1423: Conversation

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 21:17, 4 May 2022 by Jacky720 (talk | contribs) (rv)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Later, at home: 'Dear diary: Still can't figure out what to write here...'
Title text: Later, at home: 'Dear diary: Still can't figure out what to write here...'


Cueball and Megan are on a first date and Cueball is trying to strike up a conversation by asking Megan what she does in her free time. Megan has probably been dreading this question, because she answers that her free time activity consists of trying to figure out how to respond if asked what she does in her free time. Cueball answers soothingly, but Megan's anxiety gets the better of her and she leaves abruptly.

During Megan speaking, Cueball finished all of his drink. He may have been surprised by the reply, and Megan sensing this contributes to her leaving.

The title text implies that she also spends her free time wondering what to write in her diary (with no success).

Both the comic and the title text are examples of self-referential humor. Megan recognises that she spends her free time thinking what to say about her free time, so she must spend some of that free time thinking about her thinking about her free time. Such self-referential loops are often disturbing, since they contain within them potential for infinite regression. On the other hand, there is a simple way to exit the loop before any recursion: Megan has already decided what to say when asked what she does in her free time, and she has figured out what to write in her diary. But on realising this, Megan would have to find something else to occupy her free time, such as going on a date.


[Cueball and Megan are sitting at a table with drinks.]
Cueball: So, what do you do in your free time?
[Close up on Megan's face.]
Megan: Mostly I sit around worrying someone will ask me that, and try to think of a good answer.
[Back to original shot.]
Cueball: That's not a bad answer.
Megan: It's all I've got. Now that it's done, I should go. Bye!
[She gets up and leaves.]

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


I have tried to think of what I could put in here, but I can't think of anything. Awkward. (talk) 09:24, 19 September 2014‎ (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Oh god, she's me. Someone please help her! 09:28, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

By coincidence, on a Facebook Asperger syndrome group that I'm a member of, there was this bit of dialog, purportedly from a party someone had attended: A: So, what do you work at? B: I have an invalid pension. A. Ah, I see. What's wrong with you? B: I'm not capable of lying. --RenniePet (talk) 11:14, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Surely no one would actually say "What's wrong with you?" in that situation, perhaps someone with Asperger syndrome wouldn't notice, but that's so rude. 11:28, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, it was freely translated from Danish, and Danes are fairly blunt, without it necessarily being considered unfriendly. The original text:
Hørt ved et selskab:
- 'Nå, hvad laver du så til hverdag?'
- 'Jeg er førtidspensionist.'
- 'Okay, hvad fejler du?'
- 'Jeg er ærlig.'
--RenniePet (talk) 11:50, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

She took the candle with her...

I guess she felt it would have been too awkward to leave him there alone with the candle burning as a symbol of what could have been... --Mag748 (talk) 11:55, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

It's so no one holds a candle to Cueball. 20:41, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the comic, could what Megan does just be an "exit" out of the date? It seems to make sense that way —Artyer (talk) 16:21, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

He also drank his entire glass of wine during her (relatively short) comment.

This might be a commentary on online dating, where these sorts of questions crop up frequently, and people tend to give self-referential/empty answers to them. --16:22, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Related to above, the hover text includes something about not knowing what to write, which is common in online dating profiles. "I have no idea how to describe myself" is something of a cliche. --18:11, 19 September 2014 (UTC)