1530: Keyboard Mash
Title text: WHY DON'T YOU COME HANG OUT INSIDE MY HOUSE. WE CAN COOK BREAD AND CHAT ABOUT OUR INTERNAL SKELETONS.
Cueball is chatting with White Hat, who says he is frustrated because a barking dog is preventing him from sleeping and White Hat mashes the keyboard to show his frustration. Keyboard mashing is often used in this way where the user makes their hands spasm across the keyboard, creating a line of text that can be compared to an angry groan in real life. Cueball is about to give some advice, but is confused by a quirk in what White Hat typed. All the characters he typed (except one) were on the home row of the QWERTY keyboard, the row starting with the letters A, S, D, and F, in the middle of the keyboard. The letters A, S, D, F, J, K, and L (all from the home row) are scattered throughout the text, but there is a 7 (which comes from the numbers row, on top of the keyboard) in the middle of this text. Cueball, wonders how White Hat put a seven in there, because if White Hat was keyboard mashing and touched the 7 key, he likely would have hit any of the QWERTY row keys because of keyboard mashing hand spasms, but he didn't. All the other characters were on the home row. White Hat berates Cueball for always focusing on strange, tiny details. When the final panel shows what's going on where White Hat is, we see that a giant spider has imprisoned him in a web and is talking to Cueball, which explains how the keyboard mashing "White Hat" did was strange.
The reason the dog was barking appears to be because the giant spider was lurking nearby. Little did White Hat know that the dog was alerting him of the spider. When the spider notices that White Hat mentions the barking dog to Cueball, the spider apparently restrains White Hat and takes over typing. Another possibility is that the "dog" barking is actually White Hat, as he is seen making grunts from beneath the spider's silk. It can be seen in the last panel that the spider is typing with 3 legs, which explains how the 7 key would have been pressed.
The statement "I am a normal human typing with my human hands" is an oddly specific assertion from the giant spider that it is actually a human, a claim that would normally be taken for granted and had not really been cast into doubt by Cueball's inquiries about how "7" got into a string of home-row keystrokes.
The title text invitation ends with a similar statement, suggesting that they "...CHAT ABOUT OUR INTERNAL SKELETONS", which spiders (unlike humans) do not possess. This implies that the spider also wants to trap and possibly eat Cueball as well, or actually hang out with him in an attempt to make friends. "...HANG OUT INSIDE MY HOUSE" may also have a double meaning, as White Hat is actually "hanging" from the ceiling inside his house. Also another oddity is that the spider asks Cueball to cook bread, although bread is actually baked, and in any case this isn't a common pastime during the night. The final oddity is that the title text is written in all caps which is usually interpreted as shouting and would not be used in a casual invitation.
The central theme of the comic is a vindication of Cueball's world-view, wherein tiny oddities such as the appearance of a numeral in a keyboard mash merit investigation. In the real world, the appearance of a "7" in the middle of a home row keyboard mash is more likely attributable to key ghosting.
In the title text of 1541: Voice there is again a reference to a sentence that could be uttered correctly by a human, but would never be used in real life. But a non-human entity that tries to blend in as a human, may inadvertently use such a "wrong" sentence to try to ensure other people think they are indeed humans. It is a direct reference to the type of sentence used in the title text here.
- [Cueball approaches his desktop computer, which has emitted a message seemingly from White Hat as it displays a picture of him.]
- New chat message
- [Below the chat log is shown with White Hat's comments on the left in gray frames and Cueball's comments to the right in white frames. The first post in a row from each person is labeled with their picture at the end of a small arrow in the frame]:
- White Hat: Can't sleep. Stupid dog keeps barking.
- White Hat: So frustrating. FJAFJKLDSKF7JKFDJ
- Cueball: Ugh, I'm sorry. Maybe you could...
- Cueball: ... Okay, wait. I have to ask.
- Cueball: How did you hit a "7" in the middle there?
- White Hat: Huh?
- White Hat: I was just randomly keyboard mashing.
- Cueball: Sorry, Right.
- White Hat: Anyway,
- Cueball: I know this is silly, but like... All your hands were clearly right on the home row.
- Cueball: I don't get how one finger could have stretched up to the "7".
- White Hat: Why do you always fixate on these bizarre details?
- Cueball: I don't know.
- Cueball: Sorry.
- White Hat: It's weird, is all.
- [Chat transcript continues above White Hat's laptop, as it started in the first panel over Cueball's computer. But now we see a human-sized spider suspended from the ceiling by web is using three of its legs to type on the laptop. Behind the spider, White Hat is suspended from the ceiling upside down, almost totally encased in spider web. He tries to speak. Between them, a chair has been knocked over onto its back.]
- Spider (as White Hat in the chat): I am a normal human typing with my human hands.
- Cueball (chat): Yeah, of course. I know.
- White Hat (speaking): Mmm!! Mmph!!!
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