616: Lease

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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You should talk to the girl down the hall; I think you'd like her. Lemme know if you find out why she's ordering all those colored plastic balls.
Title text: You should talk to the girl down the hall; I think you'd like her. Lemme know if you find out why she's ordering all those colored plastic balls.


Cueball is about to sign a lease to rent a building, but he's scared that he's not grown-up enough for the responsibility, presenting as evidence that he still plays with Lego building blocks.

It's common for children to assume, on some level, that adults are all capable, even infallible, and have all the knowledge they need to navigate the adult world. As a result, there's often a subconscious assumption that you'll reach a point where you feel like an adult, with all the attendant knowledge and maturity. The reality is that maturation is a process, knowledge is gained over time (and often through harsh experience), and the immaturities of youth never spontaneously vanish. Most people learn to behave in ways that adult society expects of them well before such behavior comes naturally, and for some people it never does. This is probably the source of Cueball's comment that he "stopped growing up" as a teenager and has been "faking it ever since".

Of course, Cueball actually isn't responsible and capable, since he drifts off to think about the fictional character Batman (who appears in comic books, often considered children's material), in the middle of a serious financial transaction.

The title text references one of xkcd's most famous comics, 150: Grownups, where Megan decides to use the freedom of adulthood to fill her apartment with playpen balls. It is possible that this is a prequel to the events in that comic. After the events in this strip occur Cueball may have moved into the building where Megan lives, gets to know her and one day when he goes to see her, the events in that strip take place. From the title text we see the lender can tell that Cueball would like Megan and from the events of Grownups we see that a romantic relationship of some sort did form.


[A man is holding a sheet of paper.]
Man: Okay, any other concerns before you sign the lease?
Cueball: I'm concerned that we're sitting here like I'm a responsible adult. I'm pretty sure I stopped growing up in my teens and have been faking ever since.
Cueball: For god's sake, you're entrusting me with a building. I still make LEGO buildings sometimes.
Man: Sir, does any of this impact your fulfillment of the lease terms?
Cueball: I don't know what you just said because I was thinking about Batman.

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I'm coming up on a landmark decade, probably somewhere near the half-way mark of my future-projected life expectency, and I can totally relate to that feeling of being a child in an adult world... And did I really just use the word 'totally' in that manner? 22:03, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Trust me; nothing changes. You just get older on the outside. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 08:29, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I totally see myself doing that in the future. 04:00, 8 June 2016 (UTC) Swaphero

"Fake it till you make it" is truly a real thing. For years I felt like I was only acting at being skilled and knowledgeable at my highly technical job (impostor syndrome). It wasn't till someone asked a question about an obscure detail of one particular component, which I easily answered off-the-cuff, that I realized I actually WAS skilled and knowledgeable - and then realized everyone else had been doing "fake it till you make it" too! 00:39, 22 June 2023 (UTC)