2437: Post-Vaccine Party

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Post-Vaccine Party
[Future update] Well, someone accidentally dropped an M&M in their cup of ice water, and we all panicked and scattered.
Title text: [Future update] Well, someone accidentally dropped an M&M in their cup of ice water, and we all panicked and scattered.


This is another comic in a series related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As more and more people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, and as the CDC has released guidelines suggesting vaccinated people can start gathering in larger groups, there is increasing excitement about the possibility to resume get-togethers, and have a party. However, being very cautious, Randall is cutting down the scope for his first "post-pandemic" party from that of a normal party. Not all of the scope reductions make sense. [citation needed]


  • Instead of interesting alcoholic and sugary beverages, he's reducing scope by serving plain ice water.
  • Instead of serving the ice water in ordinary-sized cups, he's further reducing scope by serving it in small cups.


  • A person holding an ordinary party might provide large quantities of foods of various sorts. Randall is reducing scope by serving only two types of food, M&M's and saltine crackers.
  • He is further reducing scope by limiting the quantities: each guest will be provided with three individual pieces of candy and one single cracker.


  • Instead of regular music, Randall's party has less-exciting ambient music.
  • Karaoke has been eliminated completely.
  • The big-screen TV has been reduced to a standard TV, and instead of showing active and exciting sports games, it will show mellow painting lessons by Bob Ross.


  • Board games require strategy and could be exciting, so Randall has replaced them with 52 pickup, a game with neither quality. Having already downsized to a single game, he further reduces the scope by reducing the number of cards involved from 52 to 3.
  • His original notes indicate that the party might include both video games and ping pong, but he has reduced scope here as well by merging these activities and offering only a single video game, the ancient Pong game.
  • Finally, while conversation will be allowed, Randall is reducing scope by reducing quality. This element of the party plan is qualitatively different from the others because it's generally the guests themselves that provide the majority of the conversation at a party, so it's possible that Randall is simply acknowledging the effect that the pandemic has had on peoples' ability to converse normally.

The title text mentions that in the end, despite Randall's efforts, even the incredibly mild disruption of an M&M's falling into a cup of water caused the party-goers to panic and flee, much as Cueball and Ponytail did in a similar situation.


[The comic consists of four underlined headings, two by two grid, with three or four lines of text beneath each. Almost all of the original lines of text have been fully or partially crossed out (marked with <del> below), and five new items have been added (marked with <ins> below), plus some brackets and one arrow. Even one of the added items has been modified.]
  • Soda
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Cocktails
  • Small cups of ice water
  • Pizza
  • Nachos
  • Various snacks
  • Three M&Ms and a saltine per person
  • Music (ambient)
  • Karaoke
  • Big screen TV showing sports Bob Ross
  • Board games 52 3-card pickup
  • Video Games
  • Ping (Pong) [A red arrow points from "Video Games" to "(Pong)"]
  • Good conversation
[Caption below the panel:]
We're planning our first post-vaccine party, but we want to start slow.

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I'm pretty sure the joke of the comic is about the excitement of the party, as people aren't used to exciting things such as good conversation anymore. If this is a post-vaccine party, there shouldn't be any worry about covid safety. 16:41, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Okay, I started it. Join in and make it better! -boB (talk) 17:26, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

I thought that the party food and beverages were reduced to small cups of ice water and m&m as we gained weight over months of staying home. It looks like the list was made earlier in the pandemic when this was not a problem (yet). And now the list has changed since al lot of people gained weight. But pizzas and snack can contribute to the spread of the virus. For the rest I understand it like you N0lqu. mkljun 18:56, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, I added that! -boB (talk) 18:19, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Ping-pong should be a reasonably safe activity. A standard table is 9 feet long, so the players are forced to social distance. And unless you play at expert levels, it's not so energetic that you'll breathe heavily. Barmar (talk) 19:27, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

My employer padlocked the door to our ping-pong room because people apparently couldn't mask and play at the same time. 13:33, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

I think this is more about how exciting the party is than about COVID precautions. These are all toned-down versions of regular party stuff. 21:08, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Still missing an explanation regarding the crossing out of "Big screen" in front of "TV". A small TV would actually be counterproductive, as folks would need to crowd around it in order to see it well, thus reducing social distance. 21:37, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Answer is in the comment above yours. No one has been to a party in a year, and the idea is to "start slow" and keep the party from being overwhelming to people who have been isolating for a long time. I don't get the title text, though... Orion205 (talk) 22:38, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

The COVID vaccine works by making your immune system kick in hard. At a panel presentation on COVID, a doctor was saying that fever, muscle aches, nausea, or other flu-like symptoms are to be expected after injections. It’s a good sign that the vaccine is working. The party list makes a little more sense if people were expected to be feeling mildly ill from the vaccine. —brad

I didn't initially read it as boring for the sake of safety, just boring because nobody has been to a party for a year and would find it harder to cope with the excitement. 09:08, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

This explains the title text, too. 20:55, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

I think the joke is that we are being told we can increase social activity but not to increase it "too much". So we could have a gathering but not as big a gathering as before. The reduction is supposed to be targeted to specific activities that might risk contagious spread. However, the joke is that the person planning this party is reducing activities just for the sake of "downsizing" the party whether the activities are related to contagious spread or not. For example, watching TV on a small screen versus a big screen. The title text furthers the joke, that we have been conditioned to be fearful of trivial encounters that do not increase contagious risk (like briefly passing someone outdoors who is not wearing a mask even if we have a mask on) so something as innocuous as dropping a candy in a glass of water caused a panic. Rtanenbaum (talk) 19:10, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

There are a few ways that could scare or upset people, from the similarity of dropping medicine in a cup of water, to the danger of getting splashed by someone elses cup of water and catching their contagion that way. 21:23, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
Exactly my point. This is so unlikely to actually cause contagion that it should not cause the attendees to "panic and scatter". And that's the joke. Rtanenbaum (talk) 00:14, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
The thing with Diet Coke and Mentos crossed my mind, since this incident does not involve Diet Coke and does not involve Mentos, but it easily COULD have.  :-) [email protected] 22:36, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
I think this is missing the point. The point of this "cautious" party is not to reduce the risk of contagion (that is just a positive side effect) but just to get used to party again. The drop of the candy into the water causes no panic because it might be dangerous but because it is exciting (relatively speaking). With that explanation even the small TV makes sense. As already mentioned a smaller TV is bad in sense of preventing infection due to the need of being closer to it and as a result closer to others who also want to watch Bob Ross. But from a "entertainment value" or "excitement value" point of view a small TV is "safer" than a big one. So the point of this is not (primarily) to prevent contagion but just to getting used to being together in one (physical) room again. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 09:47, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Academic research on paint drying -- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160318090817.htm apparently it is exciting enough to be grant-funded.-- 01:39, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

This is a joke. It is funny. Haha. Laugh. Hilarious. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)


I think this needs rework. Isn't the point (among some other things) of a transcript to "show" some visually impaired people what this is all about with the help of a screen reader? The current transcript doesn't seem to do that. I don't know HOW these exactly work, but I THINK the current transcript would lead to something like that: "<underlinded>Drinks; <striked through> Soda, Wine; <red> Small cups; <striked through> Beer; <red> of ice water [...]". Or am I wrong? Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 12:03, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Good point. Using colour alone (red text, in this case), is a problem. Will fix. Jkshapiro (talk) 03:15, 13 February 2022 (UTC)