The Hunt is to the Swift(ie)

December 13, 2023

Remember Easter egg hunts? Those glorious springtime events where gleeful, pastel-clad children romped through fields of daisies, collecting multi-colored eggs in attractive wicker baskets? They always oohed and aahed over their bounty, and kindly shared their candy with younger, less successful, little hunters…

You don’t?

I don’t either. 

My experience as a child was underwhelming, and absolutely on point with the rest of my girlhood memories. My parents wouldn’t dream of making that kind of effort at home, and I honestly don’t recall many neighborhood hunts either. On Easter morn, my sisters and I would salute Christ’s resurrection by resurrecting old arguments (I HATE that spring coat! She’s wearing MY dress!) Once we were all dissolved in tears, we’d head off to Mass, where we’d sniffle and poke each other in the pew (Alleluia!) Decorating/hiding/finding eggs were the least of our problems, believe me.

I stepped up my game immeasurably when my own kiddos came along (remind me to tell you someday about our Pysanky egg adventure!) but I’m still not a huge fan of the hunt, and that also goes for scavenger hunts, treasure hunts—basically anything I have to utilize any brainpower to find. Where’s Waldo? was a favorite of my offspring, but not their mama, as I never could locate that darned guy, even after he had been pointed out by my two-year-old!

So when I started hearing about “Easter eggs,” referring to hidden elements in video games, movies, etc. my first reaction was: why?? It’s all I can do to keep a basic plot straight, without expecting I will register the clever extras!! Apparently, there are cross-references galore in Disney films. And in Back to the Future, a sign for “Twin Pines” Hotel in one scene appears later as “Lone Pine” after a car crashes into one of the trees. And of COURSE Taylor Swift is Queen of the Callback, as she is of everything, with myriad cloaked references to old boyfriends in her lyrics, and liner notes decoded to reveal future album release dates. 

It's all great fun (at least for the egg-planter), but I kinda wish this stuff stood on its own merits, with no additional gimmicks. Frankly, I hate being President of the Clueless Club, when everywhere around me people are triumphantly pinpointing Easter eggs all over the place. 

The whole thing tempts me to inject a few false flags here and there, just to level the playing field. “Didn’t you notice that Lin Manuel-Miranda says the word “shot” in his Sopranos appearance (1999)?” I’ll offer. “Sneaky tribute to “My Shot,” the famous Hamilton song that he wouldn’t write for another dozen years! And,” I’ll add, “that ironic reference to the 1970’s Women’s Lib movement in “Whistle While You Work” in Snow White, (1937)?” I bet I'll have folks replaying clips and music to beat the band, trying desperately find nonexistent “eggs.”

Meanwhile, don’t bother poring through my own books and other writing in search of hidden messages. 

Spoiler alert: there aren’t any. 


    I am an author (of five books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a retired director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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