Portage la Prairie, MB –
Ernie Weatherspoon never thought he would become an elitist until he moved to Portage la Prairie.
“I’m from Cobourg Ontario originally,” Weatherspoon explained. “To be an elitist there you’d have to earn six figures, drive a Porsche and wear designer clothes.”
Last week Weatherspoon trimmed up his beard, got his haircut and wore a new shirt to the Glesby Centre. He was shocked at the reaction he received.
“On my way in a guy I work with at the factory looked at me and called me an elitist prick,” Weatherspoon said.
Changing and updating one’s look in Portage is widely seen as suspicious by locals. Portagers have long believed that people who wear stylish clothing, shower regularly, model trendy new shoes and speak civilly with those they meet were up to no good.
“Ernie is just a lead-hand at the plant,” co-worker Brian Penton said. “Who does he think he is dressing like that and going to the Glesby Centre? Only knobs and elitist do that.”
Weatherspoon experiences criticism for reading books on his lunch break at the fry factory and using less common words when addressing other Portagers.
“Ya, I like to read,” Weatherspoon offered. “But I didn’t realize my college diploma and library card made me elite. Back home you’d have to have at least a PhD to be an elitist.”
Portage’s low standards on elitism has moderately increased the numbers qualifying as elite. At last count, Portage had 128 people who, either self-identified, or were outed as elitist.
“I’m okay with being an elitist here,” Weatherspoon said. “I won’t get ahead of myself and think I’d be considered elite anywhere else other than maybe Winkler.”
Elitists in Portage were planning on forming a group and meeting monthly but they have been unable to find a suitable venue for their gatherings.
“We’d need to have a large enough coffee-house that is open in the evening or a trendy dive-bar before we can have formal meetings,” Weatherspoon offered.
Local officials do ask members of the public to contact them with names of anyone not currently on the elitist list. While not officially authorized, elitism is tolerated by local governments despite being widely unaccepted by average and below average Portagers.