2718: New Year's Eve Party

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 02:11, 5 April 2023 by (talk) (Transcript: done)
Jump to: navigation, search
New Year's Eve 2023
[Earlier, at the eye doctor] 'No, for the last time, the numerals on the paper aren't my prescription, it's the shape I want you to make with the laser.'
Title text: [Earlier, at the eye doctor] 'No, for the last time, the numerals on the paper aren't my prescription, it's the shape I want you to make with the laser.'


New Year's glasses are novelty eyeglasses typically worn at New Year's Eve parties, shaped like the digits of the upcoming year. They were popularized in the late 1990s and early 2000s since the middle digits (9 and 0) had holes large enough to look through or mount lenses into.

Ponytail, White Hat, Megan and Cueball are at a party. The first three are wearing novelty glasses in the shape of the numerals "2023", representing the upcoming New Year. Cueball has chosen to obtain cosmetic laser eye surgery instead. Usually, such procedures are intended to adjust a patient's corneas to correct vision problems, as an alternative to glasses and contact lenses. Cueball has apparently had the digits 2023 etched into his eyes as an alternative to wearing novelty glasses. While scleral tattooing is performed for cosmetic reasons, and corneal tattooing for both cosmetic and vision benefits, the efficacy and safety of either process is not universally accepted. The laser procedure has damaged Cueball's vision so much that he mistakes a newcomer to the party resembling Hairy as Rob. Realizing he made a mistake, his second guess is that the new arrival is named Mike.

In the title text, an earlier conversation with his ophthalmologist has established Cueball's problems are due to the laser burning the digits straight onto his eyeballs, without regard to endangering his vision. Most previous depictions of Cueball have not shown him wearing glasses. Laser eye surgery was referenced along with other laser equipment in 1681: Laser Products.


[Ponytail, White Hat, Megan, Cueball, and Hairy are standing around. Ponytail, White Hat, and Megan are wearing glasses in the shape of the number 2023 and holding party-related items. Hairy is on the other side of Cueball from them and is only carrying some item of clothing, probably a recently removed coat. Cueball carries nothing, and his attention is on the new arrival, possibly having to squint at him, as depicted by a set of short radial lines projecting away from where Cueball's eyes would be if they were ever drawn.]
Cueball: Hey Rob! Or, uh...
Cueball: Sorry, is that Mike?
[Caption below the panel]:
I'm regretting my New Year's Eve novelty "2023" laser eye surgery.

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


There may be a "Twenty-Twenty Vision" pun (only that it's 20/23 visual accuity, which isn't as bad as this Cueball now has), but not sure it's good enough to mention... 22:07, 30 December 2022 (UTC)

I would say that's exactly what the title text is playing on, and should be included. 09:45, 3 January 2023 (UTC)

What's Hairy holding? Thexkcdnerd (talk) 03:41, 31 December 2022 (UTC)

His jacket? As per the existing Explanation, I agree that it looks like he's just entered the party, and not yet found out where to leave his outdoor coat. Perhaps was going to ask Cueball where he could safely leave it. 04:00, 31 December 2022 (UTC)

Megan is (AFAICT) carrying a spare pair of 2023 glasses. Presumably for Hairy. Possibility Megan wants everyone to have 2023 glasses but Cueball has (typically) taken it too far. RIIW - Ponder it (talk) 08:54, 31 December 2022 (UTC)

This may be added to the transcription. --ColorfulGalaxy (talk) 21:37, 2 January 2023 (UTC)

To me as a non-native speaker of English, "New Year's Eve 2023" would be on December 31st, 2023 and not 2 days ago.. So I wonder if this is the standard usage in English? 14:50, 2 January 2023 (UTC)

Good question! "2023 New Year's Eve" seems to me (a native speaker American) probably like a few days ago but "New Year's Eve, 2023" is certainly a year later. 15:06, 2 January 2023 (UTC)
I don't think I would associate "<following year>" with NYE at all, if I can help it, only with the subsequent New Year's Day or the concept of anticipating the change. And I'd likely leave "New Year's Eve" un-numbered (by either side of Janos's doorway).
I know I've talked of things like "One year, we went to <place> five times... New Year, Easter break, Summer, Autumn break and Old Year...", though that doesn't even make an effort to assign the annum in particular, if it helps to narrow down my default thinking about this sort of thing. Which is probably not typical (even for my bit of UK - for one thing, we could actually go on holiday five times in a year... albeit it wasn't your modern jet trip half way round the world, just to a different bit of the UK on what would he considered a "budget break" in today's terms). 17:29, 2 January 2023 (UTC)

This is partly the tendency in spoken and (less so) in written English to leave words out and assume the correct meaning by context. is effectively reading "NYE 'in' 2023" whereas I read it as "NYE 'for' 2023". RIIW - Ponder it (talk) 22:26, 4 January 2023 (UTC)

What it clearly should be called, is something syntactically to be read more like "New Year 2023's Eve"... 20:22, 5 January 2023 (UTC)

Novelty glasses may come in other shapes, such as "Google". --