Does anyone else dislike it when a short story references a specific aspect of modern culture or pop culture? I've read some student stories that contained references to television shows (a character wore a Simpsons tie), retail stores (a character walks into Toys R Us) or brand names, and it always takes me out of the story a little bit, destroys the illusion that the world of the story is a unique singularity. I guess it's just my personal preference, but I always avoid putting these kinds of references in my stories. Does anyone else actively try to avoid this? And to those who like when stories include such references: What is it exactly that you like about them? Do they make it easier to relate to stories? Do you prefer that stories be grounded in a specific time/cultural period?