935: Missed Connections
Title text: The Street View van isn't going to find out anything Google won't already know from reading my email.
Missed Connections is a page on Craigslist in which people who saw each other briefly and want to reconnect attempt to find each other again. In the case of missed connections, one person describes themselves "Me" and describes the other person "You" in order that the second person would recognize themself and try to reconnect.
The first entry appears to be a goofy joke, although there have been many Wienermobile incidents in the past. Given the timing of this comic, one can't help but wonder if it might also be a pun referencing the then recent resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner over tweeting pictures of his, well, wiener with his mobile device.
The second entry refers to a person (you) looking down into a wishing well (presumably to throw in a coin to get a wish), but someone (me) is sitting down in the well with a harpoon looking up spotting the silhouette at the top of the well. This seems like a very weird thing to do, and the vaguely human shadow may be lucky to be alive, since the only reason the "you" should know about the "me" is if the me fired the harpoon (and missed). A person sitting in a well telling people stuff (as if it was the well speaking) was the pun in 568: Well 2. Oddly enough, this entry could possibly be a reference to this episode of The Fairly OddParents.
The third entry is a reference to networking. UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol. UDP packets don't use handshaking to verify they have contacted the correct host, so they can get lost or confused. The Cisco router location is a block of IP addresses that was unallocated at the time when this comic was published but has been allocated to Latin America and Caribbean since then. Cisco is a company that makes networking equipment. This is a play on a missed connection for someone who was lost and asked for directions.
The fourth entry is a reference to two events in 2011 in which President Barack Obama invited rappers--among other people--to the White House. After each event, right-wing commentators blasted the event as a party unbecoming of the dignity of the White House. Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the US House of Representatives. The acronym (D-CA) is a common notation for politicians which notates party (D for Democrat) and state (CA for California). Pelosi would have also been invited to these events, and the missed connections listing is a reference to what the commentators imagined the event would have been like. A "juggalo" is a term referring to a fan of the rap group Insane Clown Posse (which includes rapper Violent J), which is notorious for having wild, misogynistic and violent fanbase.
The fifth entry is a straightforward joke. One of the two people getting married was so distracted by their phone they have no clue where their spouse is now, or even who they are. Alternatively, it could be that the second party deserted the wedding because they were frustrated by their partner being distracted by their cell phone during the wedding, and the first partner is now hoping to convince them to return.
The sixth entry is a reference to how the Google Street View car was not only recording photos of the street in 360 degrees, it was also collecting data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. The comic takes this to the next level, that the Google Street View van also scans what we have in our pockets and does a retinal scan. In this case, the social security number referenced is the most used SSN of all time. The retinal scan takes this even further, indicating that Google's cameras are collecting fine enough images to identify people by Retinal scan.
The entry gets a bit absurd when you realize with all this data, it should be trivial for the Google employee to ID and meet this young man, and would not need the Missed Connections page.
The last entry suggests that Babe Ruth, the American baseball slugger of 1914-1935, is actually a Time Lord. Time Lord is a reference to the popular sci-fi series Doctor Who in which The Doctor, who is a Time Lord, uses a TARDIS, which is a time travel machine. Possibly because he was a baseball player "ahead of his time".
The title text is another reference to the privacy concerns surrounding Google Street View van, to which Google responded by claiming that the street view camera wouldn't capture anything that someone walking by wouldn't be able to see. Randall is not worried about the street view van since he expects that Google will already now anything that such a van could discover from reading his e-mails. This last statement is of course much more serious that having a photo taken by a passing van, thus making it clear what people should fuss about, and it is not the van.
- [The page is set up like the missed connections area of Craigslist, with a list of messages from an individual to a person they weren't able to communicate with at the time. All readable text is in blue. There is a large heading at the top:]
- Personals > Missed Connections
- [Below the heading there is a gray section in a black frame with two lines. The first line has a search box and a drop down menu with text and two black arrows to the right of it. The second line has three check boxes and two other boxes, all empty. all boxes has white background. Text is written many places around these boxes (and on the drop down menu), it is written in black, but none of it is readable.]
- [Below this gray section follows seven missed connections, the last being cut before the description of "Me" is finished, and the line visible is cut of, so the lower third of the letters are hidden below the comics frame.]
- You: Clinging to hood of your stolen Wienermobile, trying to reach into engine to unstick throttle
- Me: Screaming, diving out of the way
- You: Vaguely human silhouette
- Me: At bottom of wishing well with harpoon gun
- You: Confused UDP packet
- Me: Cisco router in 45.170/16 block
- You: Baddest fuckin' Juggalo at Violent J's party
- Me: Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca)
- You: Getting married to me
- Me: Also getting married, but distracted by my phone
- You: Cute boy on corner of 4th & Main, 5'11, 169lbs, social security number 078-05-1120, pockets contained $2.09 in change, keys, and a condom. Retinal scan attached
- Me: Driving street view van
- You: George Herman "Babe" Ruth
- Me: Fellow Time Lord. Saw your Tardis on third moon of
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