Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Cueball becomes introspective when looking upon the sea. The initial implication is that "I am small" means he feels humble and recognizes his insignificance on the planet - a common sentiment expressed in poetry and blogs.
The punchline "I should get one of those pumps" implies that the sentence "I am small" means "My penis is small". Note that the line is "one of those pumps." Randall is referring to something he considers topical at the time, which for those with an e-mail account at the time included the surprising number of junk mail messages offering "male enhancement products", particularly penis pumps. This was a frequent source of humour in a variety of media at the time, given how novel it was for these things to be discussed openly.
The title text suggests that Cueball, having found a potential solution for the immediate problem, is turning his attention to the much broader one of putting the sea in its place.
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- [Cueball stands on a beach at night, staring out across the moonlit ocean.]
- Cueball: The sea always makes me realize
- Cueball: How small I really am.
- Cueball: I should get one of those pumps.
Umm...before changing the page shouldn't there be some discussion here? There was a bunch of other stuff that got deleted. 18.104.22.168 03:22, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
- Justification of "male enhancement" theory
DGBert wrote that there's no justification for the idea of the first pump being a penis-enlarging pump. What other theory do you have about (a) a pump, that (b) makes someone larger and (c) improves their self-image?
- If you have any hints not only coming from your own brain you are welcome. This wiki is "Explain" and not "Speculate". --Dgbrt (talk) 17:59, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
(Do we have Word Of God about this or many other 'Explanations'? An awful lot of this Wiki is speculation, without it.) Personally, while the first pump could be either kind of pump, the title text asking for another in order to drain the sea means that the first (regardless of which way one's mind snaps, on reading) was not intended to be a sea-draining pump. Randall also often does something akin to "one-lead-element Markov Chaining", and "how small I am" leading to a penis pump fits his sense of absurdist humour. Even if it isn't initially that, it's still akin to being a Garden path sentence (only more of a disfluent paragraph version) when parsing. All IMO. YMMV. HTH. HAND.
22.214.171.124 13:40, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
- Totally agree with "male enhancement" explanation
The previous explanation (last edited by Dgbrt) was:
In this comic, Cueball compares himself to a very large sea and realizes how small he is. The initial implication is that this causes him to be humble and realize his small place on the planet -- a common sentiment expressed in poetry and blogs.
The punchline "I should get one of those pumps" induces humor by reversing the expectation: as he thinks about how small he is compared to the sea, he starts wanting to buy a pump, presumably take out the sea water so the sea could be smaller and not so much a threat to his self-image anymore. It shows that he really hasn't learned anything and is still egotistical.
The title text creates additional humor by reversing the expectation yet again, by saying that he wanted another pump to drain the sea, meaning that the purpose of the first pump was not to drain the sea. This leads the reader to ponder what possible use the first pump was to have, and how it was going to make him bigger.
This, to me, felt weak, was overly complex, and ignored what seems a painfully obvious point. The number of "male enhancement" products being marketed by junk-mail at the time was a frequent source of humour, and something that anyone with an e-mail account (and a poor junk-mail filter) dealt with on a frequent basis. Ref: Trends on Male Enhancement
Note, the line is: "... one of those pumps." This wording indicates that Randall is referring to something that he expects the reader to realize is topical. If he meant a generic pump, he would NOT have used the keyword "those". People ignorant of the junk mail of the day, and the function of penis pumps, would understandably not get the joke.
MisterSpike (talk) 10:16, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
- Totally agree with previous explanation. Undee (talk) 12
- 01, 30 October 2013 (UTC)