Monday, January 11, 2016

Page 166–7: Numerical Easter eggs, Lam, and Spacepeopleofwalmart

The Tweezer post on page 166 is a pun on the well-known humor website, “People of WalMart,”  but Destiny Jones’ version localizes it to the Roswell location. I also tucked a couple of numerical Easter eggs into her status update:
  • 280 (from 280 “likes”) = נכרי, alien.
  • 666 (from 5,666 followers) = Το Μεγα Θηριον, another shout-out to readers of Perdurabo.
The biggest Easter egg of all, however, is Destiny Jones’ note to herself: “Register spacepeopleofwalmart.com.” Once I wrote that gag, I knew that if I didn’t register the domain, someone else would. So I registered it…and thus took my first step down the rabbit hole of having micro-sites for various places in The Billionth Monkey. The site design is an alien-green version of the regular “People of...” site. Rather than hosting embarrassing photos of customers, my lampoon site obsesses over aliens who do their shopping at the Roswell store.

You’ll find plenty of jokes at the webpage. Here’s a breakdown of some of them:
  • “Aisle 51” is a reference to “Area 51.”
  • We get a virtual representation of the sporting goods manager, Simon. The photo is a pun on popular social media photos showing people posing with a gun and their chosen holy book. Note, too, the sly nod to Watchmen.
  • A couple of pharmacy references (read the scene to see why).
  • Jokes about asking aliens for their papers/certifications, playing on the double meaning of the word “alien” and America’s ongoing immigration debate.
  • How many times can you find the word “Lam” hidden in the story about the RV ET?
  • An ad for the Men in Black nightclub.
Spotted in the parking lot, license plate 4638 ABK.
The sporting goods dialogue about how big a gun Destiny Jones needs is in the style of classic Monty Python goofiness: think of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail about African vs. European swallows. When creating the Space People of Walmart gag site, I couldn’t resist taking it to the next level by turning it into one of those ubiquitous social media quizzes…except that the answer isn’t quite what you expect. (Yes, it makes a gun recommendation, but based on your answers it also guesses what cryptid you might be hunting.) Check it out and share it with your friends!

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