Common name: Greek Developer

Scientific name: Maximus sprawlopolis

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

Call: “Buy low! Sell high!”

Physical characteristics: The downward tilt of the Maximus sprawlopolis’s rather prodigious beak reveals the aristocratic bloodlines of this preternaturally handsome and aggressive species. Indoors, generally at board meetings, it puffs its chest out in freshly pressed double-breasted Armani; outdoors, at the job site, it struts in LL Bean khaki and a spotless high-impact plastic white hardhat. The adult male of the species, with its shocking crest of thick, silvery hair and predilection for convertible European sports cars, is particularly distinctive. Females are rare (see mating habits, below).

Where to watch: It’s difficult to spot indoors, its dealings taking place at board meetings which are closed-to-the-public kind of affairs, so the best way to spot Maximus sprawlopolis is to go to any open space in the four-county Sacramento area and simply wait for the telltale white hardhat to appear. You won’t be waiting long. Attracted to free positive publicity, Maximus sprawlopolis also may be infrequently spotted in the cheezy local society pages, i.e. Sacramento Magazine, gripping and grinning at some no-doubt worthy charitable event.

What to watch for: A clever and industrious creature, Maximus sprawlopolis’s erratic gait in the field, which some observers liken to a chicken in a bread pan scratching out dough, is perhaps its most endearing quality. A reddening of the facial structure (and for those unfortunate enough to catch sprawlopolis in a fully nude environment, the glans) indicates anger, sexual arousal, or both, and, if the subject is within the vicinity of any combustible materials whatsoever, caution must be exercised. Observers encountering extreme cases of such behavior—e.g. Maximus sprawlopolis torching an empty subdivision for the insurance money—are encouraged to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Mating habits: The mating habits of Maximus sprawlopolis have been shrouded in mystery for years. Because the male of the species is dominant and seems to prefer the company of other males, some of whom had posed for Herb Ritz photographs, many experts believed the species was inherently homosexual, conjoining with the opposite sex only to propagate. But upon closer inspection, field researchers notice that they will often appear in restaurants with female “assistants” who favor whitish blonde colored hair, a puffy breast and long, colored claws.

Status: Occasionally declared an endangered species by environmentalists, alternative newspapers and other various grassroots organizations, Maximus sprawlopolis shows every sign of thriving in a permissive free-enterprize environment well into the 21st century.