# 421: Making Hash Browns

 Making Hash Browns Title text: There are at least fourteen ways this could go badly (seventeen if that fork is a dangerous crossbreed.)

## Explanation

Cueball is attempting to make hash browns. A hash brown is a way of serving a potato where the potato has been diced or shredded in some way, then pan-fried. Cueball's method for making hash browns, though, is rather unique. He is throwing potatoes into the air and striking them with a flaming tennis racket at his friend, who is holding a tray with a dangerously tilting half filled glass balanced on top. He (the friend) is also holding a fork in the other hand.

The idea is that the tennis racket would simultaneously dice the potato, fry it, and then launch the completed product towards his friend's plate. In reality, this probably wouldn't do much. To properly pan-fry food, it must be cooked in a pan with some oil to lubricate the food, with enough time for the heat to transfer through the oil and spread properly through the food. Hitting a potato with a flaming tennis racket would not cook it as it would strike it too quickly, and it probably wouldn't dice it either unless the wire of the racket is incredibly sharp. Cueball would probably just end up batting a not even hot, uncooked, unprepared potato at his friend, while simultaneously burning his own hand.

The title text comments on how many ways this experiment could go badly (14), and jokes that there are even more potential problems (17) if the fork Cueball's friend is holding is a cross-breed (see 419: Forks and Spoons which was published only four days earlier. By reading this comic it should be clear what could go wrong if they were included in the equation - 3 more ways would be a low estimate...)

It's unclear what Randall may or may not have had on his mind with regards to specific ways the situation in the comic could go wrong. But here are 14 potential ways the activity could go wrong without including Sporks:

1. Cueball could burn himself with the flaming tennis racket.
2. The can of gasoline could leak and then Cueball could drop the racket, causing a fire to spread.
3. Cueball may fail to hit the potato and it would get dirty from the ground.
4. Cueball may fail to hit the potato and whack himself with the aforementioned flaming tennis racket.
5. Cueball may hit the potato and knock the plate out of his friend's hand, smashing it.
6. Cueball may hit the potato and knock the glass out of his friend's hand, smashing that instead.
8. Cueball could accidentally launch the tennis racket itself (if he has exceptionally poor grip) at his friend.
9. Cueball could drop the tennis racket onto the can of gasoline, causing it to explode.
10. Cueball's friend may lose his balance with the plate, dropping it and/or the glass onto the ground.
11. Even if none of the above happened, Cueball would fail to actually cook the potato,
12. Likewise, Cueball would probably not succeed in dicing the potato.
13. And he could miss hitting his friend's plate.
14. A velociraptor could appear out of nowhere and eat the potato, then proceed to devour Cueball and his friend. (A possibility which likely plagues Randall's mind daily.)

## Transcript

[Cueball stands holding a flaming tennis racket. He is throwing a potato in the air as if to serve like a tennis ball. Behind him is a red gas can and a sack of potatoes. Across from him is a another person holding a fork in one hand and balancing a serving tray with a glass holding an orange liquid in it.]

# Discussion

He could hit his friend with the potato who could then fall back onto his fork. 98.229.99.185 20:09, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

He could dice the potato but not propel the freshly-made hash browns forward; they would instead fall on head. 24.145.48.25 18:31, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Because a potato getting dirty from the ground is totally one of the worst things that could happen. Newsflash: Potatoes come from the ground, and these ones don't look like they've been washed anyway. Alcatraz ii (talk) 00:06, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

That's probably not a glass of orange juice but a cardboard container in which the french fries are delivered at the fast-food restaurant, painted on the outside and white inside, of the characteristic shape with a cut-out on the front side. What can be more appropriate to catch the fries with? 108.162.246.5 00:45, 31 January 2014 (UTC) I think the "orange juice" looks like frying oil. 108.162.221.45 08:10, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

I would have thought one of the ways it could go wrong would be if the glass of juice was literally half-empty. 199.27.128.141 19:42, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

I feel it is important to include suspension of disbelief, such that we are assuming the tennis racket method has been devised properly and they can indeed fry and dice the potato with the tools they have aquired. Thusly, the searing hot potato could land on his friends face instead. 173.245.56.189 01:56, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree that there are a lot of ways the hypothetical flaming potato could cause more problems. I would also like to point out that he is clearly trying to “serve” hash browns the same way he would serve a tennis ball. --108.162.214.65 09:04, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Really, this unjustified prejudice toward fork/spoon cross breeds still irks me. Anyone dealing with utensils should know good and well that the breed doesn't matter, but rather the environment and people around them. Raised properly, a spork mutt is just as kind and gentle as any purebred fork or spoon. I swear, they make one movie and it instills years of prejudice. 162.158.74.99 10:59, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

The flaming potato could hit the platter, scattering burning hash browns on the friend. This could ignite the contents of the glass as it gets flung back to the server. Randall Munroe, meet Rube Goldberg. Jelsemium (talk) 03:37, 14 December 2017 (UTC) Jelsemium

Man, I really want to try this. Herobrine (talk) 22:59, 13 March 2018 (UTC)