Easter Eggs

Easter eggs are little bits of (alleged) humor snuck into a computer program. For example, in one early Microsoft product, going through a specific series of keystrokes produced a small on-screen caricature of Bill Gates who then used a squeegee to clear everything currently on the screen.

I do some of that in my stories, and I wonder if people have caught them. The only one that readers have ever mentioned was when ZZ-Top played for the Eerie Methodist Church's dance in Eerie Saloon: Winter." Yes, that was them. If they could play for Marty McFly and Doc Brown, they could play for the good people of Eerie.

[Incidentally, ZZ-Top caused a production problem for Back to the Future III. The cast and crew were enjoying listening to them so much that production of the film actually stopped for a few hours.]

So I use "Easter eggs" to include all manner of references to modern popular culture.

For example, in "Eerie Saloon: Autumn", Roselyn Owens quotes a friend and fellow-prostitute named Blanche Dubois, who says that "She has always delighted in the hardness of strangers." In the famous play A Streetcar Named Desire, the lead female character, Blanche Dubois says that she "...has always depended on the kindness of strangers."

What prompts me to write this blog entry is a desire to boast about the big on in Jessie's latest story. When Sheriff Whyte picks someone to cover for him while he rides off after Jessie and Paul, he picks Hugh Jones, former officer in the British Army. Jones agrees, and then he asks if he can take his ten-year old son along with him when he patrols the town. Henry, it seems is besotted with legends of the Middle Ages: King Arthur, Charlemagne, etc. He'd love to be a knight himself and go off on quests for lost treasure. Others tell him that the boy will grow out of such ideas when he becomes an adult with a wife and child of his own.

We didn't say any more about young Henry, but the implication was that Henry didn't grow out of it. He became a historian when he grew up, studying legends of the Crusades.

And his son, Henry Jones, Junior, became an archeologist of whom more has been said elsewhere.

Part of the fun of such things has been putting them in, sufficiently hidden that they aren't obvious, but that some might catch. And maybe even tell me that they did.

Some are kind of obscure, I admit. The station master in both of Jessie's adventures is a man named Coleman Hoyle. His names from a cartoon character named Coleman Oyle. Cole Oyle and his wife, Nana, have a son named Caster and a daughter named Olive.

Call this a follow-up on one of the major characters. Laura Caulder may be such a wonderful wife because she shares her maiden name, Laura Meehan, with the character played by Mary Tyler Moore on the classic Dick Van Dyke.

And the Easter eggs roll on.

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