(urth) STFU

Stephen Hoy stephenhoy at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 29 14:43:08 PDT 2009

Henry Eissler wrote:
> My take is that the Baskin Robbins girl is also in on whatever charade
> is going on.
> My related question is: Why is the ice cream girl so keen to tell Cassie
> how much she hates her?

Cassie: "I wish we could be friends."
B-R girl: "I've got three friends...Rita, Amber, and Christabelle."
- p28

There's been a bit of discussion about the "loose ends" in AEG, but I think
it's possible to read these loose ends as extra-textual allusions that align
with the story.

First things first, why does Wolfe set a scene at a Baskin-Robbins? Does it
have something to do with the company's 31 flavors?  Maybe it's an allusion
to Messier 31, the Andromeda galaxy.

Second, why mention these three friends? Maybe they have something in common
that pertains to Wolfe's plan for AEG.

Working backwards from least to most obscure -- 'Christabelle' suggests
Coleridge's long poem with a similar name, "Christabel." The key aspect of
this poem is the way Coleridge explores the character's perception of
reality between waking and dreaming.

Similar theme with the second name, 'Amber'. The name suggests Roger
Zelazny's Amber series of books and stories. This may be a subtle hint at
Wolfe's method, the idea of one True World and an infinite number of shadow
worlds, alterable "at will" by an adept.

If we continue along the same theme of altered perceptions, the name 'Rita'
suggests the character of Rita/Camilla in David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive."
Cassie shares some interesting aspects with one of the actresses in this
film, including responsibility for the death of at least one of the other

[I haven't figured out a tie-in for B-R girl's reference to Rita's little

Finally, at the end of this page we get the detective--"The man who entered
was both tall and wide, nearing middle age." And departs B-R with a jarring
finger-point: "You stfu."

I wonder whether this is an allusion to John Goodman. Size and shape and age
match, and Goodman comically utters "STFU, Donnie" in The Big Lebowski, but
he plays a detective in a couple of movies. Specifically, One Night at
McCool's has a few parallels with AEG--especially the animal magnetism of
the actress Jewel--and this may explain why Wolfe puts the detective's words
on the page.

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