Difference between revisions of "1359: Phone Alarm"

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
(Transcript: prettier replacements for two-sided arrows)
(Transcript: minor semantic fix)
Line 32: Line 32:
<th>hang up
<th>hang up
<td colspan=2>
<td style='font-size: large; cursor: help;' title='loop'>↺
<td style='font-size: large; cursor: help;' title='loop'>↺
<td style='font-size: large;'>↖  
<td style='font-size: large;'>↖  

Revision as of 20:08, 24 April 2014

Phone Alarm
Title text: Who's calling me?? WHY IS THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD CALLING ME!?


The flowchart shows a problem Randall has with using alarms built into phones. Notably, that the sound is similar to a normal ring tone (probably related to 479: Tones), making it sound like someone is calling him, and not waking him up. This translates to him answering the phone in the dream, talking, and eventually hanging up. Of course this doesn't stop the phone from ringing, and he ends up answering the phone again. The looping arrow around the "beep beep" box could refer to this — the phone continues ringing while he pretends to answer it — or that the phone keeps ringing until he pretends to answer it.

The title text, consisting of Randall shouting at the phone in his dream, enforces the fact that he can't tell between his ringtone or his alarm. In doing so believes that a prank caller is harassing him which infuriates him.


A flowchart:

My problem with phone alarms
goes off
beep beep
beep beep!
"???" answer phone
in dream
talk hang up

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


See also 479: Tones. B jonas (talk) 06:06, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I was just about to go hunt that one down for the explanation. Thanks B Jonas! Mrmakeit (talk) 06:13, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I think it's safe to say that alarms give you some really weird dreams when you're too tired for them to actually wake you up. 06:24, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

How do I keep screwing up his name. I guess that's what I get for writing an explanation at 2 in the morning. I'll get it right next time. Mrmakeit (talk) 07:03, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I think I understand the title text -- the "worst person in the world" is a reference to the fact that when he picks up the phone to talk to whoever's "calling", all he gets is beeping in his ear, which makes for an awful "conversation".

I red it as the caller being the wpitw because they called while Randall was trying to sleep. tbc (talk)

However, I don't understand the "???" box or the reason why one of the arrows keeps looping in on itself, unless it's to show an eventuality where Randall doesn't wake up or ignores the phone?

Sometimes I think Randall likes to mess with us with obscure, trippy comics just so he can see us scramble to explain them using logical thought progressions. Enchantedsleeper (talk) 10:32, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I feel confident the "???" is referring to the initial confusion of any dream world (the first time around), followed by continued confusion of things "not working like they're supposed to" (which often happens in a dream world), especially when you hang up the phone and it keeps ringing but nobody's on the other side - Brettpeirce (talk) 12:20, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I can't remember the comic number, but I feel like the title text might be a reference to the comic where he talks about pretending to be an expert in someone else's field and sees how long it takes them to notice. Talking to sociologists (I think) he says his latest work is in ranking people from best to worst. Athang (talk) 21:57, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The comic you are thinking of is #451 http://www.xkcd.com/451/ Taibhse (talk) 22:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi, I always though that the comic transcriptions were for the visually impaired, so the arrows on the left of this comic's transcript feels a bit off to me. Can we possibly replace them with textual explanations? Kind regards. 12:37, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

I am the original transcriber of this comic. My first attempt has, for reasons I don't understand, been reverted (strictly speaking, undented (flattened), thus making it ambiguous, which my version wasn't).
I didn't and won't re-revert it, but I have come up with another layout, tabular this time (and unambiguous again, with one cell per field-arrow node, and with fields distinguished from arrows via HTML table headers vs. cells). Feel free to revert this one, too. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The transcript is also, but not only, for visually impaired people. The arrows are standard HTML-code which applications for impaired people should understand. The table was bad so I did revert it back to an enhanced version from So IP, please avoid multiple indents and try this to show by text.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:40, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

My interpretation of the WPITW comment is not that it's thought to be a prank call, but that the poor soul who answers the phone while dreaming may dream that they are receiving a phone call from, say, the Giraffe King, Future Morgan Freeman, the Worst Person in the World, etc. Alanbbent (talk) 23:55, 24 April 2014 (UTC)