Terms and Definitions
Last updated July 24, 2000
- A psychological disorder that causes victims to mistake the empty pursuit
of possessions as a means of achieving happiness, to confuse credit with
wealth, and to believe that making $2,000-a-month mortgage payments is
okay. Affluenza has many symptoms, however the ones we're concerned with
here are the inexplicable drive to clutter one's street with barnacles,
port-a-wrecks, and hangmen.
- A boat in decay. Usually parked in driveway or yard. Often partially
covered with a blue tarp o' poverty.
- A recreational vehicle (RV) in decay. Essentially a larger port-a-wreck with an engine. No blue
tarp o' poverty yet found has been large enough to cover a behemoth.
Blue tarp o' poverty
Called "blue tarp" for short, the blue tarp o' poverty is
the omnipresent banner of excess and decay. Blue tarps are typically found
covering barnacles, port-a-wrecks,
and other items that shouldn't have been purchased to begin with but are
now left to rot gracelessly out in the yard. It is not known why blue is
the most common poverty tarp color- it has the effect of drawing eyes toward
the objects that decay beneath it instead of away from them. It has been
rumored that some Oregonians have petitioned to make the blue tarp o' poverty
the official state flag.
An unsightly, red-and-white barrier placed at the end of a street to
indicate that future development is planned there. Cow catchers are also
sometimes used to block through-streets where traffic began to exceed capacity
due to the eLocust swarms. The original cow catchers
were iron grates affixed to the front of train engines. Their purpose was
to knock wandering cattle off the tracks as the train forged through the
countryside. Today's cow catchers are harbingers of encroaching development
and physical emblems of eminent domain.
|| Like faithful dogs, two behemoths wait silently for the arrival of their
owners, and for the vacations that will never come.|
An eLocust from California. Known for their
indifference to high prices, indefensibly aggressive driving, and ironically
reactionary socio-political views, crackroaches are almost universally
despised, while other eLocusts are begrudgingly tolerated.
Easter eggs (also called skittles) are candy-colored houses that add
a vibrant dash of unnecessary color to an otherwise unremarkable neighborhood.
Their owners are mysterious peacocks who often seem to have a sort of half-hearted
desire for the attention of admiring eyes. This paradox is demonstrated
by the fact that may Easter eggs are in very poor structural condition
and their yards are often overgrown and cluttered. Though the majority
of Easter eggs are old growth homes in less affluent
neighborhoods, some eLocusts have demonstrated their
solidarity with their colorful but less-privileged brethren with shockingly
tasteless household color schemes of their own.
|| Coming soon: Progress!!!|
One of many who swarm to the Pacific Northwest for jobs in the booming
technology market there. Aside from the typical eLocust, there are two
subclasses: Worker bees and Crack
A portable basketball hoop. Hangmen scatter the yardscape like so many
disconnected utility poles. The sight of them during a drive through a
northwestern suburb might lead one to think, "my, basketball is popular
here," but it's all an illusion- they are rarely used, left to rust
in the driveway or street.
Holdouts are old, usually decrepit and unsightly houses whose owners
refused to follow their neighbors in selling their property to the developers
of today's modern residential communities. It is thought that the owners
of these homes "played hardball" during the land-purchasing negotiations
of the 1990s, holding out for higher bids than their less wily neighbors.
For thousands of these hapless negotiators the plan failed- developers
just built around them, usually constructing huge concrete privacy fences
around the holdouts to protect their own property values. The visual effect
of a single holdout in a newly revamped community is often startling.
A lawn wart is the smallest distinguishable part of a schlock
garden. There seems to be no end to the list of unimaginative yet characteristic
lawn warts that populate the American schlock
garden. Some of the best known are: garden gnomes, lawn orbs, concrete
geese (naked and clothed variety), pink flamingos, lawn jockeys, and the
unforgettable "squirrel with nut." Just like a single drop of
milk can cloud an entire glass of water, a single lawn wart can transform
an otherwise respectable house into a thumb.
|| This little house on a corner is trapped between two spanking new houses
and a freshly-built privacy fence.|
A person who lived in the Pacific Northwest before the technology boom
in the 1990s. Many are direct descendants of early pioneers who traveled
from the East on the rustic trails of yore. They rode their wagons until
the wheels fell off- at which point they put the jalopies up on blocks,
scattered the surroundings with useless possessions, and settled in for
generations of unproductive, directionless existence.
A camper in decay, parked in driveway, yard, or street. Sometimes found
beneath a ramshackle car port. Frequently partially covered with a blue tarp o' poverty.
Schlock gardens are houses whose yards and porches are intentionally
blemished with aesthetically offensive objects, known as lawn
See Easter egg.
Thumbs are houses that "stick out like a sore thumb" in their
neighborhood. They are usually inhabited, but are often in astonishing
disrepair. Their yards and porches are typically peppered with various
types of litter. It is a law of existence that every thumb must have at
least one blue tarp on its premises- if you don't
see one outside, it's probably being used inside as a tablecloth, shower
curtain, or carpet. There are various subclasses of thumbs: Easter
eggs, holdouts, and schlock
gardens. The subclasses are not mutually exclusive- some thumbs have
traits of each kind.
An eLocust that doesn't perform technical work.
Worker bees are attracted to the area by the expanding opportunities in
the construction and service industries there, as local businesses try
to cope with the growing population.
|| The lawn jockey is one of the oldest forms of lawn wart. Due to changes
in the slow-moving tide of American politics, lawn jockeys are becoming
increasingly rare in United States yards (except in the South).|