421: Making Hash Browns
|Making Hash Browns|
Title text: There are at least fourteen ways this could go badly (seventeen if that fork is a dangerous crossbreed.)
Cueball is attempting to make hash browns. A hash brown is a way of serving a potato where the potato has been diced or shredded in some way, then pan-fried. Cueball's method for making hash browns, though, is rather unique. He is throwing potatoes into the air and striking them with a flaming tennis racket at his friend, who is holding a tray with a dangerously tilting half-filled glass balanced on top. He (the friend) is also holding a fork in the other hand.
The idea is that the tennis racket would simultaneously dice the potato, fry it, and then launch the completed product towards his friend's plate. In reality, this probably wouldn't do much. To properly pan-fry food, it must be cooked in a pan with some oil to lubricate the food, with enough time for the heat to transfer through the oil and spread properly through the food. Hitting a potato with a flaming tennis racket would not cook it, as it would strike it too quickly, and it probably wouldn't dice it either unless the wire of the racket is incredibly sharp. Cueball would probably just end up batting a not even hot, uncooked, unprepared potato at his friend, while simultaneously burning his own hand. In the case that the wires did actually cut through the potato, then the potato would not be moved forward, but actually end up behind the racket.
The title text comments on how many ways this experiment could go badly (14), and jokes that there are even more potential problems (17) if the fork Cueball's friend is holding is a cross-breed. (See 419: Forks and Spoons, which was published only four days earlier. By reading this comic, it should be clear what could go wrong if they were included in the equation - 3 more ways would be a low estimate....)
It's unclear what Randall may or may not have had on his mind with regards to specific ways the situation in the comic could go wrong. But here are several potential ways the activity could go wrong without including Sporks:
- Cueball could burn himself with the flaming tennis racket.
- The can of gasoline could leak, and then Cueball could drop the racket, causing a fire to spread.
- Cueball may fail to hit the potato, and it would get dirty from the ground.
- Cueball may fail to hit the potato and instead whack himself with the aforementioned flaming tennis racket.
- Cueball may fail to hit the potato and hurt himself as it lands on his face.
- Cueball may hit the potato and knock the plate out of his friend's hand, smashing it.
- Cueball may hit the potato and knock the glass out of his friend's hand, smashing that instead.
- Cueball might hit his friend's arms with a potato (flaming hot or not), causing the friend to drop the plate, thereby spilling glass, porcelain, a potato, and orange juice everywhere.
- Cueball might instead hit the potato at his friend's head.
- Cueball could accidentally launch the tennis racket itself (if he has exceptionally poor grip) at his friend.
- Cueball could drop the tennis racket onto the can of gasoline, causing it to explode.
- Cueball's friend may lose his balance with the plate, dropping it and/or the glass onto the ground.
- Cueball may try to get a better grip on the tennis racket by moving his hand up, and thereby burn his hand.
- Even if none of the above happened, Cueball would fail to actually cook the potato.
- Likewise, Cueball would probably not succeed in dicing the potato.
- And he could miss hitting his friend's plate.
- A velociraptor could appear out of nowhere and eat the potato, then proceed to devour Cueball and his friend. (A kind of possibility that likely plagues Randall's mind daily.)
- [Cueball stands holding a flaming tennis racket. He is throwing a potato in the air as if to serve like a tennis ball. Behind him is a red gas can and a sack of potatoes. Across from him is another person holding a fork in one hand and balancing a serving tray with a glass holding an orange liquid in it.]
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