909: Worst-Case Shopping

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 909)
Jump to: navigation, search
Worst-Case Shopping
Wait a minute. If I'm escaping from a submarine at 50 meters, then I'll *definitely* need a flashlight to find air pockets for gradual decompression on the way up. Time to start shopping professional dive lights.
Title text: Wait a minute. If I'm escaping from a submarine at 50 meters, then I'll *definitely* need a flashlight to find air pockets for gradual decompression on the way up. Time to start shopping professional dive lights.

Explanation[edit]

For most people, under most circumstances, a flashlight's water-resistance is a completely moot point, as most flashlight use occurs on dry land. But, as Randall has shown before, there is a tendency for people to imagine elaborate scenarios in which an extra edge would be useful.

In the dream sequence over the first 2 and a half frames, Cueball appears to be diving to find a key underwater, which he spots using his flashlight when he is at 8 meters. His flashlight goes out at 10 meters because he bought the "Hi-Brite" model. The dream sequence also references a "radio shed", which were only really used in the past for amateur radios or some other military style bases/compounds—which would align with his "warn the President" line. He thus suggests the more water-resistant flashlight. However, this is seen as ridiculous from his friend, since the more durable model costs over $25 more in return. He replies that "you never know" what situation you'll be in.

The title text takes Cueball's thought process to the next level. If he is getting a flashlight that works to 40 meters (worst-case), he should probably be prepared for even deeper waters as well (even worse-case).

Transcript[edit]

[Cueball is diving in very deep, dark blue water. He shines a flashlight at the sea floor.]
Cueball (thinks): Eight meters. There's the wreckage... Yes! I see the key!
[As he swims further toward it, his flashlight starts to cut out.]
Cueball (thinks): Gotta grab it, surface, get in to the radio shed, and warn the President! Just a few more...
Flashlight: BZZT FIZZ
[This panel has no border like the others, and is divided in half diagonally by a thought bubble.]
[The left half of it is a dark blue thought bubble with the diver inside it. On the right hand side are packaged flashlights hanging on a shelf. The one called Hi-Brite is $24.95 and is labeled "water resistant to 10 meters." The one called "FenStar G6" is $49.95 and says "water resistant to 40 meters."]
Cueball (thinks): Oh no.
[Cueball and a friend stand in front of a flashlight display in a store. Cueball looks down at the packages with his hand on his chin in thought. The thought bubble from the previous panel leads from his head. The friend stands behind him.]
Cueball: ...maybe I should spring for the deeper water resistance.
Friend: Why on earth would you care about that?
Cueball: Look, you never know.


comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

Pretty much the mentality of any multi-tool buyer. I probably only need a knife and file in most cases, but I'll *never* need anything else if I buy a leatherman! 01:41, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Of course the real reason to buy the higher water resistance is that the standatd "water resistant" figures are highly optimistic being based on static pressure only. -- plugwash 141.101.98.51 16:45, 18 March 2014 (UTC)