You can tell that the economy is in dire straits when fictional realms begin feeling the squeeze. A man in Oregon was forced to shut down his Lord of the Rings-themed housing development as a result of the slumping real estate market. Gawker:
An Oregon man who built a 31-lot Lord of the Rings-themed development called The Shire—including a house with an attached “hobbit hole,” a central area called the “Ring Bearer’s Court,” and a set of bylaws called the “Declaration of Interdependence”—now faces financial ruin because of the bad real estate market. Or maybe it’s because of the Lord of the Rings theme? No, definitely the real estate market.
Are there pawn shops in Middle Earth? If so, we hope this poor guy can hawk his Rings. Meanwhile, unemployment is rising in Narnia.
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