206: Reno Rhymes
Title text: Did you shoot a man in Reno? Now, I don't mean to pry.
This comic starts with a line from the song "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash. Cash is noted as saying "I sat with my pen in my hand, trying to think up the worst reason a person could have for killing another person, and that's what came to mind," which fits pretty well with the personality of Black Hat. Rather than react badly, Cueball starts a rhyming game, which they continue until Black Hat refers to the horrifying My Lai Massacre, which is apparently going too far for Cueball.
- You know, I once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
- Black Hat starts with the original line from the song.
- Really? Well I once shot a man in Reno but I couldn't tell you why.
- Cueball then begins the rhyming game, by saying he can't tell the reason he killed the man.
- I once shot a man in Reno then I went home to cry.
- Black Hat continues, by saying he got emotional after killing the man... Unlikely, given he's Black Hat, and could be him trying to continue, or he could be sarcastic.
- I once shot a man in Reno then I watered his cacti.
- An unlikely action after you have just killed someone... Just Cueball trying to continue the rhyme.
- I once shot a man in Reno 'cause they cancelled Firefly.
- Firefly was a TV series that aired on Fox during 2002. Its cancellation was a source of much annoyance to its fans, a fact frequently referenced in xkcd. In this case Black Hat goes as far to murder an innocent man for this.
- I once shot a man in Reno, him and all his succubi.
- Cueball says he shot a man and a bunch of female demons. Unlikely to happen in real life, and is just probably Cueball attempting to continue.
- I once shot a man in Reno and a bunch more in My Lai.
- The My Lai Massacre was an atrocity committed by US soldiers in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Here Black Hat says he not only shot a man in Reno, he shot a bunch more in My Lai, meaning that he was actually part of the massacre. Cueball is obviously horrified by this, and ends the rhyme with a "I think we're done", signifying his horror at Black Hat's words.
The title text continues the rhyme, but changes the roles: now the speaker is asking someone else if they shot a man in Reno. It is a reference to The Princess Bride (Inigo says the "I don't mean to pry" part to Westley).
- [Cueball and Black Hat stand facing one another. Black Hat is on the left.]
- Black Hat: You know, I once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
- Cueball: Really? Well, I once shot a man in Reno, but I couldn't tell you why.
- Black Hat: I once shot a man in Reno, then I went home to cry.
- Cueball: I once shot a man in Reno, then I watered his cacti.
- Black Hat: I once shot a man in Reno 'cause they cancelled Firefly.
- Cueball: I once shot a man in Reno, him and all his succubi.
- Black Hat: I once shot a man in Reno and a bunch more in My Lai.
- Cueball: I think we're done.
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