1936: Desert Golfing
Title text: I just want to stay up long enough to watch the ball drop into the hole number 2018.
A common joke surrounding the turn of the New Year is to make a comment about "next year" on New Year's Eve or "last year" on New Year's Day. While technically correct, some people may derive a snarky humor from making observations about the span of years when the reality has been more along a span of days or even, as in this comic, only a few hours.
In this, the second of two New Year comics in a row, with this one being released on New Year's Day 2018, Cueball observes that he has technically "been playing Desert Golfing nonstop since late 2017". Desert Golfing is a game that takes place in an endless side-scrolling desert, where the player can shoot a golf ball using a one finger swipe to determine direction and power. The entirety of the "golf course" is made of sand, making the physics of the golf ball more difficult to predict and control, as if from a bunker. After reaching a hole, the game automatically generates a completely random new course, making the game go on forever, and the score is purely dependent on how long you play the game.
Although Cueball's statement could be taken to mean he has devoted his waking hours to the game, the clock on the wall reveals both the truth of his comment and that he is not exaggerating. While he has only been playing the game for two and a half hours, give or take, those two-and-a-half hours started at about 11:10 PM on December 31st, meaning that it is presently January 1st and he has indeed been playing the game "nonstop since late 2017" (assuming he has not taken a break to eat or use the facilities).
Someone off-panel acknowledges the joke by saying that he should "take a break in 2018", and Cueball declares it is his New Year's resolution to go to bed. This is not a typical New Year's resolution, as most resolutions are about something you need to change in your life from last year, and going to bed (or at least sleeping) is not something you would have been able to avoid for a whole year. This may also be making a joke about how quickly many New Year's resolutions are broken, as Cueball has singularly failed to stick to his. New Year's resolutions have been mentioned before, the first time in 1154: Resolution, where the tradition of New Year's resolutions is the entire joke.
The title text states that the only reason Cueball has stayed up to play Desert Golfing is to watch the ball drop into hole number 2018 — this is a pun on the Times Square Ball, a pyrotechnical device in New York City that lights up spectacularly as soon as the new year begins. Because the event is televised on many news channels, "watching The Ball drop" is now a common way to count down the seconds to the new year. Cueball takes this literally, and tries to drop his (golf) ball to signify the beginning of 2018.
- [An analog clock showing 11:12 hangs on the wall left above of Cueball who is sitting on a couch leaning on the left armrest, feet up on the couch. He holds a smartphone horizontally and the screen is clearly brown. Above him is a large brown bubble showing the content of the screen, thus showing that he is playing Desert Golfing. The sky is light brown, the sand below is dark brown, the golf ball is white and is followed by a white line showing its trajectory towards the gray flag stick with a yellow flag on it, which is to the right of the screen. The hole is just before the flag stick, an indentation in the sand.]
- [The clock is now showing 12:00 and Cueball is sitting straight upright on the couch, the screen display above him shows that he continues to play, but now on a new golf hole with different contours. The trajectory of the ball is much more complicated than before, and it seems he has had to play a very special loop shot to get out of a deep pit.]
- [The clock is showing 12:34 as Cueball once again sits as in the first panel, but now towards the right armrest and he is almost lying down with his head on the rest. Once again the screen is visible above him and it is shown that the hole has changed again.]
- [The clock is showing 1:47 when Cueball, now sitting up against the right armrest, finally speaks while continuing to play, with the brown screen visible, as he holds it on his knees, but the screen display is not shown. An off-panel voice answers him from the right.]
- Cueball: Technically, I've been playing Desert Golfing nonstop since late 2017.
- Off-panel voice: Might want to take a break sometime in 2018.
- Cueball: Yeah, my New Year's resolution is to go to bed.
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