152: Hamster Ball
Title text: Reportedly, double-walled inflatable balls like this exist somewhere. Now to find that place.
The comic starts with a genie, who, having been freed from a magical lamp, grants the owner three wishes; this isn't unusual, since the idea of a genie who does this is a very common trope in the fantasy genre.
Cueball asks for a human-sized hamster ball, and when he gets it, he starts to roll around in it, obviously entertained. The genie then asks what he would like for his other two wishes, to which, having already being granted his heart's desire, he states that he wouldn't need the other wishes for anything.
The title text refers to the activity of Zorbing. Later, Randall found out where to get one and went on a hamster ball heist, and hamster balls have been a recurring theme on xkcd since this comic, and 14 years later it received a direct sequel 2331: Hamster Ball 2.
Genies (or magic lamps) are mentioned in at least four other comics:
In the first two, Randall manages to use the concept to make penis-related jokes.
In the fourth, the issue of number of wishes is discussed, from the perspective of wanting more than three wishes. The issue of wishing for more wishes is also the subject of 1086: Eyelash Wish Log, so it is not always enough with one or even three wishes!
- [Cueball stands by a genie, whose lower body becomes smoke and trails down to an old-fashioned lamp.]
- Genie: You have awakened me from the lamp. You may have three wishes. What does your heart desire?
- Cueball: I'd like a human-sized hamster ball.
- [A hamster ball appears; Cueball is inside it, arms outstretched.]
- Cueball: Sweet!
- [Cueball steps to left; the ball rolls that way.]
- [He does the same thing to his right.]
- [Cueball comes to rest in the centre of the panel.]
- Genie: And your other wishes?
- Cueball: Why would I need other wishes?
- For some unknown reason, this comic was the second of only a handful of comics to be released on a Sunday.
- The Monday release was then skipped, and the next comic came out Wednesday. So this was in principle supposed to be a Monday release.
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