Crosley picked out John to be his Night Buddy, for starters. There must have been a lot of reasons, but the only one Crosley mentions is middle names. Crosley doesn’t have one, and neither does John, so they have this in common. Crosley thinks it makes you a little sharper, too. And hey, we know that John is really sharp, and Crosley is definitely no slouch, so maybe there’s something in it.
The two characters couldn’t help but hit it off with each other. John doesn’t want to go to bed, so Crosley rescues him and takes him out on adventures. Crosley for his part gets a genial and very capable partner for his “Programs.” Sharing these adventures, the good and the bad parts, bonds the two all the more.
John and Crosley are very different, obviously, and before I go any further, I have to confess something. After I finished The Pineapple Cheesecake Scare, I realized I had used a device made famous by Cervantes and Mark Twain. (When you steal, steal from the best.) I don’t know whether Mark Twain had Sancho Panza and the Don in mind when he wrote Tom Sawyer (I promise I wasn’t thinking of any of them when writing my story), but Tom and Huck are very similar to Cervantes’ two protagonists. There Tom is, the impractical romantic (Don Quixote), and there’s Huck, the no-nonsense, pragmatic sidekick that Tom needs in order to stay grounded (Sancho). Two pairs of opposites who rely on and complement each other.
Exactly like John and Crosley. John is the sensible, down-to-earth partner, and Crosley is goofy, full of wild ideas, and ready to fly off to Mars at a moment’s notice for a few pineapple cheesecakes. And just like those other characters, they appreciate and honor each other’s differences. They are a team that’s better than the sum of its parts. This, and their mutual adventures (and maybe a little insomnia) are the essence of their friendship.
And having no middle names doesn’t hurt.