983: Privacy

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Privacy
Eventual headline: 'University Researchers Create Life in Lab! Darkness, Faulty Condoms Blamed.'
Title text: Eventual headline: 'University Researchers Create Life in Lab! Darkness, Faulty Condoms Blamed.'

[edit] Explanation

This comic is about Cueball and Megan attempting to find some privacy to "hook up", which is slang for engaging in sexual activity.

They start at a dormitory, which would offer some privacy. Unfortunately, the door is locked. They go to another dorm, but it is occupied by someone playing a MMORPG and is "in a raid", which means that the gamer is teaming up with others to "raid" something, probably an enemy, and loot their items. This also pokes fun at the fact that some raids may take a very long time to execute, in this case apparently taking on the order of 24 hours. (This comic was published on a Monday morning.)

In the third frame, the two try to go to the library's rare book collection. Such a place would usually be deserted, making it usable for sexual activity. However, it is currently occupied by a visiting Nelson Mandela, who is on a tour of the school.

Moving on to more bizarre places, they next try an accelerator tunnel, another place that would be private. However, the particle accelerator is in use and the door is sealed tight. This would be a normal safety feature to protect researchers from being exposed to potentially dangerous ionizing radiation from the particle beam.

The couple then try a beaver lodge, which, despite being private, is too tiny to fit in, and the only entrance is underwater. What makes it more difficult to get in is that it is winter, and the ground is presumably frozen solid.

The last place they attempt to go to is hyperspace, a nickname for the alternate dimension that starships enter when traveling faster than the speed of light. The name is commonly used in Star Wars. However, there is no proof that hyperspace exists in reality, as the current understanding of physics makes it impossible for it to exist.

The caption is a parody of other laws of physics, such as "brightness is inversely proportional to distance from the source".

The title text indicates that the two eventually found privacy for sex in a laboratory, but inadvertently got Megan pregnant. This is a parody of news articles discussing whether scientists can create synthetic life in a lab. This eventual headline appears in a few 1037: Umwelt frames as "Scientists Create Life In Lab", with a similar secondary headline/caption as the punchline.

The comic 658: Orbitals is similar.

[edit] Transcript

Dorm:
[Cueball and Megan holding hands in front of a door. Megan is attempting to turn the doorknob.]
Locked
Other Dorm:
[Cueball and Megan holding hands inside another dorm room. The roommate is sitting at a computer wearing a headset.]
Roommate: I'll be done Tuesday.
Roommate in raid
Library Rare Book Collection:
[Cueball and Megan looking through a closed door. Inside Nelson Mandela and two university workers are talking amongst various items on display.]
Occupied by tour for visiting Nelson Mandela
Accelerator Tunnel:
[Cueball and Megan in silhouette in front of an imposing-looking door. The door is marked "NO ENTRY" with a radioactive trefoil symbol, and has a passcode scanner beside it.]
Sealed while beam is in operation
Beaver Lodge:
[Megan climbing on top of a dirt mound while Cueball stands on the ice beside it. A cross-section reveals a beaver inside the mound and a submerged entrance.]
Frozen over for winter to keep out predators, only accessible via underwater entrance
Hyperspace:
[Megan reading a textbook in front of a table piled with five other textbooks. Cueball looks over Megan's shoulder.]
Cueball: Are you sure?
Ruled out by current understanding of physics
College Law #27:
The availability of private space is inversely proportional to the desirability of the hookup.


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Discussion

If your roommate's in a raid, he's not gonna turn around and notice you shacking up any time soon. World of Warcraft is serious business. Davidy22[talk] 06:55, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Is the transcript the original one? 108.162.216.45 21:51, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

No, the name Cueball is never mentioned by Randall. But in general it is close to the original one at all.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:23, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

I don't see how the tour for visiting Nelson Mandela could be interpreted as suggesting that Nelson Mandela was in the rare book collection and the tour was going to visit him - that just seems ridiculous. It's pretty clear that Nelson Mandela's visiting the library. --199.27.130.143 13:38, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. I have fixed the entry to reflect the same. It's worth noting that you could have done it first, and explained your edit here. This is, after all, a wiki editable by anyone. Orazor (talk) 09:56, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Is the fact that the roommate says Tuesday a joke on how long raids can last? That he can reply with a day of the week rather than a time? I think I have seen jokes about the lengths of raids in other places, but I'm not sure. Athang (talk) 21:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Well if it's WoW then Tuesday is reset and maintenance shutdown day (usually). -Pennpenn 108.162.250.155 05:15, 13 February 2015 (UTC)


This is a larger idea, so I didn't want to add it without running it by people: Might it be that the visiting Nelson Mandela is a joke about the stereotypical priorities of college students? I.E. that Megan and Cueball are so engaged with the idea of hooking up that a visit from a notable figure is ignored. -- Xkcdeal (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

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