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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League Et Al. Buckaroo Banzai
Against the World Crime League Et Al.
Written by the Reno Kid w/ E.M. Rauch
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

Page numbers refer to the hardcover edition, first printing, October 2021


Still mourning the loss of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must contend with threats to Earth from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan and from Empress John Emdall of Planet 10 who demands the return of the criminal Lord John Whorfin.


Didja Know?


The full title of this novel is Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League Et Al.: A Compendium of Evils. It is creator Earl Mac Rauch's long-awaited story of Buckaroo Banzai's conflict with the World Crime League (sort of) after the events of the movie Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, originally planned as a follow-up film, but the first movie in 1984 was not successful enough to warrant a sequel, so we now get it as a lengthy novel 23 years later.


The book is written entirely in-universe (including the title page reflecting that it was published by the Banzai Institute Press!)attributed to the Reno Kid as told to official Banzai chronicler Earl Mac Rauch. It is interesting to note that Pinky Carruther's Unknown Facts subtitle track on the Across the 8th Dimension DVD suggests that that film's novelization was ghostwritten by Reno for his friend, Earl Mac Rauch, as a favor to appease a legal dispute. So who's the actual professional writer here??


Throughout the book, the expletive "fuck" is replaced with the more playful spelling of "phawk". Similarly, the expletive "shit" mostly, though not always, uses the UK/Irish spelling of "shite".


As in the novelization of Across the 8th Dimension, references to the OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER are always entirely capitalized in this book.


Lord John Whorfin and his host body, Dr. Emilio Lizardo, are resurrected in this novel, seemingly a couple of years or so after their deaths in Across the 8th Dimension. But the pair were also resurrected in the 3-part comic book story from Moonstone Publications titled "Return of the Screw". No explanation for the different stories is given. None of the other comic book stories are directly mentioned either. It seems that Rauch has essentially ignored the Moonstone output in the writing of this novel, even though Rauch himself was the story provider on those comics. Possibly, Dark Horse Books as this novel's publisher, did not want references to a competing company's output included.


The character of Mona Peeptoe may be named for the women's Mona peep toe pump style shoe.


Throughout the novel, the Banzai Institute invention of the Go-Phone (first seen in Across the 8th Dimension) seems to have surmounted that of the cellular phones known in the real world. In the Buckaruniverse, most people seem to have Go-Phones.


Though Penny Priddy appears in the novel, Buckaroo's first wife, the seeming twin of Penny, Peggy Priddy, is not mentioned at all. In fact, the concept of Buckaroo having had a wife before Penny (who was also killed by Xan earlier) is not even hinted at. The closest to acknowledging Peggy the book comes is on page 81, where the amnesiac Penny wonders who she is "the whole history of who she was, and a sister..."


Characters appearing or mentioned in this novel


Reno Kid

E.M. Rauch

Buckaroo Banzai

Lord John Whorfin

Hanoi Xan

Dr. Emilio Lizardo (mentioned only, deceased)

Van Pfeffersack (mentioned only, possible alias of Xan)

Henry Shannon (mentioned only, possible alias of Xan)

Anne d'Aquavita (mentioned only)

Viktor Anthropos (mentioned only, possible alias of Xan)

Macaulay (mentioned only)

Blue Blaze Irregulars

Professor Hikita (mentioned and in spirit form only, deceased)

Penny Priddy

Chittagonian reporter

Perfect Tommy


Desdemona Pepitone (aka Mona Peeptoe)

President James Monroe II

Jean Lafitte

Mottled Adders


Red Lectroids

Empress John Emdall

Cubists (followers of a new Black Lectroid "religion")

Lectroid high priests

John Red and Raw

John Singsong-of-the-Narrows-of-No-Return-Not-Him-But-the-Other-One


Captain Moonbeam (mentioned only)

Mr. (Antoine) French

Lord John Shark Crab (mentioned only)

Mr. Contreras (mentioned only, deceased)


Erlik the Mongolian (mentioned only)

Paraguayan delegate (dies in this novel)

USAF force protectors

Abbot Costello

Captain Bowers

Wing Commander General "Wild Bill" Wagoneer

Cardinal Wildthing

Dorothea "Dottie/Big Red" Wagoneer (mentioned only)

"Bulldog" Wagoneer (General Wagoneer's father, mentioned only, deceased)

Palomina (mentioned only)

Rawhide (mentioned only, deceased)

Buckaroo Banzai's parents (mentioned only, deceased)

Hoppalong Krivlolvsky

Li'l Daughter of the Rhine

Colorado Belle

Pinky Carruthers

Lonely Ranger

Papa Bear

Señor Dentista

Pilgrim Woman

Lucky Masahiro

Honest Dan Cartwright


El Cuchillo

Lakota Sue

Leo the LEO

Talla 12 de Pantalon

Red Jordan

Missing Person Slim Greenberg

Buffalo Gal

Jolly Rancher

Webmaster Jhonny Appleseed (dies in this novel)

Dr. John Jane Doe

Muscatine "Magnum" Wu

Mrs. Johnson

Jill of All Trades

Jack Tarantulus

Big Norse (mentioned only)

Ladybug (mentioned only)

Postmaster General Holly Mantooth, a.k.a. Rainbow Trout

Captain Jackson

Pope Innocent

Nova Police

Secretariat of Nova Police

New Jersey

Ira (New Jersey's uncle, mentioned only)

High Sierra (mentioned only)

Cardinal Zoran Caiaphas Baltazar (aka Schwantz)

Valdez (mentioned only)

Il Pugilato

Hippolyte the Chaldean

Chico Wagoneer (General Wagoneer's unborn son, mentioned only, deceased)

Oñate (presumed dead after events in this novel)


Manny Magdalene

Dr. Paraquat

Fariq "Rick" Bulbus

Wadsworth Longfellow

Archangel Brother Deacon Jarvis

Marchioness (Lady Asquith-Gillette)

Darinka Water Moccasin

Zoyenka Racehorse

Mayor Agostinelli (mentioned only)

Tall Crow (mentioned only)

Yolanda (Tall Crow's daughter)

Lulu (Pinky's hound dog, mentioned only, deceased)

The Last Mapuche

Brooklyn 2000

Sir Roger P─

triple amputee (unnamed)

Ranger Nick

Black Cloud

Giuseppe (waiter)



Sokol the Joykiller (aka Admiral)

Pay Piggie

Able Moammar (aka Able Omar the Berber)

Sister Mary Comfort (aka Twisted Sister)

Sonya (Caesonia)

Mr. Noone

Metropolitan Spiro (mentioned only)

Archimandrite Zalman (mentioned only)

General Warts

Leftenant Major John Dogg (dies in this novel)

Libby (mentioned only, Jhonny's cat, willed to Pecos)

Vice Commander John Parker

Most High Priest, Sacred John Tail Crab (dies in this novel)

Fleet Marshal John Double Bottom




Didja Notice?


The title page gives Rauch the appellation of "Professor of Oratory and Belles-Lettres". "Oratory" is fairly self-explanatory. Belles-Lettres is a French phrase for "fine writing" (literally, "beautiful letters") and is often used modernly to describe literature that does not fall into the common categories of drama, fiction, poetry, etc. Belles-Lettres might well-describe a work that is a fictionalized version of actual events as told to the author verbally by a trusted source.


Publication of the book is attributed to Banzai Institute Press (as well as Dark Horse Books). The only previous mention of Banzai Institute Press I have found is in a Banzai Institute archival copy of "REMARKS (NOT FOR ATTRIBUTION) ATTRIBUTED TO THE RENO KID, AKA RENO OF MEMPHIS, IN A PRIVATE BRIEFING AT THE RECENT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM AT DAVOS, SWITZERLAND" which mentions it as part of the remark, "Bemused readers will recall the naked traveler 'Bacons', so-nicknamed for his unforgettable words upon nearly crashing down upon our heads from another realm (see the Journal for Empirical Research into the Paranormal, October, 1991, Banzai Institute Press.)" These archived remarks were published in the June 2010 issue of the World Watch One newsletter.


The title page indicates the book had previously been published in Great Britain in 2016. As far as I know, that is another "in-universe" reference and not true in our reality. The book was first published anywhere in October 2021.


The book is dedicated "to my devoted fellow Hong Kong Cavaliers". Presumably, this dedication is from Reno.


The dedication page also has two quotes on it, "All the beans and bullets you can eat," which is a line that occurs in the novel, and "What is precious, is never to forget..." attributed to Stephen Spender. Spender (1909-1995) was an British writer; the line is from his 1928 poem "The Truly Great".




The Author's Preface (pages 7-23) in the book also seems to be by Reno, as he remarks on being a witness to events in Dr. Banzai's life, most notably the events around Across the 8th Dimension.


Page 7: The author argues that while Buckaroo Banzai is not the Superman of comics, he may well be the superman of Nietzsche, "that perfect balance of East and West, Apollonian rationality and Dionysian appetite..." Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a German philosopher who introduced the concept of the superman (ubermensch) in his work of philosophical fiction, Thus Spake Zarathustra, published in parts from 1883-1892.


Page 8: Reno remarks on Hanoi Xan's earlier attempt to ally with Dr. Lizardo. This may refer to a phone call by Xan to Lizardo after Buckaroo's successful attempt to travel through solid matter as related in the novelization of Across the 8th Dimension.


Page 8: Xan is known by another name as a trusted intimate of Queen Victoria and a banker to many of the royal houses of Europe, including the Hohenzollern and the last three czars. Queen Victoria was the ruler of the United Kingdom from 1837-1901. The House of Hohenzollern has been a German royal dynasty since before 1061. The last three czars spoken of here probably refers to the Russian czars, Feodor III, Ivan V, and Peter I who served consecutively from 1676-1721.


Page 8: Xan is said to be in possession of no fewer than 20 princely domains in Xinjiang Province. This is a province of China now known as the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.


Page 9: Reno refers to Xan as Hanoi Xan Anthropos. Anthropos is Greek for "human". On pages 17-20, the publisher allows Xan his own forward to the book within Reno's forward, and Xan signs it at the end as Hanoi Xan Anthropos Pentachrist Invictus. "Pentachrist" seems to be formed from the Greek penta, meaning "five" and christ, from the Greek christos, meaning "messiah", so "fifth messiah". Invictus is Latin for "invincible". So the full name may be "Hanoi Xan, the fifth invincible human messiah".


Page 9: Xan's network of dezinformatsiya in mentioned. Dezinformatsiya is Russian for "disinformation".


Page 9: Xan has claimed to have been born a snake hatched from the egg of a black swan.


Page 9: Reno states that "no less a figure than Macaulay has called [Xan] '...the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue, a bold bad man whose hands were alternately polluted with gold and blood.'" I'm unsure who Reno is referring to in "Macaulay". The quote made here is attributable to Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), an English historian and writer known for his 6-volume work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. On page 19, in Xan's forward, he mentions both Macaulay and Gibbon.


Page 9: Reno compares Xan to the Creator in terms of what he is not, using Maimonides' description of "not anthropomorphic, not mortal, not corporeal, not bound by physical laws." Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon, 1138-1204) was a Jewish philosopher. He did, in fact make such statements about God.


Page 9: Reno remarks on a book recently discovered in the British Museum, The Khan of Kathmandu, saying experts at the Banzai Institute believe it to be written in Xan's own hand in the Fifteenth Century, said to be the account of Sir Edmund Shaa's travels in the Himalayan kingdoms and his encounter with a Mongol prince with supernatural powers. This is, of course, a fictitious book, though Sir Edmund Shaa is an actual historical figure. He was a member of England's Privy Council (an advising body to the king or queen) as stated here. If the Banzai Institute is correct, Shaa was an identity of Hanoi Xan.


Page 10: Who/what is Old Larry? It seems to be an epithet for the devil here and on page 12, as well as page 478 (where Penny mispronounces it as "O'Leary").


Page 10: Legend says that Xan is ancient, said to have arisen in the Euphrates Valley or on the lost continent of Mu around the time of the great comet swarm of 11,000 BCE. Xan's face is said to have been the model for the Easter Island statues. The Euphrates Valley is a region of the Middle East that is believed to be one of the emergence points of the beginnings of human civilization (around 10,200 BCE). Some researchers suggest that a comet swarm struck Earth in the ancient past at about the time suggested here. The statues of the Pacific island called Easter Island, moai, are said to be representative of deified ancestors of the Polynesian colonizers of the island from about 1250-1500 CE.


   Page 10: The first known written account of Xan in historical times is on a Babylonian clay tablet fragment stating he is a demon feathered snake who affrights and affronts the great people of Ninevah. Ninevah was an ancient Assyrian city in modern day Iraq, believed to have been founded as early as 6000 BC.

    Reno points out that a feathered serpent called Quetzalcoatl or Kukulkan is legend in Mesoamerica. Mesoamerica is an historical region of North and Central America starting in about 10,000 BCE. Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec god of life, light, and wisdom; Kukulkan was the Mayan equivalent.


Page 11: Mongol legend says that Xan was not Hulagu Khan (though Lytton Strachey purportedly referred to Shannon as Hulagu Khan in one of his writings; see notes for page 14 below). Hulagu Khan was a Mongol ruler of the 13th Century, the brother of Kublai Khan, who is said here to have once captured Xan. Kublai Khan's shaman is said here to be a direct antecedent of Buckaroo Banzai.


Page 11: The Mongolian version of the devil is said be called Talker. I've been unable to confirm this.


Page 11: Kublai Khan's shaman is said to have seen in a teardrop of Xan's, the Mongol fleet destroyed by a typhoon in the Sea of Japan. The destruction of the Mongol fleets is historically accurate.


Pages 11-12: Elizabethan spirtist Dr. John Dee is said to have given an account of the angelic apparition Uriel. Uriel is an archangel in rabbinic and Christian tradition. John Dee (1527-1609) was a scientist and occultist who was an advisor to Queen Elisabeth I of Great Britain.


Page 12: Xan's alter ego, the Dutch trader van Pfeffersack, is said to have been the infamous broad-hatted man whom Vermeer removed from his painting View of Delft. As far as I can tell, van Pfeffersack is a fictitious individual. View of Delft is a ca. 1659-1661 painting by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). As far as I can determine, Vermeer is not thought to have removed a figure from View of Delft, but is said to have done so in his 1657 painting A Maid Asleep. Delft is a city in the Netherlands.


Page 12: Van Pfeffersack is said to have made a financial killing in the tulip panic of 1636-37. The tulip panic of the Dutch Republic was a time when the extreme popularity of various varieties of tulip bulbs drove the bulbs to outrageous prices until the market collapsed in February 1637. It is considered the first speculative bubble in history.


Page 12: Reno relates that Berenson speculated that Vermeer and Pfeffersack may have been the same man. This probably refers to American art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), though since Pfeffersack seems to be fictitious, the comparison can't be made in reality.


Page 12: The Sphinx of Delft is a nickname given to Vermeer by art historians due to his reclusiveness and obscured life.


Page 12: Reno refers to a thinly-disguised account of Xan/Pfeffersack by Bunyan in the birth legend of Mr. Badman. This refers to Puritan preacher John Bunyan (1628-1688) and his 1680 book The Life and Death of Mr Badman.


    Page 13: P. Brydone's A Tour through Sicily and Malta tells of the author's meeting with the Englishman Henry Shannon, recognizing him as the Frenchman Charles-Henri Sanson, the royal executioner to the court of Versailles. This refers to Scottish traveller Patrick Brydone (1736-1818) and his 1773 book A Tour through Sicily and Malta, in a Series of Letters to William Beckford, Esq., of Somerly in Suffolk. Henry Shannon appears to be fictitious, though Charles-Henri Sanson (1739-1806) was an historical figure. Versailles refers to the Palace of Versailles, the former royal residence of the sovereign of France in parts of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Brydone's description of Shannon was also remarked upon in the aforementioned "REMARKS (NOT FOR ATTRIBUTION) ATTRIBUTED TO THE RENO KID, AKA RENO OF MEMPHIS, IN A PRIVATE BRIEFING AT THE RECENT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM AT DAVOS, SWITZERLAND" in the June 2010 issue of the World Watch One newsletter.

    Sanson's son, Henri Sanson (1769–1840) assumed the executioner roll after him, and guillotined Marie Antoinette, as stated here. Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) was the last queen of France, executed during the French Revolution. Here, Sanson is said to have been called a "blood drunk" by the Marquis de Sade. The Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) was a French nobleman known for his libertine views on sexuality and his pornographic writings; as far as I can find, he did not comment on Sanson.


Page 13: "Carlyle" may refer to Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881).


Page 13: Reno speculates that Xan and Cagliostro may have been the same man. "Count Alessandro di Cagliostro" was the alias of Italian occultist Giuseppe Balsamo (1743-1795).


Pages 13-14: Reno writes that in Oriental Memoirs, Forbes describes meeting a mysterious khan from parts unknown and including a sketch of the man that resembles Charlie Chaplin, "down to his mustache, baggy trousers, and little frock coat." Oriental Memoirs was a four-volume work by British artist and writer James Forbes (1749–1819). The description of the mysterious khan appears to be fictitious (also mentioned in the June 2010 issue of the World Watch One newsletter). Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) was an English comic actor and filmmaker extremely popular around the world.


Page 14: Reno states the great heresiarch Jung speaks of Xan as the Spirit Mercurius, embodying all opposites. Carl Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychoanalyst. The Spirit Mercurius relates to Jung's concept of Mercury (the Roman god of commerce, communication, travel, and luck) to the prima materia (starting material) of alchemy and psychological growth.


Page 14: In London, Jung was introduced to Shannon through Constance Long. Long was an M.D. and follower of Jung who edited and translated a number of Jung's papers.


Page 14: Lytton Strachey wrote a biographical treatment of someone resembling Shannon, but it went unpublished when Shannon himself got a hold of it. This probably refers to the 1918 book Eminent Victorians by Strachey, which featured, among others, biographies of Florence Nightingale and General Gordon as stated here. Nightingale (1820-1910) was a British social reformer and the founder of modern nursing. Major-General Charles George Gordon CB (1833–1885) was a British Army officer infamous for losing the city of Khartoum, Sudan to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad in the Siege of Khartoum of 1884-85.


Page 14: Shannon is said to be an intimate of Queen Victoria and George V. Queen Victoria was the ruler of the United Kingdom from 1837-1901. George V was a grandson of Victoria and he was king of the UK from 1910-1936.


Page 14: Strachey later conversed with a publisher, not Chatto and Windus, after Shannon's death about his Shannon treatment. Chatto and Windus was the publisher of Eminent Victorians.


Page 14: Strachey is said to refer to Shannon as Hanoi Xan, Hong X'an, and Hulagu Khan, who was a 6,000 year old demigod.


Page 14: Mentioned are Belgravia, Whitehall, and the Royal Geographical Society. Belgravia is an affluent district of Central London. Whitehall is a district of London, where the governmental offices and many minsters' residences are located.


Page 15: Shannon is referred to as Sir Henry Shannon, which means he's been knighted by a sovereign (presumably of the UK).


Page 15: Xan is said to have been connected to the Spanish Inquisition. No one expected this.


Page 15: Xan is said to have a connection to the mysterious death of Christopher Marlowe. Marlowe (1564-1593) was an English playwright and contemporary of William Shakespeare. There have been differing accounts of Marlowe's death, though all seem to be the result of some kind of altercation.


Page 15: Xan partook of a banquet of sex in the boudoirs of Lady Penelope Rich, Catherine de' Medici, and Anne d'Aquavita. Lady Penelope Rich and Catherine de' Medici were noblewomen of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Anne d'Aquavita, as far as I can tell, is fictitious.


Page 15: Xan is said to have had misadventures with the murderous Jacobins. This probably refers to the Society of the Jacobins, a political club during the French Revolution.


Page 15: Xan had associations with the Indian stranglers, the Chinese tong, and the Camorra. "Indian stranglers" probably refers to the Thugs, a professional fraternity of robbers and murderers of India ranging over centuries until about the 1870s. Tong are Chinese secret societies, sometimes benevolent, sometimes questionable, with connections to crime. The Camorra is an Italian crime organization that spread worldwide, similar to the Mafia.


Page 15: Xan may have also been Hong Xiuquan, leader of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Xiuquan (1814-1864) was a Chinese revolutionary who led the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing dynasty from 1850-1864. After having visions in 1837, Xiuquan claimed to be a son of God and younger brother of Jesus Christ. Taiping Heavenly Kingdom was a self-declared rebel state against China during the rebellion.


Page 15: Strachey was friends with Clive Bell. Bell (1881-1964) was an English art critic.


Page 16: Shannon was known to wear odd costumes, including more than once being dressed as the Easter bunny. The Easter Bunny is the folkloric figure who brings to children gifts of colored eggs and candy on the eve before Easter Sunday.


Page 16: Shannon was a friend of Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes (1853-1902) was a British businessman and politician.


Page 16: Wagner, Goethe, Fichte, Hegel, and Herder are said to have been Shannon's ideological soulmates. These were all historic German thinkers and philosophers.


Page 16: Shannon is said to hold a belief in the spiritism of Allan Kardec and once discussed it with Herman Melville on the South Sea island of Nuku Hiva. "Allan Kardec" was the pen name of French author Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail (1804–1869), the founder of Spiritism, which he referred to as a joining of science, philosophy, and religion. Herman Melville (1819-1891) was an American writer, best known for his classic novel Moby Dick and he is known to have been on Nuku Hiva in 1842, as stated here; his book Typee is based on his experiences there.


Pages 16-17: Xan is supposedly the model for the villain Moravagine in the French novel of the same name and Lermontov's Pechorin. Moravagine is a 1926 novel by Blaise Cendrars. Pechorin was the antihero in Mikhail Lermontov's 1840 novel A Hero of Our Time. Reno is reminded of the villains in the works of Conrad, Philip José Farmer, and Harry Ashton-Wolfe. Conrad refers to Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad and the passage listed is from his novella, Heart of Darkness. Philip Jose Farmer was an American science-fiction and fantasy author known for his Wold Newton family of books that established a conceit that many of the world's famed fictional characters shared a narrow familial ancestry. Harry Ashton-Wolfe was a writer of alleged "true crime" stories in which he participated, including stories of the blackguard Hanoi Shan! In Philip José Farmer’s Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Farmer speculates that the (mis)adventures of Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu were based on the "real life" exploits of Ashton-Wolfe’s Hanoi Shan.


Page 18 (Xan's forward): The Latin phrase mundus vult decipi means "The world wants to be deceived."


Page 18 (Xan's forward): Hermes, Helen, and Abraham are mentioned as part of examples of deceit. Hermes was the Olympian of cunning. Helen was said to be the most beautiful woman in the world in Greek mythology, kidnapped by the Trojans, causing war that ended with the deceit of the Trojan Horse. Abraham is the patriarch of the denominated Abrahamic religions; he is said to have deceived the Pharaoh by telling him that his wife, Sarah, was his sister (she was both Abraham's half-sister and wife).


Page 18 (Xan's forward): Maldoror, Mister Morningstar, and Prince of Light are all references to the Biblical Lucifer.


Page 18 (Xan's forward): Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher in the 5th Century BC.


Page 19 (Xan's forward): Xan mentions Sima Qian and Herodotus. These were both historians in ancient times (BCE) in China and Greece, respectively.


Page 19 (Xan's forward): Xan quotes Miss Rand. Although I've been unable to find the exact quote, its contents suggest he is speaking of Ayn Rand (1905-1982), an American writer known for her philosophical system of Objectivism.


Pages 19-20 (Xan's forward): Xan gives a litany of many of his supposed aliases. I won't list them all here, but some interesting notes about them are: Waxaklahun Ubah Kan is the Mayan name for the previously mentioned Kukulkan; the Great Khan of the Golden Horde was Batu Khan Bádūhán (1205–1255) a conqueror of much of Eurasia; Prince of the Air is another name for the devil; Max Thrax may refer to Maximinius Thrax, Roman emperor from 235 to 238 AD; he was also referred to as the Scourge of Burma in his personal profile on the DVD of Across the 8th Dimension; summum malun is Latin for "greatest evil"; l'homme invisible is Latin for "invisible man"; "the New Weishaupt" probably refers to the "old" Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Illuminati in Bavaria in 1776; Lord of Genius was one of the epithets for Kukulkan; Earl of Rochester probably refers to Henry Wilmot (1612-1658), a notorious libertine; Rider of the Clouds is an epithet for the devil in Christian and Muslim theology; Equal of Heaven is the Monkey King in Chinese mythology: Doctor of the Church is a title given to some saints in the Catholic Church; Pivot of Mystery is a title used for Xan by Penny Priddy in the original script of Across the 8th Dimension; et tutti quanti is Italian for "and all the rest".


Page 20 (Xan's forward): de sua pecunia is Latin for "about their money".


Page 20 (Xan's forward): Xan considers Reno a hack of a writer, saying he is unworthy even to lick the master Henty's boots. This probably refers to G. A. Henty (1832-1902), an English novelist and war correspondent.


Page 20 (Xan's forward): pro domo is Latin for "for the home".


Page 20 (Xan's forward): mehr licht is German for "more light".


Page 20 (Xan's forward): Xan quotes Baudelaire to say of Reno's current book, "the lethal fumes of this book shall dissolve your soul as water does sugar!" Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) was a French poet, essayist, and critic. Some sources seem to attribute this quote to Baudelaire's fellow French poet, the Comte de Lautréamont (1846-1870).


Page 20 (Xan's forward): Xan recalls Oscar's panegyric: "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit." This is a quote from Oscar Wilde's 1891 book The Picture of Dorian Gray.


Page 20 (Xan's forward): QED is short for the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, meaning "which was to be demonstrated".


Page 21: Reno writes that Xan is like Satan in the mythoi of the Mosaic religions, he is the Destroyer archetype, of whom it is said in, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, "Behold I am Set, the creator of confusion and king of lies." The Egyptian Book of the Dead is made up of varying scrolls of funerary rites which they referred to as the Book of Coming Forth by Day; these books are meant to tell the soul of the deceased the proper procedures and incantations for proceeding to the afterlife. Set is known to be one of the gods of ancient Egypt; in later Egyptian writings, due to political and religious changes, Set was demonized, but was originally considered a major god to the people of Egypt and known as the god of the desert.


Page 21: Another of Xan's epithet's is "the Light Beyond Sight".


Page 21: Reno states that the Cavaliers have gone through expeditions in the Himalayas (Asian mountain range), Alaska (American state partly within the Arctic Circle), the Andes (South American mountain range), Queen Maud Land (region of Antarctica), Aksai Chin (a region of disputed ownership between India and China), the Eigerjoch (an Alpine pass in Switzerland), and the Schreckhorn (a mountain of the Burmese Alps).


Page 21: Buckaroo's parents taught him how to live off the land.


Page 22: A tabloid profile of Buckaroo once described "his kokutai uncorrupted by greed." Kokutai is a Japanese term for "essence and character."


Page 22: Reno makes various quotes from, or allusions to, John Stuart Mill, William Pitt the Younger, David Hume, William James, and Cincinnatus. These are all historical figures known for their philosophical sayings.


Page 22: Reno states that when he writes about Buckaroo, he is not talking about a Hollywood or Whig notion of history. "Hollywood" is a pretty well-acknowledged notion among most people. The Whig Party was the conservative political party of the early United States.


Page 22: Reno alludes to shōnen series. Shōnen are Japanese comic books written for teen boys.


Page 23: Reno quotes a poet as having said, "paint the cot, as Truth will paint it, and as bards will not." This is from George Crabbe's 1783 poem "The Village".


Page 23: Reno quips that what he writes may be closer to Homeric legend than history. Homer was an ancient Greek epic poet who wrote of the legends and mythology of his civilization's past. This may explain some of the contradictions between this novel and previous BB adventures.


Page 23: Reno signs the preface off with non sibi sed toti. This is Latin for "not for himself but for the whole".


Page 23: Reno's sign-off indicates it was written in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2021.




Page 25: "Chevalier" is another term for "knight".


Page 25: The quote from Sophocles' Oedipus the King that opens the chapter is accurate except for a line omitted in the middle.


Page 25: Buckaroo is referred to as Sir Buckaroo Banzai, MD, GBE. The "Sir" title indicates he's been knighted and the GBE that he is a member of the Order of the British Empire, a chivalric order that rewards significant contributions to the UK. MD, of course, stands for Doctor of Medicine.


Page 25: Buckaroo is said to be among the top ten minds of all time.


Page 25: Buckaroo is attending a dinner in his honor at the Institut de France.


Page 25: Buckaroo is a Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur. The Legion d'honneur is the highest French award of merit.


Page 25: Buckaroo has received the Grande Médaille from the French Academy of Sciences. The names listed as fellow past recipients of the award (Pasteur, Lavoisier, Mandelbrot), though all great scientists, did not receive this particular award (it was only established in 1997).


Page 25: Palmarès is French for "prize list".


Page 25: Other prizes won by Buckaroo listed here are the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Franklin Medal, and the Gruber Prize.


    Page 26: Penny was supposedly killed in a Jet Car crash in Bhutan shortly after she and Buckaroo were married. However, her body disappeared from the remote mountain range while Buckaroo lay in a coma for days. Later in the book, it seems that Penny was somehow retrieved and resuscitated, minus her memory, by Xan. Page 140 states this occurred 18 months ago.

   In the audio commentary track on the Across the 8th Dimension DVD by W.D. Richter and Reno, Reno says that Xan murdered Penny personally with her own hair at the Church of the Dead in Czechoslovakia. Possibly, both of these statements are true.


   Page 26: Professor Hikita is also deceased under mysterious circumstances. On page 31, Mona remarks that he supposedly committed ritual suicide (hara-kiri) in a wheelchair, wearing Birkenstocks. Hara-kiri (or seppuku) is a Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment with sword.

    The French Academy gave Buckaroo a Festschrift in memory of Hikita. A Festschrift is a book honoring a specific person in academia.


Page 27: Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a world-renowned Austrian psychoanalyst in the early decades of the 20th century. The quote from Freud that Buckaroo makes here is one that is attributed to him.


Page 27: A reporter tells Reno he loved the surprise show the Cavaliers gave the previous night at the Olympia (in Paris). He asks if they will be in Chittagong on the next leg of the tour.


Page 27: The Cavaliers have a new single titled "Time Bomb Ticking".


Page 28: Buckaroo quotes Vladimir Lenin on living with hearts on fire and brains on ice. This is from an actual quote by Lenin, the founding head of government of the Soviet Union from 1917-1924.


Page 29: One of the Cavaliers best-loved ballads is "I Need an Answer".


Page 29: A rumor has spread that Penny may have been a spy for Xan all along.


Page 30: Reno tells Mona about a bolo tie he bought in the Bois. Bois is a French term for "woodland", so I assume that's what he's referring to, even though it's capitalized here. There are some villages and neighborhoods called Bois, but it doesn't make much sense for Reno to have been there if he was pigeon hunting as he says at the time.


Page 30: Buckaroo has been to the Eighth and Fifth dimensions, plus a couple others. He did seemingly pay a very brief visit to the Seventh dimension in "Of Hunan Bondage" Part 2.


Page 30: Reno claims that Buckaroo has some screws in his skull and has had a fractured pelvis and six broken ribs.


Page 30: Mona claims she's heard that Buckaroo has possible cosmic-ray damage to his brain.


Page 31: Mona refers to Buckaroo as the genius domus. This is Latin for "genius of the house".


Page 31: Mona says that Buckaroo was supposedly born in a manger on the Fourth of July and rewrote Newton's second law. This is likely an "urban legend/joke" based on Bucakroo's heroic deeds and iconic stature. The personal profiles feature on the DVD of Across the 8th Dimension states that he was born in London while his parent were visiting England (of course, that doesn't mean it wasn't in a manger on the Fourth of July). The Fourth of July is a colloquial name for the Independence Day holiday of the United States. Newton's second law of motion is "a body acted upon by a force moves in such a manner that the time rate of change of momentum equals the force."


Page 31: Buckaroo is scheduled to conduct the Orchestre de Paris the following night.


Page 31: The current U.S. president is President James Monroe II. In Across the 8th Dimension, it was President Widmark. It's not clear how much time has passed since the events of that movie.


Page 31: Mona tells Reno that scuttlebutt is saying that President Monroe intends to appoint Buckaroo the American ambassador to the Court of Saint James's. On page 162, the president does, in fact, ask him to become that ambassador. The Court of St James's is the royal court for the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.


Page 32: Reno has a vision of himself and Mona kissing in view of Haussmann's façades. This is a reference to the renovation of Paris under Prefect of Seine Georges-Eugène Haussmann 1853-1870 (with works continuing until 1927).


Page 32: Mona suggests to Reno that he take her to the Jockey Club for martinis or at least a macaron from Carette in the place du Trocadéro. The Jockey-Club de Paris is one of the most prestigious gentlemen's clubs in Europe.


Page 32: Reno tells Mona he has to leave for Fukushima that night on a special mission.


Page 32: Zut alors is French for "damn so".


Page 32: Reno claims that Buckaroo has a birthmark in the shape of a guitar.


Page 32: Reno mentions a supposed dance move called a "suicide death drop". ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. (Update 4/4/22: Thanks to Steve Mattson, staff member of the Team Banzai newsletter, World Watch One, who informs us: "The Death Drop is a dance move where someone mimes shooting the dancer and they fall to the floor in a specific way. Perhaps in Reno’s version, he mimes shooting himself.")


Page 33: Mona remarks to Reno that Buckaroo must still be dying inside even after two years since Penny's death/disappearance. Yet, page 29 states that it has been just 18 months. It's possible Mona is simply rounding up.


Page 33: Reno tells Mona the Cavaliers cut a track for the new album with the Swedish Radio Orchestra. This is a real world orchestra working for Sveriges Radio (Sweden's Radio).


Page 33: Belgian experimental physicist Jean Lafitte puts in an appearance. As far as I can tell, this person is fictitious. His exclamation of "Pour Shang-Ti et la martyre! Naitre, mourir, renaitre encore...!" is French for "For Shang-Ti and martyrdom! To be born, to die, to be reborn again...!" Shang-Ti is the Chinese term for "Supreme Deity". Later in the book, some of Xan's followers call him Shang-Ti (or the alternative Huang-di).


Page 33: After disarming Lafitte and handing him over to a security official, Perfect Tommy shouts, "Lafayette, we are here!" The Marquis de Lafayette of France was a key ally of the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War for freedom from Britain. This phrase was originally made at the tomb of Lafayette by U.S. Colonel Charles Stanton on a Parisian celebration of the American Independence Day in 1917, in honor and recognition of Lafayette's vital assistance in the nation's history.


Page 34: When Mona complains that Reno didn't tell her Tommy was along with he and Buckaroo, Reno explains, "Jamais deux sans trois, tout de phwawking suite." This is French for "Never two without three, right phawking now."


Page 34: Tommy drinks a Coke.


Page 34: Tommy relates "No matter where you go, there's always a nut on the loose." Tommy's idiom is a play on Buckaroo's saying, "No matter where you go, there you are," heard in Across the 8th Dimension.


Page 34: Xan once had a blackmail scheme to turn the Earth into a blue snow cone by sabotaging the hadron collider at CERN to cause a mini black hole that would release giant clouds of cold atom matter. The plot was foiled by Buckaroo.


Page 34: The last-known price placed on Buckaroo's head by the World Crime League was ten million dollars.


Page 34: Mona tells Reno, "Je t'embrasse," as she takes her leave. This is French for "I kiss you."


Page 34: C'est comme ca is French for "It's like that."


Page 35: In his speech to the Academie, Buckaroo says that pursuit of the unknown is his "...beruf, as Max Weber would say." Weber (1864-1920) was a German sociologist who wrote the essay "Politik als Beruf" ("Politics as a Vocation").


Page 35: Buckaroo says that he is often painted as a lurid combination of Prometheus and Pandora for having broken the Standard Model of Physics. "Prometheus" is a reference to the Greek mythological figure of Prometheus, one of the Titans, who betrayed his fellow gods and gave fire to humanity. "Pandora" refers to the Greek myth of Pandora, the first woman on Earth, given a box (or jar) by the Olympian gods and told never to open it. Her curiosity got the better of her and she opened it anyway, releasing all the evils of the world (similar to the Bible's story of Eve and the forbidden fruit). The Standard Model of Physics describes the four known fundamental forces of the universe: electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, and gravity.


Page 35: The Banzai Institute does not rely on government funding or Wall Street investors. Wall Street is a road in the financial district of Manhattan and which has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole.


Page 35: The Banzai Institute has at least two other musical bands associated with it besides the Hong Kong Cavaliers: the Bunkhouse Jazz Cats and the Banzai Brass Band.


Page 36: Buckaroo remarks, "As Beethoven said, ideas of a divine nature come into being through the electric language of music." Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a German composer, known for many great works of classical music. I've been unable to confirm Beethoven saying anything as specific as this, but it seems to be somewhat of an amalgam of things he said.


Page 36: Buckaroo says he modeled the Banzai Institute after Yaddo, in this case a kind of artists-colony-cum-think tank.


Page 36: Buckaroo believes in Bacon's Novum organum, the Enlightenment project, and the Rousseauian argument that human beings have traded their best and true nature for the comforts of civilization. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a renowned philosopher and author. His Novum organum (full title, Novum Organum, sive Indicia Vera de Interpretatione Naturae--New organon, or true directions concerning the interpretation of nature) is a treatise written in Latin that was published in 1620. The "Enlightenment project," generally, simply refers to the overall improvement of understanding of humanity through the sciences in the Western world, originating in the 18th Century. The Rousseauian argument (from the political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778) regards the place of the individual in society.


Page 36: Buckaroo says he believes in something like the Buddhist notion of a living, vibrating universe that permits absurdities and even contradictions.


Page 36: Merci beaucoup is French for "Thank you very much."


Page 36: After Buckaroo's speech at the Academie, he is asked what he found at the center of the Earth on his last trip and the response is he found a stone left by the Vikings. The attendees are wondering if he was kidding or not. It was probably a joke on Buckaroo's part about how Western historical research has found evidence that ancient Viking explorations were wide-ranging indeed.


Page 37: Analysis of data from NASA's Cassini probe and the Banzai Institute's own Large-Array Observatory shows a radioactive planetoid of unknown origin parked in one of Saturn's rings, since confirmed by the GRAPES-3 muon telescope in Ooty, India. This turns out, later in the novel, to be the siege vessel Imperatrix of the Black Lectroids.


Page 37: A number of French exclamations pepper this page. "Vive la France et vive la vie, mes amis!" = "Long live France and here's to life, my friends!" "Vive Buckaroo Banzai!" = "Long live Buckaroo Banzai!" "Vive les Hong Kong Cavaliers!" = "Long live the Hong Kong Cavaliers!" "Garde le foi!" = "Keep the faith!" "Vive la vie and vive la me," = "Here's to life and long life to me."


Page 38: Académiciensis French for "Academicians".




Page 39: The quote from Emperor Vespasian at the beginning of this chapter is accurate. He was Roman emperor from 69-79 BCE.


Page 39: Reno describes the Imperatrix's hull as being constructed partially of two elements unknown on Earth which he calls adamantium and terrylium. "Adamantium" is a fictitious metal alloy in Marvel Universe stories by Marvel Comics. "Terrylium" is also the name of a copper-containing alloy patented by the sports equipment manufacturer Scotty Cameron.


Page 40: The empress' expeditionary force of elite fighters aboard the Imperatrix are known as the Empress's Own Household Stain Removers and Bug Exterminators."


Page 40: Non gratae is Latin for "not acceptable".


Page 40: Black Lectroids are made up of the Mottled Adders and the Darklings.


Page 41: In telling the story of the Black Lectroids, Reno mentions the mystical Photon Belt around the Pleiades. This seems to be a reference to a pseudo-scientific or eschatological theory that was spread around the apocalyptic predictions of disaster in the year 2012. The Pleiades is a star cluster about 400 light years away from Earth.


Page 41: The Black Lectroids conquered a noxious planet called Re55a populated with "stick people" on the order of praying mantises.


Page 43: The Virgin Empress of the Black Lectroids, John Emdall, is also called the Divine Thunderpump and the True Light of Heaven. John Whorfin has the title Red Hammer.


Page 43: Emdall allegedly has the theurgical power to animate the inanimate, such as statues, rocks, and Mount Wah-Wah the "talking mountain".


Page 46: Hymns sung by the Cubists include "At Home in the Mountains of Ouibos" and "Saved by the Cube".


Page 46: Earth is one of the planets constituting the "green belt" of the Milky Way galaxy. The term as used here may be a play on the "green belt" designation of undeveloped wild or agricultural land near urban areas for preservation/conservation value.


Page 47: Lectroids are color blind.


Page 47: The Cubists aboard the Imperatrix are fans of Buckaroo's works and also fans of Bulldog Drummund and Joe Friday. Bulldog Drummund is a fictitious gentleman adventurer who has appeared in printed media, stage, screen, and television. Joe Friday is a fictitious detective of the Los Angeles Police Department appearing in the radio and television shows called Dragnet.


Page 48: Reno compares the resurrected John Whorfin among the Red Lectroids as to Earth's own ancient gods Osiris, Yeshua, and Raktabija. These are all beings from Earth religions known for having been resurrected or duplicated.


Page 49: Empress John Emdall falls in love with Buckaroo and is enraged at seeing video footage of him in the company of Miss Universe (who was actually Tommy's love interest at the time). Miss Universe is an international Earth beauty pageant hosted annually, with the winner being crowned with the title of Miss Universe for the next year.




Page 51: The quote from Francois Rabelais is from his The Third Book of the Heroick Deeds and Sayings of the Good Pantagruel, published in 1546. Rabelais was a French writer, physician, and monk.


Page 51: Xan sends embossed invitations to a Yuletide and Henry Shannon's birthday party rolled into one, to be held at the Temple de la Gloire, the palace of Diana Mitford Mosley in Orsay. The magi Allan Kardec and the Mancunian Manny Magdalene to be in attendance. The Temple de la Gloire is an historic house near Paris built in 1800 for a war hero and later owned by the fascist-sympathizing Mosley family during WWII. Manny Magdalene is a fictitious figure as far as I can tell, said here to be next in line to the WCL throne.


Page 51: Reno's explanation of the name "Xan" being a variant of xian, meaning "enlightened immortal", is essentially correct in Chinese.


Page 51: Reno confirms that Dr. Lizardo had been held at the Home for the Criminally Insane in Trenton, New Jersey. This was also said in Across the 8th Dimension film and comic book adaptation, while the Pinky Carruther's Unknown Facts subtitle track on the DVD, called it the New Brunswick Home for the Criminally Insane.


Page 52: Prima facie is Latin for "at first sight".


Page 52: Xan facilitated Lizardo's escape from the psychiatric facility during the events of Across the 8th Dimension.


Page 52: Grazie is Italian for "thank you".


Page 53: Xan receives a phone call that has been masked and rerouted through British GCHQ and the French DGSE. GCHQ is the Government Communications Headquarters, an intelligence and security organization of the United Kingdom. DGSE is the Directorate-General for External Security, France's foreign intelligence agency.


Page 53: Xan's batman, Satrap, is a neutered former captain of the shah's Persian Guard. A "batman" is a soldier who acts as the personal valet to an officer. The "shah" refers to the ruler of Iran. The last shah of Iran (at least in our world) was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi before he was ousted in 1979 during the Iranian revolution. The shah's Persian Guard was more commonly known as the Imperial Guard.


Page 54: The word "Styrofoam" is capitalized because it is actually a brand name, even though the word has taken on a genericized air in the public mind.


Page 54: Xan loathes digital devices, preferring rotary phones and Swiss clocks.


Page 55: Xan suspects his caller might be on the terrorist S-list. By "S-list", I think he is referring to "shit list".


Page 55: Xan sarcastically refers to the Lizardo/Whorfin clone who calls him as Inspector Clouseau. Inspector Clouseau is the fictional, bumbling French police inspector in the Pink Panther franchise of films, cartoons, and comic books.


Page 55: Xan wears a Richard Mille wristwatch. This is a Swiss luxury brand of watches.


Page 55: Xan mentions the Hayekian school's founding principles of free markets and sound money. This refers to the treatises of Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992).


Page 56: The U.S. government has spread the story that Lizardo's aircraft was shot down by the Air Force, not by Buckaroo Banzai (in Across the 8th Dimension).


Page 56: "Bon giorno, principessa," is Italian for "Good morning, Princess."


Page 57: "Giusto, Mama," is Italian for "Right, Mama."


Page 57: Whorfin refers to himself by the title "Emperor God Lord John Whorfin, Trumpet of Heaven and Son of Soldier King Lord John Shark Crab".


Page 57: Whorfin has been carrying the zygote union of himself and Empress John Emdall in his body for about thirty thousand years.


Page 57: Hearing that Whorfin is preggers, Xan remarks the Lectroid must be on cloud nine. The term "cloud nine" is an American idiom for being in a state of euphoria.


Page 58: Xan asks if Whorfin is having trouble with the CIA or Uncle Sam. The CIA is the Central Intelligence Agency, one of the major intelligence agencies of the United States government. Uncle Sam is a common personification of the United States government.


Page 59: Xan asks if Whorfin is calling from Langley and the George Bush Center for Intelligence. The George Bush Center for Intelligence is the headquarters of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. The headquarters did not get the "George Bush" name until 1999, so that may help to date the time of the novel, i.e. post-1999.


Page 59: Whorfin tells Xan that he misses his old boys John Bigbooté, John Gomez, John O'Connor, John Cleanup, and John Small Berries. All except John Cleanup were seen or mentioned in Across the 8th Dimension.


Page 60: Whorfin claims to have eight million Red Lectroid commandos waiting on "Number 6 Moon" as well as Winged Lectroids stuck in the 7th Dimension.


Page 60: Whorfin tells Xan he needs to get his red ass out of Dodge. The phrase "get out of Dodge" is generally attributed to the long-running (1955-1975) TV series Gunsmoke, a Western set in Dodge City, Kansas.


Page 60: Whorfin complains that he's got no way out from where's he's being held, like Napoleon on Elba. Napoleon Bonaparte was the high general, First Consul, and Emperor of France from 1799-1814. After he was overthrown by a coalition of European countries, he was exiled to the Mediterranean island of Elba, though he actually escaped it after 11 months.


Page 60: Whorfin dreams of returning to Planet 10, roaming with divine nymphs of Zalvoz up the slopes of Mount Paradise.


Page 61: Beginning to get fed up with Whorfin's prattling on the phone, Xan retorts, "Good grief, Charlie Brown, stick to the outskirts of Funkytown." "Good grief, Charlie Brown" refers to the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz which starred the character of the boy named Charlie Brown who had "Good grief!" as his catchphrase. "Funkytown" is the name of a chart-topping disco song by Lipps Inc. in 1980.


Page 61: "Figlio di puttana!" is Italian for "Son of a bitch!"


Page 62: "Buon appetito," is Italian for "Enjoy your meal." "Per favore, holy Saint Jude, apostolo e martire, grant my petizione..!" is Italian for "Please, holy Saint Jude, apostle and martyr, grant my petition..!"


Page 62: Xan tells Whorfin that on Earth people are judged by their appearance and their smell, so his host, Lizardo, should get a shave and haircut, be well attired, and wear Florsheim wingtips.


Page 64: Xan tells Whorfin to fly like Superman or do the old Tennessee long jump. Superman, of course, is a flying superhero character appearing in titles published by DC Comics. As far as I know, "Tennessee long jump" has no particular meaning as a phrase; perhaps it's meant to be a metaphor for something like "jump off a building."




The chapter's opening quote, "Think and grow rich," by Napoleon Hill is from his 1937 self-help book by that name.


Page 67: Mr. French has sent Xan a Dr. Grabow smoking pipe, favored by Xan.


Page 67: Xan remarks to Mr. French, "River deep, mountain high." This a line from the chorus of the 1966 song of the same name by Ike & Tina Turner.


Page 68: Mr. French alludes to spy drones, saying, "...our secret Lawn Boy rover." Lawn Boy is an American manufacturer of lawn mowers.


Page 69: Xan has a tattoo on his left palm of a triangle circumscribed inside a circle of esoteric symbols. I don't know what this symbolizes, but a standard graphic of a triangle circumscribed inside a circle represents serenity and is often used in addiction recovery programs.


Page 69: When Xan's tattoo begins to glow and itch, he licks it with his slithery, elongated tongue. He is also known to use his tongue to moisten his eyes in the absence of tear ducts.


Page 69: Joie de vivre is French for "joy of living."


Page 69: Mr. French remarks to Xan, "I know you own all the opium and emerald mines in Afghanistan and all the Frankenstein corn in Nebraska." Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium poppies and has a large number of emerald mines. Frankenstein corn is genetically-modified corn (usually to resist certain insect pests); Nebraska is a major producer of corn.


Page 69: Xan invested $11,000 in Yoyodyne back in the day to help Whorfin build his homecoming ship.


Page 69: Tiring of Mr. French, Xan remarks, "Into the valley of death rode the six hundred...down the bunny trail." The first part of his statement is from the 1854 narrative poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The second part is a line from the 1949 children's Easter song "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins.


Page 70: When Xan's American caller gives the false name of Antoine French, he claims to be the Marquis of Lincoln. This is a false title, possibly a joking reference to the Mercury Marquis automobile which was made with many of the same parts used in the Lincoln Continental, both vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Company.


Page 70: When Xan calls out the caller on his false name, the caller suggests calling him Amerigo Vespucci, the Duke of Earl instead. Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) was an Italian merchant and explorer for whom the American continent was named. Vespucci was not a duke of Earl, "Duke of Earl" being simply the title of a 1961 song by Gene Chandler.


Page 71: Xan remarks that it sounds like Whorfin has more lives than Felix the Cat. Felix the Cat is a children's comedic cartoon character created in 1919 for silent films, since going on to sound films, television, books, and comics. A common myth about cats is that they have nine lives.


    Page 71: Mr. French tells Xan that Lizardo is dying of advanced adenocarcinoma and gestational diabetes. Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancerous tumor. Gestational diabetes is a sort of pseudo-diabetes in which a woman develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy; this suggests that Lizardo's body is suffering from the pregnancy of Whorfin. Possibly the "cancerous tumor" is actually the egg/embryo of the Lectroid baby.

    Speaking of Whorfin's pregnancy, the comic book story "Tears of a Clone" Part 2 introduces Whorfin's already-existing son, Colonel John Babyjesus!


Page 71: Xan makes a famous "Hole in Your Stomach" salsa.


Page 72: Mr. French's reference to a "directed ZQ photon energy beam" in regards to the OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER may be to the ZQ molecular Hamiltonian charge of the nucleus of an atom, expressed as the equation: atomic number Z times q (electrons' negative elementary charge).


Page 72: The Planck temperature of 1.41679 x 1032 Kelvin (otherwise known as Tp) is the temperature at which the wavelength of light emitted by thermal radiation reaches the Planck length.


Page 72: Mr. French claims to know something about Xan's ancient feud with Buckaroo Banzai, having to do with the Pythagorean theorem and the value of the hypotenuse. The Pythagorean theorem states that in a right triangle, the square of the area of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of squares of the area of the other two sides, a2 + b2 = c2. It's hard to see how this proven theorem commonly known in high school math could be the cause of the friction between the two great men and/or their families.


Page 73: Mr. French remarks that he could spend the rest of his life in the Iron Bar Hotel just for speaking to Xan. "Iron Bar Hotel" is a slang expression for "prison".


    Page 74: A Lasiq is an Ismaili term for adherent who swears a special oath to their leader. The Secret Order of Assassins is one of the titles sometimes used for Nizari Ismailism, extant during the Medieval era in Persia and Syria.

    Xan's Lasiq, Contreras, is said to have taken a swan dive into the Panama Canal and failed to come back up. 


Page 74: The more formal name for the World Crime League within the organization is the Transnational Interlocking Directorate.


Page 74: A favorite poet of both Buckaroo and Xan is Du Fu. Du Fu (712-770) was a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. The alleged Du Fu quote used here is fictitious as far as I can tell.


Page 75: The Furies are deities in ancient Greek mythology who take vengeance on mortals. The Fates were part of many European pantheistic religions, usually depicted as a trio of women, who would take a hand in the destiny of all humans.


Page 75: Xan keeps an apartment in the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo, and an underground mansion in Petra.


Page 75: Ma'rib is a small ancient city of Yemen.


Page 75: The "salt trek" across the Himalayas refers to the former route for salt and silk along the Himalayan Mountains through Bhutan and Nepal.


Page 75: Marseille is a large city in France.


Page 76: Xan receives a package containing a crude clay model of an OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER and numerous pages of invention designs, including a Nitro-fueled La-Z-Boy recliner. The box also includes some gift baskets buried under crumpled pages of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


Page 76: Xan says, "Tant pis" upon examining the contents of the box. Tant pis is French for "so much the worse". The term is used again by Xan on page 90.


Page 77: Xan believes there are aliens of various denominations living among humans on Earth. He also believes he may be an alien himself.


Page 77: Benzedrine is a brand name of amphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant.


Pages 77-78: Xan is dressed by his attendants in Charlemagne's seamless robe of Christ and he carries a gnarled walking stick said to be carved from the true cross passed down from Constantine and his mother, Saint Helena. The stick is also adorned with Xan's own addition of a desiccated stingray tail said to possess magical properties. Charlemagne was emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 800-814 AD. Charlemagne received the supposed robe of Christ from the Empress Irene of the Eastern Roman Empire around the year 800 (the robe, now in pieces, is currently kept at the Benedictine church in the commune of Argenteuil in Paris). The True Cross is the Roman cross on which Jesus was crucified; many wooden relics that are claimed to be made of part of the True Cross are known throughout Europe and the Middle East, but none are a walking stick as far as I am aware. The tail of a live stingray can deliver venom to an assailant; in some magical traditions, a stingray tail is a deterrent against ghosts, witches, and other supernatural entities.


Page 78: The caroling Death Dwarves here are eunuchs and are tattooed chin to wrist. Is this true of all of Xan's Death Dwarves?


Page 78: As Xan enters the ballroom and tosses handfuls of hundred-dollar bills to the throng, the people chant, "It's a holly jolly Christmas!" This line is a slightly altered version of the main lyric of the 1964 Johnny Marks song "A Holly Jolly Christmas".




The quote from Robert Lowell at the beginning of the chapter is from his 1973 poem "Death of Alexander" about Alexander the Great.


Page 79: Astor Place is a street and neighborhood in Manhattan.


Page 80: A via ferrata is a protected climbing route.


Page 80: Penny sees an inflatable Père Noël in the underground chamber of Xan's hideout. Père Noël is French for "Father Christmas".


Page 81: The crowd in Xan's underground chamber were mostly men, "...but no small number were women and others of indeterminate biology and even the odd android."


Page 82: According to Xan, he and Penny had both been gods and lovers in previous lives.


Page 82: Xan calls Penny names other than Penny, such as Alisa, Pallas, Pulcherie, Mother Mara the Temptress, Little Pousie, and Bon-Bon. Many of these are names related to goddesses, nobility, or beauty. "Little Pousie" and "Bon-Bon" may just be pet names.


Page 83: Xan tells Penny he's loved her since a winter in Mongolia when he took her by his right of de jambage. De jambage is a French term for "right of the lord", the right of a feudal lord to have a night with any woman of his choice.


Page 83: Xan claims to Penny that he has been a son of Zeus, an incarnation of Vishnu, the First Adam, and a pre-Adamic man and that he had sacrificed his divinity to become flesh. Zeus was the king of the Greek gods, who had many sons and daughters. Vishnu is one of the three supreme gods of Hinduism. Adam was the first human, whose mate was the first woman, Eve, according to the Book of Genesis.


Page 83: Xan is described as having paranormal talents, like the snake in the Garden. This refers to the snake (devil) in the Garden of Eden in the Bible.


Page 83: Xan opens the Saturnalia festivities with "Friends, Romans, countrymen..." This is from a speech by Marc Antony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Saturnalia was an ancient Roman holiday and festival in honor of the god Saturn (Saturnus)featuring the exchange of gifts.


Page 85: Xan's reference to "Erlik the Mongolian" may be to Erlik, the Mongolian (Turkic) god of death.


Page 87: Assez is French for "enough".


Page 87: Xan's followers refer to him as Dionysus, Rider of the Clouds and Spigot of Honey. Dionysus was one of the Greek gods who also had these two epithets sometimes applied to him.


Page 87: Xan refers to his followers as guizu and jiangjun as he orders them to flog themselves. These two words are Chinese for "noble" and "general", respectively.


Page 88: Sanctus is Latin for "holy".


Page 88: Delegato is Spanish for "delegate".


Pages 88-89: Xan points out to Penny representatives from many organizations all over the world present at his Saturnalia. They are all real world groups in one form or another.


Page 89: à mort is French for "to death".


Page 89: Dynamis is Latin for "dynamics".


Page 89: Pourquoi is French for "why".


Page 90: Mes enfants is French for "my children".


Page 90: Pai pai shou is Chinese for "clap hands".


Page 91: Secretum is Latin for "privacy".


Page 91: Xan says to Penny, "Vive l'amour! Sanctus, santus, sanctus..." This is a mix of French and Latin for "Long live love! Holy, holy, holy..."




The quote opening this chapter is from the Book of Mark in the Bible.


This chapter describes a bizarre incident taking place at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. This base lies near the infamous Area 51 within the Nevada Test and Training Range, a highly-restricted U.S. Air Force testing facility suspected by some of harboring the remains of crashed UFOs.


Page 93: Abbot Costello rides a vintage Stingray bicycle. The String Ray is a model of bicycle offered by Schwinn Bicycle Company.


Page 94: Abbot Costello describes himself as a Paraclete. This is a term meaning "advocate". In the case of a Franciscan abbot, this would mean an advocate for God.


Page 94: NCO stands for "non-commissioned officer".


Page 94: Abbot Costello tells the Air Force officers he came from Route 66 and one of the officers asks, "The devil's highway?" Route 66 is one of the first highways established in the U.S. highway system and runs from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. The officer's question about the "devil's highway" is a reference to Route 666, which ran through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah and attained the nickname "the devil's highway" due to its "666" number that is said to be the Number of the Beast in the Christian Bible. However, the highway was renamed to Route 491 in 2003, mostly due to the costly theft of "Route 666" road signs!


Page 94: DOD stands for "Department of Defense", as in the United States Department of Defense.


Page 94: The staff car driven by Captain Bowers is a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. This is a model of the Ford Crown Victoria specially designed for law enforcement, manufactured from 1992-2013.


    Page 95: In the staff car, Abbot Costello is driven past distant burn pits within Area 51. The burn pits exist there in the real world as well, as places to destroy non-functional or obsolete secret technology, even becoming the target of an environmental lawsuit in 1994.

    Wing Commander Wagoneer remarks that the pits are like something out of Dante's InfernoThis is a reference to a portion of the classic 14th century epic poem The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.


Page 96: Wagoneer has a pet Chihuahua whom he believes is able to make predictions of events before they happen. The dog is named Nostradamus. Nostradamus was the name of French astrologer and seer who published a book of prophecies written in poetic quatrains in 1555, which many people since believe have come true.


Page 96: Wagoneer has heard that Abbot Costello is able to cast out demons in nomine Dei. In nomine Dei is Latin for "In the name of God."


Page 96: Non e vero is Latin for "is it not true".


Page 96: Wagoneer lights a hand-rolled cigarette and squints through mejideh tobacco smoke. I have been unable to determine what mejideh means.


Page 96: Wagoneer says he attended the University of Oklahoma and Oral Roberts University.


Page 97: Wagoneer says he knows his way around the language of Cicero. Cicero (106-43 BCE) was a Roman statesman and philosopher known for his writings and oratory skills.


Page 97: Wagoneer tells Abbot Costello, "'s a bitch and then marry one, hermano." Hermano is Spanish for "brother".


Page 97: Clearly not in his right mind, Wagoneer states to Abbot Costello he heard, " exorcised the whole Carpathian Forest, including vampires..." The Carpathian Forest is the forest on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, which run in sort of a backwards C-shape from the eastern Czech Republic to Serbia.


Page 97: Abbot Costello asks Wagoneer, "You are sick man? Pazzo?" Pazzo is Italian for "crazy".


Page 97: Wagoneer makes a passing reference to King Kong. King Kong, of course, is the gigantic ape who's appeared in a number of films and other media since his debut in the classic 1933 film King Kong.


Page 98: Wagoneer asks Abbot Costello about his accommodations at the Ramadan Inn. He means to say the Ramada Inn, a chain of American hotels. "Ramadan" is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection in the Muslim community.


Page 98: Abbot Costello seems to cherish a Jack in the Box antenna ball he keeps within his vestments.


Page 98: Molto bene is Italian for "very nice".


Page 99: Dr. Lizardo's code name as an internee at Area 51 is Desert Lizard.


Page 99: Wagoneer tells Abbot Costello to focus on what he's about to tell him, "For Jesus and Garibaldi." Garibaldi likely refers to Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), an Italian general considered one of the fathers of the fatherland.


Page 100: Wagoneer refers to Desert Lizard as a cold-blooded Cinderella. In many versions of the classic folk tale of Cinderella, the young woman by that name must be home by midnight when the magically created ballroom gown she wears for the evening will turn back into her native rags.


Page 101: Wagoneer remarks that Desert Lizard "...lost his map to the Lost Dutchman's mine, and he's been sitting on his pity potty ever since..." The Lost Dutchman's mine is a legend of a lost gold mine in the Arizona desert. "Pity potty" is a slang phrase for someone who is feeling sorry for themselves and also maybe trying to engender a feeling of pity among others to do things for them.


Page 102: Dr. Emilio Lizardo's middle name is Lazaro.


Page 102: Abbot Costello recalls that when he was in grade school, the name "Lizardo" came to mean someone who belonged in a nut house.


Page 102: Specchietto is Italian for "mirror" and carbone is Italian for "coal".


Page 102: Abbot Costello tells Wagoneer he needs a stick of goat butter or Crisco.


Page 103: "Come ti chiami?" is Italian for "What is your name?"


Page 103: "Per Dio, italiano?! Sono Emilio, paesano..." is Italian for "By God, Italian?! I'm Emilio, a villager..."


Page 103: Zitto and delegato are Italian for "shut up" and "delegate", respectively.


Page 103: Abbot Costello uses the phrase "lie down in grassy pastures." This is a line from Psalm 23:2 in the Bible.


Page 105: Diaboli is Latin for "devil".


Page 105: "Vergogna! Porca Madonna!" is Italian for "Shame! Holy shit!"


Page 105: "...stupido!...Insubordinato carogna...alto le mani!" is Italian for "... stupid! ... Insubordinate carrion ... hands up!"


Page 106: As Abbot Costello attempts to exorcise Whorfin from Lizardo's body, he thinks he has not felt the presence of such a powerful demon since casting out the spirit of Herod Antipas from a Norwegian boy several months ago. Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee and Pereus 4 BCE - 39 AD. He is known for his role in the deaths of John the Baptist and Jesus.


Page 106: As the pain of the exorcism continues, Lizardo calls Abbot Costello, "Motherphawkin' son of Rome!" Rome is the home of the independent nation of Vatican City, the headquarters of the Catholic Church.


Page 107: Poverino and famiglia are Italian for "poor thing" and "family", respectively.


Page 107: "In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti..." is Latin for "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit..."


Page 107: "Carogna! Figlio di puttana...!" is Italian for "You bastard! Son of a bitch ...!"


Page 108: Dominus vobiscum and Cazzo are Latin and Italian for "the Lord be with you" and "fuck", respectively.


Page 108: "Basta, diavolo!" is Italian for "Enough, devil!"


Page 108: Wagoneer sees the Lectroid face of Whorfin during the exorcism and thinks he discerns the Hindu god Shiva. Like Vishnu, Shiva is one of the three supreme gods of Hinduism.


    Page 108: As Whorfin begins to emerge from Lizardo, Wagoneer exclaims, "Looks like Popeye ate his spinach!" This refers to Popeye, a comic strip and cartoon character known to eat spinach to dramatically increase his strength at opportune moments.

    Wagoneer continues on to say, "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds..." This is a quote by Vishnu in the Bhagavad Gita, a lengthy verse of Hindu scripture from the 1st millennium BCE.


Page 109: Santo Dio is Italian for "Holy God".


Page 109: As Whorfin emerges, a suppressed heresy Abbot Costello once read pushes into his thoughts, "'Jesus, have we no Father?' And Jesus answered him in tears, saying, 'We are orphans all. We have no Father.'" This is from the German novel Siebenkas by Jean Paul, published in three volumes in 1796-97, and a section of it titled "Speech of the Dead Christ from the Universe that There Is No God".


Page 109: Wagoneer reasons that the Joint Chiefs will be alerted to what has happened with Desert Lizard. The Joint Chiefs are senior members of the U.S. Department of Defense who advise the President and Secretary of Defense.


Page 109: Wagoneer worries that he will be demoted with no pension and no Winnebago to tour the country.


Page 110: Wagoneer hears the voice of Lizardo gurgling in the distance, "Pezzo di merda! Arrivederci, Roma!" This is Italian for "Piece of shit! Goodbye, Rome!"




The title of this chapter is an ancient proverb from the Bible, Luke 4:23.


The quote that opens the chapter is from Pen-chi's Questions and Answers. Pen-chi was one of the two founders of the Ts'ao-tung school Chinese Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism.


Page 111: Reno implies that a Buckaroo Banzai series of books has been published by Penguin Books. In the real world, there has been only the novelization of Across the 8th Dimension, published in two editions by Pocket Books, and this novel, published by Dark Horse.


Page 111: Buckaroo has occasionally altered his famous assertion, "The only reason for time is so everything doesn't happen all at once," to "The only reason for the illusory concept of time is so everything doesn't seem to happen all at once."


Page 113: The Banzai Institute is near Fort Defiance. Fort Defiance lies in the Navajo Nation in Arizona.


Page 113: The Jet Car II is a twin-burner 1977 Dodge Power Wagon.


    Page 114: It is stated that Rawhide has been "dead these many years but hardly forgotten." Rawhide was "killed" by a Lectroid barb in Across the 8th Dimension, suggesting this story takes place "many years" after the events of that film. However, the Pinky Carruther's Unknown Facts subtitle track on the film's DVD states:


Contrary to popular belief, Rawhide is not dead. While he is not 'with us' in the sense of daily camaraderie, neither is he a lost cause. Following his descent into coma, he was placed in medical stasis, his metabolic rate slowed to a nearly imperceptible level (also known as being put 'on ice.') An entire wing of the Institute was dedicated to finding a cure for the deadly Lectroid barb, the best men in their fields working around the clock. Only now we do we feel confident to announce that an antidote is indeed nearly at hand, and we expect our fallen comrade to rejoin our ranks shortly (his modified Trans-Am is still in his parking space and his favorite book, The Compleat Angler, is still on his dresser where he left it).


    Did Rawhide die in the meantime, awaiting the cure? 


Page 114: Two singing cowboys of the silver screen, Gene Autry and Pedro Infante appear in Buckaroo's dream. Autry (1907-1998) was an American actor, singer, and songwriter. Infante (1917-1957) was a Mexican ranchera singer and actor.


Page 116: In his dream, Buckaroo thinks about checking the Jake brake on the Jet Car. A Jake brake is a special engine braking mechanism on some diesel motors.


Page 118: In Buckaroo's dream, the Jet Car's dashboard lights flash and the EPIRB goes haywire. EPIRB stands for "emergency position-indicating radio beacon". 


Page 118: The five-speed shifter lever in the Jet Car has a caduceus snake emblem on it. The caduceus was the rod carried by the god Hermes in Greek mythology and is often used as an emblem in commerce and negotiation, with the two snakes on the pole representing balance. Occasionally, it is also used by medical organizations, though the traditional emblem for medicine is the similar Rod of Asclepius, with just one snake. It would seem like the medical usage was most likely Buckaroo's intention.
Caduceus Rod of Asclepius


Page 118: In his Jet Car dream, Buckaroo worries about the Nitto Grapplers and Mopar microchannel plate detector and bell housings. Nitto Grapplers are a brand and model of tires made by Toyo Tires. Mopar is the parts, service, and customer care division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, including the Dodge brand.


Page 119: Buckaroo thinks of the 8th Dimension as "the dark realm of nigredo, phobias, hopelessness, and horrors beyond words, where there is no before or after." "Nigredo" is an alchemical term for putrefaction or decomposition. It has also become a psychoanalytical metaphor for "the dark knight of the soul" or facing the shadow within. Buckaroo may be using the term in both senses here.


Page 119: Q-beams are bright LED spotlights.


Steve Mattson points out: "Buckaroo’s dream is similar to the one portrayed in "Return of the Screw" including; driving the Jet Car to the hospital to operate on Penny, Xan’s red eyes, and the caduceus on the gear shift knob."


Page 120: The song being sung by Team Banzai is the 1942 song "Jingle Jangle Jingle" written by Joseph J. Lilley and Frank Loesser. The aforementioned Gene Autry did a popular version of it.


    Page 120: Team Banzai approaches Cochise Draw near the Superstition Mountains. The Superstition Mountains lie east of Phoenix, AZ. Reno's description of it as "where many a miner has struck near pay dirt" is accurate, as these mountains are where the previously mentioned Lost Dutchman's gold mine was said to be located.

    The story seems to imply that the Superstition Mountains are within close horseriding distance of the Navaho Nation, but the two are separated by over 100 miles.


Page 120: Team Banzai jokes that the desert where they were riding was "hotter than the midday Venusian sun." The planet Venus has the hottest surface of any planet in the solar system, with a mean temperature of 867 °F.


Page 120: Pecos rides a Spanish barb horse. A Spanish barb is a horse that is a direct descendant of the original horses brought to the American continents from Spain.


Page 121: The new Institute resident called Li'l Daughter of the Rhine is a Fellow of the Max Planck Institute in Düsseldorf. Since Reno says that her institute is in Düsseldorf, she is probably from the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research, which is located there.


Page 121: The delirious Buckaroo seems to mumble "Save the desert salamander." The desert slender salamander is an actual endangered species. It's possible that Buckaroo's delusion is precognition of his saving of the Lectroid embryo near the end of the novel.


Page 121: Mein gott is German for "my god".


Page 122: Buckaroo is riding his piebald horse, Buttermilk. But it says the horse used to be Penny's. He had a horse by this name in "Christmas Corral" and also as a boy in "A Tomb With a View".


Page 122: On the desert ride, Buckaroo picked some ch'oxo plant and stashed it in his boot. I have not been able to find a plant by that name.


Page 123: The Jet Car accident that resulted in the death of Penny is said to have occurred over the foothills of the Himalayas.


Page 123: Buckaroo asks for some Alka-Seltzer and Tommy provides him two from a vintage Pez dispenser. It seems to me your typical Pez dispenser would not hold a full size Alka-Seltzer tablet.


Page 124: The Banzai Institute sits on 27,000 acres.


Page 124: A number of previously unseen members of Team Banzai are present during the desert campout. Some of the names are plays on words or other names.


  • Colorado Belle may be named for the famous "riverboat" casino by that name in Laughlin, Nevada.
  • Lonely Ranger's name comes from the western radio and television character, the Lone Ranger.
  • Papa Bear's name comes from the Papa Bear character in the children's fairy tale "Goldilocks and the Three Bears".
  • Señor Dentista's name is Spanish for "Mister Dentist".
  • Pilgrim Woman may have obtained her name from the 1579 Italian play The Pilgrim Woman by Girolamo Bargagli.
  • Lakota Sue is a play on the name of the Lakota Sioux tribe of Native Americans.
  • "Talla 12 de Pantalon" is Spanish for "size 12 pants".
  • Buffalo Gal may be named for the 1844 traditional American song "Buffalo Gals" by John Hodges.
  • Jolly Rancher is named for the brand of fruit flavored candies.
  • Webmaster Jhonny Appleseed's name is based on the nickname of Johnny Appleseed attained by American nurseryman John Chapman, who planted apple trees throughout wide areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Ontario, as well as the northern counties of present-day West Virginia.


Page 125: Buckaroo heads to the remuda to massage down Buttermilk. A remuda is a herd of horses from which ranch hands pick their horses.


Page 126: Reno remarks that, like many towering intellects such as Einstein, Buckaroo is remarkable for his simplicity and trustfulness. Einstein, of course, is a reference to Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the renowned theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity in physics. Einstein is depicted as a colleague of Buckaroo's father in "A Tomb With a View".


Page 127: Buckaroo tells his team he doesn't think he's had a good night's sleep since he left the ICU in Bhutan and Li'l Daughter remarks that that was months ago. Presumably, this refers to the Jet Car crash in Bhutan that took Penny's life and put him in the hospital, implying it's been less than a year since his marriage to Penny and her subsequent death, but page 29 states it has been 18 months. ICU is short for "intensive care unit".




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one by Nietzsche from his 1873 essay "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense."


Page 129: Buckaroo describes his dream (possibly a repressed memory of an accidental foray into the 7th Dimension), in which he found himself at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.


Page 130: In his dream, Buckaroo saw the leg of a Raggedy Ann doll protruding from a large bowl of chopped lettuce. Raggedy Ann and Andy were ragdolls and characters in a series of children's books created by American writer Johnny Gruelle beginning in 1915.


Page 130: In his dream, someone hands Buckaroo a Garden Weasel.


Page 130: Buckaroo refers to Professor Hikita as "Hikita-sama". Sama is a Japanese honorific, generally used for someone who is of a higher rank than the speaker or for someone the speaker greatly admires.


Page 131: Lonely Ranger made a fortune on Wall Street before joining the Institute.


Page 132: Buckaroo paraphrases Feynman as saying, "if you think you understand the quantum, you don't understand it, in the same way that 'the Tao that can be spoken is not the real Tao...'" Buckaroo is speaking of American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988), who once said, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." The quote about Tao is from Lao Tzu, the founder of philosophical Taoism in the 5th Century BCE.


Page 132: Reno points out the laws of noncontradiction, the excluded middle, and identity. These are laws of logic pondered by the Ancient Greek philosophers, particularly Plato.


Page 132: Reno vaguely recalls something about famous last words and wallpaper. Oscar Wilde's last words before he died in 1900 are alleged to be "This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do."


Page 133: Li'l Daughter remarks that we live in the Fourth Dimension, the Welterfahrendesleben. Welterfahrendesleben is a term for "life experiencing the world" coined by German philosopher and mathematician Edmund Husserl.


Page 133: Li'l Daughter asks how many dimensions are in the universe and Buckaroo answers, "Eleven, as far as I know..." Physicists say that superstring theory posits ten definite dimensions of the universe, plus a possible eleventh.


Page 134: Jhonny talks about a pessimistic recurring dream he's been having about his own death, prefacing it with, "Not to be Chicken Little..." Chicken Little is a character in a European folk tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end when an acorn falls on his head, causing him to think the sky is falling.


Page 134: In the dream Buckaroo talks about, he walks out onto a stage in the Roman Coliseum.


Page 135: According to Reno, former Banzai Institute resident Muscatine "Magnum" Wu may be the best bluegrass lutist and banjo player who ever lived.


Page 135: Colorado Belle is a "tatted beauty".


Page 136: The Hong Kong Cavaliers may give another command performance at Buckingham Palace during their upcoming European tour. Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British king/queen.


Page 136: The current postmaster general is Postmaster General Mantooth, a.k.a. Rainbow Trout. Mantooth is a fictitious holder of this post.


Page 136: Buckaroo and President Monroe recently had a falling-out over the something to do with the World Health Organization.


Page 136-137: Red Jordan carries a Smith & Wesson 500 to investigate a disturbance near the camp site. Pecos carries a Heckler & Koch machine pistol.


Page 137: As a black helicopter with dimmed running lights approaches the camp site, Tommy conjectures whether it might be the Drug Enforcement Administration or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Page 137: Captain Jackson is a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, nicknamed the Night Stalkers. They are based in Kentucky as implied on page 138.


Page 138: C-in-C is short for "Commander-in-Chief."


Page 139: Pecos is alleged to have been raised by wild hyenas on a diet of raw meat and roots.


Page 139: Reno carries a Winchester rapid-action pump.


Page 139: Captain Jackson tosses Reno a ration of peanuts and a Go Fast energy drink, bearing a likeness of Pope Innocent the Mercator under the legend BOTTLED AT THE RIVER JORDAN, CARBONATED. Go Fast is a real world brand of energy drink produced in several varieties, but they do not have one endorsed by the pope or bottled at the River Jordan. The River Jordan is a river in the Middle East holding a prominent place in the religious history of Judaism and Christianity, bordered on the east by Jordan and Golan Heights and on the west by the West Bank and Israel. Pope Innocent the Mercator is a fictitious pope.


Page 139: Buckaroo and the Cavaliers are being taken to Washington D.C. to meet with the president.


Page 140: Reno says, "To sleep, perchance to dream..." This is a quote from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one by American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978).


Page 143: Samsonite is an American luggage manufacturer.


Page 144: The black helicopter lands at Andrews Base, then Buckaroo and crew are driven to the rendezvous with the president. Andrews Base refers to Joint Base Andrews near Washington D.C.


Page 145: ATF is short for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Page 145: The Banzai Institute has learned that the Pentagon tried to hack into its networks and was sneaking spies in to steal the plans for the Jet Car and the OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense.


Page 145: A knockoff OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER was found for sale in a Spanish bazaar a while back.


    Page 147: During the drive to White House, Buckaroo watches a Japanese baseball game between the Giants and Hiroshima on his mobile. The players Naruta and Otagiri are mentioned. The teams would be the Yomiuri Giants and Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. As far as I can tell, Naruta and Otagiri are fictitious players. The White House is the official home of the U.S. president.

    Page 609 reveals that Buckaroo's family had a summer home in Hiroshima when he was a child.


Page 147: Buckaroo receives a message from the Secretariat of Nova Police. According to the novelization of Across the 8th Dimension, the Nova Police are essentially the Interpol of Planet 10.


Page 148: The Secretariat informs Buckaroo that a war party of several million mottled ringneck strike-master Lectroids are on the way to Earth to arrest Whorfin.


Page 150: Buckaroo speculates that Empress John Emdall has fallen into a Thucydides trap and envisioning Whorfin as Hitler, Jesus Christ, and Harry Houdini all rolled into one. A Thucydides trap is a tendency towards war when an emerging power threatens an existing great power. Adolf Hitler, of course, was the evil Chancellor of Germany 1934-1945, during WWII. Jesus Christ was a first-century Jewish preacher who became the central figure of Christianity, whom later Christians believe was the son of God. Harry Houdini was a renowned Hungarian-American escape artist and stunt performer in the early 20th Century.


Page 151: Li'l Daughter's remark that 51.5 is the incline angle of the Great Pyramid at Giza is correct.


Page 152: When Buckaroo reminds everyone that New Jersey's uncle Ira managed to retrieve a piece of Lectroid tissue that landed on his patio when Whorfin's ship was destroyed by Buckaroo (in Across the 8th Dimension), Li'l Daughter exclaims, "How in the Sam Hill..?" "Sam Hill" is an euphemism for "the devil" or "Hell".


Page 153: After finding the alien tissue, Uncle Ira (a medical professional like New Jersey) notified the U.S. Health Department. After this, Ira found himself being tailed and wiretapped, so he finally decided to accept an invitation from the Vienna Boys' Choir to become its musical director.


Page 153 puts a new spin on the Orson Welles radio broadcast of War of the Worlds on Halloween 1938. In Across the 8th Dimension, it was explained that the dramatic broadcast, which frightened some listeners into believing an actual Martian invasion was taking place, was actually an aborted Lectroid invasion. Now, Pecos explains to Li'l Daughter that Welles was a traitor to our planet, for he created the radio show in order to cover over the smuggling of Red Lectroids from the 8th Dimension as part of a deal he'd made with Hanoi Xan for funding of his first movie Citizen Kane. Citizen Kane (1941) is considered by many critics to be the best film ever made. (At the end of the Across the 8th Dimension novelization is printed a letter from the agent of Orson Welles, in which the famous actor/director denies any collusion with aliens to hide their arrival in Grover's Mills.)


Page 155: Reno writes that "Progress Over Protocol" was the Cavaliers' mantra. It was also the title of one the band's albums according to the special features on the Across the 8th Dimension DVD.


Page 155-156: Buckaroo and team make plans to send out a photo of Lizardo for all Blue Blazes to be on the lookout for him and to scour every police blotter "from here to Timbuktu." Timbuktu is a city in Mali. The name of the city has long been used as a metaphor for "the middle of nowhere."


Page 156: Lizardo likes expensive clothes from the 1930s.




The opening quote of this chapter is a real world one, but the man's name is Lavrentiy Beria, not "Beri". Beria (1899-1953) was a Soviet politician.


Page 157: The Smithsonian Castle is the nickname of the administrative offices and information center of the Smithsonian Institution. St. Anthony Hall is a fraternity with chapters in eleven eastern universities. As far as I can find, there is no secret room in the Smithsonian Castle for members of the fraternity; I walked around all day looking for it.


Page 157: "Pinkerton men" are security forces hired out by the Pinkerton agency.


Page 159: The Defense Department and FBI originally secured the crash site of Whorfin's ship after it crashed in New Jersey at the end of Across the 8th Dimension. The FBI is the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Page 162: General Wagoneer's cafeteria dinner plate holds a wilted piece of lettuce in a soupy brew of gravy and crimson Jell-O.


Page 162: When Buckaroo enters Wagoneer's holding cell with some chicken tenders, Wagoneer perks up and asks, "Chicken? Is that the Colonel I smell?" "The Colonel" is a reference to Colonel Sanders, the brand ambassador character for the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken.


Page 163: Buckaroo tells Wagoneer he's there simply as a physician, at the request of psych services and Wagoneer's primary care provider, Dr. J—." The first letter followed by a long dash is a long-time style choice in printed literature when concealing the name of a "real" person for privacy reasons.


Page 163: Buckaroo suggests to Wagoneer that maybe he's really there to do a prison album like Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash (1932-2003) was an American singer/songwriter. He performed a number of concerts at prisons, some of which were recorded and released as live albums.


Page 164: Wagoneer apologizes to Buckaroo for the dirty state of his cell, saying he won't be getting any Mr. Clean awards.


Page 164: Wagoneer asks about his Chihuahua, Nostradamus, saying the dog saw what would happen to Wagoneer, as also foretold in the Book of Famous Amos. Wagoneer seems to be referring to the Book of Amos, a part of the Old Testament that tells of prophecies by Amos, one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. "Famous Amos" is a brand of cookies founded by Wally Amos in 1975.


Page 165: Wagoneer claims that half his ancestors were sent to the Tower of London. The Tower of London is a castle on the bank of the River Thames in London that served as a prison from 1100-1952.


Page 165: Wagoneer claims to have seen Professor Hikita in his cell just yesterday. Buckaroo is skeptical considering Hikita is dead. But Buckaroo will see what seems to the spirit of the professor later in the novel.


Page 165: Wagoneer says he has PTSD. PTSD is short for post-traumatic stress disorder.


Page 166: Wagoneer complains the Bill of Rights is as "useless as tits on a bull." The U.S. Bill of Rights is the collective term for the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.


Page 166: Buckaroo's Go-Phone has an app on it called Doc-in-a-Box featuring a slew of functions such as x-ray, sonography, CT scan, etc. On page 438, it's revealed that his Go-Phone also has a defibrillator mode!


Page 167: Wagoneer asks Buckaroo if he can ask the DOs to let him have a hammock. I'm not sure what means by "DOs" unless it's maybe "director(s) of operations".


Page 167: Wagoneer has an Episcopal prayer book in his cell. The Episcopal Church is a U.S.-based church of the worldwide Anglican Communion (founded in London in 1867), the third largest Christian communion after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.


Page 167: Wagoneer complains that he spent his career working for the good of the USA, he "...sipped the Kool-Aid...faced down Russian Bear bombers over Alaska and made thunder rumble in the 'Stan" only to be thrown away. "Russian Bear bombers" refers to Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers that have made occasional incursions or near-incursions into the airspace of the state of Alaska. "The 'Stan" is a reference to the U.S. war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.


Page 168: Buckaroo diagnoses Wagoneer as suffering from a large number of maladies, including steatopygia (substantial levels of tissue on the buttocks and thighs) and bilateral gynecomastia (enlargement of the breasts in males).


Page 168:  Band-Aid is a brand name of adhesive bandages.


   Page 168: When Wagoneer brings up the name of Abbot Costello, Buckaroo mishears it as "Abbott and Costello." Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were an American comedy duo popular in the 1940s-50s. Xan is said later in the novel to have known the duo in their Hollywood heyday.

    Wagoneer explains to Buckaroo that Abbot Costello is the chief exorcist of Perugia. Perugia is a city in central Italy.


Page 169: Buckaroo recalls that he had heard of Abbot Costello recently, having received a report from High Sierra in World Watch One that the Abbot had managed a feat no one had been able to in one thousand years: manually removing San Galgano's sword from its stone at Montesiepi Chapel in Tuscany. San Galgano (1148-1181) was a Catholic saint who legend says plunged his sword into a stone when a voice told him to renounce all material things and he set up hermitage at the location of the stone. There is an actual sword embedded in a stone at Montesiepi Chapel that is said to be that of San Galgano. Tests of the metal show that it was forged in the correct time period. Whatever the truth, as Buckaroo muses, Abbot Costello was not a name to be taken lightly.


Page 169: Wagoneer tells Buckaroo that Lizardo and Whorfin somehow survived the shootout over the Garden State. "Garden State" is the official nickname of the state of New Jersey.


Page 169: Despite the seeming survival, Wagoneer says he buried Lizardo's body not six months ago in the ground at S4, behind the TR-3B and antigravity disk hanger, lying right next to Elvis Presley. S-4 is said by many sources to be Sector 4 of Area 51. TR-3B is said by some to be the model number of the flying triangles seen in some UFO reports. "Antigravity disk hangar" is probably a reference to the alleged extraterrestrial disks that physicist Bob Lazar has claimed to have worked on at Area 51. "Elvis Presley" refers to the famous rock 'n' roller, who has several far-out conspiracy theories attached to his legend, including that he faked his 1977 death and that somebody else is buried in his grave at his former home of Graceland.


Page 170: Wagoneer claims that autopsies showed that both Lizardo and Elvis died of a broken heart and a megabowel. "Megabowel" is more commonly called "megacolon" and is an abnormal enlargement of the colon.


Page 170: Wagoneer explains he doesn't know why they were keeping Elvis at Area 51, but he heard that his frozen body had been stored at Langley for years, then moved to the secret Coca-Cola vault in Atlanta before shipping him to Area 51 in a special refrigerator car. He recommends that Buckaroo ask the CIA, NSA, and DIA why they had Elvis in the first place and why they moved him. Buckaroo speculates they needed to make room for the Diet Coke formula. NSA is the National Security Agency and DIA is the Defense Intelligence Agency.


Page 170: Wagoneer says he's heard one of the security agencies also has the bones of the Biblical Goliath. Goliath was the Philistine giant who was defeated by the young David in the Book of Samuel.


Page 170: As Buckaroo continues to perform a physical examination of Wagoneer, Wagoneer begins to sing, "Shinbone connected to the knee bone..." He is paraphrasing lyrics from the old spiritual song "Dem Bones."


Page 171: Wagoneer tells Buckaroo that the R&D guys used Frankensteinian methods to grow more Lectroids from the pieces they collected from the Jersey crash site. R&D is short for "research and development." "Frankensteinian" refers to the process of bringing a dead body back to life in the classic 1818 Mary Shelley novel Frankenstein.


Page 171: Wagoneer adds that when a Lectroid is pregnant, they carry the little larvae in the throat.


Page 173: Wagoneer asks Buckaroo if he's ever heard of the Fabian Society. The Fabian Society is a British socialist organization that promotes democratic socialism.


Page 173: Wagoneer tells Buckaroo that Contreras fed him four bars of Xanax and some weed at a titty bar and then put him in bed with a hooker to get him busted. Xanax is the trade name for the drug alprazolam, used for treating anxiety disorders.


Page 174: Buckaroo says that Contreras may have been the nephew of Carlos the Jackal. Carlos the Jackal (real name Ilich Ramírez Sánchez) is a Venezuelan convicted terrorist serving a life sentence in France. Buckaroo believes it was MI6 who drowned Contreras in the Panama Canal. MI-6 is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom.


Page 174: Wagoneer swears by all buried dead at Arlington that the powers of the U.S. president have been usurped by the CIA's MK-ULTRA and a giant red brain called the Nexus that looks like a candy-coated Sacred Heart of Jesus with one big eye, floating in an aquarium of liquid nitrogen. "Arlington" is Arlington National Cemetery, probably the most well-known U.S. military cemetery. Project MK-Ultra was a CIA program to develop ways to gain mind control over a given subject from about 1953-1973. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a Catholic devotion in which the heart of Jesus is a symbol of "God's boundless and passionate love for mankind"; the heart is depicted in art in various ways.


Page 174: Wagoneer tells Buckaroo that Lectroids love sweets, electricity, and yellow cake uranium. Also, peanuts are like crystal meth to them and they are violently intolerant of hydro corn syrup.


Page 175: Wagoneer says he questions the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention is a set of protocols signed by members of the United Nations establishing the rules of war and treatment of prisoners taken in battle.


Page 175: Wagoneer claims that if you kill a Lectroid and then sprinkle them with catnip they pop right back up. They are also able to inseminate their own feces to make new Lectroids. Catnip is a plant, Nepeta cataria, whose oil, nepetalactone, has a mildly "recreational effect" on some felines.


Page 175: Wagoneer's telling of the fast "evolution" of Lectroids from parent to child to grandchild suggests epigenetic inheritance to Buckaroo. "Epigenetic inheritance" is the transmission of traits from parent to child without altering the primary structure of DNA.


Page 175: Lectroids have the power of suggestion upon others.


Page 176: Wagoneer says that he doesn't remember much after the explosion during the exorcism of Whorfin from Lizardo. He just remembers the voice of the Lord speaking to him, "You shall slay them with the jawbone of an ass, like the Biblical Samsonite." Wagoneer is referring to Samson, the Biblical figure who is said to have slain 1,000 Philistines in battle with the jawbone of an ass.




The opening quote of the chapter is an actual one by Seneca the Younger (4 BCE - 65 CE), a Roman philosopher, dramatist, and statesman.


Page 178: President Monroe is the secret love child of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) was the 35th president of the United States. Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was an American actress and model. They were known for having had a sexual affair.


Page 179: Puss in Boots is an Italian fairy tale from the 16th Century.


Page 179: President Monroe says he has the marksmanship and cross-country navigation certificates he earned at a survival outing at the Banzai Institute hanging in the Oval Office. The Oval Office is located in the West Wing of the White House and is the official office of the President.


Page 180: President Monroe speaks of how his funeral will be carried out, with his casket riding on the same gun carriage as his father's down Pennsylvania Avenue. Pennsylvania Avenue is the street on which the White House is located.


Page 180: The president remarks to Reno that he wishes he had his BMI. BMI is short for "body mass index" (of weight in relation to height).


Page 182: General Wagoneer's father held the American record in the Romanian deadlift and was the heavyweight boxing champ of the armed forces. He was also an 11B grunt and Green Beret. 11B (Eleven-Bravo) is U.S. Army Military Occupational Specialty code for an enlisted infantry soldier. The Green Berets are U.S. Army Special Forces personnel who conduct missions of unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism.


Page 182: General Wagoneer was All-American at the University of Oklahoma. "All-American" is a term used for the recognized most outstanding student players in a sport at American universities.


Page 183: Buckaroo says his father died when he was just a boy and that he tried to climb into his father's casket during the funeral.


Page 183: General Wagoneer claims he saw the secret file on Oswald at Area 51 which stated that the big boy behind the assassination of JFK was Aristotle Onassis so he could get his paws on Jackie. He says the head fake was Sam Flood, but the secret wiretaps from the Armory Lounge in 1959 revealed Xan brokered the deal with the Chicago Outfit for $10 million. Jack Ruby and Jimmy the Greek were on the grassy knoll watching the hit go down. Okay, so here we go:


  • Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) is the man who is most widely believed to have fired the shots that killed JFK.
  • Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975) was a Greek shipping magnate who was the richest man in the world for a time in the late 1960s. He married JFK's widow, Jackie, about 5 years after her husband's death.
  • A "head fake" is a sports term for a feint to trick the opponent into thinking the next move is coming from a certain direction.
  • San Flood was an alias used by Chicago Mafia crime figure Sam Giancana (1908-1975). Some conspiracy theories implicate Giancana in the JFK assassination plot.
  • The Armory Lounge was a restaurant in Chicago that was a gangster hangout and headquarters of Giancana.
  • The Chicago Outfit was a Mafia crime syndicate in Chicago to which Giancana belonged and of which he eventually became boss.
  • Jack Ruby (1911-1967) was convicted of assassinating Oswald before the man could be tried for the assassination of Kennedy.
  • Jimmy the Greek (real name Jimmy Snyder, 1919-1976) was a sportscaster. As far as I know, he had nothing to do with the JFK plot, even within the conspiracy theory world. This is likely another one of Wagoneer's mad bumbles, possibly meant to be a reference to Onassis.


Pages 183-184: Buckaroo remarks that JFK was a little before his time, but he gives some credence to what Wagoneer claims. Buckaroo says there is a photograph of Oswald with a man who appears to be Sir Henry Shannon. In the "original chronology" of Buckaroo Banzai stories, Buckaroo was born pre-1950, so JFK would not have been considered "before his time." It seems that this novel presents a "soft reboot" of Buckaroo Banzai, such that Buckaroo is again around 35-40 years old now, i.e. approximately 2021, as he was in Across the 8th Dimension, released in 1984.


Page 184: Wagoneer goes on a tangent about Lucifer in the British House of Lords. "Lucifer", of course, is considered by most modern Christian denominations to be the proper name of Satan before his fall from grace. The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


Page 184: Buckaroo thinks that Wagoneer suffers from BPD. This is short for borderline personality disorder.


Page 185: ROE is short for "rules of engagement."


Page 185: Wagoneer claims he practically rewrote the whole AFSC playbook. I presume he is speaking of the Air Force Specialty Code, a list of alphanumeric codes identifying specific jobs and their responsibilities.


Page 185: Article 15 is a non-judicial punishment as authorized by the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice.


Page 185: Wagoneer worries he'll wind up a vagrant, eating out of a can with his SRK. I presume SRK is referring to "survival rescue knife."


Page 186: HIPAA is short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.


Page 187: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that Buckaroo mentions is an actual publication of the American Psychiatric Association, periodically updated.


Page 187: Sua sponte is Latin for "of his, her, its or their own accord".


Page 187: The EPI in the "EPI test" Buckaroo intends to order for Wagoneer stands for "exocrine pancreatic insufficiency", an inability to digest food properly due to a lack of digestive enzymes from the pancreas.


Page 187: Mogadon is a brand name for nitrazepam, a hypnotic drug used for anxiety and insomnia. Naproxen is a pain relief drug sold under the brand name Aleve.


Page 188: COPD is short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Page 188: Wagoneer suggests Buckaroo give him some Percs to keep his head from exploding. "Percs" is short for Percocet, the brand name of the drug oxycodone/paracetamol used for treating moderate to severe pain.


Page 188: I don't know what a PosTEP regime is. MRI is short for "magnetic resonance imaging." HSV-2 is short for "herpes simplex virus 2".


Pages 188-189: President Monroe sings the lyrics, "Ting-a-ling, goddamn, find a woman if you can. If you can't find a woman find a clean old man..." These are lyrics from the adult novelty song "Do Your Balls Hang Low?" from about the year 1900 and known to have been sung by British troops during WWI.


Page 189: Buckaroo asks the president to release Wagoneer into the custody of the Banzai Institute, where he will receive the best of Western and holistic treatment.


Page 189: Champion is a brand of juicer.


Page 189: The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is a real world psychometric test of adult personality and psychopathology. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (now called the Iowa Assessments) is a standardized test for school grades 3-12 provided by the College of Education of the University of Iowa.


Page 190: Buckaroo jokes that if Wagoneer proves uncooperative at the Institute, he'll send him back to his cell in D.C. or maybe Guantanamo. "Guantanamo" is a reference to Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a U.S. military prison located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base on the coast of Cuba.


Page 191: President Monroe remarks, " the immortal words of JFK, it's not because it's easy, but because it's hard." In his September 1962 Moon speech, JFK said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..."




The opening quote of this chapter are lines from a verse by Sir Richard Fanshawe (1608-1666).


Page 194: In an attempt to contact Xan for help in defending Earth from the approaching Lectroid warship, Buckaroo sends letters handwritten in invisible soybean ink in Old Enochian and Linear B out to numerous establishments known to be WCL holdings. Soybean extract can be used for making invisible ink. Enochian is an occult language (named for Enoch the great-grandfather of the Biblical Noah) recorded in the journals of John Dee and Edward Kelley in the late 16th Century and used in Enochian ceremonial magic. Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing the earliest form of Greek. Except for Wild Casino Land in Laughlin, Nevada, all the establishments mentioned are actual businesses/locations!


Page 194: Xan is said to have a hideout in a cave on Mount Rushmore.


Page 195: Gabinetto is Italian for "toilet".


Page 196: Xan fears his body has been invaded by the Death Wyrm. Possibly, this is a reference to the mythical Mongolian death worm.


Page 196: Xan has a trio of doctors caring for him from the Institut Pasteur.


Page 197: The Tree of Life is an archetype in many religions of the world tree or cosmic tree.


Page 197: Xan uses the phrase "richer than Croesus." The phrase is used in the English-speaking world to indicate extreme wealth. Croesus was the king of Lydia in the 6th Century BCE and was renowned for his wealth.


Page 199: Xan refers to Goethe. Presumably, he means Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), a German writer, theater director, critic, and statesman.


Page 199: Xan wears a little bell which he says is a leper's bell. In olden times, people with leprosy were made to wear a bell they had to ring to warn others of their approach.


Page 200: When Penny kills a centipede crawling on the wall that Xan told her not to kill, he reproaches her with, "You Judas." This is a reference to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver in the New Testament of the Bible.


Page 200: Eau de Lily is French for lily water.


Page 200: A favored author of Xan's from his boyhood is Horatio Alger. Alger (1832-1899) was an author of novels for boys.


Page 201: Xan enjoys Nutella chocolate pudding and bottles of Sancerre and Jerez. Sancerre is a French wine produced in the Sancerre area of the Loire valley. Jerez is the Spanish term for sherry.


Page 201: Xan is fond of playing an online video game called World Domination. He has even had Penny play with him, wearing a mask so as not be recognized on streaming video. Xan's screen name in the game was Vastatio, Latin for "scorched earth" (or "devastation").


Page 201: Luftwaffe sturmgruppen is German for "air force storm groups." Kamaraden is German for "comrades".


Page 201: Xan claims to be ambidextrous and dyslexic like the great Leonardo. This refers to Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), one of the most noted polymaths of the Renaissance period, who was ambidextrous and dyslexic.


Page 201: Xan claims to have worked on the Egyptian pyramids and Hadrian's wall. Hadrian's wall was a Roman defensive fortification in England begun during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (76-138 CE). Portions of the wall still stand.


Page 203: Reno writes Xan's shadow no longer seems to follow him, doing as it pleases, following his movements only occasionally. Xan also allegedly has a vestigial scorpion tail, bristly neck mane like a horse, and scaly skin that he seemed to shed like a snake. Possibly, he was not really human.


Page 203: Satrap barbecues on a sacrificial grill modeled after the great altar of Pergamon. The original altar was a monumental construction built in the 2nd Century BC by the Ancient Greek king Eumenes II of Pergamon.


Page 203: As she and Xan spend some time outdoors, Penny totes a Louis Philippe vase to serve as Xan's urinal. Louis Philippe I was the last king of France, serving in the role from 1830-1848 until his exile. A style of furniture popular in France at the time of his rule has taken on his name. Possibly, Rauch got the urinal idea from the "piss boy" who carried a bucket for the king to urinate in as he walked through his huge garden seen in the 1981 comedy film, History of the World, Part I.


Page 204: Bengay is a topical ointment for muscle and joint pain.


Page 204: Xan points to a Ba Gua mirror in his room. Ba Gua is a diagram of symbols of Taoist cosmology meant to represent fundamental principles of reality.


Page 204: At times, Xan has visions when in a state between sleep and wakefulness. One of these visions is of himself riding the Death Wyrm toward his old tomb on Arslycus. The only Arslycus I can find reference to is the name of a space city in the mythology of the cult/religious movement of Scientology.


Page 205: Du bist nur ein truber Gast auf der dunklen Erde is German for "You're just a troubled Guest on the dark Earth." This is a line from the 1814 poem "The Holy Longing" by Goethe.


Page 206: Je suis is French for "I am."


Page 206: Xan has allegedly made a gift of several properties around the world to Penny, including a castle in Uruk. Uruk was an ancient city of Sumer and is now an archaeological excavation.


Page 206: Satrap is a eunuch.




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one attributed to Martin Luther (1483-1546), a German priest, theologian, and author for whom the Protestant religion of Lutheranism was named.


This chapter opens some time after the previous chapters, likely several weeks or months.


Page 209: Wagoneer claims that the Lectroids' favorite movie is Scarface. There have been at least two movies by that title. The one referred to here is probably the 1983 film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Al Pacino as a Cuban refugee in Miami, FL who becomes a powerful drug lord. 


    Page 209-210: Reno explains that normal operations continued at the Banzai Institute during the time between chapters, including the weekly radio program. "Return of the Screw" Part 2 names the program as Buckaroo Banzai's Radio Ranch, live on TV and the worldwide web (is it even on actual radio?).

   The Hong Kong Cavaliers also recorded several tracks with the Budapest String Quartet, who arrived at the Institute as artists in residence. Budapest String Quartet existed from 1917-1967. I guess in the Buckaruniverse, they are still going strong.

    The Institute has an amateur theatrical and improvisational troupe called the Falstaff Players and Acrobats. Most likely the "Falstaff" part of the troupe's name is derived from the character of Falstaff who appears or is mentioned in four of William Shakespeare's plays.

    Institute clubs include Anime Collectors, Anxiety and Meditation Workshop, Birdwatchers Anonymous, Rock Stars (rock and fossil collectors), and the Philosophical Society.

    Also continuing at the Institute were nightly clothing-optional Tang Soo sparring sessions, open-mike comedy shows, Lonely Hearts Club, Taco Tuesdays, and Wednesday movie night. 

    The institute has sponsored teams who travel for football, table soccer, pickleball, jet dragster racing, skeet shooting, bass fishing, orienteering, and yumi archery.

    The annual Colorado River float through the Grand Canyon took place.

    Buckaroo made regular trips to the CERN accelerator and numerous speaking engagements around the world.

    Buckaroo also keeps his normal volunteer hours at the Apache reservation health clinic, coaches an Apache youth soccer team, and works on several scientific papers. 


Page 210: Buckaroo suggests to his team to have a chavrusa, as he's been reading Velikovsky's lost manuscript. A chavrusa is a Talmudic term for a small group of people to discuss a shared text. Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979) was an American (born in Russia) scholar and author. He became known for his controversial views of Earth's history that he claimed showed Earth having cataclysmic close contacts with other worlds in the solar system, wreaking havoc on our planet on several different occasions, including destroying past unknown civilizations. By "lost manuscript", I assume Buckaroo is referring to several unpublished manuscripts of Velikovsky's that his children have shared online (see the The Immanuel Velikovsky Archive).


Page 210: Buckaroo says Velikovsky's suppositions are in accordance with quite a few other legends, including that in the Voynich manuscript. The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated, hand-written codex in an unknown writing system, dating from the 15th-16th centuries. The author is unknown and many of its illustrations are of seemingly fictitious plants. Buckaroo goes on to say he has been "working on" the Voynich manuscript like a crossword puzzle with missing pieces (kind of a mixed metaphor!), but he's found that it seems to be an arcane gynecological treatise.


Page 211: Buckaroo remarks that he's been talking to the Bogdanoff brothers and Val Valerian. And then also mentions Vorilhon. The Bogdanoff brothers were French twins who hosted TV shows about popular science and science-fiction topics; both died after contracting COVID-19. Val (Valdamar) Valerian is an author of books about New Age/pseudoscientific topics. Claude Vorilhon, now going by the single name Raël, is the leader of the international UFO-based religion called the Raëlian Movement.


Page 211: Bien-pensants is French for "do-gooders."


Page 211: The imminent Lectroid intervention towards Earth puts Buckaroo in mind of the Kali Yuga, the last Hindu eon. In the Hindu religion, the Kali Yuga (an age of conflict and sin) began in 3102 BCE and will last 432,000 Earth years, ending in 428,899 CE.


Page 211: I have been unable to determine the meaning of the phrase Buckaroo uses, jo-ju-e-ku, other than that Reno seems to interpret it as "cycle of life". (Buckaroo: "And we have no choice but to trust nature, by which I mean the direction of our growth, the ladder of souls as governed by jo-ju-e-ku.")


Page 212: Einstein's "spooky action at a distance" is the concept that an object can be moved, changed, or otherwise affected without physical contact by another object.


Page 215: General Wagoneer remarks, "Now I couldn't get laid if I was a Fabergé egg." A Fabergé egg is a jeweled egg-shaped ornament made by the House of Fabergé jewelry company.


Page 216: General Wagoneer tells Buckaroo that Whorfin once told him about how he (Whorfin) and Emdall had a secret rendezvous in the dark vortex of Neptune, having to sneak around like Romeo and Juliet, where their still unborn child was conceived. The "dark vortex" is probably a reference to the Great Dark Spot, which is actually a series of different dark spots (storms) that occur on the surface of the planet Neptune at random intervals. Romeo and Juliet, of course, are characters in Shakespeare's romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, about two young lovers from feuding families.


Page 216: Whorfin's Lectroid embryo is to be named Crown Jewel Ban-Lon.


Page 216: Tommy mentions Santa Claus. Santa, of course, is the folkloric figure who brings gifts to children around the world on Christmas Eve.


Page 217: Miracula is Latin for "miracles".


Page 217: Reno and a project manager at Area 51 talk about Gamma Quadrant and Salusa Secundus. The Gamma Quadrant is one of the four quadrants of the galaxy according to the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek, particularly seen in episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Salusa Secundus is the homeworld of House Corrino in the Dune novels.


Page 218: At Area 51, Buckaroo and his team discover an advanced "flying saucer" spy plane; lab animals with various designer sexual diseases, such as memory-erasing viruses; bionic spy geese and salamanders; and a crude OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER tachyon-generator prototype.


Page 219: General Wagoneer tells Buckaroo that he buried Lizardo's body in a Hobbit hole. This is a reference to the hobbit race of small humanoids who lived in holes as written in novels by J.R.R. Tolkien.


Page 220: Buckaroo remarks that even with his predilection for Mussolini, Lizardo's intellect had to be respected. Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was the fascist dictator of Italy 1925-1945.


Page 220: Buckaroo is wearing a Stetson hat while at Area 51.


Page 220: Tommy remarks, "As we continue to probe the eternal mysteries, following the example of Jesus and Erasmus..." Erasmus (Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, 1466-1536) was a Catholic theologian who is considered one of the greatest scholars of the Renaissance.


Page 221: General Wagoneer hums taps as Buckaroo's team says a few words over the shallow grave of Lizardo. "Taps" is a musical piece that is often played at funerals.


    Page 222: Two creatures that Wagoneer collectively calls the Roswell Boys, Oñate and Javelina, are kept at Area 51. "Roswell" is a reference to the infamous Roswell UFO crash of July 1947. Oñate and Javelina are said on page 224 to be the offspring of two aliens who escaped into the countryside after the Roswell crash and had sexual relations with various wildlife before they were captured.

   The looks of the two creatures put Reno in mind of Odysseus' crew whom the goddess Circe turned into swine. Odysseus is the legendary Greek king and warrior whose tale is told in Homer's The Odyssey. In that story, the Greek goddess Circe turns half of Odysseus' crew into swine with drugged wine and cheese.


Page 223: Sayonara is Japanese for "goodbye."


Page 225: Tommy's hat is lined with aluminum foil to keep out outside emanations.




The opening quote of the chapter by Louis de Saint-Just is accurate. Louis Antoine de Saint-Just (1767-1794) was a political philosopher and major figure of the French Revolution who had a totalitarian frame of mind.


Page 227: Xan quotes from the Ramayana. The Ramayana is one of the important texts of Hinduism. As far as I can identify, the quote Xan makes is not found in the Ramayana.


Page 227: Xan reminisces that he'd spoken with Proust and Garibaldi about how the savor of a particular food or fragrance cannot be erased from our recollections. Garibaldi has been previously mentioned in this study. Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was a French writer, considered to be one of the most influential of the 20th Century.


Page 228: Hippolyte seems to intimate that Penny is the reincarnation of both Marie Antoinette and Ayn Rand. Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) was the beautiful last queen of France until she was executed by the revolutionaries via guillotine. Ayn Rand has been previously mentioned in this study.


Page 228: Strannik is Russian for "wanderer."


   Page 229: Hippolyte tells Penny a story of Xan in a campaign against the Ming when he stole her (in a past life) from her father, unable to resist her beauty. "Ming" likely refers to the Ming dynasty, the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644.

    Xan was Timur the Great in this past life. Timur (1336-1405) was the founder of the Timurid Empire around the area of modern day Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia.


Page 230: Hortus conclusus is Latin for "enclosed garden."


Page 230: Xan recalls meeting Penny at the MGM cafeteria where he sat (as Viktor Anthropos) with Louis Mayer and Walter Pidgeon. MGM stands for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio. Louis Mayer (1884-1957) was one of the founders of the studio. Walter Pidgeon (1897-1984) was a Canadian-American actor.


Page 230:  Anthropos may have worked for Stalin's NKVD. Josef Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s through 1952. The NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs) was the Soviet Union's internal law enforcement division from 1934-1946.


Page 231: Xan mentions staying at the Chateau Marmont with Penny during his time in Hollywood, where they discussed other realms and the music of Stravinsky. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) was a Russian composer.


Page 232: Xan is counseled by the Tetrarchy, four of his senior councilors.


Page 232: Xan's chief scientist is Dr. Paraquat. A mad scientist by the same name appears as a villain in Destroyer Duck comic books.


Page 232: Xan and his councilors are pleased at the good news of record profits for Transglobal Insurance, IG Farben, Sequoia Petroleum, and World Capital Lending. IG Farben was a German chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerate that was essentially taken over by the Nazis during their reign in Germany until the Allies seized it and broke it up into its constituent companies after WWII. I think the others are fictitious, though the names Transglobal Insurance and Sequoia Petroleum have been used by small operations in the past. World Capital Lending is a play on "World Crime League" (WCL).


Page 232: Zaibatsu is a Japanese term for vertically integrated business conglomerates.


Page 232: The WCL's main research laboratory is in Borneo.


Page 233: Xan and the Tetrarchy speak briefly of the secret pyramids of Bosnia outside Sarajevo, the Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon, and Pyramid of the Dragon. These alleged pyramids are promoted by Bosnian-American businessman Semir Osmanagić as a New Age pilgrimage site, but reputable scientists have studied the sites and declared the "pyramids" to be natural flatiron landforms.




The opening quote of the chapter is one that was allegedly said by German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976), but I have been unable to convincingly confirm it.


Page 237: The Banzai Institute's emissaries to Xan asking for help to defend the Earth from the approaching Lectroid warship were returned chopped up into two sloshing five-gallon buckets, Krugerrands stuffed into their mouths. Krugerrands are gold or silver coins from the country of South Africa.


Page 238: Mrs. Johnson says she learned Old Enochian--or was it Old Etruscan--at school as transmitted by the angels to the Archons' Assembly of Divines and Eternal Elders. Etruscan was the language of the Etruscan civilization in ancient Italy, pre-Latin and from about 900 BCE. The Archons' Assembly of Divines and Eternal Elders appears to be fictitious.


    Page 238: Part of Xan's message to Buckaroo, referring to Penny, reads, "When you have drunk all the water in the Yangtze River, I will tell you where she is." The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, flowing from the Tibet Autonomous Region east through China into the East China Sea.

    Xan's message goes on to say that Penny has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but has now been resurrected. The "Rainbow Bridge" is a term generally used in modern times to describe the death of a pet and that they are waiting to be reunited with their owners on the other side. If that's the meaning here, Xan seems to be saying that she is his pet and he owns her.

    Then the message indicates if Buckaroo doesn't believe that, Penny's working as a courtesan in Yoshiwara or starring in the Takarazuka. The Yoshiwara is a yūkaku (red-light district) in Tokyo, Japan. The Takarazuka is a Japanese all-female musical theater troupe based in Takarazuka, Japan.


Page 238: Team Banzai all want revenge against Xan and Tommy remarks, "I spit Beech-Nut in his snake eyes." Beech-Nut is a brand of chewing tobacco.


Page 239: The poetry lines Buckaroo quotes are from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 1798 poem "The Raven".


Page 239: The novel has a rather meandering way of telling its story. Author Rauch seems to acknowledge this by having Reno write "...the thoughtful reader will recognize the theory of precession at work, by which I mean subplots at right angles to the main action, such that the reader who might expect a pulse-pounding chapter--or, at a minimum, the development of a clear plan of action--encounters instead a certain sense of drift and a bare patchwork of narrative threads..."


Page 241: The Archangel Brother Deacon Jarvis is said to be dressed like the Quaker on a certain oatmeal container. This refers to Quaker Oats, whose mascot is dressed in the garb of the Quaker theology, a Protestant Christian denomination.


Page 242: Brother Jarvis suggests that Earthers toss Whorfin into the fiery pit of the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible foretells the coming of an apocalypse, which it describes as the complete and final destruction of the world.


Page 242: Brother Jarvis ends his televised sermon with "...remember you won't get a lemon from Toyota of Orange! Tell 'em the old travelling preacher Brother Jarvis from the Love Connection sent you!" Toyota of Orange is a dealer of Toyota automobiles in the city of Orange, California; the dealership ran incessant TV commercials with the slogan "You won't get a lemon from Toyota of Orange" on local Los Angeles-area stations in the 1970s-90s. Love Connection was a syndicated American dating game TV show from 1983-1994; the aforementioned Toyota of Orange commercials ran often during the show's breaks.


Page 243: The Brother Jarvis broadcasts are attributed to various sources, including a Mexican border transmitter. A similar gag was used in the novelization of Across the 8th Dimension, with a statement that in optimal conditions, certain powerful Mexican radio stations can be received on Planet 10. This is a humorous reference to the fact that the radio stations in Mexico are well-known for their powerful and often overwhelming signals that allow them to reach large distances out of the country and even overwhelm local radio stations due to the relative lack of regulation of broadcast wattage in Mexico.


   Page 243: Buckaroo reminds his team of how the WCL, working with the KGB, almost succeeded in electronically programming an entire generation of American kids through antennas disguised as mouse ears and raccoon-tail caps, but somebody at Disney blabbed to J. Edgar Hoover during sex and blew the plot open. "Mouse ears" is a reference to the Mickey Mouse-eared hats sold at Disneyland. Raccoon-tail (aka "coonskin") caps were popular with American boys in the 1950-60s due to their adornment on the lead characters of the Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone TV shows. J. Edgar Hoover was the director of the FBI from 1935-1972.

   Reno goes on to say that America's own government has gone on to engage in nefarious thought-control experiments, like kids' braces and tattoo ink, all capable of subliminal radio reception. Buckaroo responds with his concern over the increasing number of crypto-blipverts on virtually every television channel and streaming service. "Blipverts" is a term for a very brief television advertisement, usually one second long. The term was coined in the Max Headroom film and TV series of 1985 and 1987.

    Buckaroo's mention of streaming services suggests these events taking place in the 2000s.


Page 244: Buckaroo wants Reno to put together a weaponized aerosol of corn syrup and insecticide, perhaps using a Graco paint sprayer or a kid's hydrosoaker, to use against Lectroids.


Page 246: Buckaroo has a new, improved SQUID. SQUID stands for "superconducting quantum interference device", used to measure very subtle magnetic fields.


Page 246: Pilgrim is the Institute's reigning champion of Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero is a series of music rhythm video games played with guitar-shaped controllers.


Page 247: Mrs. Johnson's first name is Eunice.


Page 247: Buckaroo mentions a Bose-Einstein macrowave. Bose-Einstein refers to measurements and correlations of bosons.


Page 247: Mrs. Johnson has a husky smoker's voice. This was not the case in the Across the 8th Dimension movie.


Page 247: The character of the Marchioness is Lady Asquith-Gillette, who speaks with an upper-crust Oxbridge accent. "Marchioness" is the female form of the title "marquis." A character called Lady Gillette (or Lady G) appears in several of the Moonstone BB comics as a tough, down-on-her-luck young woman who makes the mistake of falling in with a WCL operation that transforms her into a cat woman ("Hardest of the Hard" Part 1), but the Banzai Institute takes her in and eventually restores her to human form. She did not seem to be an "upper-crust Oxford" woman in any account. Is this the same woman...or not?


Page 248: The Fifth Dimension is explained as being like a scrapbook of your life, the Sixth like your rusty altered memory, the Seventh like your ideal fantasy, and the Eighth like the highest rung of heaven or the bottom run of hell.


Page 248: Buckaroo's remark about the 8th Dimension, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," is from the first inaugural address of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.


Page 248: Buckaroo's experimental Bubble Gun runs on a Ryobi power pack. Buckaroo explains that the Bubble Gun produces a sonoluminescent beam, light from microbubbles of sound. In fact, sonoluminescence is the production of a flash of light from imploding bubbles in a liquid when excited by sound.


Page 249: Seiza is the formal, traditional way of sitting in Japan, on the floor with one's legs folded under the thighs and resting the buttocks on the heels.


Page 250: Buckaroo cares for two cats, Penny's calico Gertrude Stein, and his own black-and-white Tux. Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was the name of an American novelist, poet, and playwright.


Page 250: Kutani porcelain is a style of Japanese porcelain from Kutani, now part of the city of Kaga.


Page 250: A floor-to-ceiling bookcase in Buckaroo's quarters is filled with vintage pistols, his mother's Arriflex 35 mm camera, and an eclectic collection of books such as: The Prince; the Encyclopédie; The Art of War; essayist collections of Bacon, Mandeville, Marcus Aurelius, and Li Zongwu; collections of Chinese and Japanese poetry from Du Fu, Li Bai, Basho; leather-bound first editions of Dumas (père), Walter Scott, Lavosier's Elementary Treatise, Newton's Principia Mathematica; works by Buckaroo's friends and lovers, including Kristeva and Nussbaum; and Galileo's "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina." The writings and authors are all real people. The père after Dumas' name is French for "father", indicating the writer Alexandre Dumas père, as opposed to his son, also a writer, Alexandre Dumas fils (son). The Arriflex 35 mm camera was the first reflex 35mm production motion picture camera.


   Page 250: On his walls, Buckaroo has an honorary Hiroshima Carp baseball jersey, Currier & Ives frontier prints, a Virgin of Guadalupe, a Grandma Moses, and an old lithograph of the outlaw John Wesley Hardin. Currier & Ives was an American printmaking firm from 1835-1907, specializing in prints of paintings by fine artists. Virgin of Guadalupe is a Catholic title for Mary, the mother of Jesus, in association with a series of visions of her in the Villa de Guadalupe, Mexico; a statue of the Virgin Mary is common in Catholic Latin American households. Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses, 1860–1961) was an American folk artist. John Wesley Hardin (1853–1895) was an American Old West outlaw and gunfighter.

    Also on his walls were a triad of nobori streamers with kanji letters. Kanji are logographs from Chinese script which are part of Japanese writing.


    Page 251: The Institute is sent photocopies of receipts for "35 Lectroids...assorted partial Lectroids and Lectroid products" to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Tommy jokes, "Why not the Knights of Columbus, while they're at it..?" Both are Catholic organizations.

    Buckaroo recalls hearing about one of the Bulgarian Army's old ZSU 23-4 Shilkas stolen by a similar chivalric order as that of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a similar story of a surface-to-air-missile system stolen off a freight train in Belgium not long ago. ZSU stands for Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka, "anti-aircraft self-propelled system." Reno's description of the Shilka is accurate. Reno goes on to say the Shilka is an oldie but still lethal enough "even without being converted to a TEL for a SAM pod." TEL is short for "transporter erector launcher" and SAM is "surface-to-air missile."


Page 251: Buckaroo keeps a number of Japanese hunting crickets as pets. As far as I can tell, there are no such thing as "hunting crickets", Japanese or otherwise, but some Asian countries, including Japan, do have a history of keeping crickets as pets. Less so, western countries, but it's not unknown.


Page 252: Buckaroo's desk has sitting on it a disassembled Walther pistol and a short stack of books, including a musty old volume of Virgil in Latin and a fine leather edition of Thackeray's Vanity Fair he'd purchased from a bookseller along the Seine in Paris. Virgil (70-19 BCE) was a Roman poet best known for the epic poem Aeneid. Vanity Fair is an 1848 novel, about two women living during and after the Napoleonic Wars, by William Makepeace Thackeray. The novel is subtitled A Novel without a Hero, which may be an allusion by Rauch to this very novel we are discussing; there are scenes, or at least moments, here where the Cavaliers and other members of Team Banzai appear quite flawed, as if Rauch is deliberately trying to downplay the heroic aspects of these characters he created (or newer ones who have been born out of) the BB screenplay he wrote around 40 years ago. Even Buckaroo here shows his flaws (like an occasional burst of fiery temper, as Reno himself points out) and is not exceptionally heroic in action in this story. As for the Seine, the edge of the River Seine in Paris is known for the small bookstalls selling all kinds of books.




The opening quote of this chapter by Otto von Bismarck, "One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans," was said by him and turned out to be accurate, as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in the Balkan nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina touched off WWI in 1914. Otto von Bismarck was Chancellor of the German Empire 1871-1890.


Page 255: Morse code is a method of communicating via a series of on-off signals such as flashes, tones, or clicks, invented by Samuel Morse (1791-1872).


Page 255: Many Sarajevans voice the opinion that Cardinal Baltazar is on his way to high place, perhaps even the throne of Saint Peter. Saint Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and one of the first leaders of the early Christian Church, often considered the first pope.


Page 256: Manny Magdalene uncovers two photos of Cardinal Baltazar at the Church of the Domition of the Theotokos on Mount Athos in Greece. This is a real world Orthodox Christian church.


Page 256: Manny is driving a Trabant 601. This was an automobile model manufactured by VEB Sachsenring (now HQM Sachsenring GmbH) from 1964-1990.


Page 256: At Baltazar's rustic mountain retreat, Manny finds on a large crate marked CLAYMORE MINES, toy army men are girded for war on a biblical map of the Plain of Megiddo. Claymore mines are rigged to fire metal balls in a blast in a certain direction. According to the Hebrew Bible, the Plain of Megiddo was the scene of a victory by the Israelites against the Midianites, the Amalekites, and "the children of the East", and later where the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines. It is also where the Christian New Testament says the penultimate battle against evil will someday take place.


Page 256: Manny is a Sandhurst graduate. This refers to Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK.


Page 256: Manny sees graffiti scrawled in Old Church Slavonic in a barracks outside Baltazar's retreat. Old Church Slavonic was the first Slavic literary language, dating to the 9th Century BCE.


Page 256: Manny finds a pair of Lamborghini sports cars in a detached garage at the retreat.


Page 258: Manny wears a World Crime League Rolex watch.


Page 259: Buckaroo is fond of a certain quote by Gandhi, "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian activist who led a passive resistance movement in India against the British overlords of the country during the first half of the 20th century.


Page 259: Having assumed control of General Wagoneer's "Antoine French" email account, Buckaroo corresponds with Contreras (or, actually, Dr. Paraquat acting as him), who asks about the Meissner effect in relation to Heisenberg's early oscillator and the Lance of Destiny. The Meissner effect, discovered by German physicists Walther Meissner and Robert Ochsenfeld, is the exclusion of magnetic fields around a superconductor when it is below its critical temperature. Werner Heisenberg developed a model of an oscillator that explained the polarization of fluorescent radiation. The Lance of Destiny (or Spear of Destiny) is the lance that is said to have pierced the side of Jesus to prove his death as his body hung on the cross; several relics held in sanctuaries around Europe are claimed to be the holy lance or part of it.


Page 259: The von Braun referred to in Dr. Paraquat's email is Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) who invented the Saturn V rocket that first sent men to the Moon for the United States. Von Braun was brought over to the U.S. as part of Operation Paperclip, the U.S.'s plan to bring key Nazi scientists to America after WWII.


Page 259: The "Meissner's folly" of working on a superconducting, dimensional-shifting balloon that expands until it warps time is fictitious.


Page 260: Reno comments on the heartache of the Banzai Institute's Blue Star families. A Blue Star Family is the immediate family of a service member during a time of conflict. In this case, it probably refers to the families of those Banzai representatives Xan killed when Buckaroo sent people to petition the WCL for Xan's help in repelling the upcoming Lectroid intervention from space.


Page 261: Baltazar left his seminarian training in Djakovo for several years to become a third-rate professional wrestler and a joke of a matador in Andalusia. After returning to the seminary, he later became a bishop to Schleswig-Holstein.


Page 262: Xan maintains a base of operations in the Malaysian state of Penang.


Page 263: Reno mentions The Psychoanalytic Quarterly and Buckaroo's favorite Stella guitar.


Page 263: Buckaroo remarks that the Lectroid pupae samples are able to regenerate and grow with the help of Miracle-Gro and an electrical current.


Page 264: Reno has green belts in a dozen styles of martial arts, including underwater kajukenbo. Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial art derived from karate, judo and jujitsu, kenpo, and boxing. There is no "underwater kajukenbo" in the real world as far as I can find!


Page 264: Issues of the Moonstone comic books hinted at a romantic relationship between Reno and Pecos until the time of "Wild Asses of the Kush", where Pecos intimates to High Sierra that she is in a relationship with Perfect Tommy. Here in our current novel, Buckaroo remarks that Reno seems to be known as a heartbreaker, to which Pecos agrees. This may suggest that past relationship between them, ended by Reno.


Page 264: Buckaroo asks Reno if he's heard anything from Mona since the famous Aqua Velva business and remarks it sounds like a new drink or a new song possibility. There is a blue-colored cocktail called an Aqua Velva (named for the Ice Blue Aqua Velva brand aftershave) and a pop band in the UK named the Aqua Velvas.


Page 266: Buckaroo uses Masaru Emoto's hypothesis to see how Lectroid samples would effect the formation of crystals in water when frozen, finding that close proximity of the Lectroid samples effected the crystal formation. Masaru Emoto (1943-2014) was a Japanese pseudoscientist and author who claimed that prayer and positive thoughts could affect water, even purifying polluted water.


Page 266: Pecos compares the brain-fogging effect of the Lectroid samples to the legendary basilisk. The basilisk is a mythical reptile in European lore whose glance could cause death.




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one by Nikola Tesla. Tesla (1856-1943) was a Serbian-American electrical engineer and physicist.


Pages 267-268: Buckaroo says that the Lectroids are able to emit a strange psychosexual energy he calls orgonic, alluding to the work of Wilhelm Reich. Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) was an Austrian MD and psychoanalyst who came to argue that "orgastic potency" and "orgone energy" was the key to emotional and physical health.


Page 268: Tommy makes a joking reference to his penis as "Old Oscar Wiggly." Possibly, he's based the name on that of the Swiss sculptor and composer Oscar Wiggli (1927-2016).


Page 268: Under the brain-fog of the Lectroid samples, Tommy refers to himself rising like Augustine the Hippo. He means Augustine of Hippo (354-430), a theologian and philosopher.


Page 269: Buckaroo remarks that the Lectroids are able to sense our fear and reflect it back in spades.


Page 270: Buckaroo remarks that they don't know the Malthusian math of Planet 10. Malthusism postulates that population growth can theoretically grow exponentially, but food production and other resources are only linear, eventually leading to reduction of living standards and then population die off. The theory is not completely accepted by researchers.


Page 271: Pecos leafs through the latest issue of Philological Quarterly.


Page 271: Buckaroo mentions a kind of weasel who kills much bigger prey by dancing for them, dancing so well the prey becomes too mesmerized to notice the weasel is moving closer. I don't know about "much bigger prey", but stoats (a member of the weasel family) have been known to mesmerize prey such as rabbits with a "weasel war dance."


Page 271: Reno mentions oxytocin in relation to "This thing called love." Oxytocin is a hormone that plays a role in social bonding and is released into the bloodstream during sexual activity.


Page 271: Buckaroo relates that in the Fifth Dimension, he saw himself and Tommy walking in the Serengeti. The Serengeti is a geological region and ecosystem in northern Tanzania, Africa.


Page 273: Buckaroo presents Reno, Tommy, and Pecos with a list of songs for the next leg of the Cavaliers' tour. He tells them to feel free to tinker with it, but keep it all in the key of G-sharp. When Pecos asks why G-sharp, Tommy theorizes it's because G-sharp vibrates at approximately a frequency of 51.5 Hertz, the same as the incline angle of the Great Pyramid mentioned earlier. G-sharp resonates at a frequency of about 51.9 Hertz, the closest of the musical notes to 51.5.


Page 273: Hoppalong recently bought a new Fender Jazz Bass.


Page 273: Buckaroo says that Mayor Agostinelli of Rome is a big fan of the Hong Kong Cavaliers. This is a fictitious mayor of this city.


Page 273: Buckaroo remarks that the band will appear at the Coliseum in Rome on the same day as an international DeMolay pep rally at which the pope plans to reveal the fourth and final secret of Our Lady of Fátima. DeMolay is undoubtedly a reference to

Jacques de Molay (c. 1250-1314), the last grand master of the Templars. Our Lady of Fátima is another Catholic title for Mary, mother of Jesus, inspired by the alleged 1917 apparitions of her to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal. The children were said to have been given three secrets by the apparition, two of which were revealed in the 1930s (a vision of hell and the second a foretelling of WWII) and the third was to be released by the Vatican after 1960, which finally took place in 2000 (about the death of a pope and other religious figures). There is no fourth secret according to the children or the Vatican, though some have speculated that the third secret as revealed in 2000 was not the full text of it. On page 366, the pope tells Buckaroo that the fourth secret is the unrevealed last portion of the third, and considered a fourth secret.


Page 275: Buckaroo dons Dansko surgical clogs.


Page 276: Cardinal Baltazar is part of a small clique in the church who believe the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was not the apple, but the papaya, whose seeds are thought to contain individual demons released as phlogiston. There is no such clique in the church in the real world. The phlogiston theory was postulated by Johann Joachim Becher in 1667 and stated that a fire-like element called phlogiston existed inside combustible substances and was released upon combustion. Since the Biblical Garden of Eden, if it existed, is almost universally accepted as having been located in the Middle East, it would be unlikely the forbidden fruit would be papaya because that fruit originated an ocean away in the Americas.


Page 276: General Wagoneer is being kept in a combination Faraday cage/orgone accumulator. He is also being given regular enemas of buffelgrass, stinging nettle, and juniper-ash, and injections of rooster comb, plus Watkins liniment foot rubs. A Faraday cage is made of conducting material which prevents the transmission of electrical fields to objects within, or transmission out. An orgone accumulator is a box developed by Wilhelm Reich in which a subject sits and accumulates orgone energy, an anti-entropic energy or "life force" Reich believed permeated the universe. Healthful enemas can be made from the natural ingredients listed here.


Page 276: General Wagoneer is caught mixing contraband Ativan with his daily prescribed glass of Ovaltine. Ativan is the brand name of the real world drug lorazepam, used to treat seizures and anxiety disorders.


Page 276: General Wagoneer is forced to live apart from others, even livestock, while he is undergoing skunk oil treatments, and he suffers from loneliness as a result. Skunk oil is obtained from glands that run the length of a skunk's back. It is known as a natural healing balm and liniment. Skunk oil has minimal odor, so it does not seem likely the Institute would need to keep him separated from other people during the treatments.


Page 276: "Lazaretto" is an Italian term for a quarantine station.


Page 277: Promethrin is a medicine for treating lice.


Page 277: Part of Wagoneer's regimen is to be tossed high into the air with the aim of flipping his liver. Their is an old wives tale that says that tossing a baby in the air or turning them upside-down can flip their liver, and is generally considered a bad thing. Whether there is any truth to it, I don't know, as I do not have a baby handy to toss. I also have not been able to find anything suggesting flipping a liver is ever a good thing to do, as implied here.


Page 277: Wagoneer refers to the Intelligence Integration Center and how it interfaces with the Global Information Infrastructure to coordinate UCAV strikes and directed-energy weapons. He is likely referring to the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, a US government agency created in 2015 to serve as a go-between for the private sector and other government agencies regarding cyber threats. The "global information infrastructure" is another term for the internet. UCAV is short for "unmanned combat aerial vehicle."


Page 277: Wagoneer is being treated with ibogain, loco weed, and oleander. Ibogain is a psychoactive substance derived from plants. Some herbal healers believe it helps to fight drug addiction. Loco weed and oleander are considered poisonous plants, but can also be used medically if properly administered.


Page 279: Seeking redemption, Wagoneer remarks he'd even ride a bicycle with the Mormons. Mormons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon missionaries are known to ride bicycles as an easy and inexpensive method of transportation as they canvas neighborhoods.




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one by Thomas Carlyle, from his 1836 novel Sartor Resartus.


Page 283: CCTV stands for "closed-circuit television".


Page 283: The population of the Banzai Institute hovers around four dozen, including visiting scholars and preceptors.


Page 283: A handcrafted whiskey bottle chandelier made by Mrs. Johnson hangs in the Institute's Gathering Hall (also known as the Hall of Heroes or the Hall of Ambassadors).


Page 284: IRS form 990 is a tax form of organizations that are exempt from income tax. Rule 506(c) is a U.S. government rule that allows qualified organizations to advertise and sell securities to accredited investors.


Page 284: The Institute's Thursday Table meetings proceed according to Robert's Rules. This is a U.S. manual of parliamentary procedure, first published in 1876 and updated regularly.


Page 284: The Institute has a 4-H Club. The 4-H Club is a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture. The group was originally focused on teaching American kids about civic values through agricultural endeavors, but currently has a more broad-based mandate of developing citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills.


Page 284: The Institute has an E-2 Hawkeye. This refers to the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye tactical airborne early warning aircraft.


Page 286: Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management imposters keep trying to gain access to Institute land.


Page 287: Honest Dan Cartwright is the quartermaster of the Banzai Institute. Perfect Tommy accuses him of not being quite so honest with the Institute's funds and no one believes him, but he turns out to be correct later in the novel.


Page 287: Honest Dan goes over a report on the Institute's supplies, including Folgers coffee and MREs. MRE stands for "Meal, Ready to Eat", issued to U.S. military service members since 1981.


Page 288: Before the gang begins their Thursday Table meal, Buckaroo provides an itadakimasu prayer and Red Jordan says Christian grace. Itadakimasu is a Japanese term for "I humbly receive". Christian grace is a short prayer said before eating.


Page 288: Jack Tarantulus is the Banzai Institute's agent for commercial endorsements, etc.


Page 288: Jack thought he had Old Spice nailed down for one of his athlete clients, but the WCL created a viral campaign claiming Old Spice is "of the devil." Old Spice is an American brand of men's grooming products. Possibly, the WCL's viral campaign is a take-off on the "Old Nick" nickname for the devil in Christian tradition.


Page 288: Jack also thought he had a deal for Perfect Tommy as the face of Aqua Velva, but then Pope Innocent got the nod instead.


Page 289: Mona has a TV show called Come Clean. This is, of course, a fictitious show.


Page 289: "Velcro" is capitalized, as it is a brand name, though the term has become genericized in the public mind.


Page 289: Jhonny is said to have tried to disguise himself with Groucho eyebrows. Groucho Marx (1890-1977) was an American comedian and entertainer known for his exaggerated greasepaint eyebrows and mustache. A common novelty disguise is known as Groucho glasses, a one-piece plastic mask consisting of horn-rimmed glasses, a large nose, bushy eyebrows and mustache.


Page 289: Pecos refers to Jhonny as a jackanapes. This is a term for an impertinent person.


Page 290: Jhonny reminds Pecos of how they settled Catan together on his custom gaming machine. Catan is a family of board, card, and video games in which the players take the role of settlers on the wilderness island of Catan.


Page 290: Jhonny remarks to Pecos that she is " much awesomeness packed into your flannel Pendleton work shirt."


Page 291: Jhonny says the year after he arrived at the Institute, he won the international programming Olympiad. He is referring to the International Olympiad in Informatics, one of the most prestigious computer science competitions in the world.


Page 291: Jhonny admits he thinks about undoing Pecos' "Annie Oakley braids." Oakley (1860-1926) was an American sharpshooter. By "Annie Oakley braids," Jhonny is largely referring to the portrayal of the woman by actress Gail Davis on the 1959-1960 and 1964-1965 TV series Annie Oakley.


Page 292: Tommy feints an aggressive move towards Jhonny with his Martin guitar.


Page 294: Jhonny asks Pecos to forgive him for thinking she could be his Honey Bunches of Oats. Honey Bunches of Oats is a brand of lightly-sweetened breakfast cereal.


Page 295: Jack has his Cessna jet parked on the Institute's strip.


Page 295: Lipozene is a brand name of glucomannan, a dietary fiber.


Page 296: One of the Banzai Institute members tells of the time his food truck burned down, but they recovered with a small business loan from the Blue Blaze Opportunity Fund.


Page 296: Li'l Daughter of the Rhine relates how Buckaroo was ausserordentlicher Professor (Professor extraordinarius) at Heidelberg (University) and later Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin, where he saw her in a small role at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, (the State Opera) and encouraged her to come to American and set up an opera company at the Banzai Institute.


Page 297: Honest Dan claims to have a PhD from Caltech. PhD is Doctor of Philosophy. "Caltech" is the nickname given to the California Institute of Technology.


Page 297: Hoppalong is a Black Russian or Afro-Russian. He claims that after the American Civil War, a bunch of former slaves, including his ancestors, volunteered to go to the free republic of Liberia, but ended up in Siberia through a clerical error. Liberia is a country on the west coast of the African continent. Siberia covers most of northern Asia and has a largely subarctic climate, covering a large part of Russia.


Page 297: Hoppalong says he grew up Russian, learning to ride and rope with Cossacks like Buckaroo himself. Cossacks are members of various ethnic groups living in the Great Eurasian Steppe, mostly within the regions of modern day southern Russia and the Ukraine.


Page 297: Podruga and nichevo are Russian for "girlfriend" and "nothing", respectively.


Page 297: Hoppalong says he was blue and broke at university in Vladivostok when he applied to the Banzai Institute.


Page 297: Hoppalong makes several remarks about Russia that are reminiscent of the jokes Ukranian-American comedian Yakov Smirnoff often makes about his life growing up behind the Iron Curtain. Hoppalong says, "Most exciting thing in Vladivostok is smoking cigarette," and "Is kind of town full of money grubbers and bad food, but at least the portions are small."


Page 297: Red Jordan says he earned his Special Forces badge--SF A-team, combat engineer MOS, mainly EOD--and went to war. "A-team" in U.S. Army Special Forces is shorthand for Operational Detachments-A, specializing in an infiltration skill or mission-set. MOS is short for "military occupation specialty code" and EOD short for "explosive ordnance disposal."


   Page 298: Talla 12 de Pantalon is the Institute's new shooting instructor. She was formerly in the United States Marine Corps. She made "gunny sarge" (gunnery sergeant) and wore the blood stripe proudly; the blood stripe is the vertical scarlet stripe on the leggings of Marine dress uniforms. She served in A-stan (Afghanistan), PMI with BUD/S training in Coronado, attached to MARSOC, special operations. PMI is "primary marksmanship instructor". BUD/S is short for "Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL." Coronado refers to Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

    Semper fi (Semper fidelis) is the Marino Corps motto, Latin for "Always faithful."


Page 298: "De las chicas en apuros" is Spanish for "(one) of the girls in distress."


Page 299: The Marchioness says she was Catherine of Aragon by way of Luxembourg, married to the great industrialist Wadsworth Longfellow and doyenne of London high society. Historically, Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of King Henry VIII of England in the 16th Century; possibly, the Marchioness is comparing herself to the former queen in terms of being born into high society of England. Wadsworth Longfellow is a fictitious industrialist as far as I can tell...though we saw on page 232 that Longfellow was a member of Xan's Quorom of Four within the World Crime League! Is the Marchioness a mole within the Banzai Institute?


Page 299: The Marchioness relates that she was never looking for Prince Charming. "Prince Charming" is a term used to suggest the idealized man a woman is looking for; it is borrowed from the concept of a charming prince as often found in fairy tales.


Page 299: Someone at the Institute membership gathering tells the Marchioness, after hearing her tale of wanting to shuck high society and get her hands dirty, "Bully for you, Miss Silverspoon. Let them eat cakes. What's really tiring is being dirt poor, ramen-noodle poor, and therefore treated like dirt." The phrase "let them eat cake" is an alleged quote from Marie Antoinette when told that the peasants had no bread; it is largely considered apocryphal by modern scholars. "Ramen-noodle poor" is sometimes used to describe near-destitution due to the low cost of dried ramen noodles at the grocery store, allowing one with meager funds to have a meal that is relatively cheap and filling.


Page 300: Slim Greenberg picked up the sobriquet "Missing Person" because he once let rage take him over and get him into trouble where he had to go into hiding.


Page 300: Papa Bear admits he was hospitalized twice for psychiatric issues and did 14 years in San Quentin State Prison, where he taught himself trivium and quadrivium and discovered a love of Euclid. He also got 5 years tacked onto his term for shivving his prison wife when he wouldn't wash his underwear. Trivium is the curriculum of grammar, logic, and rhetoric in the seven liberal arts. The quadrivium is arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy of same. It's hard to say from what he says here whether, by "Euclid", his is referring to the ancient Greek mathematician or the ancient Greek philosopher.


Page 301: Honest Dan claims to have been on the design team of the F-35. The F-35 is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth combat aircraft. The F-35 began production in 2006, perhaps narrowing the window of when this novel takes place.


Page 301: A relative newcomer to the group is called the Last Mapuche. The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of the Patagonia region of South America.


Page 301: Another Institute member tells of being within seconds of jumping off the Verrazano Bridge before a Blue Blaze called Brooklyn 2000 lured him away from the edge. The Verrazano Bridge is a bridge connecting the Staten Island and Brooklyn boroughs of New York City.


Page 301: Colorado Belle was part of a Brechtian interactive theater troupe. Brechtian theater (or "epic theater") emphasizes the audience's perspective and reaction.


Page 302: Colorado Belle says she slept in squats in the Castro for a time when she was a junky and later got busted for banging an Elk in front of a Lions Club in Boise. Presumably, the "Castro" is the neighborhood by that name in San Francisco. "Elk" refers to any member of the American fraternal order the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. "Boise" presumably refers to the city of Boise, Idaho.


Page 302: De nada is Spanish for "it's nothing."


Page 303: High Sierra is a Reiki teacher. Reiki is a Japanese pseudoscientific alternative healing method using hands-on contact to transfer universal life energy to the patient, said to help both physical and mental ailments.


Page 303: The Last Mapuche is a Rousseauian and anarcho-primitivist Neopagan. Rousseauian philosophy is one that suggests that social and cultural "progress" tends to increase human moral degradation. Anarcho-primitivism is an ideology advocating for a return to non-civilized ways. Neopaganism refers to modern attempts to return to a religion based on pagan beliefs.


Page 303: AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous.


Page 303: Colorado Belle is in charge of the Banzai basic clothing line and celebrity-endorsed items, with worldwide sales in the eight figures the previous year.


Page 304: Sir Roger P─ is a top international scientist who wishes to remain anonymous. Well, I just may be outing the Institute's mysterious Distinguished Visiting Fellow by possibly identifying him as Nobel Laureate, Sir Roger Penrose (1931-), a British mathematical physicist. Another clue that Roger P─ may be Roger Penrose is his age; from what can be gathered of the time frame of this novel, Penrose would be 70 years old, give or take, and a vindictive Mrs. Johnson, on page 305, suggests Roger P─ might be better off in a nursing home!


Page 304: Mrs. Johnson calls Sir Roger P─ an anarcho-Bolshevik when he criticizes her cooking and his errant menu order. An anarcho-Bolshevik is an anarchist with some Bolshevik characteristics (radical, far left leanings).


Page 305: Mrs. Johnson tells Sir Roger, "If you want your pudding, you've gotta eat your meat!" This is a play on the lyrics of the 1979 Pink Floyd song "Another Brick in the Wall" Part 2:

If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?


Page 305: Sir Roger asks for another splash of Pichon-Longueville Baron. Château Pichon Longueville Baron is a winery in the Bordeaux region of France.


Page 306: "Que viva!" is Spanish for "Long live!"


Page 307: An unnamed Institute member got a grant from the National Science Foundation for her revolutionary gene transference technique. Another unnamed Institute member won the National Spelling Bee and thus a scholarship for the Banzai Institute Semester at Sea program. A third honed their craft at the Institute's music academy and then spent three years with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Still another was an Eagle Scout and an Olympic gold medalist in shooting; Eagle Scout is the highest attainable rank in Boy Scouts.


   Page 307: Honest Dan remarks, "...better a restless Socrates than a happy pig in slop..." Socrates (469-399 BC) was a Greek philosopher.

   Dan says that one day he saw Buckaroo on TV talking about Buckminster Fuller's theory of precession. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an American inventor, futurist, and author. Fuller defined precession as the effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion.

    Dan claims that Buckaroo's message of positive motivation leading to positive effects got him back to his research on superfield vacuum theory and oscillatory dynamics, leading Peking University to call him. He claims also to have spent time working in Las Vegas and the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab was a parapsychology research program at Princeton University started in 1979 (now part of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories).


Page 308: STD stands for "sexually transmitted disease."


Page 308: Scheiss is German for "shit".


Page 308: An unnamed triple amputee member tells how they joined the army and passed the SFQC, did a stint in the French Foreign Legion in the Sudan, then hit the beaches of Italian Somaliland as a counterterrorism specialist. SFQC is short for "Special Forces Qualification Course." Italian Somaliland was an African protectorate of Italy from 1889-1960.




The opening quote of this chapter is from Edgar A. Guest's 1942 poem "Equipment".


Page 311: Li'l Daughter asks Reno if he's from "the Biggest Little City in the World." This is the slogan of Reno, Nevada. In the novelization of Across the Eighth Dimension, it is said that Reno's last name is Nevada, but no mention of that is made here.


Page 311: Reno explains that he spent some time in the ring, where his trainer gave him the name Kid Reno, but they soon found out there was another boxer using that name, so our Reno became the Reno Kid (even though somebody already had that name, too!).


Page 311: Reno previously worked at NASA. Hearing this, Pecos jokes, "Never a straight answer at NASA." Many conspiracy theorists who believe that NASA is covering up knowledge of UFOs, alien sites on Mars and the Moon, etc. like to say that the acronym stands for Never A Straight Answer.


Page 311: After NASA, Reno spent time at the Indian Institute of Science, then his own startup and think tank in Bangalore.


Page 312: USFPS stands for United States Federal Protective Service.


Page 312: Papa Bear worked for the Cavendish Lab at Cambridge, where he also joined the Cambridge Footlights.


Page 312: Mrs. Johnson reveals she just signed seven-figure deals with CorningWare and Banquet TV dinners.


Page 313: Li'l Daughter says she once spent a month alone in the Black Forest trying to lose herself. The Black Forest is a large, forested mountain range in Germany.


Page 313: Pecos remarks that Buckaroo has been spending maybe too many days cooped up in his study doing nothing but reciting Kūkai's Ākāśagarbha sutra and blowing his shakuhachi along with Beethoven's Third Symphony or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Kūkai (774-835) was the founder of Shingon Buddhism. Ākāśagarbha is a bodhisattva (a person on the path) in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Buddhism. Kūkai is said to have met a famous monk who taught him the Ākāśagarbha sutra. The mantra is said to give rise to wisdom and creativity, and dispel ignorance. A shakuhachi is a longitudinal flute made of bamboo.


Page 313: Buckaroo recalls at time spent in the caves of Muroto. This presumably refers to caves near the Japanese city of Muroto.


Page 313: Pecos laments that she fears Buckaroo might be slipping into hikikomori. Hikikomori is a Japanese term for acute social withdrawal.


Page 313: Agreeing with Pecos' concerns, Tommy tells Buckaroo to "Raise Cain..." The phrase "raise Cain" in Western cultures is a reference to the Biblical Cain, one of the sons of Adam and Eve, who committed the first murder, the killing of his brother Abel.


Page 314: Buckaroo says he muses on Ryōkan's lines, "ten days of rice in my bag and, by the hearth, a bundle of firewood." This is one of the Zen quotes of Ryōkan (1758-1831), a monk who spent much of his life as a hermit.


Page 314: Pecos tells Buckaroo to remember Krishnamurti's words: "I don't mind what happens." Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a philosopher, speaker, and writer. He did say these words.


Page 314: Buckaroo remarks on his reasons for listening to the Eroica. This is another name for Beethoven's Third Symphony.


Page 315: Buckaroo once worked as a garbage helper and recyclables gleaner at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. It was revealed in "Of Hunan Bondage" Part 1 that he attended this college.


Page 315: "Ride or Die" is a neologism of biker culture.


Page 315: An unnamed Institute member tells how she rode her Harley with Screamin' Eagle pipes to the Institute (the Last Chance Saloon) for a gastric bypass to lose weight. "Screamin' Eagle" is a version of motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson's Revolution engine, known for its distinctively-shaped exhaust pipes. "Last Chance Saloon" has become a metaphor for something beyond which hope becomes diminished.


Page 316: Tommy refers to the Screamin' Eagle Harley as a Tonka toy, adding, "...why not just ride a Sportster with racing stripes...or at least a Shovelhead..." Sportster is a line of motorcycles made by Harley. Shovelhead was an engine made by Harley from 1966 to 1984.


Page 316: Reno refers to Tommy as a perpetual enfant terrible. This is French for "terrifying child."


Page 316: Tommy asks Pecos what made her put her John Henry on the dotted line. Tommy is confusing the name "John Henry" with "John Hancock". "John Hancock" has become a synonym for "signature" in the U.S. due to the large, flamboyant signature of American Founding Father John Hancock. John Henry, in contrast, was a steel driving man.


Page 317: Pecos tells the assemblage that her parents were missionaries and when she was a child her father and two brothers were kidnapped off the coast of Zanzibar and her mother drowned in the Zambezi River, where Pecos herself was miraculously rescued by a crocodile and then adopted by a mama hyena. After Mama Hyena was killed, she eventually went to live with her missionary aunt and learned a dozen languages and became a translator for Wycliffe Bible Society at the age of 14. She now has a doctorate in nuclear spin tomography. Zanzibar is an autonomous region of Tanzania. The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa. There are a number of semi-confirmed cases of children that were separated from civilization and raised by animals such as wolves, dogs, monkeys, and others, but no cases of hyenas.


Page 317: Tommy tells that when he was a child in Mizzou, he was diagnosed as an Indigo Child with superpowers ("a power child and an empath, among other things"). "Mizzou" is a nickname for the U.S. state of Missouri. Indigo children are a New Age concept of children who have special, often supernatural, traits; empathy is often one of the described traits.


    Page 318: Tommy says he was sent to Father Flanagan's Boys Town where he developed into a superhuman athlete and established the worldwide Ritalin abuse campaign that won him the MacArthur Wile E. Coyote genius grant and finished his education at the Wanton School of Business. Ritalin is a brand name for methylphenidate, a stimulant drug used to treat ADHD, and many legal actions have been taken by defendants who contend the drug has been overprescribed and has some negative side effects. The MacArthur Fellows Program (unofficially, the "Genius Grant") is a large cash prize for American residents in any field who have shown "extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." Wile E. Coyote is a Warner Bros. character appearing in Looney Toons and Merrie Melodies cartoons known for failed attempts to use ingenious gadgets or traps. The Wanton School of Business is not real; possibly, as Jack suggests, Tommy is referring to the Wharton School of Finance and Economy (now known as Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania).

   After business school, Tommy claims to have gone to Balliol College, Oxford.


Page 318: Not believing Tommy's far-fetched story, Jack cries bullshit and says, "Tallyho, old chap! I'm looking that up." The phrase "tally-ho" is a British one used during a fox hunt to announce sighting of the prey.


Page 318: Tommy mentions having a big-bore Henry, a stack of otaku fanzines, and a Game Box. He is referring to a Henry rifle,

otaku (geek/nerd) magazines, and "Game Box" may be a portmanteau of such video game systems as "Game Boy" and "Xbox".


Page 318: Tommy drove a Boss 429 Mustang. This was a high performance mod of the 1969 and 1970 Ford Mustang automobile.


Page 318: The Ozarks is a geographic region in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.


Page 318: Tommy says he hoped to become a Starfleet officer or a shinobi in the desert or kill a man for every year of his life like Billy the Kid. Starfleet is a reference to the Star Trek science-fiction franchise. Shinobi is essentially another term for "ninja". Billy the Kid (1859-1881) was an outlaw and gunfighter of the American Old West who claimed at the age of 21 that he killed a man for every year of his life, but historians say the real total is more like nine.


Page 319: Mirable dictu is Latin for "spoken miracles."


Page 320: The Institute leaves open chairs at the dinner table for the late Rawhide, occupied only by Rawhide's ragged Stetson hat, Penny's sombrero, and Professor Hikita's blood-smeared spectacles.


Page 321: Li'l Daughter recites Antony's soliloquy over Caesar's body in German. This is from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.


Page 322: Tommy mentions Plutarch and Pluto. Plutarch (46-119) was a Greek philosopher, historian, and priest. Pluto was the Greek god of the underworld.


Page 322: Buckaroo gives a brief commentary on the Buddha's Turning of the Wheel of the Law sermon. The Turning of the Wheel of the Law are the rules of Buddhism.


Page 322: Kaizen is the Japanese word for "improvement" and is a term used for the continuous improvement in business, involving all employees of the business from top to bottom.


Page 322: Baijiu is a type of Chinese liquor. On page 382, Jhonny has been drinking Hong Kong brand baijiu.


Page 323: A chashitsu is a traditional Japanese tea room.


Page 323: When Buckaroo sees the shade of Professor Hikita sitting in the tea room, he refers to the man first as Hikita-sama and then as Chichi. "Sama" is an honorific like "san", added to the end of a name in Japanese tradition, but "sama" is generally used towards an individual of higher rank or for one whom the speaker greatly admires. "Chichi" means "father" (oddly, it also means "breasts"...I'm pretty sure Buckaroo is using the "father" meaning here).


Page 323: The shade of Hikita says he is in 1958 and saw Buckaroo's father only yesterday. Presumably, he means he saw him in the afterlife since Dr. Masado Banzai died in a jet car accident in 1950, or 1953, or 1954, or 1955. Take your pick. (See mentions of Masado's death in the studies of "A Tomb With A View" and Across the 8th Dimension.)


Page 323: The shade of Hikita reveals that Manny Magdalene is the one who killed him.


Page 324: Comandante is Spanish for "commander."


Page 324: The Institute detects a convoy of Pinkertons coming towards it up Paint Creek Road. As far as I can find, this is a fictitious road in Arizona.


Page 324: Buckaroo speculates that the convoy could be the new Joint Special Operations Task Force from DARPA. While there have been all sorts of "Joint Special Operations Task Forces" within the U.S. military/intelligence complex, I don't DARPA has had one itself. DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, formed as ARPA in 1958, which develops new technology for the U.S. military.


Page 324: Buckaroo tells Reno and Tommy to take the quad racers with General Wagoneer and split up, then "meet up at the haunted mine...north adit." "Adit" is a horizontal entrance to an underground mine.




The opening quote of this chapter, "The soldiers never explained to the government when an Indian was wronged," is an actual one said by Geronimo, but the missing second half of the quote is "...but reported the misdeeds of the Indians." Geronimo (1829-1909) was a leader and medicine man of the Bedonkohe band of the Apache people and was involved in numerous raids of European settlements in the American southwest and northern Mexico and battles against U.S. and Mexican military forces.


Page 327: Reno, the general, and his dog, race a Honda Rubicon 550 towards the San Francisco Mountains. The San Francisco Mountains are a volcanic mountain range in northcentral Arizona.


Page 327: Reno pulls his Vepr 12 from its scabbard. The Vepr-12 is a semi-automatic shotgun with a body design based on the original Kalashnikov rifle. It is made by the Russian company Molot-Oruzhie Ltd.


Page 327: Riding through the Arizona desert, General Wagoneer remarks to Reno, "Devoid of the human condition! Of course the Sonoran Desert's nothing. Ever been to Ma'rib? The vast Saudi Arabian Empty Quarter?" The Sonoran Desert covers the southwest quadrant of Arizona (plus parts of southeast California, Baja California, and northwest Mexico). Ma'rib is a city on the edge of the Empty Quarter in Yemen. The Empty Quarter (Rub' al Khali) is a large sand desert covering most of the southern third of the Arabian peninsula.


Page 328: Tommy rides a Yamaha quad.


Page 328: General Wagoneer wears a U.S. Cavalry hat. The U.S. Cavalry was the mounted force of the U.S. Army from 1861-1950.


Page 329: The Apache elder Black Cloud sees General Wagoneer's cavalry hat with the crossed sabers pin and remarks, "One of the Long Knives." Some American Indian tribes used the term "long knives" in reference to U.S. soldiers who carried a saber in a scabbard.


    Page 329: General Wagoneer claims to Black Cloud that he is known by the red man as Pontiac, son of Oklahoma, sent by the Great White Father. Possibly, Wagoneer has borrowed the name "Pontiac" from history, it being the name of an Odawa war chief who fought a war against British policies in the Great Lakes region of North America from 1763-1766. "Oklahoma" besides being the name of a state, is a combination of the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "people" and "red", respectively, so by calling himself a son of Oklahoma, he may be saying that he is a son of the red man. "Great White Father" is an alternate form of "Great Father", which is a term that was used with the Americas' indigenous inhabitants to describe the U.S. president or kings of Great Britain, France, and Spain.

    Wagoneer also claims that he and his "adjutant and mystical sage," Mustang Sally Nostradamus (his Chihuahua) are one-quarter Ojibwe. "Mustang Sally" was probably borrowed from the 1965 song of the same name written and first recorded by Mack Rice. The Ojibwe are a Native American people of modern day Canada and the U.S.


Page 330: The Bureau of Indian Affairs is a U.S. government agency under the Department of the Interior.


Page 330: General Wagoneer refers to Black Cloud as "Billy Jack". Billy Jack is a mixed-race American Navajo character in a series of four movies made from 1967-1977, the most well-known of which was 1971's Billy Jack.


Page 330: Tommy mentions "lyin' promises" made to the red man by Dale Carnegie and the robber barons. He actually means to name Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), a Scottish-American industrialist. Dale Carnegie (1922-1955) was an American writer and speaker on topics of self-improvement. "Robber baron" is a critical term for wealthy and powerful 19th Century American businessmen/industrialists who were said to use exploitative practices to achieve their goals.


Page 330: Black Cloud reminds the others about Hill's rail and Jackson's Indian Removal Act and the long hunger marches, commenting, "...our D-day was in 1492." Hill's rail refers to James J. Hill (1838-1916), a railroad tycoon who built railroad lines across the upper Midwest, the Great Plains, and the Pacific Northwest. The Indian Removal Act was called for by President Andrew Jackson in 1829, received from Congress, and signed by him in 1830; it allowed either the negotiated or forceful removal of southern Native American tribes to new land west of the Mississippi River on long marches that led to the death of many individuals due to hunger, disease, exhaustion, and exposure to the elements.


Page 330: Tommy mentions having seen the picture of a white hunter standing atop a mountain of buffalo skulls. He is likely referring to the 1892 photograph below.


Page 331: The Five Nations refers to the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee (Native name) confederacy of five indigenous peoples in northeast North America that existed when French and English settlers arrived on the continent. In 1722, a sixth people joined.


Page 331: Black Cloud remarks that he spoke to the Dalai Lama at an environmental symposium Buckaroo held. The Dalai Lama is the head monk of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, and nominally the leader of Tibet.


Page 331: The Animas River is a river that runs through Colorado and New Mexico. It is also known as the River of Souls.


Page 331: A nagual is a human who has the ability to shapeshift into a jaguar in the lore of Mesoamerica.


Page 331: Black Cloud's mention of his people having seen a flaming quetzal in the sky many times is presumably a reference to the Aztec feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl.


Page 331: The Iipay are a tribe of Kumeyaay Indians, also known as Mission Indians. Their reservation is located in San Diego County, CA.


Page 331: The "strange blue star" Black Cloud claims to have seen may be a reference to the Blue Star Kachina, allegedly part of Hopi mythology. But the mythological reference is known only from the writings of Frank Waters (1902-1995), which may have been made up by him.


Page 332: Black Cloud says that his great-grandfather knew the great Paiute Wovovka. Wovovka was a religious leader of the Paiute indigenous people of the Great Basin region of North America.


Page 332: In the post-Civil War era, the Chisholm Trail was a trail used for driving cattle from Texas to Kansas ranches.


Page 333: The four colors of the medicine wheel spoken of by Black Cloud are usually yellow, red, black, and white.


Page 335: The Sahel mentioned by Tommy is the transition realm between the Sahara Desert of northern Africa and the Sudanian savanna to the south.


Page 335: In the burning of parts of the Banzai Institute after the Pinkerton raid, Tommy says it look like the relativistic heavy ion collider and the proton lab are up in smoke.


Page 336: Zersetzung is German for "decomposition."


Page 336: Trying to lift their spirits after the raid at the Institute, Tommy says to Reno, "I'm not broken. Instead I'm reminded of Beowulf's victory over Grendel, or that lone sentry dude at Pompeii--the one who never left his post despite the wave of red-hot lava rolling his way, until his head exploded." Beowulf is the hero who fights the monster Grendel in the Old English epic poem Beowulf. Tommy's comment about the Pompeian sentry regards a scene in the 1834 Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel The Last Days of Pompeii.


Page 336: Reno notes that the facts on the raid on the Institute by rogue government elements have been placed under seal by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, though a version may be found in foreign sources, particularly Theories du complot, realites du complot (Conspiracy theories, conspiracy realities) by Phillippe Sollers. Phillippe Sollers is a real world French novelist and critic, though I do not see that he wrote anything called Theories du complot, realites du complot.


Page 336: The quote Tommy makes by Chairman Mao is accurate. "Chairman Mao" was Mao Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and ruler of China from 1949 until his death in 1976.


    Page 337: Tommy remarks to Reno that when he can't stand on his own two feet, bury him Apache-style in a hollow tree trunk. There are some peoples in the world who bury their dead in this manner, but I have not been able to confirm that the Apache have ever done so.

    As Jhonny lies dying late in the novel, he also requests this type of burial. 


Page 337: Tommy is ambidextrous and is equally proficient in playing either a left- or right-hand-strung guitar.


Page 337: Telos is a Greek term used by Aristotle to refer to the inherent purpose of a person or object.




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one by Lao Tzu from his book Tao Te Ching, c. 400 BCE.


Page 340: Manny was interrogated by MI6 at Blenheim Palace. Blenheim Palace is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough in Oxfordshire, England.


Page 341: Xan has a dream of Baltazar under the name of the corsair Barbarossa. This may be a reference to Hayreddin Barbarossa, a 15-16th Century Ottoman naval officer and corsair.


Page 341: Xan says his dream took place at Bayreuth in 1876. Bayreuth is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany. It's famed festival hall, the Festspielhaus, opened in 1876.


Page 341: In the dream, Xan told Barbarossa he (Xan) rode against the against the forces of Napoleon with von Blucher and died on the field at Waterloo. The Old Guard was the most prestigious of formations of the Grande Armée of Napoleon. Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (1742-1819) was a Prussian general who played a key role in the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Napoleon met his defeat at the hand of the forces of the Seventh Coalition at the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.


Page 341: Jedem das seine, herr is German for "to each his own, sir."


Pages 341-342: Xan tells Barbarossa he has been in past lives, Timur the Terrible; Ivan the Terrible; Edwardus Primus, Hammer of the Scots; Hassan bin Sabbah; and Xan von Franzosisch-Indochina. "Xan von Franzosisch-Indochina" means "Xan from French Indochina" in German. The other names are all actual historical rulers and conquerors.


Page 342: Das Rheingold is the first of Wagner's four-part Der Ring des Nibelungen opera.


Page 342: Barbarossa tells Xan he never met the Little Corporal and had served only in the Seven Years' War, but was now in service to Otto von Bismarck. "Little Corporal" was an affectionate nickname afforded to Napoleon by his guards. The Seven Years' War (1756-1763) was a conflict between the British and French empires, considered the first "global war". Otto von Bismarck was Chancellor of the German Empire 1871-1890.


Page 342: Lycurgus the Spartan (Lycurgus of Sparta) was a lawgiver who established a military-style reformation of the society of the Greek city-state of Sparta in the 9th Century BCE. "Arsch Lecken" is German for "ass licker."


Page 342: Sexus servus is Latin for "sex slave."


Page 342: Xan tells Manny he (Xan) is Tiberius Gracchus and that Manny was like something sticking to his boot like the rest of Carthage. Tiberius Gracchus (163-133 BCE) was a populist politician of Rome. As a young man, he'd been one of the Roman soldiers to scale the wall of Carthage during the Roman siege of 146 BC. Carthage is an historical city on the Gulf of Tunis in Tunisia. The city was destroyed by the Romans in the Third Punic War in 146 BC (though it was rebuilt and destroyed and rebuilt again in the centuries following; the city still exists today). 


Page 342: Manny reminds Xan that he saved Xan's life at Agincourt and took care of him when he was Alexander of Macedonia. "Agincourt" probably refers to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 during the Hundred Years' War (another lengthy war between England and France). Alexander of Macedonia is another nomme de guerre of the previously-mentioned Alexander the Great.


Page 342: Diogenes the Cynic was a Greek philosopher of the 4th Century BCE.


Page 343: Besides "Sexus Servus", Xan refers to Manny as Polonius, Culus Paterculus, and Ajax. Polonius is the name of the character of villain Claudius' chief counselor in Shakespeare's Hamlet. "Culus Paterculus" means "Paterculus' anus" in Latin; presumably, "Paterculus" refers to Velleius Paterculus (19-31 BCE), a minor historian of the Roman Empire. Ajax may refer to either Ajax the Great or Ajax the Lesser, both Ancient Greek mythological heroes.


Page 343: Xan recalls hearing a rumor weeks ago about a mad friar visiting the Bocca della Verità and sticking his hand in the mouth of the mask. Bocca della Verità is Italian for "Mouth of Truth" and the mask by that name is a medieval marble sculpture with an open mouth that mythology says will bite the hand off anyone who lies while having their hand in the mouth.


Page 343: Xan refers to the mad friar Abbot Costello as a "rambling Rasputin." Grigori Rasputin (1869-1916) was a Russian mystic who had the confidence of Tsar Nicholas II for about ten years before Rasputin was assassinated.


Page 344: Manny reports to Xan that Abbot Costello was arrested on Fremont Street in Henderson, Nevada after fleeing a Red Lobster on a bicycle. There is no Fremont Street in Henderson, though there is one in nearby Las Vegas.


Page 345: Pro se, in forma pauperis is Latin for "for oneself, in the form of the poor."


Page 345: Manny reports that at his court appearance, Abbot Costello gave his name and two addresses, one a doss house in Rome and the other the WCL affiliate in Bullhead City. "Doss house" is a British term for "flophouse."


Page 345: Xan rages that he'll have Baltazar's head on a plate like the Baptist. This refers to the Biblical John the Baptist, who is said to have been beheaded by King Herod for his criticism of the king's marriage to his brother's ex-wife, Herodias, and Herod having John's head delivered to Herodias on a plate.


Page 345: Trahison des clercs is French for "betrayal of clerics."


Page 346: Xan rages that he'll sack the Vatican as he sacked Baghdad in 1258. The Siege of Baghdad, led by Hulagu Khan in 1258, left the city largely destroyed for several decades.


Page 346: Xan signs his name with a Montblanc Meisterstück.


Page 346: Manny has just come from a long day at the House of Commons in London. This is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The upper is the House of Lords.




The opening quote of this chapter is from the actual oath of Robert the Pious, King of the Franks from 996 to 1031. His oath here became a model for the chivalric oaths of the societies of knights in Europe during the Middle Ages.


Page 349: The Cavaliers bivouac at the University of Pisa, alma mater of Galileo and Fermi. Galileo and Fermi are both renowned scientists in history.


Page 349: The Cavaliers visit sick children in the Careggi hospital on the grounds of Cosimo de' Medici's ancient villa near Florence.


Page 349: The Cavaliers visit San Galgano Abbey. This is an abbey that was built around the former hermitage site of San Galgano himself in the 13th Century. Currently, only the walls of the abbey remain standing.


Page 350: Bestie and nei boschi are Italian for "beasts" and "in the woods."


Page 352: Pazzo is Italian for "lunatic".


Page 352: The young shepherd who gives the Cavaliers a tour of the abbey and the site of the (former) sword in the stone remarks that, "...without the sword hanging over us, and all the religious pilgrims who came to see it, the village seems a happier place." His "sword hanging over us" comment is likely a reference to the Sword of Damocles, a Greek legend that tells of the man Damocles who exclaims that the emperor Dionysius is truly fortunate for all his power and fortune. Dionysius offers to let Damocles exchange lives for a day so he may feel what it's like and the man eagerly agrees. Damocles is then treated like a king and enjoys a sumptuous meal in the court. Only after he finishes eating does he notice a sword dangling precariously above, held by a thread, whereupon Damocles asks the emperor's leave, saying he no longer wants to be so fortunate.


Page 354: The Cavaliers fly by helicopter over the Apennines. This is a mountain range extending the length of the central and western portions of the Italian peninsula.


Page 354: The carabinieri are the domestic police of Italy.


Page 354: "Buckaroo Banzai e suoi favolosi Hong Kong Cavaliers in concerto, nel colosseo!!" is Italian for "Buckaroo Banzai and his fabulous Hong Kong Cavaliers in concert, in the Colosseum!!"


Page 355: Reno describes the Cavaliers' reception by fans and media as sometimes (rarely) encompassing "juvenile all-night romps worthy of Nero..." Nero (37-68 AD) was a Roman emperor known for his partying and debauchery. On page 395, Reno writes that even the Cavaliers could be accused of fiddling while Rome burned. This refers to the proverbial "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" (the Great Fire of Rome in 64 C.E.). Reno's comparison is that the Cavaliers are playing a show at the Coliseum while the Lectroid warship hangs overhead, threatening the entire Earth.


Page 355: Reno addresses the book's readers as "followers of this series", implying a line of books about Team Banzai's adventures existing in the Buckaruniverse.


Page 355: The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the pope in Vatican City.


Page 356: The pope visited the Vatican Observatory in Arizona the previous year. This is the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope on Mount Graham near Safford, Arizona.


Page 356: The pope's reference to kicking Pluto out of the solar system is to the downgrading of the solar system object called Pluto, discovered in 1930, from the status of "planet" to "dwarf planet" in 2006.


Page 357: At the Apostolic Palace, Tommy eats a piece of chocolate that Cardinal Baltazar then chastises him with the story that the chocolate was a gift from the conquistador Pizarro to the Spanish King Charles I, who shared it with Pope Clemens Septimus, and that the chocolate was made up of tablets upon which was engraved the history of a long-extinct Indian tribe. Francisco Pizarro (1478-1541) was a Spanish conquistador who conquered the region of Peru in South America for King Charles I (1500-1558). Pope Clemens Septimus (1478-1534) is more commonly known as Pope Clement VII. The story of the chocolate tablets is fictitious, especially as the South American tribes used the bitter cocoa beans for making the tejate drink and some other foodstuffs, but not for chocolate, per se. Hernando Cortes first sent cocoa beans to Europe and it was there that cocoa was first mixed with sugar and milk to create chocolate.


Page 358: When the cardinal sees Tommy and Reno's horrified reactions to the chocolate relic they're eating, his face is said to take the look of Torquemada himself. Tomás de Torquemada (1420-1498) was the first Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, known for his cruelty, use of torture, and advocacy of burning at the stake for those found guilty of heresy.


Page 358: The cardinal distributes small gift bags to the Cavaliers which include Ace pocket combs and Pope Innocent comic books, including one on the Baltimore Catechism. Ace is a brand of plastic or hard rubber hair combs established in 1924. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard Catholic school textbook in the United States from 1885 to the 1960s.


Page 359: The pope's traditional white cassock now sports a hodgepodge of corporate logo patches such as Aqua Velva, Ace combs, Buster Brown shoes, Champion lip balm, Knights of Malta lube job, and Go Fast sports drink.


Page 359: Pope Innocent wears a plastic Buckaroo Banzai flashlight ring on his right pinkie finger.


Page 360: Reno mentions the Pontifical Swiss Guards. These are honor guards for the pope and his palace within Vatican City.


Page 362: Reno refers to Pope Innocent as a simple carbonaio from the Bergamo Alps. Carbonaio is an Italian term for a charcoal maker. The Bergamo Alps is a mountain range in the Italian Alps.




The title of this chapter is inspired by the 1896 tone poem by Richard Strauss, itself inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra.


The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one by Alexander Pope (1688-1744), an English satirist and poet.


Page 363: Buckaroo sees a painting in the Apostolic Palace he doesn't recognize, but sees that it is signed by Arnold Böcklin. Böcklin (1827-1901) was a Swiss symbolist painter.


Page 364: Another painting in the palace features a classical Greek Adonis reclining on a cloud a la Titian's Venus. Adonis was the mortal lover of Aphrodite (Venus) in Greek mythology. Titian (1488-1576) was a Venetian painter; one of his painting series was of Venus.


Page 364: Gott mit uns is German for "God with us."


Page 364: Cardinal Baltazar says he has been appointed Cardinal Secretary of State, pontifex maximus of the Priory of Sion, and commandant of the Praetorian Papal Knights and Penitent Boys of Rome. While the Cardinal Secretary of State is a an actual, important position in the Vatican, the Priory of Sion was a hoax fraternal organization concocted by the Frenchman Pierre Plantard in 1956, and the Praetorian Papal Knights and Penitent Boys of Rome appears to be entirely fictitious.


Page 364: Cardinal Baltazar also claims he has been tasked with rewriting the Catholic Bible.


Page 365: Tommy refers to the donkey that "Napoleon" is riding in the "Böcklin" painting as "Bocephus". The cardinal corrects him that he doubtlessly meant "Bucephalus". The name probably refers to the horse of Alexander the Great. Napoleon's horse was named Marengo. The cardinal also suggests that maybe Tommy meant "the white Coco." I don't know what this refers to...but PopApostle reader Steve Mattson possibly does, telling us the 19th Century writer Guy de Maupassant wrote a short story about an aged white horse named Coco ("Coco", 1884).


Page 365: Tommy recognizes the wrestler in the Adonis painting as the same as the Satan depicted by Guido as looking like the Cardinal Pamphili. Guido Reni (1575-1642) was an Italian painter, who painted St. Michael Archangel, with St. Michael holding Satan's head down to the ground with a foot and Satan's face being that of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pamphili (1574-1655), who went on to become Pope Innocent X. The real world painting still hangs in the Our Lady of the Conception church in Rome, not destroyed by fungus in our world as it is said to have been here.


Page 366: Auto-da-fé is Portuguese for "act of faith."


Page 366: After declaring Tommy "infamous and anathema," Cardinal Baltazar pretends to wash his hands like Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate was the governor of Roman Judaea who presided over the trial of Jesus and ordered his execution. According to the Bible, Pilate attempted to wash his guilt over Jesus' death from his hands.


Page 367: The Saint Thomas referred to by Buckaroo is Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), an Italian friar and philosopher. His saying about knowledge that Buckaroo here refers to is from his Summa Theologica (1485), "As the good is in relation to things, so is the true in relation to knowledge. Now in things it is impossible to find one that is wholly devoid of good. Wherefore it is also impossible for any knowledge to be wholly false, without some mixture of truth."


Page 368: Gehenna, or the Valley of Hinnom, is a valley surrounding ancient Jerusalem.


Page 368: Baltazar's reference to the Corsican is to Napoleon, who was born and spent his early life on the French island of Corsica.


Page 368: Und mit der sieg heil is German for "and with the victory hail."


Page 368: Baltazar's reference to the Second Consulate is presumably to the Second Consul that ruled France from 1799 until 1804, when Napoleon declared the French Empire, modeled after the Roman Empire.


Page 369: Buckaroo asks Baltazar who the figure in the wrestling tights is in the painting. Baltazar responds it is the Holy Justicer and Buckaroo points out it looks like the bust of Caligula in the Louvre. "Holy Justicer" appears to be a fictitious term. Caligula (12-41 AD) was a 1st Century Roman emperor whose wanton and depraved Bacchanalias were legendary.


Page 370: Buckaroo remarks that he is to deliver a lecture at the Italian Astronomical Society.


Page 371: Buckaroo also has a meet-and-greet at the Enrico Fermi Astrophysical Society. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious organization.


Page 371: Sindaco di Roma is Italian for "mayor of Rome."


Page 371: Jack Tarantulus boasts that he knows the president of the American Bar Association.


Page 372: Reno tries to cover up some of Team Banzai's secrets from Mona by saying to her, "You mean our next movie?" This implies there have been multiple BB movies in the Buckaruniverse. Mona retorts that she has sources saying the movie is to be titled Project Doom and has Buckaroo taking over the president's job and issues a top-level directive from NORAD for placing US forces on worldwide alert. Tommy chimes in, "DEFCON 2..."  NORAD is the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint operation of the U.S. and Canada to provide early warning and defense against air and space offenses against the two nations. DEFCON (short for Defense Condition) is the military state of readiness for immediate combat within the country itself. U.S. DEFCON has 5 levels, with 1 being the highest (war is imminent).


Page 374: Abott Costello says, "Per Dio!" and "Porca Madonna, kill the demon and his lineage!" Per Dio is Italian for "for God" and porca Madonna is an Italian epithet used in anger or shock, essentially the same as "holy shit" or similar in English (literally, it is "slut Madonna").




The title of this chapter is a play on the name of the mural The Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.


The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one by Aeschylus about the brutality of war.


Page 376: Mona comments that Team Banzai is in Hulk mode. The Hulk is a Marvel Comics character, a mild-mannered scientist who transforms into a huge, green, monstrous man when overcome with anger, outrage, or fear.


Page 376: Tommy says, "Semper paratus, meaning 'always horny.'" Actually, it is Latin for "always ready" and is the motto of the U.S. Coast Guard.


Page 377: Paraphrasing a philosopher, Tommy remarks, "I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery." This is from a translation of the Latin phrase "Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem," "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery," used by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third president of the United States.


Page 377: Jhonny caustically remarks that Tommy has trouble talking to girls who are not Neanderthals. The Neanderthal, of course, is an extinct species (or possibly subspecies) of humans which is popularly thought to have been brutal and of low intelligence, though anthropological studies have increasingly shown they were intelligent and reasonably civilized.


Page 378: Jhonny jokes that Tommy has Dumbo ears. Dumbo is a cartoon elephant character of the Disney company who has large ears that enable him to fly.


Page 378: Mona jokes that Jhonny has Chiclet dentures. Chiclets is a brand of candy-coated chewing gum made in white (and other colors), rounded-rectangular shape. Because of the gum's slight resemblance to a human tooth, the slang term "Chiclet dentures" has come into use for false teeth.


Page 379: Jhonny asks for a light for his Camel. This refers to Camel brand cigarettes.


Page 380: Boasting of his prowess with women, Jhonny remarks, "They do not call me Casanova for nothing." Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (1725–1798) was an Italian adventurer and notorious womanizer.


Page 382: Jhonny says he has drunk two Jägermeister bombs and two Honey Jack mind probes. A Jägermeister bomb is a shot of Jägermeister dropped into a glass of Red Bull energy drink. Honey Jack is likely a reference to Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey whiskey. There are a number of cocktails with "mind probe" as part of the name.


Page 384: Tommy refers to Rome as the Eternal City of Love. This is an occasional nickname of the city.


Page 385: Reno and Pecos remind Jack of a couple violent incidents he had at a fado bar in Lisbon and a pub in Valletta. A fado bar is a bar that plays music of the fado genre, originated in Lisbon, Portugal. Valletta is the capital city of Malta.


Page 385: Tommy tries to order a Fanta and a bag of Fritos from the waiter, telling the man to put it on the consigliere's tab. "Consigliere" is a leadership position in the Sicilian Mafia.


Page 386: Team Banzai watches live combat footage from Gaza on a bar television when the Lectroid man-of-war arrives at Earth. From World Watch One, they receive word the Lectroid ship dropped some hardware over Manitoba. Manitoba is a province of Canada.


Page 386: Buckaroo mentions Strategic Air Command. SAC is now known as Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) and is a U.S. command force responsible for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations.


Page 387: Postmaster General Mantooth has intercepted documents in the mail pointing to the existence of a Quisling Society and Project CURE (Certified Underwriters Research Engine). The name of the Quisling Society must be based on that of Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), the Norwegian head of government during that nation's occupation by the Nazis in WWII; his last name has since become a byword for "traitor". The Project CURE mentioned here is fictitious; in the real world, Project CURE stands for Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment, a trademark of the American non-profit Benevolent Healthcare Foundation.




The opening quote of this chapter is a Japanese proverb from the collection of Chinese fables by Zhuangzi.


Page 389: A phenakistiscope is an optical device that presents an illusion of animated movement to the viewer, invented in 1833.


Page 389: The first two languages the Lectroid ship displays on its projection surface to say "YOUR REAL DADDY" are Italian and French.


Page 389: Brother Deacon Jarvis refers to the inhabitants of Earth as Pithecanthropus erectus. This is a disused species name for an early human fossil found in 1891-92 called Java Man on the Indonesian island of Java, estimated to be up to one million years old. The current species name applied to it is Homo erectus erectus.


Page 390: Jarvis spews out a series of product slogans. These are all variations of actual product slogans.


Page 391: Tommy suggests that the Lectroid warship blotting out the sky may be fake, "...a whadda you call it...Potemkin..."

The Potemkin reference may be to "Potemkin Villages", an idiom based on the myth of Russian minister Grigory Potyomkin's alleged attempts to impress Empress Catherine II on the occasion of her tour through Crimea in 1787 by having the local peasants build fake villages along the banks of Dnieper River. Tommy also made a Potemkin reference in "Of Hunan Bondage" Part 2.


Page 392: Buckaroo uses his Go-Phone's full-spectrum interferometer/doimeter/spectrometer to measure the Lectroid ship's chemical traces, finding traces of barium and aluminum oxide, which leads Reno to compare it to chemtrails. Chemtrails are part of a conspiracy theory that the contrail exhaust of jet airplanes has undergone a chemical change since around 1995, as part of a government program of weather modification, psychological manipulation, or human population control. Evidence is that contrails seem to last longer in the sky since about that year and detection of alleged higher amounts of aluminum and barium.


Page 394: Since his last trip into other dimensions, Buckaroo has found himself levitating when he turns a certain way into a powerful electron field such as a lightning storm.


Page 394: Buckaroo worries that using the Jelly Beam on the Lectroid warship could cause it to explode like a giant Hindenburg, with enough force to kill two-thirds of Europe. The Hindenburg was a German zeppelin that caught fire and burned to the ground within minutes during a visit to Manchester Township, New Jersey in May 1937.


Page 395: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is a 16th Century painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and is as described by Reno here. The Auden writing that Reno mentions is the 1938 poem "Musée des Beaux Arts", which mentions the painting, by W.H. Auden.




The opening quote of this chapter is usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, as it is here. But the quote "nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm" is actually from The Statesman’s Manual (1816) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Emerson repeated the quote without attribution in his essay "Circles" in 1841.


Page 397: The Cavaliers' opening band at the Coliseum show is Rooster and the Sidesaddle Boys. This appears to be a fictitious band.


Page 397: The Ludus Magnus was the largest gladiatorial school in Rome, built in the late 1st Century C.E. It's ruins lay in a valley east of the Coliseum.


Page 398: The Hospitallers of Saint John is a Catholic military order, active in various forms since 1099 C.E.


Page 398: Rooster plays a vintage Les Paul guitar on stage.


Page 399: Tommy brags about his virtuosity on his Schecter Hellraiser. Hellraiser is a line of guitar models made by Schecter Guitar Research.


Page 399: Reno refers to Perfect Tommy as "our own d'Artagnan." d'Artagnan, while based on a real person (Charles de Batz de Castelmore d'Artagnan), is the swashbuckling protagonist of the d'Artagnan Romances, a trilogy of novels by Alexandre Dumas, most popularly, The Three Musketeers.


Page 401: Muscatine's robot Abysmo has a Browning .30 caliber machine gun built into his left arm.


Page 401: Muscatine remarks that Abysmo carried her up Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps, at 15,774 ft.


Page 402: King Solomon was the wise monarch of the Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible.


Page 402: "Solomon's nut" is an old name for the coconut.


Page 402: Buckaroo's quote of an old Japanese saying, "Water in a sleeping ear," is an actual Japanese idiom which means to be surprised at learning something from an unexpected source.


Page 402: Talking scientific principles with Muscatine, Buckaroo mentions the unipolar paradox. The unipolar paradox relates to the Faraday paradox and his law of electromagnetic induction.


Page 403: Muscatine says that after she left the Cavaliers, she worked with Yngwie Malmsteen for a while. Yngwie Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist and bandleader.


Page 405: The Cavaliers have a preconcert ritual of clasping hands and saying, "Kaizen! Banzai! Fight the good fight!" Kaizen is Japanese for "improvement". Banzai is a Japanese exclamation for "ten thousand years of long life."


Page 406: Buckaroo and Tommy ride a police Moto Guzzi onto the stage. Moto Guzzi is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer. They have a made a number of special models for military and police use.


Page 406: "Signore e signori, Buckaroo Banzai!" is Italian for "Ladies and gentleman, Buckaroo Banzai!"


Page 406: "Ave, Roma, amici! Pubblico romano!" is Italian for "Hail, Rome, friends! Roman audience!"


Page 406: For the concert, the Cavaliers wear new Digitizer-Transcender earpieces. Page 410 explains the devices a bit further by calling one worn by Mrs. Johnson back at the ranch a Thought Digitizer-Transcender.


Page 407: The Cavaliers' concert at the Coliseum was produced and sold as a video titled Alive in the Roman Coliseum.


Page 407: "Blood rain" is an actual weather phenomenon caused by a mixing of dust and other matter blowing in the wind and mixing with atmospheric humidity to yield red-tinted rain (without the linguini effect depicted here, however!).


Page 408: Del diavalo is Italian for "by the devil". "Pazienza, amici...con calma, con calma..!" is Italian for "Patience, friends ... calmly, calmly ..!"


Page 408: Tommy later writes an article about the concert aftermath for the New Yorker.


Page 408: Sir Ivanhoe is the protagonist of the 1819 novel Ivanhoe: A Romance by Walter Scott. In Arthurian legend, the Knights of the Round Table were responsible for the protection of the kingdom of Camelot, no connection to Ivanhoe, despite Tommy's assertion.


Page 409: Deputy Dawg is the protagonist of the eponymous animated TV show that aired 1960-1964.


Page 410: SOS is the international Morse code distress signal; it is not an actual abbreviation for anything.


Page 410: "C'est la vie, m'sieur president," is French for "That's life, Mister President."


Page 412: The Cavaliers perform "Hang On, Sloopy". This is a 1964 song originally recorded by the Vibrations.




Page 413: "Viva il papa! Viva Innocente!" is Italian for ""Long live the Pope! Long live Innocent!" "Bravissimo!" is an Italian expression for high praise. "Vostro autografo! Per fovore!" is Italian for "Your autograph! Please!"


Page 413: Mona has a hidden camera in one of her Louboutin high heels.


Page 414: Pope Innocent is wearing Justin roper boots, a gift from Buckaroo.


Page 415: The pope tells Mona he hears Zion's trumpet. This is from a passage in the Bible that tells of blowing a trumpet from Mt. Zion (in Jerusalem) to signal a gathering of the people.


Pages 415-416: When Mona asks the deranged pope what it's like in Heaven, he tells her that in Heaven, "everyone is a thirty-third degree Mason and thirty-three years old--like Jesus." The 33rd degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry is essentially an honorary degree conferred on members who have demonstrated outstanding service to Masonry or society in general. However, some conspiracy theorists believe that Masons of the 33rd degree are granted knowledge and power of who really controls the world and membership in the Illuminati. Jesus is estimated by theologians to have been about 33 years old when he was crucified and some conspiracy theorists believe the 33rd degree of Freemasonry gets its number from his age.


Page 417: Mona remarks that Cardinal Baltazar has "drunk the Kool-Aid the deepest." "Drinking the Kool-Aid" is an expression used for someone who has accepted a doomed or risky idea that is false. It originated from the coverage of the Peoples Temple cult in Jonestown, Guyana who committed suicide by drinking poisoned "Kool-Aid" (actually Flavor-Aid) at the direction of the cult's leader, Jim Jones.


Page 419: Cardinal Baltazar holds a Beretta pistol to Tommy's forehead.


Page 419: Baltazar tells Tommy to "Git along, move along, little doggie..." This is a paraphrasing of lyrics from an old cowboy ballad, "Git Along, Little Dogies" (or "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo").


Page 420: The "Dwarf Church" recently found below St. Peter's Basilica is fictitious. St. Peter's Basilica was built by the Roman emperor Constantine, as stated here.


Page 420: Pius XII was the pope of the Catholic Church from 1939-1958.


Page 420: Reno brings up a quote from Hermetic scripture, "As above, so below." This is a paraphrasing of scripture that appears in the Emerald Tablet, a text alleged to have been written by a figure of Hellenistic legend, Hermes Trismegistus, a  syncretic combination of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes.


Page 422: Baltazar's torturer, Pay Piggie, whom the cardinal sets upon Tommy is described as a pear-shaped Vulcan with a Cro-Magnon head. Vulcan is the god of fire in Roman mythology. Cro-Magnons were the first modern-type early humans to settle in Europe; they generally had broader faces, more prominent brow ridges, and bigger teeth than typical humans today.


Page 422: Tommy nervously eyes a Craftsman toolbox in the torturer's workroom.


Page 424: "Impossibile! Figlio di merda!" is Italian for "Impossible! Son of shit!"


Page 424: Buckaroo leaves the concert stage to head to Tommy's rescue in the middle of "Prettiest Eyes This Side of Heaven." Reno reveals this is a song written as a tribute to Penny.


Page 426: "Attente...suoi revoltelle!" is Italian for "Beware...his revolvers!"


Page 426: A bullet meant for Buckaroo ricochets off Bernini's equestrian statue of Constantine. The sculpture is The Vision of Constantine by Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), located in the Scala Regia. Buckaroo drives up the Scala Regia on the M0to Guzzi motorcycle seconds later, turning on the Scala Regia. The Scala Regia (Royal Staircase) is a flight of steps in Vatican City designed by Bernini, part of the formal entrance of the Vatican. The Sala Regia is a hallway leading to the Sistine and Pauline Chapels.


Page 426: "Buckaroo Banzaie è un pollo..!" is Italian for "Buckaroo Banzai is a chicken..!"




The opening quote of this chapter, "Caligula is each one of you," by Albert Camus is presumably from Camus' 1944 play Caligula, but I've been unable to confirm.


Page 429: The study Networking the Land: Conflicting Imperatives of the New Urban Settler Movement by Berlin and Offenback published by the Banzai Institute is, of course, fictitious.


Page 429: Questura is Italian for "precinct."


Page 430: Ragazzi is Italian for "lads."


Page 430: The Levant is the geographical area covering the historical region of Syria (modern day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and most of Turkey).


Page 431: "Che sogno! Vergine santa!" and Dio are Italian for "What a dream! Holy Virgin!" and "God."


Page 431: Sister Mary rubs oil from the Mount of Olives on Buckaroo's head. The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in Jerusalem's Old City where olive groves once grew.


Page 432: Sister Mary is using Pampers diapers on the abott as he goes through his possession/pregnancy torment.


Page 432: Per favore, orrible, pericolo, and merda are Italian for "please," "horrible," "danger," and "shit."


Page 433: Sister Mary tells Buckaroo that she and Abott Costello once took a picnic to Villa d'Este in Tivoli.


Page 434: "Si, mi fido di te..! Per favore...ayy, il dolore..!" is Italian for "Yes, I trust you ..! Please ... ayy, the pain ..!"


Page 435: "Per l'amor di Dio..." is Italian for "For the love of God..."


Page 436: The Hippocratic Oath is the oath taken by western doctors to obey a certain code of ethics.


Page 436: "Nome di Gesu..." and "Zitto! Santa Madonna!" are Italian for "Name of Jesus ..." and "Shut up! Holy Madonna!"


Page 437: "Porco cane..." is Italian for "pig dog..."


Page 438: "Laus Deo!" is Latin for "Praise God!" "Il potere e la gloria" and "Basta, cazzo!" are Italian for "The power and the glory" and "Enough the fuck!"


Page 439: The water in the birthing tub is said to part like the Red Sea to reveal the alien baby bezoar. This, of course, is a reference to the flight of the Israelites from Egypt across the Red Sea in the Biblical Book of Exodus.


Page 440: "Thanatos" is the name of the personification of death in Greek mythology.


Page 440: The telepathic emanations of the baby lead Buckaroo's mind to "a wild weird clime that lieth sublime..." This is a line from the 1844 poem "Dream-Land" by Edgar Allan Poe.


Page 440: Cogito is Latin for "think."


Page 441: Reno relates that while Buckaroo is not a follower of any organized religion, he is the eponym of Banzai-ism, a mix of Buddhist stoicism and American can-do spirit.


Page 442: Reno paraphrases some cryptic words that Buckaroo stated in "another episode", "I believe only God can save the world but I am not a believer."


Page 442: Buckaroo says, "By the universal law of Myoho, I now put my intention in motion." "Myoho" refers to the Buddhist principle of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, stating we have at all times the ability to overcome any problem or difficulty in life and a capacity to transform any suffering because we are inseparable from the fundamental law that underlies the workings of all life and the universe.


Page 443: Sister Mary sees Whorfin as a giant, hovering cockroach. Rauch's original idea for the cover of the novel was an image of a cockroach about to get stepped on by the booted foot of B. Banzai, as discussed in the January 2022 issue of World Watch One (pg. 45).


Page 443: Merda and "Santa Madonna...andiamo!" are Italian for "shit" and "Holy Madonna...let's go!"


Page 444: Able Omar sees the blob of Whorfin on the ceiling of the bathroom and shakenly asks Buckaroo if it's a fat djinni. A djinni (dijinn) is a supernatural being of Arab folklore, also known as a genie.


Page 445: Geist is a German term for "ghost."




The opening quote of this chapter, "Beware the fury of a patient man," is from the 1681 satirical poem "Absalom and Achitophel" by the English poet John Dryden.


As the chapter begins, Reno addresses the reader directly, saying, "Reader, if I have failed to serve your purpose or you are under the impression that I have teased or led you astray in any way with authorial ruses, please accept my sincere regrets and merely afford me your further indulgence for a few pages more." This might be interpreted as author Rauch himself confessing that this novel may not be what BB fans were expecting. I confess myself that it's not.


    Page 448: Reno writes that Buckaroo's guns of choice are Colt six-shooters, of which he owns about a dozen. His favorite is a pair of ivory-handled Colt model 1873 single-action revolvers. In the novelization of Across the Eighth Dimension, Buckaroo's guns are Navy Colts manufactured in 1851, ordinarily used only when he's in search of Hanoi Xan (the novel reveals they had originally belonged to Buckaroo's father).

   Buckaroo also carries a three-barreled derringer in his boot.


Page 448: Buckaroo carries a Sebenza switchblade scalpel in his boot. Sebenza is a style of knife made by Chris Reeve Knives.


Page 448: Lettre de cachet (literally "letter of the signet") is a French term for a letter signed by the king of France and countersigned by one of his ministers that contained orders from the king that could not be appealed to any court or other body of the nation.


Page 449: Baltazar refers to Buckaroo as a John Wayne proud guy with his cowboy hat and pointy boots and good American shite talk. John Wayne (1907-1979) was an iconic American actor, especially known for his roles as tough American cowboys and soldiers.


Page 450: Baltazar boasts that his army is "the prophesied one hundred forty-four thousand elect who will defeat Gog and Magog on the Plain of Megiddo." He is referring to the Bible's Book of Revelation, according to which 144,000 people will go to Heaven to rule with Jesus in God's kingdom after the defeat of God's enemies, Gog and Magog, by the Messiah. In Christianity, "Gog and Magog" is usually interpreted as two nations.


Page 450: Baltazar claims that his Templars and Knights of Saint John will be supported by a secret uprising of the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is a worldwide Christian charitable organization.


Page 450: Baltazar says his forces are currently raiding the cache of biological weapons stored at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Fort Detrick is a U.S. Army installation in Frederick, Maryland that hosts most of the country's biological defense program and formerly the home of the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories.


Page 451: Baltazar says that he and his followers will be safe on the isle of Patmos. The isle of Patmos is a Greek island where John of Patmos received the visions he recorded in the Book of Revelation.


Page 451: Baltazar tells Buckaroo that the archangel Raphael and the Archangel Brother Deacon Jarvis on the Lectroid ship are the same. Raphael is one of the archangels (high angels) in the Abrahamic religions.


Page 452: The Whorfin geist claims to Baltazar that he is Moses in an attempt to get him to open the bathroom door behind which he is locked. Moses, of course, is one of the major figures of the Abrahamic religions.


Page 455: Sokol fires 7.62 x 51 mm NATO rounds at Buckaroo as he dives for an escape. The 7.62 x 51 mm NATO is a rifle cartridge made for use in a number of weapons used largely in NATO countries. NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance of most of the western world's democratic nations.


Page 456: While being tortured by Pay Piggie, Tommy warbles a number of recognizable song lyrics, "Yippie yi ooh, yippie yi yay, ghost riders in the sky," and "Trouble ahead, lady in red, take my advice, you'd be better off dead." These are lyrics from the 1948 country-western song "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend," and "Casey Jones" by the Grateful Dead (Pay Piggie also sings some lyrics from this song).


Page 456: Pay Piggie tells Tommy, "I'll make your shite flow like the Rio Bravo, cowboy!" Rio Bravo is the name given to the river in Mexico that begins in the United States as the Rio Grande.


Page 456: Reno writes that Tommy continued to sing like a bluesy Scheherazade. I guess he's referring to the Turkish singer/celebrity Şehrazat Kemali Söylemezoğlu who sometimes has gone by the stage name Scheherazade. The lyrics Tommy sings about old El Paso appear to be original, possibly from a Cavaliers' song. El Paso is a city in Texas. (Update, 4/4/22: Steve Mattson points out that "Scheherazade" is the name of the female storyteller of the Middle Eastern folk tale compilation One Thousand and One Nights, who had to tell stories to stay alive.)


Page 456: "Deadhead" is the term for a Grateful Dead fan.


Page 456: "Death By a Thousand Cuts" presumably refers to the 2019 song by Taylor Swift.


Page 456: "Shoveling Shit's Hard on My Back" is a fictitious song as far as I can tell.


Page 457: Zitto is Italian for "shut up."


Page 457: Pay Piggie uses Brazilian bullet ants on Tommy, calling them "the most painful bite on earth." These are actual insects in Central and South America, with some researchers saying they have the most painful insect sting.


Page 457: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is a 1970 song by Simon & Garfunkel.


Page 458: The singing voice of Johnny Cash booms down from the Lectroid warship. Johnny Cash (1932-2003) was an American singer-songwriter. The lyrics he sings here are from his 1963 song "Ring of Fire".


Page 460: "Viva Roma! Viva Romani! Viva la dolce vita!" is Italian for "Long live Rome! Long live Romans! Long live the sweet life!"


Page 460: The sound of thundering hoofbeats and an image of the Cavaliers as the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse emits from the Lectroid warship. The Four Horseman are figures from the Christian Bible, said to foretell the Apocalypse. Buckaroo rides a white stallion (the first Horseman on a white horse, Pestilence), Tommy on a black horse (the third Horseman, Famine), Pecos on a bright-red chestnut (the second Horseman, War), and Reno on a pale horse (the fourth Horseman, Death).


Page 461: Via Gregorio VII is an actual road in Rome, named for Pope Gregory VII (1015-1085).


Page 461: The Shilka anti-aircraft system has 23 mm autocannons, a triad of Buk missiles, two Japanese Type II Nambu machine guns, a 29 mm spigot mortar, and an improvised Roman-style trebuchet. These are all real world historical weapons used in war.


Page 462: Tommy sings lyrics from "Oh! Susanna," "America the Beautiful," and "Jimmy Crack Corn". In response, Pay Piggie sings lines from "Never Gonna Let You Go."


Page 462: Red Devil is an actual brand of lye.


Page 462: Tommy recites Rimbaud to Jesus. This refers to Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), a French poet. "Tu viendras, tu viendras, je t'aime!" is from his poem "Les Reparties De Nina" ("You will come, you will come, I love you so!" from "Nina's Reply").


Page 463: "Impossibile...per i santi, e lui! Buckaroo Banzai! Canzone...a song!" is Italian for " the saints, it's him! Buckaroo Banzai! Song...a song!"


Page 463: After being rescued from torture by Buckaroo, Tommy smashes open a vending machine and extracts M&Ms and Payday bars.


Page 464: Sister Mary remarks that Tommy used to turn her knees to jelly on the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert occasionally broadcast on television from studios in Nashville, Tennessee.




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one from the Book of Exodus in the Bible.


Page 466: As the Lectroid crisis continues in Rome, Reno hears people say, "It's just like the last days of Pompeii and Herculaneum!" The two ancient cities were buried under feet of volcanic ash and debris from the eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.


Page 469: Abysmo mentions the Tyrrhenian Ocean (sic) and the Sea of Troubles. The Tyrrhenian Sea is the part of the Mediterranean Sea between the west coast of Italy and the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. "Sea of troubles" is a reference to a line from the "to be or not to be" soliloquy given by Prince Hamlet in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet.


Page 469: Campo santo is Latin for "holy field."


Page 469: Seeing the craziness around her as she reports the news at the scene in St. Peter's Square, Mona jokes that she must have made a wrong turn in Tijuana. Saint Peter's Square is a plaza in front of St. Peter's Basilica. Tijuana is just over the U.S.-Mexican border from San Diego and is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California.


Page 470: Jane's Defense Review refers to Jane's International Defense Review magazine, which reports on military news technology.


Page 470: Reno states that Mona's reporting during the crisis would win her the prestigious Peabody Award.


Page 471: Mona reports that a visiting dionesian priest from New Jersey told her he believes the fourth secret of Fátima is that everyone who is not "rhapsodied" will receive demonic DNA in the form of a microchip, signaling the Mark of the Beast and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The "priest" actually means "raptured", not "rhapsody"; the rapture is a belief among some Christians that the "saved" will be taken up into Heaven around the time of the Second Coming of Jesus. The Mark of the Beast is a belief among some Christians that when the Beast comes into power on Earth temporarily, people will be expected to take his "mark" in order to continue making financial transactions in our society. The Great Tribulation is a time that Jesus said would be a sign of the end times.


Page 471: The "True Light" spoken of in Mona's report of Deacon Jarvis' monologues is said to be Jesus in the Bible.


Page 472: Mona is asked by an Associated Press reporter how to spell "apocalypse."


Page 473: Carogna is Italian for "carrion."


Page 473: Sokol chants, "Sevastopol! Constantinople! Schleswig-Holstein! Our faith is our shield! On to Jerusalem!" Sevastopol is the largest city in Crimea and a port on the Black Sea. Constantinople was the former name of Istanbul, Turkey. Schleswig-Holstein and Jerusalem were mentioned previously in this study.


Page 473: Deus vult is Latin for "God wills."


Page 473: The word "Frisbee" is capitalized because it is actually a brand name, even though the word has taken on a genericized air in the public mind.


Page 473: Mona begins to think that all the events she is witnessing in Rome are like a Passion play. A Passion play is a dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering, and death.


Page 474: The Dating Game is an American TV game show in which contestants try to win a date with another contestant by asking and answering personal questions.


Page 474: Roma delenda est is Latin for "Rome must be destroyed."


    Page 475: The account of emperor Justinian by Procopius is from the Anecdota. Procopius (c. 500-565 CE) was a Greek scholar. Justinian (482-565) was a Byzantine emperor.

    Page 475: Reno states that Carlyle identified Justinian as "the dark lord Xan," while A.H.M. Jones disputed it. Presumably, "Carlyle" is meant to be Thomas Carlyle again (mentioned earlier in this study). A.H.M. Jones (1904-1970) was a British historian of the later Roman Empire.


Page 476: Xan has a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum. This is a real world compendium of witchcraft and demonology from the 15th Century. The title translates roughly to Hammer of Witches.


Page 476: Léonide Moguy (1899-1976) was a Ukrainian, French, and Italian film director, film editor and screenwriter. Ava Gardner (1922-1990) was an American actress. In the dream described by Xan to Penny, he says he was watching a movie he'd produced with Moguy and Gardner involved. He may be referring to the 1946 film Whistle Stop, directed by Moguy and starring Gardner.


Page 477: Xan and Satrap discuss a horsehair sectional set Xan has owned for a hundred years, one he says was given to him by the Kaiser. "Kaiser" is the German word for "emperor". The title was used by the rulers of the Austrian Empire from 1804-1918. Xan must be referring to Wilhelm II, who was German kaiser from 1888-1918.


Page 479: Xan tells Penny his collection of ancient books are all that remain from the House of Wisdom in ancient Baghdad. The House of Wisdom was a private library belonging to the Abbasid Caliphs during the Islamic Golden Age of the 8th-14th Centuries that was destroyed in the Siege of Baghdad in 1258.


Page 479: Under Drake's Flag (1883) and With Kitchener in the Soudan, A Story of Atbara and Omdurman (1903) were books by the previously-mentioned G.A. Henty.


Page 479: Og Mandino (1923-1996) was an American writer on numerous topics, particularly salesmanship and success, including The Greatest Secret in the World (1972), mentioned by Xan here.


Page 480: Xan claims that Penny wrote Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. These are both novels by Ayn Rand, whom Xan earlier claimed was a previous life of Penny's.


Page 481: Xan claims that Penny's husband is a cowboy named Frank.


Page 482: Henry Shannon was known in the British press as the "Coal King of Cornwall."


Page 482: Sonya relates that she was like Penny once, before she spiraled into a dark place of Ho Hos and Ding Dongs. These are both small chocolate and cream snack cakes made by Hostess.


Page 482: Sonya/Caesonia tells Penny she was named Caesonia by Shannon and his cronies after the beautiful bride of Caligula. Milonia Caesonia was the fourth and final wife of the emperor Caligula until both were assassinated in 41 CE.


Page 485: Penny realizes that the name Xan has been using for her, Alisa, is an anagram of "alias."




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual quote by Pindar (522-438 BCE), a Greek lyrical poet.


Page 488: Buckaroo uses the EMF detector on his Go-Phone. EMF is short for "electromagnetic frequency."


Page 490: Baltazar carries a Gucci briefcase.


Page 490: A hieromonk is a monk who is also a priest in Eastern Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox Church.


Page 490: Pskov is a city in northwestern Russia.


Page 491: The Chair of Peter is a relic housed in the Vatican that is claimed to have been one used by Saint Peter, who is considered the first pope of the Catholic Church. Modern studies of the chair, however, concluded that no part of it dates back to older than the 6th Century.


Page 491: Baltazar pours himself a glass of the pope's Hennessey. Presumably, this refers to Hennessy, a French cognac brand.


Page 491: Baltazar judges the Lectroid Brother Deacon Jarvis to be the prophet Elijah. Elijah was a prophet in the Torah's Book of Kings who was said to have been picked up in a chariot of fire. Perhaps Baltazar considers the Lectroid ship Jarvis broadcasts from to be the chariot.


Page 491: "Merkabah" refers to Merkabah mysticism of the early Jewish religion, concerning the stories of ascents to heaven in chariots and by other mystical means.


Page 492: Baltazar compares his current predicament as worthy of the Mad Hatter's tea party. The Mad Hatter is a character in Lewis Carroll's Wonderland books, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871), who holds a bizarre tea party with his friends which is crashed by Alice.


Page 492: The Gabriel thought of by Baltazar is another one of the archangels of the Bible.


Page 492: Job is a Biblical figure who is tested by God by losing all he holds dear.


Page 492: Ornan (or Araunah) was the owner of a grain threshing floor in Jerusalem that was purchased by King David to be the site of an altar to God. The "sons of Ornan" mentioned in this novel may be to four hidden Christian churches of early Christianity according to some historical theologians.


Page 492: Baltazar thinks the Lord may be testing him, as Jehovah did with Abraham and when Satan tempted Jesus. "Jehovah" is one of the names of God, a Latinization of the Hebrew "Yaweh". In the Bible, God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his own son. Satan tempted Jesus while Jesus was in the desert fasting after his baptism.


Page 492: The "hospitality" quote from the Book of Hebrews is accurate. The Book of Hebrews is one of the books of the Bible.


Page 492: The College of Cardinals is the body of all the cardinals in the Catholic Church.


Page 493: Mit dem Mut der Verzweiflung is German for "With the courage of despair."


Page 493: Lloyd's of London is an insurance market headquartered in London.


Page 493: "The Final Countdown" is an actual 1986 song by the band Europe.


Page 495: The Loggia of Blessings is an actual balcony on St. Peter's Basilica from which the pope often addresses his world audience.


Page 495: Cri de coeur is French for "cry of the heart."


Page 496: Ex cathedra and pontifex inquisitor maximus are Latin for "from the throne" and "high priest", respectively.


Page 498: The word "Breathalyzer" is capitalized because it is actually a brand name, even though the word has taken on a genericized air in the public mind.


Page 500: The Kalashnikov is a popular line of Russian automatic rifles designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the most commonly known of which is the AK-47.


Page 503: Looking for the pope in the basilica, Buckaroo and his coterie follow the faint fragrance of Heaven Scent by Aqua Velva mixed with Camel Blacks. As far as I can tell, Heaven Scent by Aqua Velva is a fictitious fragrance. Camel Blacks are a variety of Camel brand cigarettes.




The title of this chapter was likely inspired by the use of the phrase "the mother of all battles" by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in a warning to the U.S. coalition against attempting to liberate the nation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1990-91.


The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one spoken by U.S. Army general Jacob H. Smith (1840-1918) when he led a response on the island of Samar to the Balangiga massacre during the Philippine-American War. His order included killing anyone over 10 years old, resulting in the deaths of 2000-2500 civilians. He was court-martialed for his action, but only punished with forced retirement.


Page 505: The image of John Emdall's head is ringed by a halo of Medusa-like water tendrils. In Greek mythology, Medusa was a Gorgon, a hideous woman with snakes for hair whose gaze would turn anyone who looked upon her face into stone.


Page 505: Empress John Emdall introduces herself to Earth as the Virgin Queen of Heaven and Empress of India. I'm not sure why she would refer to herself as Empress of India, unless it's meant to suggest that she was one of the Hindu gods of ancient Indian mythology.


Page 506: "The man from Galilee" mentioned here refers to Jesus, born in the town of Nazareth in Galilee, according to the Biblical gospels.


Page 506: Mona mentions her Twitter feed. Twitter is a social networking service.


Page 507: The Travel Channel is an American cable television channel specializing in reality-based programming of supernatural topics. Don't ask.


Page 507: Mona is reporting live for 9 on Your Side. There is an actual newscast by this name on WNCT-TV in Greenville, NC.


Page 508: Reno had a mustache for a time when New Jersey knew him. He does not have one now (and did not during the events of Across the Eighth Dimension).


Page 509: Muscatine packs a pair of Glock 10 pistols and passes one to Jack. Reno carries his 1911 Colt .45 and Vepr 12 scattergun and the Jelly Beam. Pecos carries a diamond-studded pistol-grip Moss 8 (probably referring to a Mossberg Maverick 88 shotgun that can be fitted with a pistol grip). Jhonny is armed with an H&K .45 and a three-barreled pistola con caricato. Hoppalong hefts an M60 machine gun while wearing an oven mitt. The M60 is a real world family of American machine guns in production since 1957 and currently manufactured by General Dynamics; this gun generates a lot of heat while firing, hence Hoppalong's oven mitt!


Page 510: The Holy Office of the Directorium mentioned by Baltazar appears to be fictitious. That said, a "directorium" is a guide to official Catholic liturgy.


Page 510: Condottieri were Italian captains of mercenary army companies during the Middle Ages.


Page 510: Episkopos is Latin for "bishop."


Page 510: Baltazar directs his message to the episkopos and "the worldwide apostolic family and peoples beyond the Po..." "Po" presumably refers to the Po river in northern Italy.


Page 510: The Grenadieri of the Holy Basilica mentioned by Baltazar appears to be fictitious, but the grenadieri were specialized soldiers who threw hand grenades beginning in the 17th Century.


Page 510: The Sovereign Order of Malta is a real world Catholic chivalric order.


Page 510: Vicarius filii dei is Latin for "God's vicar."


Page 510: "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" is a 1912 British music hall song by Jack Judge and Harry Williams. Baltazar combines elements of this song with an altered version of "The Happy Wanderer", a popular song by Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller after WWII. The lyric line Baltazar sings "my nutsack on my back" is actually "my rucksack on my back."


Page 512: "Sanctus Satanas Diabolus, domine noster, quam admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra...exurgat..!" is Latin for "Holy Satan the devil, our lord, how wonderful is your name in the whole earth...rise up!"


Page 512: "Ein Volk, ein Reich!" is German for "One People, one Empire!"


Page 512: Ave Satanas is Latin for "Hail Satan."


Page 513: Baltazar announces, "Hail his lordship John Whorfin! Together, we have crossed the Rubicon and are en route to Olympus!" "Crossing the Rubicon" has become an idiom standing for "point of no return", in reference to the crossing of the Rubicon River in Italy by Julius Caesar's army in 49 B.C., launching the Great Roman Civil War of 49-45 B.C. "Olympus" is a reference to the Greek mountain called Olympus, believed by the ancient Greeks to be the home of the Olympians, the twelve gods.


Page 514: Baltazar refers to General Warts as "Santiago, son of Zebedee." In the Bible, Zebedee was the father of the disciples James and John. "Santiago" is the Spanish name for James the disciple.


Page 516: A goat with its fur ablaze runs into the plaza and the New Jersey priest shouts that it's Baphomet, the black goat. Baphomet is an imagined pagan deity that is largely the creation of Christian folklore regarding paganism; since 1855, Baphomet has been associated with the Sabbatic Goat image drawn by French artist and occultist Eliphas Levi (1810-1875). In "Return of the Screw" Part 1, another nickname of Hanoi Xan was revealed to be the Black-Goat Son of Baphomet.


Page 516: A Good Samaritan runs after the blazing goat with a bottle of water to try to put the fire out. A Good Samaritan is an individual who helps a stranger; the term is derived from the parable of the Good Samaritan as told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke of a member of the Samaritans who helps an injured Jew, despite the two populations being antagonists.


Page 517: Hoplites are citizen-soldiers.


Page 518: Cri de guerre is French for "war cry."


Page 521: Jack mentions Guinness lager.


Page 522: Reno focuses on his pranayma breathing during the battle against the Lectroids. Pranayama is the yogic practice of focusing on breath.


Page 522: A mortar shell lands on a fire truck, exploding it like a jumbo bag of Skittles.




The opening quote of this chapter is an actual one made by Japanese emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) in his speech announcing to the Japanese public his decision to surrender to the Allies at the end of WWII.


Page 525: The dying Jhonny tells Pecos, "...I see Lonesome Town..." This is likely a reference to the Ricky Nelson hit cover of the song "Lonesome Town" of 1958.


    Page 525: Jhonny wills his Dingo and Beatle boots to Tommy. Dingo is a boot manufacturer. Beatle boots are a boot style made for the members of the rock band the Beatles, a variant on the Chelsea boot.

   He wills his Stevens .22 and Mauser 98 to Reno and his Magic cards and cat, Libby, to Pecos.


Page 526: Ave atque vale is Latin for "Hail and farewell."


Page 526: The Cavaliers had a platinum-selling single called "Blue Bottle Fly."


Page 526: In pace requiescat is Latin for "Rest in peace."


Page 527: Mona mentions having scalped her Super Bowl tickets. The Super Bowl is the annual playoff championship game of the American National Football League.


Page 528: The crowd of civilian onlookers in the plaza mistakenly refer to Perfect Tommy as Special Tommy.


Page 528: Whorfin's voice announces that Judgment Day is upon us. Judgment Day is a reference to the foretold judgment of God upon the people of the Earth believed in by the Abrahamic religions (also referred to as the Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, etc.).


Page 532: Xan arrives on a mobility scooter with a tug of horse tails dangling from a high pole mounted on it. A tug such as this was a symbol of power in old Mongol and Turkish states.


Page 534: Xan extends his walking stick, made from the true cross, towards the Loggia of the Blessings. Reno compares the sight to Michelangelo's outstretched Creator God inside that very palace. This refers to Michelangelo's Creation of Adam painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel depicting God's right arm outstretched to deliver the spark of life to Adam.


Page 534: Reno describes the kenka (the feud between Buckaroo and Xan) as one that predated Edo and the Mongol khanate, "harking back to the dawn of time" over a mathematical formula and a spilled cup of tea at a banquet no one could remember. Page 72 had Mr. French claiming the pair's ancient feud had to do with the Pythagorean theorem and the value of the hypotenuse.


Page 536: As they face off, Xan says to the vengeful Buckaroo, "I feel thy warm feelings for an uncle!" and later calling him nephew, suggesting they may be related.


Page 536: Reno states that the language used by Xan here was Old Enochian, the tongue of the angels and the learned Nephilim. The Nephilim were a mysterious people of extraordinary size and strength as described in the Hebrew Bible from times before the Flood.


Page 538: Xan tells Buckaroo he has taught Penny the Kama Sutra. The Kama Sutra is a world renown Hindu book on human sexual behavior composed in India between 400 BC and 200 AD.


Page 547: Banditi is Italian for "bandits."


Page 547: "Da! Da! Ya tozhe!" is Russian for "Yes! Yes! Me too!"


Page 551: Reno's reference to Coltrane is to John Coltrane (1926-1967), an American jazz saxophonist.


Page 552: "Ego sum vermis non homo..!" and in herba are Latin for "I am a worm not a man..!" and "in the grass."


Page 553: "...miserere mei et salva me..!" and "consummatum est" are Latin for "...have mercy on me and save me..!" and "it is finished."




The opening quote of this chapter is from the Epic of Gilgamesh, as stated, c. 2100-1200 BCE.


Page 555: "Ferris wheel" begins with a capital "F" as it is named for its inventor, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.


Page 555: Noesis and noema are philosophical terms for "the exercise of reason" and "the meaning of an act".


Page 555: Sensum is Latin for "sense" and jouissance French for "enjoyment."


Page 556: The Pillars of Hercules are the two stony promontories flanking the Strait of Gibraltar.


Page 556: Buckaroo meets a number of history's greatest figures on his interdemensional journey to Planet 10. They are all actual historical figures. One of them is Albert Einstein, whom he met at least once before when he was a boy in "A Tomb With A View" (at least in the original BB chronology).


Page 557: Buckaroo hears Jimi Hendrix in his head. Hendrix (1942-1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. The words Buckaroo muses on here are lyrics from Hendrix's 1967 song "Purple Haze".


Page 561: Emdall refers to Buckaroo as semi-immortal. When Buckaroo questions her on it, "Semi-immortal..?" he does not get a response to the question. On page 570, she refers to him as "a multidimensional man who admits no limitations, a man beloved by the gods and perhaps a god himself."


Page 561: Buckaroo reveals that he has an OVERTHRUSTER app on his Go-Phone and it may be what helped him survive his journey to Planet 10.


Page 561: It is here that the reader first learns the Lectroid war vessel is named the Imperatrix.


Page 562: Buckaroo feels a foreign presence emanating from his fourth chakra. Chakras are seven wheels of energy in the human body used in Tantric meditation. The fourth chakra is located at the heart. Presumably the foreign presence is Whorfin's baby, which was unknowingly transferred to him earlier and which he will transfer to Emdall during her rape of him shortly.


Page 563: The Lectroid medical examiners find Buckaroo's body to be a "complex but serviceable structure...much like the brain of a Voltymion ooze slug..." This is the first mention of such a creature in the Buckaruniverse.


Page 565: As the group of Lectroid priests examines Buckaroo and the possibly divine being he incubates near his heart, one of the priests says, "Remember the parable of the monkey paw that fell from the sky!" Though there is a human horror story about a monkey's paw that grants three wishes to its possessor, it does not involve falling from the sky. Possibly, this is a Lectroid variant of a similar parable.


Page 566: "Araby" is an archaic name for Arabia.


Page 569: Buckaroo compliments Emdall by calling her a Faustian Lectroid. "Faustian" is an adjective for someone with a strong hunger for knowledge. It derives from the German legend of Faust, a man who makes a pact with the Devil for unlimited knowledge.


Page 569: The sun of Planet 10 is dying, so the Lectroids have sent ships across the galaxy in search of a new home world.


Page 571: Empress Emdall was a high-price pleasure slave as a youth. Hearing this, Buckaroo compares it to an oiran, a high-ranking courtesan in Japanese history. Through the Lectroids she met, including marriage to Whorfin, she had been able to manipulate circumstances, leading a revolution of the Darklings against the Reds and a decisive battle on the Plain of Odors, to become empress. Upon victory, she chose not to kill Whorfin because he carried her larva, so she had him and his top officers decerebrated and teleported into the 8th Dimension, where he was eventually found by Dr. Lizardo during his experiment into the dimensional realm.


Page 574: Planet 10 has a large volcano called Mount Wah-Wah.


Page 574: Emdall is attracted to Buckaroo and plans to mate with him, telling him "the roots of our passion lie in prophecy and the Akashic compendium." In the Earth-based religion of theosophy, the Akashic records are a compendium of everything that has ever happened, is happening, or will happen, to everything in the universe, living or dead.


Page 576: Buckaroo thinks of Emdall as a Circe who has claimed him as her own and brought him to the threshold of death. Circe was a minor goddess and enchantress of men in Greek mythology. She came to be seen as an emasculating temptress.


Page 577: The evolutionary process that Buckaroo runs through in his mind is a Banzai-modified version of a tract written by atheist and white supremacist Charles Smith in 1928. The full Smith tract is "In the beginning was matter, which begat the amoeba, which begat the worm, which begat the fish, which begat the amphibian, which begat the reptile, which begat the lower mammal, which begat the lemur, which begat the monkey, which begat man, who imagined God. This is the genealogy of man."


Page 580: Emdall remarks that Buckaroo once nearly had Xan dead to rights in the Valley of Mystery in a big federal range. This must be a reference to an as yet unrecorded adventure.


Page 580: Desperate to stop Emdall from blowing up Earth, Buckaroo tells her he can capture both Xan and Whorfin in three days if she sets him free, adding, "If I fail, you can always destroy Earth later," and after the capture, "I'll buy you a margarita at Ramon's." Emdall recognizes the name "Ramon's" as the place where Buckaroo and Tommy eat nachos and drink margaritas...though she then recalls that Tommy only drinks Nehi grape soda. Nehi was a U.S. soft drink company known for its fruit-flavored sodas from 1924-1955. In 1955, the company changed its name to Royal Crown Company. Nehi is now a brand of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.


Page 580: Emdall remarks that Buckaroo is "getting up in years."


Page 585: Reno writes that the Lectroid high priest known as John Red and Raw figures prominently in the next volume of the book series.


Page 585: Reno's statement, "A tale this lurid and fantastical could only be told by an idiot..." may be a reference to the famed quote spoken by Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."


Page 586: The song Buckaroo sings as he dances about to distract the Lectroids is "War" (1969) by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, made popular by vocalist Edwin Starr.


Page 587: During his performance, Buckaroo gyrates like Elvis Presley or James Brown. Elvis was previously mentioned in this study. James Brown (1933-2006) was an American singer who is considered to be the creator of funk music.


Page 589: Buckaroo and the Cavaliers have a weekly television series which often uses the well-known line, "Just the way my mama and daddy raised me."


Page 590: Emdall suggests to Buckaroo that they could live on Earth in "the big canyon, the grand one," and he responds, "Indeed, Arizona is nice this time of year..." They are speaking of the Grand Canyon.


Page 591: "Land of Enchantment" is the official nickname of the U.S. state of New Mexico.


Page 591: Buckaroo remarks that his parents had lived on the Apache reservation in New Mexico and worked on the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was the U.S. research program during WWII that produced the world's first atomic bomb.


Page 594: Buckaroo becomes married to Empress Emdall, seemingly making him a co-regent of both Planet 10 and Earth.


Page 596: Empress Emdall says to her followers, "We are all Lectroids, who once walked Planet 1 together in peace and mutual trust! Only our markings and odors are different!" Presumably, Planet 1 was the Lectroids original homeworld.


Page 598: The Moon of the Misbegotten is apparently a prison planet of the Lectroids. This is likely named by the author for the 1943 broadway play A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill.


Page 599: One of the beings held prisoner in the same cell as Tommy on Planet 10 is described as a Mr. Peanut with one bird leg. Mr. Peanut is the advertising mascot of Planters nuts.


Page 604: Pursued by a pack of Lectroids in his and Buckaroo's escape, Tommy refers to the aliens as cockroaches and says, "Where's my Raid?" Raid is a family of insecticide products for use in and around the home.


Page 607: A monochord is a music and laboratory instrument with one string. The device is used to demonstrate the mathematical relationships of the frequencies.




The title of this chapter is Latin for "God in the machine", a term used in writing to describe a sudden and unexpected plot device to conveniently solve a problem in the story. 


The opening quote of this chapter is from the epilogue of Arundhati Roy's 2014 book Capitalism: A Ghost Story.


Page 609: When Buckaroo was a child, a friend of the family was Nakajima Haruo, who played the role of Godzilla in films. Godzilla is a Japanese film franchise about a gigantic reptilian/dinosaur-like creature. Nakajima Haruo (1929-2017) played the monster (called Gojira in Japanese) in 12 movies from 1954-1972.


Page 617: The Imperatrix returns Buckaroo and Tommy to Earth an instant after they'd left it, to the accompaniment of three rainbows and the blaring of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. The concerto was Beethoven's last piano concerto, which premiered in 1811. The music is appropriate, as Buckaroo is now Emperor of Earth.


The book ends with:





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