615: Avoidance

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Avoidance
Hobby: seeing how many menu selections you can get someone to go through before they realize you're not an automated system and/or hang up.
Title text: Hobby: seeing how many menu selections you can get someone to go through before they realize you're not an automated system and/or hang up.

Explanation[edit]

Megan gave her number to Cueball at a party, but now doesn't want to talk to him. Because Megan works with recording voice messages at Verizon, she can with no effort put on the characteristically semi-lifeless tone of professional automated answers, and answer the phone with the "call cannot be completed"-message. Perhaps it was even she who recorded it in the first place. In this way she avoids Cueball, hence the title.

Cueball actually got through to her the first time he used her number, and since she did not know his number at the time, she took that call. After that she used her Verizon voice every time he calls. Cueball's Cueball-like friend, is suspicious, and it is him who ask if Cueball knows what Megan works with. He gets his suspicion confirmed, but seems to enjoy that Cueball hasn't understood the implications and doesn't let him in on the secret.

The title text mentions a possible hobby that Randall could think of. The hobby can be interpreted as a Reverse Turing test with someone imitating an Interactive voice response system to see how long they can keep this going before the caller either gives up and hangs up, or realizes someone is making a joke on them and calls them out. This is related to Randall's Hobby series, but this time it is not specifically Randall's own hobby.

Transcript[edit]

[Cueball is sitting in a chair holding a phone to his ear while his Cueball-like friend talks to him.]
Friend: Did you call that hot girl from the party yet?
Cueball: I've been trying.
[In a frame-less panel Cueball looks at his phone and talks to his friend.]
Cueball: It's weird. I swear I got her the first time. But now it says the number's wrong.
[Zoom in on the friend, Cueball talking to him off-panel.]
Friend: What did you say she did, again?
Cueball (off-panel): Voice work. At Verizon, I think.
Cueball (off-panel): Why?
Friend: No reason.
[Megan is talking into a phone, in an italic voice. Cueball's remark is shown emanating from the phone with a zig-zag line, also the click from haning up the phone is shown like that.]
Megan: We're sorry, your call could not be completed as dialed.
Cueball (over the phone): Damn.
*Click*
Megan: Please check the number and try again.


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