409: Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)

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Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)
Unsafe vehicles, hills, and philosophy go hand in hand.
Title text: Unsafe vehicles, hills, and philosophy go hand in hand.

[edit] Explanation

This comic is an affectionate parody of Calvin and Hobbes, a newspaper comic drawn by Bill Watterson that ran for ten years from November 1985 to December 1995. Calvin and Hobbes follows the daily life of a rambunctious, precocious six-year-old named Calvin and his sarcastic stuffed tiger Hobbes. Sunday strips (for both Calvin and Hobbes and many other print comics) often consisted of two comics strung together, the first one often lasting one or two panels and the second one being more elaborate. This comic follows the Sunday strip pattern, hence the "Double Comic" in the title. The artwork in the second strip is distinctly Wattersonian as well.

Randall has a special fascination with motorized skateboards. A longboard is a skateboard that is longer, and is used for downhill races, and skating through less urban areas (college campuses, for example).

Mario Kart is a game for Nintendo game consoles that allows four players to race each other while having good spirited fun (sometimes) while throwing items at each other. The objects in the fourth panel are Koopa Troopa shells, items in the game. They can be thrown like projectiles to crash into foes.

Calvin and Hobbes frequently involves heavy philosophical discussions. In one recurring theme, they ride down a dangerous hill in a red wagon while discussing the nature of morality, usually ending in a crash (examples [1] [2]). This comic inverts that by having Cueball and Megan go uphill while discussing philosophy. Naturally, they collide with Calvin and Hobbes' wagon - which prompts the title text.

Cueball uses the C and Python programming languages as analogies for their ride. In general, Python is easier than C, and abstracts a lot of C's hairier features ("boring parts," as Randall calls them). Moving from C to Python is quite a freeing experience; programmers no longer have to worry about pointers, and memory allocation, and just lets the code flow through the programmer until they are one with the Force. Erm, computer. Although it seems - before the crash - that the idea that, programing in C (and skating without electricity) builds character, is about to be explored philosophically...

Electric skateboards have been the subject of several other comics like 139: I Have Owned Two Electric Skateboards, a panel in 442: xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel and the entire The Race five part comic series.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball showing off electric skateboard to girl reading something.]
Cueball: Check it out! An electric longboard!
Megan: Sweet!
[Cueball riding longboard with Megan sitting onboard — people in background.]
Longboard: RRRR
[Megan turned around on longboard.]
Megan: I feel like we're missing something...
Cueball: Yeah...
[Cueball throwing 3 green Koopa Troopa shells; Megan throwing 1 red Koopa Troopa shell - like Mario Kart.]
Music Playing
Longboard: RRRR


[Cueball and Megan still on longboard, going up an incline.]
Cueball: Skating uphill like this is amazing. Years of gliding downhill and pushing uphill, and now suddenly it's gliding both ways.
Longboard: RRRRRRR
[Cueball and Megan after passing an S-curve and boulder.]
Cueball: It's like going from C to Python. You don't realize how much time you were spending on the boring parts until you don't have to do them anymore.
Megan: But coding C or assembly makes you a better programmer. Maybe the boring parts build character.
[Cueball and Megan on longboard.]
Cueball: Yeah... but it depends how you want to spend your life. See, my philosophy is-
[Longboard gets into an accident.]
WHAM
[Calvin and Hobbes laying down in the grass near the Cueball and Megan laying down on the grass - Calvin and Hobbes's wagon is on the path, as is the longboard - all characters seeing stars.]
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Discussion

I think the "double comic" reference is just that. There are just two - unrelated - comics strung together here, with no relation to the original Sunday format, which Watterson abandoned halfway through, in favor of the "latter" comic's style. Anonymous 22:39, 3 December 2013 (UTC) 173.245.54.91 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think the reference in the first comic is to Mario Kart Double Dash, where there were two characters on the kart. In the game, both characters were able to hold and utilize "weapons", sometimes different weapons, like the one red turtle shell used by Megan and the three green turtle shells used by Cueball. 108.162.240.18 14:56, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
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