I’ve been thinking a lot about Easter eggs, and while my family never actually celebrated the holiday in the religious sense, I certainly took part in many a hunt.
Specifically, I remember the chocolate covered Russell Stover eggs, the now ubiquitous Cadbury Cream eggs and the extinct DinoSour, jawbreaker like eggs. In fact, despite its pagan roots as festival celebrating spring and fertility, Easter outranks both Halloween and Valentine’s Day in overall candy sales.
But as much as I like chocolate and whatever else Willy Wonka is cooking up, the Easter eggs that I’ve been contemplating are those inside jokes, messages or secrets hidden in movies, video games and other media. These so-called Easter eggs help add levity and intrigue to scenarios where both are often found wanting.
One of the classic movie Easter eggs is the appearance of R2-D2 and C-3P0 as hieroglyphics in the movie, Raider’s of the Lost Ark. Another one is the cameo appearance of Stan Lee, creator of so many Marvel superheroes, in nearly every Marvel movie - 44 to date. And just in time for Easter weekend this year, is the release of Ready Player One, a movie based on the novel of the same name. It’s replete with pop culture eggs from the 1980s - and the very premise of the movie is a multilayered search for a priceless Easter egg, in a virtual world.
A recent political Easter egg appeared in a New Yorker article about an invasive species of stinkbug. It read, ".... stinkbugs, indoors, seem ordinarily graceless and impossibly dumb. But, as we all now know, being graceless and dumb is no obstacle to being powerful and horrifying." One can only speculate as to whom the writer might have been referring.
Even though as of late we’ve been pummeled by snow, the spring holidays, sacred or secular, serve to remind us that even in our Northern climes, Spring is just around the corner.
And this year, for the first time since 1956, Easter falls on April Fool’s Day - offering a particularly potent opportunity for hiding eggs in all sorts of places. Happy hunting!