Well, before we all knew it, we arrived at the last quarter of the year, and the Codeoscope is still incomplete. What we have left are the people from the “old” California. The California you learned about in elementary school, filled with gold miners and jumping frogs and mice and men. On that note…
831: You’re from the top half of the Central Coast (Monterey, Santa Cruz), the Salinas Valley (Salinas, Watsonville) and San Benito County (Hollister, San Juan Bautista). If area codes are indeed like signs of the zodiac, then you, 831, are like Gemini. Truly a bipolar creature if there ever was one. You can either be an obscenely rich surfer god from Santa Cruz or a strung-out, middle-class emo case from Salinas, sulking with a rose pipe in one hand and a lettuce leaf in the other. Either way, you’re overdue to have your head examined. Your symbol is John Steinbeck — a former 831 that made a comfy living writing about the dual nature of his home turf. And your town won’t let you forget this, of course.
650: You’re from a magical land known as the Peninsula (Daly City, Redwood City, Half Moon Bay). Everywhere you walk there’s another top-notch public school, a dimebag of incredible pot, disgusting amounts of wealth and a jaw-droppingly beautiful view. The first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning now is probably, “Man, I sure had it good.” No one understands what this was like, except perhaps a 415, because that’s what you were until ten years ago. Everyone else is too busy trying to figure out how to be you. Your symbol is Stanford: UC Berkeley with a bigger price tag and better views.
925: This territory (Concord, Walnut Creek, San Ramon) is considered to be the “East Bay,” but don’t go thinking that makes you a 510. Unlike the grimy cities and narrow roads they deal with, you grew up in a safe, sheltered, suburban bubble with an 818’s smog and summer heat. Hmmm, hot summers? A chain of suburbs and gated communities? What are you doing in NorCal, 925? You could easily pass for your match, the 714. Don’t worry, you still have your symbol – the word “hella” – to maintain your NorCal-ness. Funny how you seem to use “hella” the most.
916: Now here we have the very model of diversity: the Sacramento metropolitan area (Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom). What can I say? Quintessential Golden State. A variety of races and creeds in the heart of an agricultural empire with a booming job market, exponential population growth, and air quality that produces coughs that make the Marlboro Man’s eyes get misty. And yet, niggling self-esteem problems persist. In the eyes of many, there’s little distinction between you and a 530. Perhaps you feel the same way – Sactown is a cowtown. Have you discussed this with a 209? There, now didn’t that make you feel better? Your symbol is those infernal Sacramento Kings, which you routinely insist are as good or better than the Los Angeles Lakers.
530: How does one describe a 530? Take your pick – are you from Lake Tahoe? Davis? Redding? Yreka, perhaps? A 530 is many things. The tie that bonds you together, though, is your resemblance to people that aren’t modern-day Californians. The rest of the state doesn’t know what to make of your conservative politicians or your distance from major urban areas. Even party-hardy Chico State seems so far away. But, gosh, Oregon sure seems like such a nice place. So guess what your symbol is? That’s right, the beaver state itself. Buck up, you’re one of the few types of Californians a 541 will willingly befriend.