(With apologies to Lorrie Moore
's story "How to Become a Writer.")
First, you must live in Oregon to become a real Oregonian. If you live in, say, Nebraska, and feel desperate to live a better life, then move immediately, but don't forget to burn the bridge so you can never return. In the case of Nebraska, that means burning down an ugly cornfield before you leave. Clothing required.
Next: you must love the rain or achieving Real Oregonian status is totally impossible. When it rains, run outside, look up, scream, and dance madly. Dance so madly that people stare. Clothing optional.
Loathe umbrellas with such passion that the sight of them sends uncontrollable spasms of anger to every atom of your body. Break up with anyone who owns one. Steal them from offices and restaurants and throw them away. Snatch them from small children and senior citizens. If they protest, thrash these people with the umbrella. Inflict pain. Leave marks.
Visit the beach, your great birthright, as much as possible. Skip school and work to see the ocean. Go at all hours and in all weather. Always give thanks that Oregon's beaches are publicly owned and you pretty much can do whatever you damn well please on the sand. Clothing optional.
Furthermore, don't forget to destroy any sign, structure, or encampment that dares to suggest a private entity owns any inch of beach. After the destruction, leave a note behind educating the ignorant. Capitalize every word of the note.
You can't possibly become a Real Oregonian if you drink bottled water. Never buy it and only hang out or procreate with those who hate bottled water as much as you do. If your workplace dispenses bottled water, stage an unruly demonstration that culminates in drinking water from the tap.
You have to bike, too. Clothing optional. It also helps if you love wild salmon — not fake hatchery fish that perpetuate a gigantic ecological fraud in Oregon. Oh, and don't forget to pick huckleberries in the wild.
Finally, you must love trees with all your heart. Throw up your middle finger whenever you see clear-cuts because they deeply offend your Oregon soul. Hug and climb tall trees whenever possible — clothing is optional — because they are your friends, your fellow Oregonians, and they will never let you down.
One last thing. Real Oregonians never purchase books from stores like Barnes & Noble, Borders, Walmart, Costco, or Amazon. Never.