Thursday, September 24, 2009

Comic 640: The Thrill of the Hunt

Try Harder

Today is one of those mostly-positive-things-to-say comics. Because unlike most days, where Randall takes a dumb idea, fucks up the presentation beyond making sense, and vomits it up to his website, today Randall took a good idea, fucked it up, and vomited it to his site.

It is - or should be - a simple visual gag. You get the title "Tornado Hunters," you assume it means following them around with a video camera, you see them driving, you see them shooting, the end. Simple pun, executed (pun intended? i don't even know) visually, the end. Hell, it could appear the New Yorker.

Look at the third panel - ignore the crappier-than-usual art, and the sound effects. It's a funny image. It's all the talking before hand and the atrociously unneeded 4th panel (and the just terribly out of place, unrealistic line "I'm not sure we're doing this right") that ruins it.

SO - closer than usual today randall. Just - get an editor to tell you these things, and the two of you will make a great webcomic team.

OH ALSO one other problem - the alt text, "The Fujita Scale was replaced by the Enhanced Fujita Scale in 2007, but I think 'EF-5' sounds stupid, so I vote we just use the new measurements for assigning numbers but still call them 'F-whatever'." WHAT THE HELL. Way to just try to sound smart. I don't care if you don't really know about the F scale, you just read it on wikipedia, you end up just sounding like you are trying to show off by having opinions on stuff most people haven't heard of. And you KNOW most people haven't heard of it. I don't care if you pretend your audience is nerds, only a small number of nerds follow tornado classification shit. So shut up.

123 comments:

  1. I really liked this comic. I think it was a good idea done well. Sure it has some minor issues, but it did make me laugh, which is what a comic is supposed to do, right?

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  2. I linked this blog to an xkcd-loving friend and got
    "i did not know such a horrendous site existed
    or was allowed to exist
    it has been stricken from my browsing history"
    so I think we're fighting an unending battle.

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  3. Tomical: give him a copy of the xkcd sucks book

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  4. Damn... I knew I didn't like the comic, and I thought it was beyond repair.

    But you're right. This one just needed an editor. You should apply for the job.

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  5. I still hate that stupid pen he's using.

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  6. Lost my comment four times on this stupid comment box. So I'm just gonna summarize...

    Art is getting worse. Randall's lines get thick, thin and he can't draw a smooth curve to save his life. 3rd panel is cool, but the rest sucks. Why doesn't he even try anymore?

    And alt-joke plain sucks.

    That's it, sleep time. I'm damned tired of this stupid comment box already, tomorrow I'll comment on the next strip. With luck, with less rage for this damned hell-born comment box...

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  7. Word on the street is that randy got an editor- his new boyfriend (Person #1).

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  8. I thought the comic was funny, the art was poor, and the alt text shouldnt count for anything.

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  9. this idea has been done many times, by SMBC for example.

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  10. SMBC did it two years ago. Seems like a pretty clear ripoff.

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  11. Ok, I knew about the Fujita scale (probably because of Twister >_>) and also because I'm in a "Tornado Alley" area so every summer we hear constantly about tornadoes, but till today I didn't even know that they had upped it to EF, and I'm guessing my news reporters don't know that either.

    So either Randall is trying way to hard to prove he knows useless shit or... no I think that's it

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  12. Since I'm probably internet addict and couldn't sleep before the new xkcd popped up on my reader, here's a quick comment on it...

    I like it. It's a funny observation and the caption doesn't seem so unnecessarily reundant this time. Not that it can be said of the alt, but I'll leave that alone.

    Extended version in eight hours or so...

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  13. SIMPSONS DID IT! SIMPSONS DID IT!


    its solid all around though

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  14. you're totally wrong about no one knowing the tornado force scale

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  15. Completely agree with the alt-text gripe

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  16. Wait, I thought the alt-text wasn't supposed to be a joke. I thought the comic was supposed to have a punchline on its own, and then the alt-text would be...whatever.

    Or something.

    I don't know?

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  17. Today's xkcd: wasn't there an SMBC like this?

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  18. I know about the Fujita scale because of Brock Lesnar. F5! F5!

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  19. I prefer playing on lowkey C scale.

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  20. I didn't know about the scale, but I hope the alt-text really was meant as joke. Because people seriously use wrong terms and acronyms based on how they "sound" to them. And it annoys me.

    - Isor

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  21. If randall ever really plans to show me his comic beforhands, he hasn't done so yet. I kinda doubt that he will.

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  22. Bowlerhatted: See the anonymous 9:03pm post near the top for the link to the SMBC that is the exact same concept. It's what I immediately thought of when I saw today's comic, and I chuckled at the ripoff. But not the comic.

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  23. Today's xkcd: okay, Randall, what's next, a comic about how men just WON'T lower the toilet lid?

    captcha: teremmi. Is that the Italian version of the Theremin?

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  24. Comic 641: Wow! The alt text is pretty much what I was thinking after I read the comic! Get out of my head, Randall!

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  25. It's unfair to accuse him of 'ripping-off' SMBC with 641. It's hardly a novel observation. As a recent example, the Mad Men pilot (which aired prior to the SMBC strip) highlighted the same marketing plot.

    Anyway, it's at best only moderately amusing, but it's one of the better strips in the lasst few months. The lack of originality reduces the potential comedic force of the joke, but Randall does it in a fairly competent way. And for once, the title-text is relatively amusing. Also, it's refreshing to see a bit more variation in the art (ie, in the last little batch of strips, there have been fewer instances of just stickmen and text). The caption, though, is too heavy-handed; it's a pretty obvious joke as is, and would actually benefit if the reader were forced to pause a moment and discover the joke for themselves.

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  26. The purpose of the alt-text is the let randal comment on his own comic. Sometimes the comment is funny, sometimes an extension of the comic, and sometimes just a note.
    It's a comic about tornadoes, Randal uses his comment box to talk about tornadoes. No great crime has been commited.

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  27. SMBC did it better, because "skin from a dead hobo's mouth" is funnier and more creative than "asbestos."

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  28. It doesn't roll off the tongue though, which asbestos-free does, so the comic seems more like something that would actually happen.

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  29. Personally, I actually agree with him, Ive been a bit of a tornado buff my entire life, and I dislike the new scales name. Also, the New Yorker is.....eh *shrugs*

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  30. Anybody notice how this a lot like the Permafrost Chasers comic, repackaged with tornadoes? I guess it's a different focus of humour, since "tornado hunters" actually exist and this is taking a jocular literal approach towards the term, whereas the permafrost chasers one had its humour in how mundane the subject material was. Still, I couldn't help thinking "This feels like territory xkcd has previously covered, and better."

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  31. Fernie: Not until he does airline food, or how his damn VCR won't stop blinking 12:00

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  32. I like that it's not only plain stick figures. I hope the mustached one sticks around...I wonder what else he can shoot in half.
    It did make me laugh, but that was at the third panel. The laugh quickly dissipated at the fourth. I mean, what is funny about it? Nothing I can see.

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  33. Hi btw. First time poster, been reading for a while... I was a fan of xkcd, till I noticed that some of the strips were not funny. I thought that maybe I just wasn't getting the joke, so I checked out the forums. I got increasingly annoyed at the cult Randall-can-do-no-wrong mindset of almost everyone there. Except for one person. They linked to this site, I came here, and finally found people who actually still know how to use their brains. :D

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  34. JUDDYYYY

    welcome!

    Come chat with us on irc.foonetic.net at #xkcd_sucks if you want.

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  35. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/09/this_blog_is_sodium_free.html

    adfsdfgdgsg

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  36. JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDY!

    Captcha: recon. Isn't it obvious?

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  37. The only person I like from washingtonpost is Carolyn Hax

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  38. The fourth panel made me laugh more than the third. Is something atrociously wrong with me?

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  39. guys who also decided to download sidewiki and join the evil google cult: check out the comments on xkcd's main page, they are scary.

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  40. actually mostly just the "thanks randall" one, the rest are pretty standard.

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  41. sorry for triple posting

    justin, the VCR blinking thing would just remind me of this comic, so i'd laugh.

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  42. the "I'm not sure we're doing this right" seemed waaaay too out of place for me.

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  43. alex:

    that's classic xkcd for you. otherwise you'd be all like "what's the joke?"
    and randall would be all like "earth to alex, you can't actually shoot a tornado"
    and you'd be like "duh, randall, i knew that. i was being sarcastic."
    and randall would be like "i don't think you were, because you were all like 'what's the joke' like you DIDN'T know that it was impossible"

    duh

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  44. I laughed, then I got to the fourth panel and stopped, then I got to the alt text and headbutted my desk.

    Another comic for that "Wait, what?!" category I suggested - an additional line of dialogue added after the punchline to draw attention to the humorously bizzare event that just occurred.

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  45. I don't know, I think the humor in today's comic comes more from the interaction between the nerdy-but-normal guy and the mustachioed wacko, and less from the concept itself. It's an aspect of xkcd humor that many here tend to dismiss as wasted space after the punchline (witness Pocket, above), but I honestly think xkcd would lose a lot if it listened to xkcdsucks on this point. As for the alt-text, Carl thinks it's Randall being self-aggrandizing, but from my POV it's just something interesting I didn't know, and who cares if Randall actually knows it himself.

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  46. XKCD has never had humorous interaction or dialogue between two characters, largely because XKCD has virtually never had two characters in the same comic. The vast majority of the times, you've got one-half of a character (a transparent self-insert of Randall's idealized version of himself) interacting with a non-character (a transparent strawman, whose only purpose is to make Randall's exposition of his joke-oid sound like a dialogue instead of a guy blathering into thin air). So far, the one character who has even showed up enough to have any personality is Black Hat Guy, and even he has nothing beyond "Goes out of his way to be an asshole." So even the one "character" who exists is obscenely shallow.

    (Debate: Do bastardized versions of celebrities count as "characters"? If they do, it's only as a verrrrrry flimsy excuse to indulge in Randall's onanism.)

    Of course, you don't need characters to have history and well-developed personality for their dialogue to make sense and be humorous. Check out all the idiots who loved loved LOVED the bar scene in Inglourious Basterds, despite there being a whopping one character in the scene that we've met before. Tarantino has some marginal skill with creating dialogue between characters we don't know, and having that interaction stand on its own. Kevin Smith similarly.

    Randall doesn't have this ability AT ALL. His dialogue between established characters is stilted and terrible; his dialogue between blank slates is fucking abysmal. The one emotive response he can consistently generate with dialogue is "God, this guy is such a fucking Aspie douchebag."

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  47. AsheristoolaszytologinSeptember 26, 2009 at 8:59 PM

    math mage, you cast spell of retard

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  48. asheriz2lazy2login4lyfeSeptember 26, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    also trying to debate your point would be like trying to talk someone out of liking twilight. you have bad taste on a very specific level.

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  49. ...Is this supposed to be a debate? It's just something that happens from my POV, I don't expect it to happen from yours. de gustibus, non disputandum est and all that. But the parts that Carl hates on in his post (basically anything but the 3rd panel) are what differentiate xkcd from a New Yorker comic--for the better, IMHO. Of course, I am apparently a retard whose opinion is worthless, so feel free to disregard.

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  50. If you like it, you like it. The elements you like are general comedic sins, not just for webcomics. Hell, the kind of meta-awareness thing (a la 4th panel) is something Born Loser does all the time. Generally crappy writers pull shit like that. I can't convince you you don't find it funny, but I can tell you that you probably hate it in everything but xkcd. And so does everyone else. So why can randall pull cheap shit like this, but a sitcom couldn't?

    the answer is, of course, RAEP

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  51. ayjay eepkay atthay onway ethay ownlowday

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  52. Your POV is stupid and wrong, for the reasons I just explained.

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  53. what the FUCK is THIS SHIT!!!! get a LIFE you humorless FAGGOTS!!

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  54. Yesssssss your rage sustains me

    om nom nom

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  55. the "person" (!!!) commenting BELOW THIS post is a fucktard who DICKS his MOM, EVERY sunday
    the catfucker above too

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  56. I can't dick my mom, I don't have a penis

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  57. ofcourse the MENCHILDREN of this pussy brigade blog dont HAVE dicks
    HOW FOOLISH OF ME TO FORGET

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  58. Aloria, use a dildo.

    Bruce, you're funny.

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  59. I left my strap-on up Randall's butt

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  60. 69!!!!!
    WHAT I DID TO YOUR SISTER
    69 TIMES!!!!!

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  61. it's not gay unless the balls touch

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  62. WHAT the FUCK are you blahhing about

    !!!!

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  63. bruce would you like to go on a date next weekend

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  64. ROB the KNOB (lol) :
    fuck you MAN!!!

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  65. with a THOUSAND twelve inch demon COCKS

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  66. bruce you got some kind of obsession with cocks

    not complaining, just observing

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  67. no i am NOT obsessed with YOU







    lol!!!

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  68. seriously tho go EAT a DICK!!!!!!!!!1

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  69. "Fuck you Rob" -- yes that is the idea. assuming the date goes well anyway. so is that a yes? Saturday sound good? i'll pick you up at 8?

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  70. Eat a dick? I can't eat myself. That is physically impossible. I thought an xkcd fan would know the finer points of the physics of self-consumption.

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  71. i aint no fagmosexual
    unlike YOU!!!

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  72. I prefer the term 'queer' if it is all the same to you--if you want me to eat a dick can I eat yours please?

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  73. catfucker: i didnt say to eat yourself you taffy CUNT
    if you were a lemon and someone told you to eat a lemon would you eat yourself!
    THE ANSWER IS NO!!!!
    YOU would eat ANOTHER lemon!!!!

    DUH
    this SHIT is FUCKING obvious
    do you have a turd for a brain or what

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  74. cannibalism is wrong, bruce.

    it's really wrong.

    you're a monster.

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  75. Bruce, you are the wind beneath my wings.

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  76. rob ill call YOUR type what i WANT to call YOUR type im not gonna change my opinion because of some queer hick!!!!!!!!!

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  77. hick? I'm a city boy queer, thank you.

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  78. cannibalism
    whoa the catfucker used a long word
    guess he finally found out HOW to use the dictionary
    or in his case a DICKtionary
    rofl!

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  79. BRUCE WAYNE

    SAVE US

    captchaL ingrate

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  80. DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS

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  81. this mommafucker right here
    he is an imposter

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  82. i... am... returned...

    -T_A

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  83. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

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  84. even more genuine bruceSeptember 27, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    assturds

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  85. no seriously im the real bruce
    go to my site if you dont believe me

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  86. stop pretending to be me faggots

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  87. goddamnit you're the faggot i'm the real bruce

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  88. you are only pretending to me because that is all you can do! because you are stupid!!!

    hahah

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  89. I'm Bruce! ... dammit, my username gave me away.

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  90. I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICKI LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK
    I LOVE DICK

    DICK=THIS WEBSITE

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  91. Bruce, you are still the wind beneath my wings. All of you.

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  92. i am the REAL bruce and it is TIME for me to leave
    FOR NOW ANYWAY!!!!

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  93. ‮will all of you dickwads stop using my name?honestly, you arent funny anymore

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  94. Randy, "Creepy" is FUCKING CREEPY. Just because you got turned down in your flirt-attempts by some unMeganlike girl on a bus doesn't mean you have to make a comic and cast her as the villain. Creepy.

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  95. I don't think he's casting her as the villain. I don't think either one is the villain. It's just tepid commentary on how both a boy and a girl won't make the first move. It's, um, just kind of mediocre. Haha, the guy is afraid he'll get turned down, and the girl is sad that he's not flirting with her! It's like I'm watching Three's Company all over again!

    But while this comic is toothless and irrelevant and ancient, I didn't find it outrageously creepy the way I found, say, 595.

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  96. Ramsey, you only see "Creepy" as Randy's retelling of the last time he got turned down because you are predisposed to see the comic in the worst light possible. For some of us, it was just another version of the old "too scared to man up and talk to her" story.

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  97. Talking about xkcd on xkcdsucks inevitably gets me labeled a moron for liking such an obviously terrible comic. Why would I rise to such an obvious bait? I'll just keep lurking, thanks.

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  98. Well, 642 was boring and humorless, but at least it didn't feature a cartoon vagina.

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  99. I... I don't understand you, Math_Mage. You just made a bunch of posts about XKCD and how you like it, and NOW you say that you're not going to talk about it because you predict that it'll get you flamed? That's not a prediction, or a promise to keep lurking. You're not going to KEEP lurking, you're going to GO BACK TO lurking.

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  100. And if I keep replying, I'll never go back. Vicious cycle, right? :P

    I came here to get another POV on xkcd, not to be told that mine is so obviously wrong that the only possible justification is mental retardation. To be fair, you're better than most, though only in that you leave the "because you're retarded" as an implication rather than directly stating it, a la Asher.

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  101. Math_Mage, you're retarded, but that has nothing to do with whether or not you like XKCD.

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  102. math mage, why didnt you respond to my fully elucidated response?

    because you're a RETARD

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  103. I agree that this comic (the one the post was actually for) was less than shining, but I will offer that my favorite unexpected "______-free" sighting was a package of parmesan cheese that promised not to include sawdust.

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  104. let's get some pictures of these. they sound awesome, and way funnier than this comic.

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