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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 15:42, 8 August 2012


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Keyboard Mash
WHY DON'T YOU COME HANG OUT INSIDE MY HOUSE. WE CAN COOK BREAD AND CHAT ABOUT OUR INTERNAL SKELETONS.
Title text: WHY DON'T YOU COME HANG OUT INSIDE MY HOUSE. WE CAN COOK BREAD AND CHAT ABOUT OUR INTERNAL SKELETONS.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Could be more concise, more citations please.

Cueball is chatting online (supposedly) with White Hat, who says he is frustrated because a barking dog is preventing him from sleeping. White Hat apparently mashes the keyboard to show his frustration. Keyboard mashing is often used in this way where the user makes their hands spasm across the keyboard, creating a line of text that can be compared to an angry groan in real life. Cueball is about to give some advice, but is confused by a quirk in what White Hat typed. Most of the characters he typed were on the home row of the QWERTY keyboard, (the middle set of letters on the keyboard, starting with the letters A, S, D, and F on a QWERTY keyboard) the letters A, S, D, F, J, K, and L are scattered throughout the text, but there is a 7 in the middle of this text. Cueball, (being himself) wonders how White Hat put a seven in there, because if White Hat was keyboard mashing and touched the 7 key, he likely would have hit any of the QWERTY row keys because of keyboard mashing hand spasms, but he didn't. All the other characters were on the home row. White Hat berates Cueball for always focusing on strange, tiny details. When the final panel shows what's going on where White Hat is, we see that a giant spider (possibly a joke about the spider "on the Web" here) has imprisoned him in a web and is talking to Cueball, which explains how the keyboard mashing "White Hat" did was strange.

The reason the dog was barking appears to be because the giant spider was lurking nearby. Little did White Hat know that the dog was alerting him of the spider. When the spider notices that White Hat mentions the barking dog to Cueball, the spider apparently restrains White Hat and takes over typing. Another possibility is that the "dog" barking is actually White Hat, as he is seen making grunts from beneath the spider's silk. It can be seen in the last panel that the spider is typing with 3 legs, which explains how the 7 key would have been pressed.

The statement "I am a normal human typing with my human hands" is an oddly specific assertion from the giant spider that it is actually a human, a claim that would normally be taken for granted and had not really been cast into doubt by Cueball's inquiries about how "7" got into a string of home-row keystrokes. The title text invitation ends with a similar statement, suggesting that they "...CHAT ABOUT OUR INTERNAL SKELETONS", a subject that would not normally come up in conversation (except for fans of the Pierce Quincuncial projection, as detailed in xkcd 977) but is being offered as more evidence that the typist is most certainly not a giant spider. The title text implies that the spider also wants to trap (and possibly eat) Cueball as well, or actually hang out with him in an attempt to make friends. "...HANG OUT INSIDE MY HOUSE" may also have a double meaning, as White Hat is actually "hanging" from the ceiling inside his house. Also another oddity is that the spider asks Cueball to cook bread, although bread is actually baked, and in any case this isn't a common pastime during the night.

The joke in the title text is similar to the Oglaf comic Humans! (warning---contains nudity), where several characters attempty to convince another that they are human. They suggest doing several activities that are typical of human beings, but are unaware that their suggestions are bizarre and out-of-context.

The central theme of the comic is a vindication of Cueball's world-view, wherein tiny oddities such as the appearance of a numeral in a keyboard mash merit investigation.

Transcript

Cueball approaches his desktop computer, which has emitted a "NEW CHAT MESSAGE" from seemingly White Hat as it displays a picture of him.
[Chat log (all in uppercase)]:
White Hat: CAN'T SLEEP. STUPID DOG KEEPS BARKING.
White Hat: SO FRUSTRATING. FJAFJKLDSKF7JKFDJ
Cueball: UGH, I'M SORRY. MAYBE YOU COULD...
Cueball: ... OKAY, WAIT. I HAVE TO ASK.
Cueball: HOW DID YOU HIT A "7" IN THE MIDDLE THERE?
White Hat: HUH?
White Hat: I WAS JUST RANDOMLY KEYBOARD MASHING.
Cueball: SORRY, RIGHT.
White Hat: ANYWAY,
Cueball: I KNOW THIS IS SILLY, BUT LIKE ... ALL YOUR HANDS WERE CLEARLY RIGHT ON THE HOME ROW.
Cueball: I DON'T GET HOW ONE FINGER COULD HAVE STRETCHED UP TO THE "7".
White Hat: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS FIXATE ON THESE BIZARRE DETAILS?
Cueball: I DON'T KNOW.
Cueball: SORRY.
White Hat: IT'S WEIRD, IS ALL.
[Chat transcript continues, but now we see a human-sized spider suspended from the ceiling by web is using three of its legs to type on a laptop computer. Behind the spider, White Hat is upside down, almost totally encased in spider web, also suspended from the ceiling, verbalising MMM!! MMPH!!! Between them, a chair has been knocked over onto its back.]
Spider (while the chat dialogue shows White Hat's picture): I AM A NORMAL HUMAN TYPING WITH MY HUMAN HANDS.
Cueball: YEAH, OF COURSE. I KNOW.


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