I was recently told not to mention other published bits because the reader may not know them. Examples: The discussion was interrupted by Bruce Springsteen, singing in Swope’s(A vietnam vet) shirt pocket. Got in a little hometown jam so they put a rifle in my hand Sent me off to a foreign land to go and kill the yellow man. “Right. You do know who (President)Reagan was, don’t you?” “Sure. Lear’s daughter. She dies at the end, but so does the entire cast. It’s supposed to be one of his best tragedies, although I found it kind of funny.” Joe gave Mick a fishy look, wondered was his leg being pulled. “I could hear you two last night, discussing the performance of Paul Lynde in ‘Bye Bye Birdy’. L’il said it was too marvelous for words, on a level with anything Nathan Lane has done, while Big thought it was too campy.” ("you two" are gay) All three of these outside references are used for character development. Is it lazy shorthand to say "the sky was Van Gogh's acid green"?