Talk:794: Inside Joke
I believe the reference to the ladder is the origin of the 'Monk Jump over the Wall Soup', where a monk (who is not allowed to eat meat) broke his meditation to escape from the monastery as he smelt the delicious food cooking on the other side.
In this case, the ham seller comments that his products are so delicious that 'even the monk nearby is climbing over the wall to get some ham', after being remarked that his product was too expensive.
220.127.116.11 11:48, 29 May 2013 (UTC)Justin
Assuming Randall Munroe had a specific reference in mind, it could just as well be a reference to Saint John Climacus, known as "John of the ladder". AD 525-606. His book "the ladder" was widely circulated and concerns steps to an ascetic life. The roman catholic church celebrate him during the fasting season, when one is not to eat meat.
The joke here is then that "monk out back with a ladder" can mean both "so climb in the rear window and steal some" and "The monk's here with a copy of the book "the ladder", go convert to free ascetism if money and meat is too much for you" 18.104.22.168 12:11, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
- Wouldn't the shopkeeper say "The Ladder", not "a ladder" then? -Pennpenn 22.214.171.124 22:45, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
It is absolutely ludicrous to try to find the meaning or reference in this comic. Randall attempted to come up with something which was incomprehensible. That's the whole point. If he'd thought for a moment there was an actual known origin or explanation for this ham joke, he would immediately have changed it to something else. I mean, come on. XKCD itself is a random, meaningless string [citation needed -☃]. Will edit. AmbroseChapel (talk) 23:52, 17 September 2017 (UTC)