Tuckered Out

“Tuckerism” is named after Bob Tucker, who I suppose, made putting friends and family into his prose an artform.

Most every writer I know does this to some degree or another. To the general reader, it washes over them and they are none the wiser. But if you know an author personally, you can see whom he or she is giving a shout out to.

When I need lots of names, I grab them from various sources. For A Time to Love and A Time to Hate, I needed lots of crewmen so cherry-picked liberally from the 2004 New York Mets 25-man roster, the E Street Band and the 12 finalists from the second season of American Idol.

My kids have been tuckerized over the years. Just after Kate was born, she got promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the Enterprise in Howard Weinstein’s Deep Domain. More recently, Robbie found himself a high school principal in a Michael A. Burstein short story in the I, Alien anthology. (This is actually prophetic since he’ll be attending college next year to become a teacher.)

All of this is prelude to the small thrill I received last night while sitting on the train reading Keith DeCandido’s latest novel, a Spider-Man adventure entitled Down These Mean Streets. Reference is made to the law firm Dilmore Ward & Greenberger. I stopped and laughed, pointed it out to Deb and kept reading.

I’ve been tuckerized before, but this is my second stint as a lawyer. Back in the day, there used to be a neat feature in the back of Grimjack, “Munden’s Bar.” The Bar was once of these places where people from all dimensions and time periods can come and have a brew without trouble. John Ostrander wrote most of the stories with a wide variety of artists taking a turn. In this adventure, illustrated by Colleen Doran, I wound up a lawyer and must have been a success since here I am, all these years later in partnership with the shylocks from Kansas.

(Which certainly beats the time I found my name on a tombstone in an issue of Valentino’s Normalman.)

7 comments

  • Michael A. Burstein

    And sometimes the Tuckerization is accidental and like stepping off a curb. Last night, we were watching the latest episode of Law & Order: SVU, and I did a double-take when I heard a character say, “We’ve always suspected Robert Sawyer.” I called Rob immediately to tell him.

    Robbie will be a very succesful principal, if he can keep the aliens away.

  • I’ve “Tuckered” people a few times here and there; a couple of times I’ve done it for charity at conventions.

  • Cary Bates got me most famously (“Flynt Brojj,” argh!), and then the Bierbaums made me a 30th century baseball player.

    I live in fear of the ones I DON’T know about…

    MF

  • KRAD

    Well, it’s about time you noticed. *tee hee*

    —KRAD

  • Paul Balze

    I liked the time Howie Weinstein wrote me into an issue of DC’s “Star Trek” as an admiral, and they made him change the spelling of my name because they didn’t think anyone would know how to pronounce it.

    Paul

  • Never made the cut myself, but my dog did, in Howie Weinstein’s tenure on the classic Trek comics. “Dr. Abby Wilson” had a six-issue story-arc, I believe. Well, it may be the surest way to get your friends to buy and talk about your work…

    — Steve

  • TAC

    At least you’ve been given more respect that I have. Howard Weinstein had me pass out face first into a hot fudge sundae. only to be laughed at by Beverly Crusher. Peter David had me abandon my post to chase after a girl.

    Still, it’s always fun.