423: Finish Line

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Finish Line
The question with Lucy and the football was always whether, on some level, she believed the things she said.
Title text: The question with Lucy and the football was always whether, on some level, she believed the things she said.

[edit] Explanation

Cueball and Megan are playing Mario Kart, with Cueball's Luigi character ahead of Megan's Mario towards the end. Megan begins waxing philosophically on how winning a video game isn't really important, and how by speeding through a racing level like the game asks you to do, you sometimes miss the fun of simply exploring the level and enjoying the extraordinary level of detail and work that went into it. In other words, she wants him to rebel against the system with her, and not act like a mouse going through a laboratory maze in pursuit of cheese.

It's enough to convince Cueball to halt his pursuit of the finish line, just long enough for Megan to speed past him and win, much to her glee. "It's more fun than a blue shell", she says, referring to the Mario Kart item that, when fired, will inevitably hit the race leader and cause him to crash. Randall has rather adamantly expressed his opinion about blue shells before.

The title text refers to the comic strip Peanuts, and the running gag where fussbudget Lucy would hold the football for lovable loser Charlie Brown and he'd come running at it full speed, only to have Lucy pull the football away at the last moment and send Charlie Brown crashing to the ground. What made it funny was that each time, Lucy would find some way to convince Charlie Brown that this time, she wouldn't pull the football away, and he'd try again — but lo and behold, of course she did.

Although minor, Luigi's face in the first panel appears to be modeled after "Weegee", a memetically infamous piece of vector art.

[edit] Transcript

[Mario and Luigi in go carts, Luigi in the lead.]
Megan (playing Mario): Sometimes I stop right before the finish line.
Cueball (playing Luigi): Why?
[Cut to Cueball and Megan playing the video game.]
Megan: 'Cause I know I've won.
Megan: It proves I'm playing for fun, on my own terms. That I don't need validation from the machine.
Megan: That I'm not a rat pulling a lever.
Cueball: ...Man. Good Call. Let's stop and explore the course for a-
Player Two wins
Cueball: Hey!
Megan: Ha ha!
Cueball: Dammit, I'm a sucker for your "Be a Rebel" speech.
Megan: It's more fun than a blue shell.
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Is the "rat pulling a lever" phrase a reference to studies with rats where they will self administer opiates and ignore food until death? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_stimulation_reward#Addiction 23:39, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
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