649: Static

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I firmly believe that nothing can go wrong on a project if you're wearing one of those wrist things.
Title text: I firmly believe that nothing can go wrong on a project if you're wearing one of those wrist things.


This comic describes an unlikely confusion between a condom and an antistatic wrist strap. The two characters, presumably Cueball and Megan, are in the dark and about to engage in sexual intercourse. Megan checks that Cueball has a condom on. Cueball thinks a condom isn't necessary because he has an antistatic wrist strap on. Megan finds this ridiculous.

Antistatic wrist straps are important safety tools for electronics work such as handling computer parts. The wrist strap provides a conduction path directly from one's skin to an electrical ground, preventing the buildup of static electricity which, if accidentally discharged upon touching part of a circuit, can damage sensitive electronic components.

Condoms, on the other hand, are an important safety tool for sex, as birth control and protection from STIs.

The confusion is humorous because both items have abstract similarities, but are used in wildly different kinds of activities. In an abstract sense, both are items that you want to be sure to put on before engaging in a certain activity, wearing it throughout that activity to prevent any disastrous accidental effects.

The last panel implies that in his confusion, Cueball put on a condom in order to replace the RAM in his computer the previous week. Rather than actually asking about it, Megan just thought that was weird. Geek Squad is the computer service department of the Best Buy chain of American electronics superstores. So Cueball also implies that he put on a condom while working in Best Buy, for performing computer repair, and so he was fired for indecency.

The title text conveys the irrational belief that nothing can go wrong on a project while wearing an antistatic wrist band. In reality, the wrist band will only protect your electronics from electrostatic discharge, and there are plenty of other things that could go wrong on an electronics project, such as bad soldering, installing the wrong component, mechanical damage through excessive force, or even electric shock from an exposed live voltage. Or the text could be referring to even non-electronics projects, in which case the wrist band would really be pointless.


[It's pitch black. Only Cueball and Megan's dialogue can be seen.]
Megan: Hang on, I can't see—did you put on a condom?
Cueball: It's okay. I've got a wrist thing on.
Megan: A what? Let me see that.
Megan: This is an anti-static strap.
Cueball: You mean it doesn't...
Megan: No. Why would you even THINK that?
Cueball: I guess I was mixed up.
Cueball: Wait, so when I was replacing that RAM last week...
Megan: Yeah, I THOUGHT that was weird.
Cueball: Oh, but it explains why the Geek Squad fired me.

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Is there a double where Cueball presumes the antistatic wristband will prevent against semen discharge like static discharge? 19:41, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

It could, to be pedantic, be any combination of any characters appearing or not appearing in other comics. Fan theory: This is the only comic where the sexual aspects of the intricate-intimate relationship of White Hat and Black Hat are being explored. -- 00:01, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

Don't you need to have an erection to put the condon on properly? I guessnhe was really excited to work for best buy...

I came here and the CSS was all gone - but then I came here here (to the discussion) and the CSS was back on both the discussion & main page. can anyone please explain why? B for brain (talk) (youtube channel wobsite (supposed to be a blag) 11:45, 20 January 2024 (UTC)