September 29, 2015

24 CLEmojis to Describe What It's Like to Live in Cleveland

These little pieces of art are a universal language, the kind of graphic that if left behind for future civilizations to discover, like cave wall drawings, would be pretty easy to decipher. Hey, that person was fucking happy! That looks like food! Emojis are both shorthand and longform at once, capable of conveying as much or as little information as the sender wants, their secondary and tertiary meanings ever evolving with inside jokes and cultural references.

The little pieces of art are a universal language, the kind of graphic that if left behind for future civilizations to discover, like cave wall drawings, would be pretty easy to decipher. Hey, that person was fucking happy! That looks like food! Emojis are both shorthand and longform at once, capable of conveying as much or as little information as the sender wants, their secondary and tertiary meanings ever evolving with inside jokes and cultural references.

Which is all well and good and we love them. You can send a text to a friend in Alaska or France and they’ll understand what you mean. But there are certain local quirks and stories and emotions and actions that simply aren’t covered by the e-toolbox we’ve got right now. So we set about to create a set of emojis, Clemojis if you will, that would better help Northeast Ohioans describe their lives. Did we miss some? Surely. Drop by the comment section at clevescene.com and let us know what you would have liked to have seen.

By Scene Staff

Illustrations by Lee DeVito

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24 CLEmojis to Describe What It's Like to Live in Cleveland
What It Is: The Cuyahoga River
When To Use It: You’re sitting in your apartment in Lakewood and your friend in Cleveland Heights asks if you want to come over. Yeah, man, probably not. That’s far. That’s the east side. The East/West divide is real, and that windy little river is the line of demarcation. Other uses: You’re kayaking on the river; you’re in an airplane; you’re studying cartography.

What It Is: The Cuyahoga River

When To Use It: You’re sitting in your apartment in Lakewood and your friend in Cleveland Heights asks if you want to come over. Yeah, man, probably not. That’s far. That’s the east side. The East/West divide is real, and that windy little river is the line of demarcation. Other uses: You’re kayaking on the river; you’re in an airplane; you’re studying cartography.

What It Is: An Alpaca
When To Use It: Former mayor Michael White narrowly, by most accounts, escaped facing real consequences for running a shady and probably corrupt city hall during his day. There were alleged bagmen and bribes and an official FBI investigation, but White emerged unscathed and retreated far from the city to make wine and raise alpacas. So anytime a corrupt politician escapes the grasp of the law, or when they don’t, or when a decision seems like there’s some shadiness lingering in the background, bust out the alpaca.

What It Is: An Alpaca

When To Use It: Former mayor Michael White narrowly, by most accounts, escaped facing real consequences for running a shady and probably corrupt city hall during his day. There were alleged bagmen and bribes and an official FBI investigation, but White emerged unscathed and retreated far from the city to make wine and raise alpacas. So anytime a corrupt politician escapes the grasp of the law, or when they don’t, or when a decision seems like there’s some shadiness lingering in the background, bust out the alpaca.

What It Is: A Mountain of Construction Barrels:
When To Use It: All the fucking time. Any city can and probably will complain that roads are seemingly perpetually under construction, but it’s especially true here. Between the Innerbelt Bridge and the random exit and entrance closures and the insane mess that is the area around Broadway, navigating downtown Cleveland can’t be done without encountering detours and barrels. Successfully doing so without losing your mind or being late basically qualifies you as a modern day Magellan.

What It Is: A Mountain of Construction Barrels:

When To Use It: All the fucking time. Any city can and probably will complain that roads are seemingly perpetually under construction, but it’s especially true here. Between the Innerbelt Bridge and the random exit and entrance closures and the insane mess that is the area around Broadway, navigating downtown Cleveland can’t be done without encountering detours and barrels. Successfully doing so without losing your mind or being late basically qualifies you as a modern day Magellan.

What It Is: A Pothole
When To Use It: Anytime, but especially after the winter thaw, when Cleveland’s roads crack and quake, producing sinkhole-size craters capable of incapacitating a monster truck.

What It Is: A Pothole

When To Use It: Anytime, but especially after the winter thaw, when Cleveland’s roads crack and quake, producing sinkhole-size craters capable of incapacitating a monster truck.

What It Is: The Circle K
When To Use It: Anyone who’s watched or attended an Indians game this year knows that the starting rotation and bullpen are the backbone of the team. It’s the strikeout  that use to be plastered high in right field in previous years before the Tribe started plastering the Ks on the scoreboard instead. It general, it's perfectly suited for 8-bit conversation about Corey Kluber or to explain how your date went on Saturday night.

What It Is: The Circle K

When To Use It: Anyone who’s watched or attended an Indians game this year knows that the starting rotation and bullpen are the backbone of the team. It’s the strikeout that use to be plastered high in right field in previous years before the Tribe started plastering the Ks on the scoreboard instead. It general, it's perfectly suited for 8-bit conversation about Corey Kluber or to explain how your date went on Saturday night.

What It Is: Poop on a Snowpile
When To Use It: November through April, when Cleveland dog owners forget that they have to pick up their dog’s shit. Or: To express your general displeasure with winter.

What It Is: Poop on a Snowpile

When To Use It: November through April, when Cleveland dog owners forget that they have to pick up their dog’s shit. Or: To express your general displeasure with winter.

What It Is: A Cleveland T-Shirt
When To Use It: To express the money grab of any cottage industry that sprouts up around Cleveland boosterism. Can also be used to comment on the next group that will inevitably splash CLE or 216 or the outline of the Buckeye State on some cotton threads with little or no imagination and try to sell it to you for $25.

What It Is: A Cleveland T-Shirt

When To Use It: To express the money grab of any cottage industry that sprouts up around Cleveland boosterism. Can also be used to comment on the next group that will inevitably splash CLE or 216 or the outline of the Buckeye State on some cotton threads with little or no imagination and try to sell it to you for $25.

What It Is: OH and IO
When To Use It: During Buckeye games. When a strange Ohio crime story pops up in your Facebook feed. When you miss your pal who now lives in California. When John Kasich resigns.

What It Is: OH and IO

When To Use It: During Buckeye games. When a strange Ohio crime story pops up in your Facebook feed. When you miss your pal who now lives in California. When John Kasich resigns.

What It Is: See previous slide.
When To Use It: See previous slide.

What It Is: See previous slide.

When To Use It: See previous slide.