147: A Way So Familiar

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 147)
Jump to: navigation, search
A Way So Familiar
Two Hedwig references, an obscure Joey Comeau reference, and a girl with a mohawk. Yes.
Title text: Two Hedwig references, an obscure Joey Comeau reference, and a girl with a mohawk. Yes.


Some introverts tend to empathize with other people they perceive as being shy or introverted. Sometimes, their imagination leads them to obscure visions. A person outside the imaginative world can easily see through this and judge it as a delusion.

Hairy points out that he saw a girl at the bank and probably started having platonic romantic feelings toward her, describing many characteristics that would be impossible to know about her without actually talking to her. Cueball has clearly experienced Hairy's bad judgements before, and so responds with a "Oh no, not again."

In the last panel, the reader finds out that she probably does not look like the sweet girl the reader imagined, having a mohawk and shoveling (presumably dead) prostitutes into a car. This quickly prompts Cueball to say "back up," wanting to know what exactly had happened.

Joey Comeau is a Canadian writer, best known for the webcomic “A Softer World”. The "obscure" reference is probably to one of the entries in his 'Overqualified' series, another project in which he submits sincere-sounding, but clearly unacceptable, job inquiries to real companies. That particular entry is addressed to the marketing department of Toyota, the makers of the Toyota Camry. The post could be found here.

Hedwig refers to the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and the comic references the musical's song "The Origin of Love." This song is based on a satirical idea from Plato's Symposium, whereby every person originally consisted of two bodies joined together; the gods eventually violently tore us apart, and we fall in love when we find the person who was once physically joined to us. This song contains the lyrics:

You had a way so familiar
I couldn't recognize
'cause you had blood on your face
I had blood in my eyes
But I could tell by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine [1]

The joke is that Hairy seems oblivious to the fact that his imagination is a very obvious delusion. While people could forgive a guy empathizing with a "cute pretty girl," Cueball seems annoyed by Hairy's lack of judgement.


Hairy: I saw a cute girl outside the bank today. She looked nice.
Cueball: Oh no, not again. You are the worst judge of these things.
Hairy: But she was so sweet. Shy, but there was something in her eyes. A pain down in her soul, the same as the one down in mine.
Cueball: Mm hmm.
Hairy: The police light played through her mohawk like the sun setting through pine trees as she shoveled the third hooker into the trunk of the Camry...
Cueball: Back up.

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


I've added some explanation. But the joke could be taken the other way. Cueball is judgemental on girls with mohawks (that shovel prostitutes into cars), maybe she is indeed a cute girl in pain. Now that's food for thought! --Pnariyoshi (talk) 14:33, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Does anybody know what the reference is to Joey Comeau's work? 23:04, 30 August 2013 (UTC)DBrak