No, wait. I'm not talking about the kind of Easter eggs the bunny brings you. Easter eggs are hidden messages or surprises in media like software programs, DVDs, movies and TV shows. (And now novels.) It's usually something inessential to the main content, but that has personal meaning to the creator, and is in there just for fun.
I put a few Easter eggs into Aladdin’s Samovar—obscure references that were shout outs to old friends, and that I thought might amuse them. So, since it’s Easter time, I thought I’d let you in on some of them and what they mean:
Swamp Ralph – During my misspent youth, one of my friends had an old beater of a car—a light blue sedan that was nicknamed Swamp Ralph. Presumably because of the swamp of empty beer cans and things better left unexamined that lurked on the floor in front of the back seat.
When it became clear that Indigo’s hippie van needed a name, I decided to name it in honor of Swamp Ralph, in whose murky depths so much great partying took place. A long time ago. I don’t do that stuff now. Really.
Evil Puppets, Nausea and the Farscape Theme – You know how, when you finish playing a DVD, it returns to the main menu? And sometimes it plays the theme music over and over and over until you make it stop? That happened to me one day in grad school when I was home sick with a stomach virus and watching my friend Nikki’s Farscape DVDs.
(Farscape is a great sci fi TV show with very weird theme music that sounds like out-of-control cannibals. And Henson puppet characters that are not your childhood Muppets.)
So, being sick, I kept falling asleep and the episode would play through and go back to the main menu and the ensuing cannibal theme music, and I would dream about cannibals and wake up to my delightful feeling of nausea. It was ages before I could listen to the Farscape theme without feeling queasy. Now Amber has a fear of puppet cannibals, and it’s all Nikki’s fault. And she knows it. Heh.
Popcorn with Butter, Salt and Parmesan – That was a shout out to my college roommate Mary, who introduced me to this excellent way of eating popcorn. Back in the days when nobody knew what a microwave was. Hot air popper, baby. All the way.
Bouncing Polycarbonate Flasks – I once worked in a plastic bottle manufacturing plant that was eerily similar to Tri-Co, where Amber works. One of our experimental projects was producing clear polycarbonate Erlenmeyer flasks, which are flat-bottomed laboratory flasks that taper towards the top. (Like this.) Our quality control manager discovered that if he tossed the polycarbonate flask to the concrete floor and hit the rounded bottom edge just right, it would boomerang back into his hand. So there you’d be, having a conversation with the guy, and the whole time it’s bounce, catch. Bounce, catch. Fun for all ages. I may be the only person in the world who still remembers him doing that, but the memory is now immortalized in my novel, preserved for eternity.
That’s it for this Easter. I can’t give away all my secrets…
__Lauren Sweet is the author of the Bitter Snow series, a modern fairy tale in nine novellas, and Aladdin's Samovar, the first of a series starring Amber Polaski and Jasper the genie. Lauren lives near Portland, Oregon, where she is a freelance writer and editor.