1064: Front Door
Title text: FYI: I'll be releasing a wolf into a randomly-chosen front yard sometime in the next 30 years. Now your fear is reasonable, and you don't need to feel embarrassed anymore. Problem solved!
This comic is showing in graphical form three different actions/feelings as Randall is approaching his front door at night. His "Fear That There's Something Behind Me" rises, so then his "Forward Speed" rises to get to his door faster. And then when he gets in the door and finds that in fact, there is nothing behind him, his "Embarrassment" rises. The y-axis of the chart is not labeled, so it is presumed to indicate amount, as in how embarrassed Randall is.
The interesting fact revealed is that Randall gets more concerned that someone is behind him when he walks up the steps to this door, and not while walking in the yard where there might be more hiding places. The worst fear is just before he walks up the steps to lock himself in. This is probably because now that he is almost home and safe, he now has to fumble with the key concentrating on getting the key in the lock, thus not being able to pay attention to what's coming up behind him.
This is of course an irrational thought, but it seems to happen to many people, and has certainly been used for suspense in many movies, whether it is "Did I hear a noise upstairs?" or "Is that an axe murderer hiding in that hedge?" or "There might be a velociraptor lurking nearby". (However in all of these cases getting inside would probably not help you anyway just adding to the funny part of how the fear drops once inside. See 87: Velociraptors for why getting inside probably also would not help against them.)
The title text attempts to alleviate the problem of the following embarrassment by introducing potential threat that could affect anybody. Since Randall mentioned that he will randomly release a wolf into a front yard sometime in the next thirty years, there will always be a fear that a wolf has been released onto your front yard. In that case, the fear one feels will be justified and not embarrassing, as it is possible that there is indeed a wolf released by Randall into their front yard. However, even assuming that Randall can find and release a wolf onto someone's front yard, the chance of this happening to you is minuscule.
- [A graph with three colored lines. There is no scale on the Y-axis but the X-axis represents geographic location and has four labels. From the Y-axis to around the midpoint is "Yard", with an arrow from the word yard pointing left, at a point beyond the midpoint there is a tick labeled "Steps", at a point after that is another tick labeled "Door", and all points afterward are "Inside" with an arrow pointing right from the word inside, there are no tick for the first and last label. The three lines are all labeled with a small lines going from the label to the lines. The blue line begins to slowly increase from the start, with a slight dip further into the yard, and a steep increase right before the steps, maxing on the steps, and declining steeply at the door, bottoming out once inside. The gray line is at a steady medium height until it gets to the steps, at which point it shoots upwards, and then slowly declines once inside. The red line stays at 0 until just before the steps, where it begins to trend upwards, spikes at the door, and begins to slowly decline once inside. Above the curves to the left there is a black frame with the title of the graph:]
- Walking Back to My Front Door at Night:
- X-axis labels: Yard Steps Door Inside
- Blue line: Fear That There's Something Behind Me
- Gray line: Forward Speed
- Red line: Embarrassment
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