222: Small Talk

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 00:32, 8 November 2013 by (Talk)

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Small Talk
But surely I owe you an accurate answer!
Title text: But surely I owe you an accurate answer!


Cueball is approached by his friend who offers the standard greeting of, "What's Up? How've you been?" In standard "small talk" an appropriate answer would be only one or two words (e.g. "Fine", "Pretty good"). These are generally positive responses, with negative ones only offered in extreme circumstances. In this situation, Cueball forgets that this type of answer is what his friend is expecting.

Instead, he contemplates thoroughly on his condition, wanting to provide accurate, detailed information to his friend. His response sheds light on the many layers of meaning a simple question such as "What's up?" can have. His friend, thrown off by the delayed response, snaps to regain Cueball's attention and reminds him that they are having a conversation, which is best facilitated by the standard short responses.

The title text shows that Cueball was more interested in accuracy than the ease of the conversation, simply out of respect for his friend.


Sometimes I forget how to do small talk.
Friend: Hey!
Cueball: Hey, man!
Friend: What's up? How've you been?
Cueball: Well...
[Three identical frames indicate time passes.]
Friend: Uh, you ok?
Cueball: Yeah! It's just an interesting question. I'm trying to decide what best sums up my--
Friend: Hey. Conversation.
Cueball: Oh, right. I'm fine. You?

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You know, Dr. Manhattan had a response to the question "What's up?" 22:55, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Apparently, this is common in German speaking countries. When asked "how are you?" many will give long, detailed, accurate answers.

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