576: Packages

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Day six: 'The hell? Who mails a bobcat?'
Title text: Day six: 'The hell? Who mails a bobcat?'


Cueball wrote a script that searches online shopping sites for items that cost US$1 with free shipping. Because the script is programmed to use an account with a $365 balance, this script will buy one random item per day for a full year. Megan comments that Cueball might just end up with "lots of crap" but he replies that he might get something interesting.

Over five days the script orders a length of rubber hose, a ski mask, a bear trap, a map of The Pentagon and "lube" (sexual lubrication). This pattern prompts Cueball to stop the script out of fear of being placed on a FBI watch list; to a paranoid passerby, the purchased items make Cueball look like a terrorist who plans to kidnap and torture federal employees. And also a pervert.

In the title text a sixth item is sent, a bobcat. This is a reference to 325: A-Minus-Minus where Black Hat delivered a bobcat instead of a chair.


[Cueball is sitting at his computer.]
Cueball: I love getting packages.
[Megan enters and Cueball turns towards her.]
Cueball: I set up a script to search eBay et. al. for $1 items with free shipping.
[Cueball comes home with a backpack on his back and find a package waiting for him on his doorstop.]
Cueball: I gave it $365, so each day it can buy me something random.
[Cueball, again sitting at his computer.]
Megan (off-screen): What if you just end up with lots of crap?
Cueball: I'll give it away.
Cueball: But I'm sure I'll end up with some interesting stuff.
[The next five panels have a caption in a black frame at the top. The caption is written first for each panel. In the first panel Cueball has unpacked a hose. The paper lies in tatters on the floor. Megan stands next to him.]
Day 1: Length of rubber hose
Cueball: Could be handy around the house.
[Cueball stands with a black item and the packaging material it came in. Megan looks on.]
Day 2: Ski mask
Cueball: It's spring, but hey.
[Cueball is standing alone with a bear trap and the box it came in on the floor.]
Day 3: Bear trap
Cueball: Huh.
[Megan is back as Cueball looks at a piece of paper that came in an envelope.]
Day 4: Tourist map of the Pentagon.
Megan: Uh oh.
[Cueball is standing alone with a bottle of lube in one hand and the box it came in in the other hand.]
Day 5: Lube
Cueball: I'm stopping this before I end up on every F.B.I. watch list ever.


Someone has set up an actual service inspired by this comic, which does exactly what this comic describes, and has been featured in the advertisements section to the left.

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The only way I could imagine Cueball being on a wanted watch list is if the items he ordered could be interpreted as potentially being used in a hostage crisis at The Pentagon. --Btx40 (talk) 20:27, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

What's the lube for? 16:29, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
It's only for adults.--Dgbrt (talk) 17:24, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Has anyone actually tried this?--Mynotoar (talk) 22:57, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

This guy did. 07:47, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
Here's one you can sign up for. I've been signed up for a while and packages are starting to trickle in, much to my amusement. --Alex (talk) 22:46, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I've added a link to the "Bobcat in a Box" website in a trivia section, because I really thought it should be mentioned in the main article. Just some random derp 18:33, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Who would sell a bobcat for a dollar? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think the shipping costs will eat you alive. 18:49, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Similar sort of experiment with a $100 cap, in bitcoins. Was discontinued within three months after the program purchased ecstasy internationally, a likely stolen credit card, and a presumably fraudulent (but very high quality) Hungarian passport - in addition to some other suspect items of questionable legality. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think it would be an acceptable sacrifice of randomness in purchases to put a few "forbidden" key words in your purchase-bot's programming. -Pennpenn 04:22, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

I am totally signing up for Bobcat in a Box! :D --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 18:40, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

where can I get this script

A: you can have this instead B:don't know but there is a good fanfiction about this: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13249443/1/I-Am-A-Bobcat Overlord of oddities (talk) 23:02, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

Well, he certainly got some... interesting... stuff. Psychoticpotato (talk) 16:49, 23 May 2024 (UTC)