Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Comic 434: xkcd goes to the airport

First off I am very happy that Mr. Hat is back in all his sarcastic, only-mildly-evil goodness. Hurrah for Panel 4.

I don't quite know why Panel 1 has to be an airport it seems like besides the word "airline," which could be anything, and of course the clearly marked "AIRPORT" sign, it could be anywhere. Nonetheless, I like the idea that a character always assumes they are going to a bakery. This is funny, because it is such a specific assumption and is no doubt nearly always wrong, but he still holds it.

Panel 2 is clearly false; I accidentally took a set of lock-picks on a plane recently with no consequence.

Panel 3, eh, I would complain but the 1 and 4 are good enough that I don't have the heart for it. (note: In a comment below, I speculate that "manpage" is a typo for "mainpage." I have since been informed that I am an idiot, and "manpage" is correct.)

Good work today, Randall. Don't fuck it up.

update: I was on a plane today and accidentally left my phone on THE WHOLE TIME. The plane did not crash! What the heck, airline industry? Why do we have to turn off our "mobile devices"?


  1. The first panel, expanded to three or four panels, might have been funny. Instead, a premise, punchline, and button are all crammed together!

    #2 is kinda yet another WQASIOR violation.

    I don't even get the joke in number 3. Yes, sometimes we're doing something on our laptop when we get asked to turn it off. Is it funnier because it's a man page?

    The fourth is just wacky for the sake of being wacky. Not just the blood of a mouse, but the blood of a churchmouse! What a CRAZY detail! In fact, this whole situation is CRAZY!

    Ha-ha! That straitlaced DHS agent is so freaked, he's just letting him pass -- 'cause it's such a CRAZY thing to do he'd rather risk getting fired than have to deal with someone so CRAZY!

  2. Oh I don't think it's that bad....I guess the first panel is a bit rushed but that's not too bad. #2 is kind of a quirky relationship thing but also kind of not; you don't see her there and it's not Randall saying "me and my girlfriend do this," which are the ones that really bug me, the first person ones.

    Panel 3 I imagine the joke is that is so ingrained in whatever nerdy programming thing he is doing that he doesn't want to stop even though it may jeopardize the safety of the flight. Also I assumed "manpage" was a typo for "mainpage" only because I've heard of those and xkcd does actually make a surprising amount of mistakes, which are usually corrected.

    And Panel 4, I find those details the kind of things that make jokes better. That's just Mr. Hat's character, to do CRAZY things and put CRAZY effort into them for his own CRAZY amusement. I kinda like it.

  3. Modern cll phones don't conflict anymore with airplane signals. Airlines just pretend they do because think how god-awful irritating it would be if everyone was talking on heir cll phone for an entire flight.

  4. Seriously? That makes sense I guess. I remember hearing about some airlines allowing cell phones and I don't think anyone mentioned any horrible plane crash-ey side effects.

    Anyone else thinking of the first episode of West Wing when talking about phones on planes? Or I think that was a pager. Back when those existed (1996-1999)

  5. Mythbusters made an entire episode about airplanes and cellphones.

    Long story short, historically, they cause MAJOR troubles. These days, all modern wiring in airplanes is very well protected, so it's hardly an issue. But they stick to consistency and history.
    (easiest way to see this is a real issue, stick a cellphone next to a pc speaker cable...)

  6. Mythbusters sounds like one of those shows I really should be watching...

    I need to get myself a PC speaker cable and try this out. If everything explodes I'm blaming you, ods15.

    The chance of me destroying the plane by accident through electronics is what prevents me from taking photos from my seat, which I am always too scared to do. Pathetic, I know,

  7. Well from my experience cell phones have a much greater effect when someone is actually calling you, or they did on speakers anyway. So if no one calls you on the plane I guess you're cool, but they tell you to turn it off because someone just might call you.

  8. I doubt I was getting a signal up there anyway.

  9. iwconfig is pretty much a wireless driver for Linux.
    So, he's halfway through reading ... how to turn off the wireless signal.

  10. Kept switching around...lack of sustained joke led to lack of funny.

    Also, the alt-text is way gross.