1795: All You Can Eat
|All You Can Eat|
Title text: After my absent-mindedness resulted in a bad posterboard-related stomachache, I learned to do the sign-making place last.
An all-you-can-eat buffet is when a restaurant will charge you once for entry and then continuously serve you more food at no additional cost until you have eaten all-you-can-eat. Part of the "My Hobby" series, this comic shows Randall wishes to prepend "all-you-can-eat" to random stores.
With the exception of the pet store, which sells pet food, these stores do not sell food, so the very idea of eating their product would be ridiculous for most humans. However, this is what Randall's stunt makes the stores he defaces seem to advertise. Most people would not seriously consider eating the products these stores sell even with the signs suggesting they should, as they sell tires, hair cuts, lumber and flooring and pets.
The "all-you-can-eat" signs obscured the top line for three of the four shops signs. It is not really possible to read the obscured part of the first two signs, although it is likely that the first and last letters in the first sign are A and K. And also since the A is taller than the white sign, this first letter must be larger than the others which do not show above the white sign. There could be room for anything from 8 to many more letters hidden as it can be seen in the second line below that the I's take up much less space than the other letters. But from the letters below it seems likely there were 9 (maybe including a space) if no I's were used resulting in a word or two like "A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ K". All letters in the comic seem to be capital, but Randall sometimes uses small caps, where the first capital letter is larger than the others. This would fit with this sign.
The third sign is fully visible, and it makes sense as it is not a name in the top line but part of the description of what the store provides.
The last sign is clearly readable even though the white sign covers the name at the top, and it says "Kevin's Pet Store". There actually exists a web page with the name "Kevin's Pet Shop", supposedly located in Texas, but there is very limited information on the page. See more about the use of Kevin in xkcd in the trivia below.
In the title text, Randall seems to have fallen for his own prank. After he puts the "all-you-can-eat" sign onto the signmakers' place, he proceeds to heed his own sign literally and eat the poster boards that he is supposed to make signs from. To remind himself not to make the same mistake again, he tells himself to "do the sign-making place last."
It should also be noted that sometimes "all-you-can-eat" is used to mean "unlimited usage". An all-you-can-eat data plan, for example, is another way to say unlimited data. If this definition of the word were used, all-you-can-eat would mean "unlimited copies of our product for a one time fee". A kapsalon can, arguably, also be called an all-you-can-eat hair salon.
Note that some animals regarded as pets are instead considered food in other cultures; rabbits are commonly kept as pets as well as served as food, dogs are consumed in some areas in eastern Asia, guinea pigs in South America and Africa, and some fictional characters are known for eating cat. Even more normally, a cat owner that wants to buy an "all-you-can-eat" bird feast for their cat would be happy with this last store.
Aside from pets, pet stores also sell pet food, and while frowned upon by some, it is common practice to give human nutrition supplements to pets and vice versa. Some animal snacks are considered very tasty by many people, and there even exist several brands of snacks designed to be eaten both by people and their pets so that the owners could feel somehow closer to their beloved companion. Premium pet foods are made to standards that are no worse than standards for human food, so eating them poses no health risks in the short term - long term, most pet diets would fail to deliver the right balance of nutrients needed by humans.
And it would also be very weird for a pet store to have a buffet in general, even if the food is edible.
- [The comic shows the facades of four stores next to each other on a street, with the sidewalk shown in front of them. To the top of each store's name there has been appended white signs. Three of the white signs partially cover the name part of the sign above three of the stores, but the fourth sign is placed entirely above the text of the third store. Thus that white sign's top is higher up than the building's.]
- [First store from the left. The top line of two on the store's sign is obscured by the white sign:]
- White sign: All-you-can-eat
- Store sign: Discount Tires
- [Second store from the left. The top line of two on the store's sign is obscured by the white sign:]
- White sign: All-you-can-eat
- Store sign: Hair Salon
- [Third store from the left. The white sign on this store is slightly tilted, and most of it is above the top of the store completely above the store sign:]
- White sign: All-you-can-eat
- Store sign: Lumber and
- Store sign: Flooring Depot
- [Fourth store from the left. The top line of two on the store's sign is obscured by the white sign. However, the name can still be deduced, and the top line says "Kevin's".]
- White sign: All-you-can-eat
- Store sign: Pet Store
- [Caption below the frame:]
- My hobby: Going out at night and adding "all-you-can-eat" to every store's sign
- Click to expand for a more detailed image description without any more text:
- [First store from the left has one small rectangular section next to the door and then a larger window. The first section may be a poster with information about the store. It could also be a small window. Through the large window (or on it) two rectangular signs can be seen with unreadable text. There are also three half circles at the bottom of the large window, possibly chairs or tires on display. On the normal sized door there hangs an open/closed sign, but no text is visible. On the stores sign the top line of text, likely with the name of the store, is obscured by the white sign so most of the letters are completely covered. Less than half of the first capital letter and ditto for the last letter is visible. It looks like the first letter is an "A", and the last a "k".]
- [Second store from the left has two posters over each other, the top one with unreadable text, the bottom a picture of a person with messy black hair, seen from the torso and up. Next to this is a double door with large windows from below the middle and up near the top. Next to the door there is a small window. On the stores sign the top line of text, likely with the name of the store, is completely obscured by the white sign. This line is shorter than the white sign, but the letters are taller, so top and bottom of the letters can be seen. But it is not easy to guess any letters.]
- [Third store from the left has two posters over each other, but the lower poster is smaller and more to the right. Both has unreadable text, and the top one also some kind of image with two tilted rectangles. Similarly there are three signs above each other with different size and text on the right side of the store. Between them is a large open door. Wider than the double doors of store two, but there is no sign of the doors. Inside the store there are two signs, one hanging down from two rods from the ceiling, both with unreadable text. The one from the ceiling is in the center the other is partly obscured by the door frame to the left. Left and right there are two rectangular structures, which both goes behind the frame. The left is taller. In the middle there is one broad but low rectangular structure with another higher rectangle on top, which does not go to either side of the one below. The white sign on this store is slightly tilted, and most of it is above the top of the store, and thus also almost completely above the store sign. Only the top of the first and last letter in the last word in the top line is touched by the sign.]
- [Fourth store from the left has a window to the left. Behind the window is a flat surface on which two rectangular structures are standing on their long sides. Over the lowest to the left there is sign with unreadable text. Below the window there is a thin sign with more text. The normal sized door has a window from below the middle and up. There are three several signs up the left sign, and possible another three small signs at the bottom of the window. The top right corner has a curved line around the corner. No text is visible on the door. Next to the door is another square. It could be a window of a place to post things. There are one large posters to the left with unreadable text and to the top right another smaller white rectangle. Below along the bottom of the square there are three small rectangles shown in full, and two more is only partly shown, which could indicate that it is a window and that they are inside the store. On the stores sign the top line of text, with the name of the store, is obscured by the white sign. The name is just a bit longer than the white sign, and as the letters are a bit higher than in store two it can be deduced that it says "Kevin's".]
- The name Kevin has been used twice before this comic and quite recently.
- That makes this comic the third with a Kevin in only 77 comics:
- In the previous 1718 comics there seems to have been no use of Kevin except when referring to real persons like:
- So maybe Kevin is Randall's new go to name when he just needs one!
- This has also been discussed in the Geese comic, see the last entry in the table.
- After this comic it took half a year and 78 comics before the next Kevin appeared but still a short span compared to before the three others:
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