What could be more American on the Fourth than to try and describe a dingbat? First of all, Mega is not referring to this:
although they are very cool and I intend to build an invincible army of them.
Rather, the term dingbat refers to a type of building: those 50s-60s apartments, typically two or four-plex, generally boxy, usually stucco'd, and always supported in the front by poles to allow parking under the front apartment. (The name comes from Francis Ventre who, while riding around LA with Reyner Banham one day, remarked, "My GOD that's dingbat architecture!") Every dingbat is essentially the same, cheap construction for maximum density, BUT -- to individualize them was key. Affixed were fanciful names in large, fanciful script -- The Circus Arms, Aku Pagoda, Chateau Seahorse, etc. Of course, no digngat is complete without the attachment to the facade of a piece of architectural eccentricity: an abstracted fish, some dynamic arrows, interlocking boxes, anamorphic squiggles, cones and disks with punched-out designs (made more dramatic by being lit from behind), and of course, that hallmark of the late 50s-early 60s, the "asterisk" or "starburst". These decorative whatnots have, by extension, become themselves known as dingbats.
And I think that's what Mega wants on her house, and I agree! Although no-one should ever under any circumstances remove a dingbat that is presently in situ, the 94 Northridge quake was not kind to dingbats, so maybe someone out there knows where a lonely downed 'bat is sitting, waiting to bask in the sun again. Of course, the construction of one shouldn't be too hard, would it?
God Bless America! God Bless the Dingbat!