Terms and Definitions
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Terms and Definitions
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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.

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Like faithful dogs, two behemoths wait silently for the arrival of their owners, and for the vacations that will never come.
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.
Cow catcher
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.

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Coming soon: Progress!!!
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 egg
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.

This little house on a corner is trapped between two spanking new houses and a freshly-built privacy fence.
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 roaches.
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.
Lawn wart
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.

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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).
Old growth
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 garden
Schlock gardens are houses whose yards and porches are intentionally blemished with aesthetically offensive objects, known as lawn warts
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. 
Worker bee
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.