551: Etch-a-Sketch

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Surrounded by boring mysteries.
Title text: Surrounded by boring mysteries.

[edit] Explanation

Cueball notices that if you draw a lot on an Etch-a-Sketch, the aluminum powder in it can be cleared from enough of the screen to allow a view of the interior (as seen here).

Cueball then proceeds to clear a window into the device, which shows him that there's a girl inside whose job is to act as the stylus for the Etch-a-Sketch. She suggest that they be friends, and little hearts pop up.

It then becomes clear that this is just a fantasy, and the reality is that the lines get drawn by a stylus moving on a simple arrangement of rods. Sighing, Cueball clears the Etch-a-Sketch by shaking it, and proceeds to draw something else.

The title text notes that the mysteries surrounding us are much more boring than we dream they are.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball is playing with an Etch-a-Sketch.]
Cueball: Hey. If I draw enough lines, I can see what's behind the screen.
[Close up on the Etch-a-Sketch's screen.]
Cueball: Oh man, almost...
Etch-a-Sketch: Hi!
[Head of Megan appears behind the Etch-a-Sketch screen.]
Megan: You're cute!
Cueball: Wha—
Megan: I'm the one who draws when you turn the knobs. It's lonely in here.
Cueball: It's lonely out here too.
Megan: I'm glad you found me, then!
[Panels start to break away into thought bubbles.]
Megan: Let's be friends, and never be lonely again.
[Three hearts are shown, one of which looks like it was drawn with an Etch-a-Sketch.]
Cueball: *sigh*
[Etch-a-sketch shows what is behind the glass; it is just the mechanics of the machine.]
[Cueball shakes etch-a-sketch.]
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I always thought he was shaking the Etch-a-Sketch in anger at finding out what was actually inside as opposed to what he thought was inside. Zowayix (talk) 02:21, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
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