1086: Eyelash Wish Log

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Eyelash Wish Log
Ooh, another one. Uh... the ability to alter any coefficients of friction at will during sporting events.
Title text: Ooh, another one. Uh... the ability to alter any coefficients of friction at will during sporting events.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Add table, and for each wish explain and comment on how they gone wrong
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic is based on the situation that when someone's eyelash falls out, that person can make a wish on it. This comic appears to be a page from the fictitious Wish Bureau in charge of granting said wishes. And of course the Wisher is Black Hat and he has quite a few wishes, most of them based on the previous wish. A common trope in fiction is that wishing for more wishes is prohibited and for many of his wishes Black Hat attempts to circumvent that.

January 9's wish is pointless. If wishing on eyelashes worked, then this would do absolutely nothing (because it already works) and if it didn't then nothing would happen because wishing on eyelashes wouldn't work.

January 12's wish would then function as a test to see whether or not January 9's wish worked - it can be assumed that it did, as Black Hat then continued to make additional wishes.

January 15's wish appears to have failed, due to the typical ban of wishing for additional wishes in conventional folklore.

January 19's wish is an attempt to circumvent the issues with January 15's wish.

February 5's wish likely caused Black Hat to grow unlimited eyelashes, which could be quite inconvenient and painful.

February 6's wish is likely a response to the previous day's misguided wish. It's actually quite a common problem that people making wishes leave them open for misinterpretation.

February 8's wish is an attempt to prevent whatever being is powerful enough to grant wishes from becoming angry with Black Hat while he tries to manipulate the system.

February 12's first wish seems to be a reference to the unlimited breadsticks offered at Olive Garden.

February 12's second wish is for a power that could be interesting to have. It also very much fits with Black Hat's character.

February 23's wish likely refers to a problem with the 12's second wish - if Black Hat wants to remove his own veto, he would be powerless.

February 27's wish relates to a common practice especially in tweets or other short length media where full length specific HTML addresses such as www.somewhere.com/articles/specificdate/the page.html would not be feasible. So a more compressed but nonsensical string of seemingly random characters is used which links to a link of the full text address. This creates some problems for people who are security or privacy conscious and prefer to be informed beforehand where they will be traveling on the Internet. It is analogous to a twisting set of watersides. Some water parks label where they end up and what style of ride it is (the doom tunnel vs the kiddy kicker). Imagine however you're wanting a nice ride ending in shallow water. You could not readily predict the unlabelled ride as it twists out of sight if the label is gibberish. You might end up thinking your attempt to go down the Bay Watch slide might end you up in Pamela's porn pool, which could be well over your head.

March 7's wish is a reference to Nate Silver, who is a former writer for Baseball Prospectus working on predicting baseball players' stats and now writes for Five Thirty Eight in which he predicts the outcome of elections based on polling data.

March 15th's wish refers to the lithograph Relativity by M. C. Escher, or perhaps another of his lithographs, House of Stairs

And April 22's wish is a reference to the cartoon and video game series Pokémon. A Pokéball can be thrown at a Pokémon (or in this case, a pet that the Pokéball thrower finds either annoying or cute) to capture/contain it and/or achieve ownership of it. In most cases, Pokéballs cannot be used on Pokémon owned by other people.

The title text is a reference to how people often want a ball to either go in or out in a sporting event they are not a part of. Normally, spectators of a game are not actually in the game, but always think that they can somehow influence the game superstitiously, such as perhaps yelling out jinx whenever the opposing team makes a shot, even though if you are watching the game from a television, that would have no effect. By wishing for power over friction, a spectator would have control over what transpires during a sporting match. In most sporting events where you have to run (for instance football), a sudden drop of friction would make you fall over, as this would be like suddenly running out over a sheet of ice. Opposite to this would be in ice hockey, as here an increase in friction could make the puck stop before the goal, and also make the players fall over, as it would be like skating in over land.


Eyelash Wish Log
Wish bureau ID#:
Date range:
Wisher Jan-Apr 2012

Date Wish
Jan 09 That wishing on eyelashes worked
Jan 12 A pony
Jan 15 Unlimited wishes
Jan 19 Revocation of rules prohibiting unlimited wishes
Jan 20 A finite but arbitrarily large number of wishes
Jan 28 The power to dictate the rules governing wishes
Feb 05 Unlimited eyelashes
Feb 06 That wish-granting entities be required to interpret wishes in
accordance with the intent of the wisher
Feb 08 That wish-granting entities be incapable of impatience
Feb 12 Unlimited breadsticks
Feb 12 Veto power over others' wishes
Feb 19 Veto power over others' wishes and all congressional legislation
Feb 23 The power to override any veto
Feb 27 The power to see where any shortened URL goes without clicking
Feb 29 The power to control the direction news anchors are looking while they talk
Mar 07 The power to introduce arbitrary error into Nate Silver's predictions
Mar 15 A house of stairs
Mar 23 A universe which is a replica of this one sans rules against meta-wishes
Mar 29 Free transportation to and from that universe
Apr 02 A clear explanation of how wish rules are structured and enforced
Apr 07 The power to banish people into the TV show they're talking about
Apr 08 Zero wishes
Apr 15 Veto power over clocks
Apr 22 A Pokéball that works on strangers' pets


A wish-granting character O. W. Grant from the movie Interstate 60 deliberately misinterpreted self-serving wishes.

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This is one of my favorite xkcd comics ever. I can't stop laughing. -- #TEBOWTIME 17:14, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

i know right?? feb. 27th is by far the best... --Douglasadams472 (talk) 03:12, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that February 6th's wish implies that, as a result of the previous day's wish, he now has an absurdly large number of eyelashes. Opinions? --Bobidou23 (talk) 02:58, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
i thought they were absurdly long eyelashes, like his wings in infinite wings (sry cant make links) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Actually, the guy with unlimited wings is Beret Guy.. (as seen in the "strange powers of beret guy" category on this site).. Black Hat's the "classhole". --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 11:31, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
I thought of Black Hat having a crazy number of eyelashes, but not attached to him, so he can't pull them for a wish. They're just in a pile on the floor or something. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I feel that each wish should be thoroughly explained, or at least briefly mentioned. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

+1, Marking this 'incomplete' Spongebog (talk) 20:09, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

March 15 may reference a painting of M.C. Escher so named "House of Stairs" 08:19, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

"Revocation of rules" and especially "meta-wishes" must be references to "Typeless Wish" scene in Göedel, Escher, Bach. "banish people into the TV show they're talking about" might(?) also reference the plot there where Achiles and Tortoise enter Escher's Convex and Concave painting after discussing it. Surpsingly to me, that episode's only Escher illustrations are Concave and Convex & Reptiles; House of Stairs does not appear anywhere in the book. Cben (talk) 00:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

What did "zero wishes" mean? 18:16, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Often when configuring software (especially regarding limits) 0 is taken to mean infinite, for example in a mail server's config file there may be an entry that looks like "Max number of connections: (enter 0 for unlimited)" 19:24, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
My take on "zero wishes", is that it is a bit of black hattery. He wants to abuse any system he finds, by asking for zero wishes he wants to cause the eyelash wish system to crash in some way. Its not an attempt to gain more wishes, its an attempt to bring the wish system down. 21:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

My take on the title text was that Black Hat wanted to alter friction for his own amusement, rather than to affect the outcome of a sporting event as the current explanation seems to lean towards.--Pudder (talk) 12:32, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. It is very in-characcter for Black Hat to simply want to mess with people, and would be very out of place to care about such trivialities as points. Ima change the mouseover description now. 16:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I took the April 22 wish to mean that Black Hat would have a Pokeball that works in real life, allowing him to steal the pets of random strangers on the street. 23:34, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

"Hey! No stealing another Trainer's Pokémon!". Also, talk of changing friction coefficients reminds me of the GTA "Carmageddon" videos, where the wheel friction on all the cars was set to -1, leading to most of the game being filled with cars flying through the air and exploding. -Pennpenn 23:30, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
I may have used my Masterball trying to catch another trainer's Pokemon. I cracked up after it failed, but now I have no Masterball. :( (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
You know, there was a side series of Pokemon games that let you capture another trainer's Pokemon. It was kind of required if you wanted more than one or two Pokemon on your team. And on that day, Black Hat was mailed a copy of Pokemon Colosseum... -- 23:06, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

The first wish is an example of bootstrapping. I love it. 23:31, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

I think the title text is a reference to the comics where he talks about Pole vaul's record involving that some records where obtain because they were nearest of equators108.162.229.112 11:22, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

It would appear, for March 7th, that this came true... 00:05, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

I got rickrolled. 00:50, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

I personally like these wishes: (1) The power to know all knowable things (to include a full understanding of all available trigger conditions for wishes in the universe), (2) the ability to always win arguments with wish granting entities, including about numbers of wishes they should grant, (3) for a stone so heavy no wish could lift it, (4) to lift that stone.

(3) and (4) together form the Russell Paradox. -- 18:09, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

I interpreted the February 19 entry as being a joke that the US Congressional process of passing legislation is so dysfunctional that it ends up establishing laws that did not conform to the wishes of anyone at all!