Title text: "There's one set of foot-p's cause I was totes carrying you, bro!" said Jesus seconds before I punched him.
The comic is a satirical graphical representation of the inspirational Christian poem "Footprints," which has been recounted in many versions and is of disputed authorship.
The basic idea of the poem is that the narrator looks back at scenes of his life and sees two sets of footprints, his and those of Jesus. During the most difficult times of his life, the narrator sees only one set of footprints and assumes that Jesus had left him during those times. In the climax of the poem, Jesus responds to the narrator that he saw only one set of footprints during the most difficult times of his life because Jesus was carrying him during those times.
The poem is seen by many as overly sentimental and is thus ripe for parody of this kind. The graph mockingly illustrates various times when Jesus or the narrator left the scene, or otherwise gives various reasons why the number of sets of footprints may have been other than two.
There are several odd events listed in the chart:
- The narrator of the original poem does not need to carry Jesus.
- "That guy" refers to a mysterious person joining the narrator and Jesus on their walk. It is unclear if this person is paranormal or just some random guy tagging along.
- "Ducklings imprinted on Jesus and followed Him around" is a reference to Konrad Lorenz's experiments. Three ducklings followed Jesus and the narrator.
- "Jesus disappeared for an evening each time a new Twilight movie came out" could mean that Jesus went to see the movie and left the narrator alone. It could also mean that his support of people through their most difficult trials meant he had to carry a lot of emotionally scarred people.
- "Got lost and followed our own footprints" may be a reference to "Winnie-the-Pooh" (1926), in which the titular bear and his friend try and hunt a "Woozle" by its footprints, actually following their own round and round a spinney, which also seems slightly childish for Jesus as traditionally portrayed. An alternate explanation is that they came to a dead end, and had to double back.
- "Rode around with Jesus in captured AT-ST" is a reference to a two-legged combat "walker" from Star Wars. The implication is that Jesus would have participated in forcibly taking a war machine, which appears somewhat out of character.
In the end, Jesus drowns in a patch of quicksand, and then the narrator simply goes home, again subverting the poem's earnestness. Quicksand can occur on beaches and can be dangerous to humans. If Jesus can leave footsteps in the sand, clearly he is applying pressure and could sink deeper. "Going home" could be a reference to dying, implying that the narrator died without Christ, the journey at an end. However the narrator probably just went home.
The title text continues the parody by imagining that Jesus delivers the poem's climactic lines in stereotypical "bro" speak, a dialect perceived by many to be obnoxious. "There's one set of foot-p's cause I was totes carrying you, bro!" can be translated into normal English as "There's one set of footprints because I was definitely carrying you, friend!".
The narrator punching Jesus is another subversion of the poem's perceived excessive sentimentality. One interpretation is that the narrator, like many people, dislikes usage of this lingo and punched Jesus as a result of this hatred. Another interpretation is that Jesus' obnoxious way of explaining himself indicated dishonesty, meaning he did not in fact carry the narrator during the most difficult parts of his life. The narrator sensed this and punched Jesus in retaliation.
An alternate explanation of some of the oddities of the strip is that "Jesus" is not Jesus Christ, but some guy merely named Jesus, as is common in some Latin American countries.
Using the Twilight movies as reference points, it can be determined that the span of the graph is from approximately early 2004 to late 2018, with Jesus' death in the second half of 2017.
The poem has appeared in xkcd before, at 1110 with coordinates 0.7601, -58.803.
- [A graph is shown with a single red line that runs through from left to right, showing different values at different times. Until the very end, the line always returns to the value 2, signifying two sets of footprints in the sand. The X-axis has a label followed by an arrow pointing right. The Y-axis has a label at the top, right of the axis, and numbers, one for each of the ticks from which five thin lines going horizontally across the entire graph. Every time the graph moves away from the value 2 there is an arrow pointing to the event and a label. The first two events has the same label. The only label below the line has five small arrows pointing to five small dips in the curve. All other labels only has one arrow pointing to one event.]
- X-axis: Time
- Y-axis: Sets of footprints
- [The line starts at the value 2, then dips twice to the value 1. The two troughs are labeled:]
- Jesus carried me
- [The line dips once again to the value 1. The trough is labeled:]
- I carried Jesus
- [The line rises to 3 briefly, and is labeled:]
- Who was that guy?
- [The line rises to 5 sharply, and then falls in a sharp staircase pattern, labeled:]
- Ducklings imprinted on Jesus and followed him around
- [The line rises to 4, labeled:]
- Got lost and followed our own footprints
- [The line dips for very short periods five times to the value 1. The first dip is between "I carried Jesus" and "Who was that guy?", the second between "Who was that guy?" and "Duckings imprinted on Jesus..." and the final three are all between the "Ducklings imprinted on Jesus..." and "Got lost and followed our own footprints". These five troughs share one label with five arrows from the same text:]
- Jesus disappeared for an evening each time a new Twilight movie came out
- [The line dips to 1, labeled:]
- Rode around with Jesus in captured AT-ST
- [The line dips and stays level at 1, labeled:]
- Hit quicksand patch. Jesus didn't make it :(
- [The line dips to zero at the end, and is labeled:]
- Went home
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