Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Megan is returning after a short absence less than two minutes. Cueball's reaction is as if she had been gone for years, and so he had formed a relationship with someone else while waiting. The more Cueball describes this "affair", the more ridiculous it becomes.
There are a number of different possible interpretations of the humour utilised here:
- The stereotypically female behavior of announcing that a task will just last a minute, while in fact it takes many hours or more.
- He is just joking. Cueball's pause before admitting to the affair, as well as the claim of having a son by the affair who is Megan's age, suggest that he is joking. It seems impossible for Cueball to have a son at Megan's age.
- Time Travel: What took 90 seconds for Megan actually took much longer for Cueball, perhaps via travel to Narnia, Special Relativity or some other form of Time Travel.
- Mental Fantasy, Cueball has just had a day dream.
- Cueball's ignorance (also see: "someone is wrong on the internet").
One thing that we know for sure, however, is that the title text is telling us that this dialogue is from Scott.
Scott appears to be a friend of Randall Munroe. Comics 57 through 59 all have the title text "Opening dialogue by Scott", forming a sort of informal mini-series inspired by him.
- [Cueball and Megan stand facing one another.]
- Megan: Why didn't you wait for me?
- Cueball: I thought you were gone forever!
- Megan: I said I'd be back in a minute!
- Cueball: The... the seconds went fast at first, but then they started to drag on. She was there for me.
- Megan: You had an affair in the 90 seconds I was gone?!
- Cueball: ...yes.
- Cueball: And we had a son.
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- Cueball: He'd be about your age now.
This could also be a reference to relativity, but I may be overthinking it. 18.104.22.168 06:24, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm going with the more fantastical route. Cueball could have gone to Narnia in the ninety seconds she was gone. He could have had an affair and a child that is her age within that time. 22.214.171.124 10:51, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
And is maybe even a half-fawn? ;) 126.96.36.199 23:06, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Who is "Scott"? He is mentioned here a couple of times so, we do need a category for him at this wiki.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
- We already have a page for him. I've adjusted the two pages that refer to him in the title text to wikilink his name like the third already did. Mark Hurd (talk) 01:37, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
The 90 seconds could refer to time to read the comic for some people?188.8.131.52 14:13, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I strongly feel that cueball is making a joke about relativity. 184.108.40.206 19:22, 20 September 2013
The joke is about relativity. A very popular example found in books is the so-called twin paradox, where one brother stays on earth and the other travels at a speed of light. When the traveling twin returns, he finds his brother having aged years while only hours had passed for the traveler.
220.127.116.11 05:41, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
I feel pretty strongly that Cueball's hesitation is more because he is embarrassed, than because he is joking. bringing cueball's son into the situation would then pull relativity into the matter. GallantChaos (talk) 17:51, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
It seems to me more like a sketch based on the premise of the Bill Nighy film About Time where the males of the family can travel backwards in time, sometimes changing the future as a result 18.104.22.168 10:57, 8 November 2013 (UTC)Pab
- How could Randall have referenced a 2013 movie in 2006? -- Oh. I see what you did there. Madbadger2742 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
A woman announces: One minute...—that's the joke!--Dgbrt (talk) 21:38, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
He may be also referring to Star trek episode 'The Inner Light' 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
It is interesting to note that since the comic gradually reveals how much time has elapsed (or has been imagined/joked to have elapsed), it gives the impression of time accelerating as you read the comic. So if you read it quasi-statically, it seems that Cueball has merely been gone for long enough to have a son about Megan's age, but if you read dynamically, it seems that Cueball is getting older as he speaks, and will age and die before the conversation is over. Richmond tudor
) 03:55, 13 March 2015 (UTC)