2758: My Favorite Things

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My Favorite Things
When an Ur guy / sells Nanni things / but the copper's bad, / He simply records his complaint for all time / "I got a bad deal / I'm maaaaad"
Title text: When an Ur guy / sells Nanni things / but the copper's bad, / He simply records his complaint for all time / "I got a bad deal / I'm maaaaad"


Cueball begins singing "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. But, during the second line, instead of continuing with the actual lyrics, he sings that the copper from his kettles is flaking off. He then realizes that he's been scammed, and curses the name of Ea-nāṣir to the heavens.

This references the complaint tablet to Ea-nāṣir, an archeological artifact containing the earliest known written business complaint, found in the ancient city of Ur and dated to around 1750 BCE. Ea-nāṣir was a Sumerian copper merchant, and the writer of the complaint alleged Ea-nāṣir had scammed him by offering sub-quality copper (echoed by Cueball's counterfeit copper kettle), refused to provide a refund and had fallen short of expectations in other ways. Additional correspondence was discovered, to indicate that this was not their only dissatisfied customer. Ea-nāṣir was also referenced in 2650: Deepfakes.

In recent years, this complaint tablet has become an internet meme, deriving humor from the fact that so many of its themes (business fraud, poor customer service, a hapless consumer trying to get his money back) are still very much applicable today, nearly 4,000 years later. One such meme references a 2021 fraud case in Turkey, in which a trader was charged 36 million USD for a shipment of copper ingots, which turned out to be stones, painted with a veneer to make them look like copper. This line about "stone with a copper veneer" likely refers to this case.

The title text continues the parody for the chorus of the song, for which the original is "When the dog bites/When the bee stings/When I'm feeling sad/I simply remember my favorite things/And then I don't feel/So bad". "Ur guy" references Ea-nāṣir, while Nanni is the name of the customer who wrote the complaint.


[Cueball is standing between a small rosebush and a kitten.]
Cueball (singing): Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
[Cueball is now wearing mittens and holding a kettle with flakes falling off it. The kitten is looking up at him. There is another kettle on the ground next to the rosebush.]
Cueball (singing): Bright copper kettles leave ...flakes on my mittens!?
[Cueball has turned the kettle he's holding upside down and is examining it. More flakes are falling off of it, seemingly drawing the kitten's interest.]
Cueball (singing): Hey, these are stone with a copper veneer!
[Cueball is holding his hands out with his elbows bent, still wearing the mittens, and perhaps with fists raised slightly in shock or anger, or perhaps just the exuberance of song. The two kettles are next to each other on the ground by the rosebush. The kitten is looking up at him again.]
Cueball (singing): I've been bamboozled by Ea-nāṣir!

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I like the copper veneer news link, can someone find a version not behind a paywall though? 18:29, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

Just run it through archive.is or something. Here's the article on the aforementioned website. 00:23, 12 July 2024 (UTC)

Still no April Fools' comic? 😞 ~ Megan she/her talk/contribs 23:31, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

Sadly --Purah126 (talk) 02:42, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
guess there won't be one for this year youtu.be/miLcaqq2Zpk 03:04, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Anyone have any news? 23:32, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Frankly, I'm worried about burnout. Liv2splain (talk) 10:52, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Naw, I think there's life in explainxkcders yet...
If you mean Randall, however:
  1. Complexity of necessary explanation doesn't necessarily tally with the quality of the comic (some might even say that the best comic is something real smart and yet perfectly understandable without much actual blather required by/from us),
  2. There'll be more natural and immediate zeroing in on the 'ideal' explanation length with each emerging comics, whilst it becomes a conscious decision by someone to decide to revist an early comic and completely rewrite (solo, rather than as part of a crowd) to the 'latest' standards of verbosity/succinctity.
  3. As xkcd lore grows, there's more back-referencing and expansion possible (c.f. "So... What's this boy in a barrel about?" vs the now established behaviour of any particular '<Colour> <Headwear>' character.
  4. Everyone likes some types of comic and dislikes others.. If a new Map Of The Internet came out, some would enjoy it (and then maybe rail against a boring Cursed Thing comic, afterwards), and some others might think it derivative (yeah, they got a good Cursed thing joke, straight after, but the Map just sticks in their mind as a bad decision).
...so I say enjoy or don't enjoy. There's a whole world of webcomics out there, and yet none of them is capable of being "every one a winner", by whatever aesthetic, metric or tally you might decide works for you. I'm probably missing some other rising (or risen, and favourably plateaued) star, by being right here, right now, but I feel happy enough to lurk here (and everywhere else I hang around). You do and think as you will. 13:20, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Complexity of necessary explanation doesn't necessarily correlate with length of actual explanation either, nor length of actual explanation with quality of said explanation. There examples of near-perfect explanations that are short and succinct, and others of comincs of equal complexity/simplicity that are filled with several paragraphs of tangential repetitive waffle. If anything, I'd say that longer explanations tend to be an indication of a comic that touches on enough ideas for a number of people to throw stuff into the mix, but doesn't engage people enough to edit it down into a quality article. 11:41, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
There's a few concerning things about this wiki, like the fact that the MediaWiki version's lagging behind the latest release by too far. If there's a security vulnerability who knows what the vandals will do with it... ~ Megan she/her talk/contribs 02:26, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Vandals are capable of doing a lot. As they have done, over the last year or two, in particular (though those incidents were probably just the one idiot who is still likely around, but more subtle). The potential for security vulnerabilities is a separate issue, and there a documented reasons for how that is/isn't being dealt with, if you check. Your concerns are probably noted, they've been mentioned often enough, but I wouldn't want to speak for those with more direct influence and responsibility. I presume you all practice Safe Hex (i.e. not reusing passwords, especially in any email service you're registered with, should such stored details somehow become compromised) and that means it's 'only' an inconvenience if worst comes to worst, less so than the loss of the Forums was.
And this really has nothing to do with complaints about a 'decline in quality' of either comics or their explanations. 05:47, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
I mean, we did just get Gravity back in December, which is at about the same scale as the April fools comics. I assume that took the place of the April fools comics for this year. CJB42 (talk) 20:15, 7 April 2023 (UTC)

The Two Lumps webcomic joined in on April 5, 2023 with an Ea-nāṣir reference. Gmcgath (talk) 23:13, 6 April 2023 (UTC)


I'd like to add this table, but I'm not completely certain about it; it may be redundant to the transcript and comic itself, and just including the original lyrics would suffice.

Original line Cueball's version
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Bright copper kettles leave... flakes on my mittens!?
Brown paper packages tied up with strings Hey, these are stone with a copper veneer!
These are a few of my favorite things! I've been bamboozled by Ea-nāṣir!

Thoughts? Plus a version for the title text, most likely. --Jack (t|c) 15:11, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

I think the transcript is fine as is. If you know the song, the way it's done in the text is sufficient. If you don't, doing it as a table won't help. Barmar (talk) 15:18, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
I think the table would look better, and be more understandable to people who have not heard of the song before. Thisfox (talk) 23:06, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
$0.02 I think the table is helpful. And the title text is not yet in transcript so that would be a nice addition. Iggynelix (talk)
Title texts don't go in the transcript. They're already there in the header comic details (and ideally mentioned, soehow, and explained in the Explanation), and don't need giving in readable form in the same way as the text interpretation/official text interpretation does this job for the unscreenreadble/unsearchable graphics/handwriting that exitsts only in image pixels. 19:37, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

XKCD forums[edit]

if you think randall munroe should bring back xkcd fourums sign this petition https://chng.it/MVYcybvVrJ and spread this link for every 10 people signing i will bother randall munroe about it 12:42, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

I wouldn't presume to pressure Randall into taking on the (significant) burden of moderating forums. I'm grateful for all he's done for free to date. -- Dtgriscom (talk) 19:33, 5 April 2023 (UTC)