361: Christmas Back Home

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Christmas Back Home
Family going to bed at 10 PM is so much worse than jet lag.
Title text: Family going to bed at 10 PM is so much worse than jet lag.


The script begins similarly to the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas":

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

However, there is a change in the text due to the fact that Cueball is on a computer, perhaps coding or on the internet. Instead, it reads

"'Twas the night before Christmas at my family's house"
"There were no sounds of stirring save the click of a mouse."

The idea is that Cueball has been so used to being on the computer late at night (perhaps coding, or deep into some Internet argument) and he's forgotten the hours normal people sleep that, when Santa Claus arrives, Cueball is still awake. Note the mouse pun.

Being forced to sleep at normal times is compared with jet lag: sleeplessness due to your body being synchronized to another time zone, named as such because jet aircraft made it possible for people to travel farther and faster, throwing their internal clocks out of sync with the place they're in far more than in the age of necessarily longer travel times in which the full clock-shift is smeared over days, weeks or even months. Here, Cueball needs to turn back his internal clock over five hours to sync with his family.


[The panel depicts the interior of a house with numerous Christmas decorations. Santa stares at Cueball, who is sitting at his desk with his laptop.]
'Twas the night before Christmas at my family's house.
There were no sound of stirring save the click of a mouse.
For 'twas just like a childhood Christmas except
I'd forgotten the hours that normal folks slept.
Santa: What are you doing out of bed so late?
Cueball: Late? It's barely 3AM!

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Can we just change "used to using", if it is bad, into something better, instead of marking the explanation as incomplete because of a wording issue? -St.nerol (talk) 10:43, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Because Cueball exclaims that it's barely 3 AM, would Cueball's internal sleep clock need to be turned more than five hours to sync with his family? I know it's a small detail, but I thought it would be worth noting. Cueball would probably stay up past 3 AM into the morning hours before going to bed. NAE (talk) 14:45, 26 October 2017 (UTC)