Title text: Platonic solids for my real friends and real solids for my platonic friends!
A toast is a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill. The term may be applied to the person or thing so honored, the drink taken, or the verbal expression accompanying the drink. Thus, a person could be "the toast of the evening," for whom someone "proposes a toast" to congratulate and for whom a third person "toasts" in agreement.
The comic is based on the quote Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends which, though often attributed to the painter Francis Bacon or to Tom Waits, is a toast dating back to at least the nineteenth century. It is also the entire title of a song, the ninth track on From Under the Cork Tree, a 2005 album by Fall Out Boy.
The comic plays on a permutation structure between two words (a type of chiasmus), yielding puns with various effects. In this comic eight persons drink a toast for their "real friends" and then for some other type of "friends". For the real friend they wish them to have one specific thing. This something is a word (X-Y) that can be split up in two meanings (X and Y), where one of them are then put in front the word friend, to explain what type of friends they are now toasting (often a bad/false type of friend) and then these friends get a wish for having what the word that are left of the original word means: "X-Y for my real friends and real Y for my X friends"
The first example is a typical toast, in Champagne, where this word can be split in the two phonetically similar words Sham and Pain, and the sham friends then get pain. Below all examples (including the ninth from the title text) are listed with explanation for all words. In some cases the word may actually refer to a drink (like the first with champagne), so that the first word is not something wished for the real friends, but the drink that is in the glass (these have been mentioned below). But for other toasts there is no such drink in existence, and the first word is the thing the toaster wishes for the real friends.
- Champagne sounds like a combination of the two words sham and pain.
- Pseudopods can be divided into pseudo- and pods.
- Pseudopods (which translate to "false feet") are temporary cytoplasm-filled parts of the cell wall that are able to change their form in order to move. They are used in some eukaryotic cells to move around or to eat. Most cells that do this are called amoeboids. The amoeba is a common example. There is no drink named Pseudopods!
- Pseudo- (lying, false) is used to mark something that superficially appears to be (or behaves like) one thing, but actually is another.
- Pods or pod is not clearly defined. It could refer to seedpod – a dry dehiscent fruit containing many seeds. Pods, both malevolent and benignant, appear in many works of SF and Fantasy.
- So Blondie will give her real friends a special part/adaptation of the amoeba. (Doesn't everyone wish they had pseudopods?) But it at least seems better than her pseudo-friends who would receive real pods with intricate ways to kill them.
- Petticoats sounds like a combination of the two words petty and coats
- A petticoat or underskirt is an article of clothing; specifically an undergarment to be worn under a skirt or a dress. There is no drink named petticoats!
- Petty means small (in rank of importance), insignificant or narrow-minded. See for instance petty crime.
- A coat is a garment worn by both men and women, for warmth or fashion.
- So Megan will hand out undergarments for her real friends (a very personal gift) and coats for her less important/insignificant or narrow-minded friends (they seem to be the luckier ones here).
- Loosestrife can be divided into loose and strife.
- Loosestrife is a common name for plants within two different genera (which are not related): Lythrum (example: purple loosestrife) and Lysimachia (example: Fringed Loosestrife). There is a patent for a loosestrife drink but it seems unlikely that this is in the glass.
- Loose in this case means free from restraints, as the opposite of close friend. Loose can also refer to being sexually promiscuous, especially when used as an adjective for people.
- Strife refers to bitter, sometimes violent, conflict or discord.
- So the "brunette" woman (i.e. similar hair but less dark than Megan) will give her real friends flowers and for her promiscuous friend she wishes they end up in a real violent conflict.
- Ladybugs can be divided into lady and bugs.
- Ladybugs (or Ladybird) are a family of insects common all over the world. They are considered cute. There also exists a recipe for a ladybug cocktail.
- Lady is a civil term of respect for a woman, specifically the female equivalent to gentleman or lord, but in many contexts a term for any adult woman.
- Bugs in this case refer to insects or arachnids. It could also refer to the scientific classification Hemiptera, the "true bugs", which does not include ladybugs.
- Hairbun toasts her real friends in the ladybug cocktail - it could be a cocktail glass she is holding - (rather than giving the ladybugs for her real friends, even though they are cute bugs that most people are not afraid of). And then she will bestow real bugs (beetles, flies or spiders) to her lady friends. This is not necessarily all her female friends, it could be only those that are noble or at least think they are more important and thus would like to be called lady.
- Single-payer can be divided into single, and payer, a word that rhymes with player. In this case this word is then put together with real to form the word RealPlayer.
- Single-payer refers to single-payer healthcare, a system in which the state, rather than private insurers, pays for all healthcare costs, a system used in several countries, but not so far in the US; it was initially considered but ultimately rejected when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare by both detractors and supporters of the law, was discussed, passed by the US House and Senate, and signed into law by President Barack Obama. There is no drink named single-payer!
- Single refers to a person who is not in a relationship or is unmarried.
- RealPlayer is a cross-platform media player app, developed by RealNetworks. It is compatible with numerous container file formats of the multimedia realm. In the past it has been criticized for containing adware and spyware. This was back from 1999 and up to the 2004 version.
- It is specifically not the word single-player that is used! This word could refer to video games that only one player can play at a time, or when choosing to play single-player in a game where more could have played. RealPayer is not a word in use.
- White Hat thus wishes that his real friends have access to state-funded health care, and all his single friends will get RealPlayer. Since White Hat is normally benevolent, if naïve, he may imagine that RealPlayer will help his single friends enjoy Internet media, when they are home alone. Maybe he wishes to impress these singles with a free app as a present in the hope that he gets lucky. If it has been Hairy this would have seemed very likely… see 1178: Pickup Artists. White Hat has not previously displayed these tendencies too clearly. As mentioned there have been some issues with RealPlayer in the past, but it has stayed on the market for more than a decade. However, since it has recently been changed into RealTimes it may not be so cool a gift anyway. Also White Hat might wish to give away the old spy ware version of RealPlayer. But as opposed to most of the special type of friends, single-friends is not in itself a negative type of friend, especially not if you are yourself single. So no direct reason to make bad wished for single friends as opposed to sham friends.
- Tumbleweeds sounds like a combination of the two words tumblr and weed.
- Tumbleweed is a structural part of the above-ground anatomy of a number of species of plants, a diaspore (of seeds) that, once it is mature and dry, detaches from its root or stem, and tumbles away in the wind. The tumbleweed's association with the Western film genre has led to a highly symbolic meaning in visual media. But there is also a Tumbleweed cocktail.
- tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website
- A weed is any plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, but in this case it refers to Cannabis, also known as marijuana and by many other names (including weed), and would be used (again in this comic) as a psychoactive drug, i.e. to get high.
- Ponytail toast her real friends in the Tumbleweed cocktail (rather than giving them a western movie symbol, that will spread seeds all over their house), but with her friends on her favorite blogsite tumblr she will share her expensive weed.
- Fauxhawks can be divided into faux and hawks
- Fauxhawks copies the style of a Mohawk hairstyle, but without shaving the sides of the head and not extending past the peak of the cranium. But there is also a Fauxhawks beer.
- Faux is a French word for "false".
- Hawks is a common name for some small to medium-sized diurnal birds of prey, widely distributed and varying greatly in size.
- Beret Guy thus wishes to cut his real friends hair in a very special way, maybe to his liking and thought of as a favor, but not necessarily liked by all his friends, cause although Beret Guy is weird, it seems that those around him are not. His false friends can have a predatory bird (maybe coming after them), but rather knowing Beret Guys love of all things, just as a present of something he likes, like animals. Alternatively he toast in the beer with that name - could be a fancy beer glass he is holding.
- Title text:
- Platonic solids can be divided into platonic and solids
- Platonic solids: In three-dimensional space, a platonic solid is a regular, convex polyhedron. It is constructed by congruent regular polygonal faces with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. Five solids meet those criteria, and each is named after its number of faces: Tetrahedron (a.k.a. "Regular triangle-based pyramid"), Hexahedron ("Cube"), Octahedron (can be considered the union of two square-based pyramids, base-to-base), Dodecahedron and Icosahedron. There is no drink named platonic solids!
- Platonic means not sexual in nature as in platonic love, which is a type of love that is celibate and non-sexual. Platonic friends are friends who will never have sex with each other.
- Solid is one of the three fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid and gas). Doing someone a solid can also mean doing someone a favor
- Randall, must be speaking the title text and he wishes his real friends to have material in regular, convex polyhedron shape where as his platonic friends can get any other kind of solid material, alternatively a solid favor. Platonic friends are not necessarily bad to have so maybe it should be a positive toast for those as well. On the other hand, sometimes it is one friend that has decided it should be a platonic friendship. In this case the other may regret this and not wish good things for this friend.
- Platonic can also refer to Platonic ideals, which are models that real-life objects and processes implement only imperfectly.
- So while Randall wants his Platonic friends to have solid objects in the imperfect shapes that can exist in real life, he wants his "real friends" to have impossibly perfect hard copies of the regular tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron.
- [There are two rows of 4 panels each. Each panel shows a different person offering a toast. Each one has some kind of drink in one hand which they hold up.]
- [First row panels:]
- [Cueball holding up a wine glass to the right:]
- Cueball: Champaign for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends!
- [Blondie holding up a regular glass to the left:]
- Blondie: Pseudopods for my real friends and real pods for my pseudo-friends!
- [Megan holding up a drinks glass to the right:]
- Megan: Petticoats for my real friends and real coats for my petty friends.
- [A "brunette" woman (i.e. similar hair but less dark than Megan) holding up a normal glass with a small umbrella in it to the right:]
- Brunette woman: Loosestrife for my real friends and real strife for my loose friends!
- [Second row panels:]
- [Hairbun holding up a wine glass to the left:]
- Hairbun: Ladybugs for my real friends and real bugs for my lady friends!
- [White Hat holding up a regular glass to the right:]
- White Hat: Single-payer for my real friends and RealPlayer for my single friends.
- [Ponytail holding up a regular glass to the right:]
- Ponytail: Tumbleweeds for my real friends and real weed for my Tumblr friends!
- [Beret Guy holding up a wine glass to the left:]
- Beret Guy: Fauxhawks for my real friends and real hawks for my faux friends!
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