2416: Trash Compactor Party
|Trash Compactor Party|
Title text: What an incredible smell you've discovered.
Randall is planning a party for when the pandemic is under control and it will again be acceptable to meet with people in close proximity and without a face mask or other kinds of protection.
But he has realized that after more than a year, where social distancing has been a thing, it will be difficult to get people to voluntarily move closer than 1-2 m from each other.
Thus to break the ice, and the social distancing, his party will have a theme - it will be a Trash Compactor Party. So he plans to install two moving walls on either side of the party room, which will slowly move together pressing people closer together. It is supposed to be a theme party, so the walls are not supposed to crush people in the end, but force them to get much closer than one meter apart.
In the comic Randall shows how people might react to this after more than a year without being close to anyone not from their own family/corona bubble.
Cueball and Megan are trying to push each of the walls of the trash compactor back in order to prevent it from pushing them closer to the three other people. Two of the other attendees, Science Girl and White Hat appear to be anxiously shying away from the inexorably increasing proximity of both of their neighboring guests, as they hold their arms nervously and protectively around their chests and necks. Thus reflecting the common current trend for many normal people to maintain increased personal space when meeting or passing other people out and about, compared with the pre-COVID era. Randall's claim is that this will not just go away because the restrictions are completely lifted if the pandemic comes under control. Ponytail is the one that seems least concerned; she even stands with a wine glass in her hands. She is looking at Cueball, maybe amused at the other people's reactions to a now safe situation.
The title text references a high-profile instance of the trope from the original Star Wars film (later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope). Han Solo utters this quip shortly after he and several other main characters bail out of a firefight and land in a trash compactor. The walls then start closing in and, as in the comic, the characters are not enthused about being pushed ever closer together, and seek to push back on the walls before being crushed. Here, the quote also expresses a sense of (a new) hope: since a common symptom of COVID-19 is a loss of smell, the fact that the characters are all able to smell their surroundings suggests that the pandemic is gone.
- [An ongoing party of five people is placed between two walls on wheels. There are two machines on either side of the walls, moving the walls on the left and right ever-closer in. The machines have pistons that push the walls together. Their rods are not long enough for the walls to meet in the middle, only to push the people close together. Near the left wall, Megan is sitting on a chair pushing on the approaching wall with hands and feet. Next to her is (and adult) Science Girl looking toward the other wall with her hands held up to her neck. Then follows White Hat, also with his arms raised towards his neck, he is looking at Megan's wall. Next to him is a small table with a glass and a plate with something on it, probably snacks. On the other side of the table stands Ponytail with a wine glass in her hand. She is looking to the right at Cueball, who is standing on the other side of a chair standing between them. Seems like he just got up after having been sitting there looking at the advancing wall. Now he is standing pressed up against it pushing on it with both hands.]
- [Caption below the panel:]
- I'm planning a trash-compactor-themed party for when this is all over so we can get used to standing near each other again.
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