When asked by Megan what he's been up to, Cueball responds with the suspiciously specific denial, "Definitely not spending every day consumed with worry over stupid things I never talk to anyone about.", which suggests that that is exactly what he's been spending every day doing, but he is hiding it from her and everyone else. Megan's response "Oh, yeah, me neither" suggests she too is worrying over stupid things but isn't admitting it.
Instead of discussing their mutual worry and possibly making each other feel better, they instead continue to "not talk to anyone about it" and stand in awkward silence.
The title text continues the irony suggesting it's good that they're too smart to spend all day being uselessly frustrated with themselves, but that's apparently exactly what they are doing.
This could also be a reference to the common response to the question Megan asks in the first panel, "nothing", a response that is almost certainly false, and usually means the same thing that Cueball said, but is usually accepted, if not expected.
- [Megan and Cueball are chatting. She has hair.]
- Megan: What've you been up to?
- Cueball: Definitely not spending every day consumed with worry over stupid things I never talk to anyone about.
- Megan: Oh, yeah, me neither.
- Cueball: That's good.
- Megan: Yeah.
- [The final panel is silent.]
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Total waste. There are 168 hours in a week, and some people get things done in only four. 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- To be fair, most people are forced to spend 40 hours a week by not getting things done just so they earn some money for food. Also, you don't exactly get things done while you sleep, but you will not get anything done if you don't sleep enough either. -- Hkmaly (talk) 08:34, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
- <Stops self from ranting about work-pessimism> OK, maybe I didn't, but I will now. And as regards sleep: http://xkcd.com/320/ 126.96.36.199 22:01, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Let's not overlook the main title "Pastime"; after slugging it out all day at work, they come home and spend their time needlessly worrying when they could read, be creative, or do something meaningful. Galois (talk) 17:54, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
- While the main title "Pastime" is mentioned here, it's not discussed anywhere within the article. I believe we miss his point entirely if we don't address the title of the comic within the explanation. Since its formal definition specifically includes the concept of an activity for one's enjoyment, and the title text ends with "a hell of a waste", I suspect Randall is encouraging readers to spend time doing things that they enjoy! We waste time by spending all day worrying about things we can't control, and we aren't enjoying ourselves. In other words, find a pastime and spend time on it! --Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 22:02, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I thought the joke here was that this is something that everyone does. 188.8.131.52 00:42, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Whoever linked to tvtropes is a monster. I burned three onions and my house while reading.
- You're not alone, anonymous poster. NealCruco (talk) 14:13, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
THANK (your religious figure(s) if you have one) that someone put that TV Tropes warning! I wanted to be efficient today. ChessCake (talk) 19:05, 7 December 2018 (UTC)