If you are a fan of the Hard Times series I have created a guide/glossary. Here is a rough draft.
Hard Times Companion
Updated through chapter 31
This is a simple reference sheet for the story. I use it as an author to easily find things I mentioned in the story. There are also Easter eggs I mention in this story that happened in Family Feud sprinkled throughout that I should probably track for my own reference.
This will continue to evolve as I craft this story.
I do a lot of subtle foreshadowing and I also like to leave things to the reader's imagination at times. I don't always describe every event that happened. I might reference a past situation or a history between two characters and let the reader fill in the blanks on what must have happened. That is often very intentional on my part. In the companion I try to track some of those details so I don't forgot them.
I find that if I give the reader just enough information - their mind will construct a more elaborate and plausible scenario about that event than I would and I don't want to bunny-trail too far from the main story line to tell that background story. I can't tell every side character's entire story and every event that ever happens - however I love fan-fiction and short-stories about the side characters. I would encourage you to reconstruct what DID go down in one of those side-events and write it up as a short story!
Conner - A little younger than his sister - he has red hair and freckles. He is puny and nerdy. He likes video games and sci-fi.
Ellen - Ellen could best be described as looking like a teenage Ellen Paige. She has dark hair in a pixie cut and is pale. At the start of the story she is unaware of how cute and adorable she looks and thinks her shoulders are boxy and she is frumpy. She moved to the Buckman with her family after they fell on hard times. Ellen is a bit of a rule follower/over-achiever who is very book smart and tends towards the shy side at the start of the story. This story is written from her perspective almost exclusively.
Patricia- Could best be compared to the mom on the show the "Middle" - the same character/personality almost perfectly.
Mike - Mike is an all-around good family man with a strong jaw. He was an Executive but was laid off and unable to find work. He lost his house, his car, his credit cards are maxed out. Early on in the story he leaves to find work in a nearby town. You can think of Mike as the same actor who plays the husband on the middle.
Ares and Zeus are two male Rottweiler-mixed breeds who spend most of their time in the yard in a small fenced in kennel. According to Wendy they were a gift to Lloyd from his birth-father who told him they were wolves and would keep him safe until he returned home (Which he never did).
TED: Ted has short blondish high and tight haircut, tiny mustache and scruff on his face. His job as a security guard and his general role in life is that of someone who craves authority and respect but gets little from others - and he does little to deserve it. He is a bully towards people much weaker than himself and an ass kiss to guys who are actually tough and considers himself one of their peers.
MAW-MAW Teds heavy set mother - she always has a serious and slow disposition. She was introduced in chapter 12 and moved in with the family. She is Senior's Sister (and Junior's Aunt) .
They live on Glory Hill Street
Junior - Ch. 20 "He stood at average height and a little overweight. He had red rosacea streaks around his cheeks and greasy, short, black hair. He wore a faded denim overalls and a flannel shirt."
The owner of the Buckman's son. Drives the white caddilac that is often ominously seen in the Buckman. Junior lives on Seminole in the first trailer on the lot. He is Ted's Uncle.
Senior - Ch. X - He is alluded to but not yet introduced. He owns a theme park and many motels in town. He owns the trailer park and made a fortune. His sister is Maw-Maw. Spoiler: He is distant relatives to the Griffin family.
Tammy- Ch. 25 - looks like Tammy Faye Baker, Junior's sister, has a big pit bull named "Chunks".
ASS Family - Odd Jobs designation for the family
Jack - Ted
Lazy - Maw-Maw
Racing Nicknames - Ch. 28
"Juicy Lucy" Ellen
"Country Boy" Lloyd
Angel - Ch. 15 She is seen at the pool sunning herself and smoking, Angel is a an attractive former head cheerleader and homecoming who is pregnant. She was seen in a rebel flag bikini next to an ape-like redneck boyfriend. Angel's unnamed sister works at the Landing Strip (A strip club).
Boogie- Ch. 22 Drives a van with a Dixie Air-Horn that goes "Dug-a-doo-doo-doo dug-a-doo-doo-doo-doo!". We don't know much about him in that chapter. He follows the girls through the park effectively blocking other cars from staring at their asses.
Bleaker , Larry and Lenny - Ch. 23 - Larry is the store manager of "Wicked Weasal" in the local mall. He used to keep an 'account' that was Crystal's partial payments on swimsuits. He is married.
Lenny is a young man who once got scammed by Savannah into buying the family a dinner on prom night. He also works at the cash register. He was never physically described but he wears glasses and has a large nose.
Catfish - Ch. 27 - balding, long black mustache. A customer when Ted first takes over the business.
Ding-Dong - Ch. 9 - Notorious Trailer park flasher. He looks like a cross between Terry Bradshaw, Hulk Hogan and "Dobber" from Coach. He is fairly muscular and tan with long blonde hair (but balding on top).
Kung-Fu Dave - Ch.14 caught chasing Ding-Dong through the park. Self-appointed Trailer Park Super Hero. Not very bright - slurs his words. Pimps his sister Ashley for a six pack and a George Strait cassette tape/Some menthols. He follows something he calls the "Ninjetty Code". He uses attacks he says out loud while he executes them (for extra power) - Judy-Chop, Kung-Fu Chop, Karate Kick and Ninja Chop - careful of ninja chop while karate kick or you WILL hit your leg (his advice)
Uses skoal can and sharp scrap metal as kung fu star
Haislip: April, Larry and Tawny
Haislip, April and is naturally a rival of Crystal -introduced in Ch. 14. If every Betty needs her Veronica as a foil - then this is Savannah's Veronica. They live one street over from Glory Hill. April used to date Ted. She is best described as looking a lot like Linda Carter - the actress who played Wonder Woman.
Haislip, Larry - Chapter 7 - An old pervert who gets his truck washed. He likes to feel like he is disciplining a particularly bratty Savannah. He is revealed to April's grandfather in Ch. 15
Haislip, Tawny - Ch.11 Savannah's rival, tall, blonde and very buxom. She was briefly mentioned in an earlier chapter when Ted was staring at her at the pool. Ted also stared at Angel another girl at the pool when they drove past.
Hooker, James, Dr. Ch. 31 a character introduced in FFIV and an homage to a fellow author. He is visiting family in the Buckman and stopped to see what was happening at the pool area. He is interested in the girls doing lawn care for his family and may have set it up for the future.
Laqwanda and Clymidia - ch. 11 two black teenage cousins who are often fighting. Laqwanda is tall, while Clymidia is stout and thick.
Louise - Chapter 9 - Ted's Ex-wife and an employee at Rowdys. They have kids together and Ted is naturally delinquent on support for them.
Mean Freckle Faced Boy - Chapter 28 - buys a spot in the "V.I.P" section of the pool area. Owns a supersoaker collection. See also "Skeeter Townley". He is a hard-core watcher. His name (or possibly a nickname) is Opie although he hates that name.
Methuselah - Chapter 11- Old man who reads from the book of Enoch at the pool party
Odd-Jobs - Chapter 3: Trailer Park Handy Man, jovial and with a good sense of humor. His real first name is Oliver. He is later revealed to often have a number of schemes and plans to make money off the residents - and to keep order in the park. He used to go by "OJ" but after OJ Simpson he does not as frequently. The Odd Jobs character is best described as someone based loosely on Brian Doyle Murray a veteran character actor.
Ch. 16. O.J introduces us to his nephew Ryan. Ryan attends a rival high school of Cherry Lawn the Union County Rams.
Ch. 18 he introduces the three ups - show up, keep up and shut up.
Riggins Tim, Billy - Chapter 8 Billy and Tim are handsome young men who live in the Buckman and attend Buckman High. Billy just graduated but Tim is a star player for their football team the Buckman Predators. Glenn Riggins their father and their unnamed mother are both in prison.
Buckman High is officially called "Brigadier General George Gordon High School". Their team is officially the "Predators".
Shawn - Ch. 15 Friend of Crystals who appears at the end of the chapter. He is wearing a cap that says 'hurt more deer' with a fish on it and a blue shirt with a tricycle that reads 'chicks dig my bike'. He drives an old beat up 78 3/4 ton pickup which suits him since he does scrap iron and new trucks wouldn't look to new after just a few weeks having 5ton magnet slammed in the box picking out the iron.
S.S. - Ch. 16 a giant of a man - he has a flat top hair cut (Which Ted imitates). His name means what you might think it means. He bears a collection of Nazi and racist tattoos and despite looking brutish may have an intelligent and sensitive side. He works for Odd Jobs officially as an assistant maintenance man and an unofficial enforcer.
Car Wash Steve - Ch. 15 - a friend of Odd Jobs who is sent as a plant to check up on the girls. 30ish years old drives a truck. They naturally are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.
Terry - Ch. 15 a transgendered woman with blonde hair and perfect tits - drives a white Bentley. A professional prostitute. Terry was at one time a Running back on the same high school football team and Ted and remembers him as a third-string non-player.
The Leaner - ch. 29 an old man who paid to sit in the V.I.P section but constantly leaned in the most creepy manner against a fence. He looked like TV's "Larry David" - if you want to google that image. He is a 'hard core watcher'.
The Wrestler - ch. 29 the wrestler wears a wrestling t-shirt, sweat pants, sweat bands, and headband. He is doughy and out of shape with a blonde afro that looks like shag carpet. He is a 'hard core watcher'.
Todd- Chapter 6- A young kid who gets his car washed. He goes to school with the Danvilles. He is later stuck with a bill at Rowdy's restaurant for the family after they dine and dash.
Townley, Skeeter -Ch.28, Skeeter is head of a very large family of mostly red-headed people, who live in the Buckman. Skeeter is older with a beard and a fishing hat. Skeeter is a mechanic and fan of the phrase "If it has tires or tits you are going to have problems with it." He and his grandson are considered 'hard core watchers'.
Skeeter is actually Ted's father through another marriage. He was married to Maw-Maw years ago. Maw-Maw is the relative on the Gaylord side of the family and is Junior's Aunt.
Tyrell - Chapter 3 - A smooth black neighbor who thinks the entire family is crazy. He has a nephew named "Nelly Jr." who he leaves with the family.
Gaylord Fun Land - A theme park owned by Junior's father (and Ted's uncle).
Glory Hill - The street the Danvilles live on.
J Street - a street in the Buckman notorious for prostitution. The trailers are often rented by crack heads and meth dealers.
Landing Strip - mentioned in Ch.16 is a local strip club where Angel's sister works. It is next to a tiny local airport.
Rowdy's Restaurant - A popular local restaurant where one of Ted's ex-girlfriend/wives works. The family dined and dashed there and may not be welcome back.
Stop N. Play - Recreation Center: Unofficially known as "The Semen Hole" because it is on Seminole avenue (main street in park) - where the most prestigious double rides are also located.
Hard-Core Watchers - This is a small list of people who are considered "Hard Core Watchers" - who always V.I.P or watch
Skeeter Townley and his Grandson (Opie)
Alison and Tawny Haislip might be considered "Hard Core Watchers" as well - but they would not sit in V.I.P.. They remind me of the two old crotchety muppets who sit in the balcony and insist on watching every show but finding constant fault with it.
FIRST SET OF CAR WASH RULES:
1. Say Sir and Ma'am to everyone - even non-customers. Everyone is a potential customer except for Ding Dong and Methuselah (Trailer park crazies)
2. The girls hate to have to touch one another. Therefore they will be standing in the corner you and do it back to back, belly to belly or belly to back touching one another.
3. The girls are to wear bells when standing in the corner - if they jingle or move a muscle they are to be spanked.
4. Act like brats - but hot brats. Don't let them fall in love with you or feel sorry for you.
5. Don't trust the girls to go to the bathroom alone - they will waste too much time. Use the men's bathroom - must be escorted and make sure they wipe.
6. No adjusting the bathing suit once it is on. It is just trying to flash to men.
Prices: 10 dollar hand wash, 20 dollar full wax and 50 dollars Premium service. Tips gladly accepted.
Lunch Prices: 5 dollars for:
1 Hot dog (with mayo or mustard 1 dollar extra) - girls supply the buns.
Handful of grapes
Milk shot- 1 dollar
Body Writing 5-10 dollars depending on body part and words.
Mini-Car wash scenarios
-Surly Bitches want a break
-Angry Bitches get jealous and start to argue
-Devious Bitches try to half-ass the job and get caught/break rules.
Sweet titty cheesecake- a term used for acting like a slutty ditz.
CH. 24 New Rule: "Make my niece show you what she does at home for five dollars with the garden hose" - 5 dollars.
Ch.7 - "Cruise" Florida George Line - Hip Hop Remix - With Nelly
Ch. 8 - "Pour it Up" Rihanna
Ch.9 - "Spiderbaby" White Zombie
Ch. 11 " You can crash my party anytime" Luke Bryan
Ch. 11 " Gold" Macklemore
Ch. 11 Adventure Time (Cartoon lyrics)
Ch. 14 "Bands that make her dance" Juicy J
Ch. 15 "Benny and the Jets" Elton John
Ch. 15 "White Trash Beautiful" Everlast
Ch. 15 "Sweet Home Alabama" Alabama
Ch. 17 "You shook me all night long" AC/DC
Ch. 18 "Royals" - Lorde
Ch. 19 "Baby Got Back" - Sir Mix-A lot
Ch. 22 "Old flame can't hold a candle to you" - Dolly Parton
Ch. 23 "The Man in Black" - Johnny Cash
Ch. 23 "Every Sperm is Sacred" - Monty Python
Ch. 25 "C.R.E.A.M" (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) - Wu Tang Clan
Ch. 25 "Beer with Jesus" - Thomas Rhett
Ch. 27 "Come on and Dance" - Motley Crue
Ch. 28 "Joker" - Steve Miller Band
Ch. 28 "Paradise City" Guns N. Roses
Ch. 30 "Play that Funky Music" White Cherry
Ch. 32 "Danger Zone" Kenny Loggins
MAW-MAW'S VOCABULARY WORDS:
Hiraeth - ch. 26 A welsh term that has no direct English translation. It means a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return. A home which maybe never was. The nostalgia, the grief, the yearning for the lost places of your past!
Lalochezia - the emotional relief from using abusive or vulgar language
Prevaricate - Ch. 25 to avoid telling the truth by not directly answering the question.
RELATIVE TIME LINE:
DAY ONE: Friday - The family arrives and Ellen plays the game of life
DAY TWO: Saturday - Ellen plays Cowboys and Indians - Baptism under fire at the Buckman.
DAY THREE: Sunday - Ellen washes cars - Goes to Rowdy's Restaurant - later that night she gets in trouble
DAY FOUR: Monday - Ellen washes cars at the Semen Hole
DAY FIVE: Tuesday - New day at the Semen Hole - Lloyd joins her
DAY SIX: Wednesday - (Ch. 26) Ted takes over