229: Graffiti

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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The humor in this comic comes from the irony of a deep philosophical musing on the nature of individuals sharing a private space in a public place, unknown to one another and separated by time. The graffiti text is juxtaposed with more common bathroom stall scrawlings - insults, slurs, and "[Name] was here."

This comic makes use of the existential idea of "finding meaning where you look for it," a recurring theme in xkcd. The caption implies that a bathroom stall isn't a place where Randall would like to find meaning in life, so he shouldn't look for it there.

The title text parodies one of the archetypical pieces of graffiti: "For a good time, call [phone number]," which indicates that the person reachable at that number is available for prostitution, casual sex, and/or phone sex. However, 'good' has been replaced with 'intriguing,' implying that instead of sex, the writer is offering witty and insightful conversation.

There may be a reference to this comic in 1810: Chat Systems with the chat system called Wall (bathroom).


[Cueball sits on a toilet in a bathroom. The stall sidewall next to him is covered in graffiti: "you suck," "Mike sucks cock," "CUNT," "fuck," "BITCHAS," "dane was here" struck through and "dane is a fag" written under it, a crude pictogram of a penis, and various other unreadable scribbles.]
[One block of graffiti is salient:]
This graffiti is
fleeting human contact
both of us lost,
but for a moment
we're lost together.
I wonder who you are.
[Caption below the panel]:
I think I look for meaning in the wrong places sometimes.

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For some reason this reminds me of tor. 02:27, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Indeed Kripmo (talk) 01:58, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

If we are lost, then we are lost together. - Blue Rodeo, 1992

Windows NT[edit]

The graffiti which the description deciphers as "CUNT" could actually be WNT. An abbreviation for Windows NT. Although "CUNT" is far more likely in an actual toilet cubicle, we must remember the nature of the artist. 16:54, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Pretty sure there is a slight gap between the 'c' and the 'u' (or at least a much fainter line). Beanie (talk) 10:41, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
i think the BITCHAS text was supposed to be BITCHASS, an actual word i have heard before, with the last S covered up by Cueball. i dont think a weird way of spelling the plural of something where only one person is going to be in the bathroom to see it at a time makes sense. also the BITCH and AS are colored differently? maybe say that in the transcript.
Bumpf, 3/23/21 23:41, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

I saw this graffiti at Smith Nelson Library

whoever suggested the windows reference now i'm also in that dilemma :/ An user who has no account yet (talk) 23:03, 7 September 2023 (UTC)