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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Vodka
Or whatever's handy! I'm pretty much pure alcohol and water, so it doesn't really matter!
Title text: Or whatever's handy! I'm pretty much pure alcohol and water, so it doesn't really matter!

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: What does "heads" and "tails" mean in the title text explanation?

Vodka is a distilled beverage composed primarily of water and ethanol, sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Traditionally, vodka is made by the distillation of fermented cereal grains or potatoes, though some modern brands use other substances, such as fruits or sugar.

When people say "maybe it's the vodka talking" (or similar phrases), they usually mean that they are speaking under the influence of alcohol and are saying things they probably wouldn't say when sober. This is similar to the Latin saying "in vino veritas" (in wine there is truth). However, in this comic, it appears that the vodka itself is literally speaking through Ponytail to discuss its origin (potatoes in this case). Other comics in which things have been taken too literally include 1099: Tuesdays and 1086: Eyelash Wish Log.

The title text gives the impression that the vodka isn't really sure it's made from potatoes. Vodka can be manufactured from potatoes, grain, and most other plants. (Much as with moonshine whiskey, home- or prison-cell-distilled vodka is often made with whatever one has on hand.) However, vodkas are often repeatedly distilled to remove the "foreshots" (the first few ounces of alcohol that drip from the condenser), "heads" and "tails," which contain flavor compounds. Removal of these leaves a clear solution consisting almost entirely of ethanol and water. This is in contrast to other distilled beverages like whiskey, brandy and rum.

Transcript

[Ponytail and Megan sit together at a table with two small shot glasses on the table. Ponytail holds a large almost full bottle with label near to her mouth, while Megan's hand lies close to a larger glass, filled with liquid and an ice cube, close to her end of the table.]
Ponytail: Maybe this is the vodka talking, but:
Ponytail: Hi! I'm made from potatoes!


Discussion

Wohoo I'm first how's it going people from the near future? ‎188.114.111.215 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Weirdly enough, 80 proof vodka and the human body are both about 60% water. If you replaced the remaining 30-odd percent of volume in your body with pure alcohol, you could sustain yourself purely on vodka! Or become vodka. Consumer (talk) 09:37, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

That Polytail is a pretty hardcore lady - it looks like she's drinking directly from the bottle. --RenniePet (talk) 12:39, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

These three comments above have been moved to the page with the correct name Talk:1528: Vodka --Kynde (talk) 12:54, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

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