive "Dreaded White Folk" field guide to identify these rare creatures.

See our results after the jump.

With his sprightly patchwork pants and cap, this specimen could easily be mistaken for a member of the 1925 cast of Oliver Twist -- but don't be fooled. The sausage-like dreads clearly mark him as a "hippie," a common example of the White People with Dreads (WPD) species. A much rarer find is a WPD who is also attractive. Since, for white people, the formation of true dreadlocks generally requires a sustained lack of personal grooming, WPDs are at an attractiveness disadvantage from the get-go. An impostor. Like the carausius morosus, which changes its pigmentation to disguise itself from predators, this false WPD has arranged her hair in a dread-like fashion--possibly in order to attract a mate. A fascinating example of WPDs in varying stages of metamorphosis. While the specimen on the right has reached a larval stage of development, the one on the left is yet a pupae. Oh, young WPD, how you'll grow and change! It's a little-known fact that WPDs can use their dreads as a form of antennae, which they employ for many different biological functions. This WPD looks nonchalant, but her left dread, as if by its own accord, appears to be seeking food. A mainstay of the closely related subspecies People With Mullets (PWMs), the "business in the front/party in the back" strategy is less commonly employed by WPDs. Still in the early stages of development, this adorably naive WPD has not yet discovered that normal hats don't fit over dreads. There is an exception to every rule, though, and this classic hippie-WPD has found an enormous fedora to accommodate his outsized hairstyle. As humans, we can draw an important life-lesson from this WPD: A little determination goes a long way. Unlike garden-variety homo sapiens, WPDs are generally herbivorous. To supplement a dearth of the nutrients meat provides, WPDs require a large amount of "the kind ghanj" for sustenance. An ultra-rare example of the ginger-WPD sub-phylum, this specimen signals his disregard for "the man," possibly because "the man" is always making him operate the meat-slicer at Deli Zone, and he's told him a thousand times that he'd rather work the register because his hair is always getting caught in that thing, bro.

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