921: Delivery Notification

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Delivery Notification
You can arrange a pickup of your sword in Rivendell between the hours of noon and 7:00 PM.
Title text: You can arrange a pickup of your sword in Rivendell between the hours of noon and 7:00 PM.

[edit] Explanation

In the US, when the package delivery company UPS knocks on your door or rings your doorbell and cannot reach you, they leave a delivery attempt notification stuck to your door. An example is shown in the first panel.

This comic hints that the threshold for the UPS delivery person to leave such a notice is unreasonably low. The delivery personnel make only a token effort to deliver the package (which, incidentally, is their only actual job) before posting the yellow delivery notification and unconcernedly driving away to their next delivery.

After missing the delivery, Cueball (who is directly referencing Lord of the Rings) asks the Elves to reforge the sword in order to go on a quest to retrieve his new laptop. In Lord of the Rings, Aragorn (accepting his role as the heir to the king of men) had the sword of Isildur called Narsil reforged (which symbolizes the reuniting of the race of man under one leader). Cueball obviously views the UPS building as a dangerous and impenetrable fortress, and possession of such a sword is the only way to guarantee success in his quest.

Ironically, when the elves come to deliver the new sword, the delivery person is unable to raise anyone in the house, and simply leaves another delivery notification.

In the title text, Rivendell is one of the home of the elves. The broken shards of Narsil lived in Rivendell with Elrond and his elves. The sorting depot of Rivendell has the same, limited opening hours as the UPS. It is apparent that Cueball will not be getting his laptop in time for his flight.

[edit] Transcript

[The first panel is a UPS InfoNotice(r). Most of the text on it is just scribbles, though the company logo and header is clear.]
[A person opens their door to see the InfoNotice(r). From off panel, a second person reacts.]
Person: What! I've been here all day!
Off-panel person 2: Huh?
Person: They have my laptop.
[Now both people are visible. The first is making an expansive gesture of annoyance.]
Person 2: So get it tomorrow.
Person: I fly out in the morning and they don't open till noon!
Person 2: Sucks.
[The first person is at a laptop. The second is once again off-panel.]
Person: It's right there. I can see the UPS building on the map.
Off-panel person 2: Ok...
[Dramatic zoom to the person's upper torso and face, along with clenched fist.]
Person: My laptop is there. It's mine.
Person: I'm going to get it.
[Even more dramatic zoom! The person's featureless face fills the panel.]
Off-panel person 2: They won't let you.
Person: Who are they to keep from me what is mine?
Off-panel person 2: Dude, they—
[The person spins, raising a finger, most likely to indicate some sort of quest at hand.]
Person: A quest is at hand!
Off-panel person 2: Security's gonna throw you out.
Person: I fear neither death nor pain. But I will not go unarmed.
(Three inset panels overlap, in a montage format. The person narrates.)
[Elves in long robes stand around a table, on which lies a broken sword.]
Narrating person: Light the beacons and send word to the Elves. They must reforge the sword of my fathers.
[An Elf beats the sword together on an anvil.]
[An Elf rides a horse, silhouetted by the full moon.]
Narrating person: Ere dawn, I will go forth to the Sorting Depot.
(The montage ends and normal panels resume.)
[The Elf knocks at the door, sword in scabbard held under arm.]
Knock knock knock knock
[The person opens the door, to find a second InfoNotice(r) stuck on top of the first. The Elf is gone.]
comment.png add a comment!

Discussion

They sometimes don't even knock... I was in the living room, less than ten feet from the front door, when I got a notification in my email that the delivery had failed, while I was sitting there less than ten minutes before. Opened the door and just like Cueball... 'Brown' is a good name for them. --68.200.188.141 02:39, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I like how in the explanation, it says that deliverymen only make a Token effort to deliver a package. That is a lot like Tolkien, who wrote Lord of the Rings. What a pun! 108.162.216.4 19:21, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?