666: Silent Hammer

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Silent Hammer
'I bet he'll keep quiet for a couple weeks and then-- wait, did you nail a piece of scrap wood to my antique table a moment ago?'
Title text: 'I bet he'll keep quiet for a couple weeks and then-- wait, did you nail a piece of scrap wood to my antique table a moment ago?'


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A skeptic is someone who doesn't believe in, or at least strongly doubts the possibility of, supernatural occurrences such as poltergeists or aliens. Black Hat has created a set of tools that work in complete silence so that he can go to his house late at night, do some rearranging of walls and moving of windows, just to screw with him in typical Black Hat fashion.

The number of this comic (666) just happens to be The Number Of The Beast, or the "devil" number (the devil being a supernatural entity, which skeptics believe to not exist).


[Black Hat is hammering something on a table. Notably, the hammer makes a soft "whoosh" noise, rather than the typical loud "bang."]
Cueball: What-
Black Hat: Silent hammer. I've made a set of silent tools.
Cueball: Why?
Hammer: woosh woosh woosh
Black Hat: Stealth carpentry. Breaking into a house at night and moving windows, adjusting walls, etc.
[He takes his silent hammer over to a tool bench with other things on it. Two boxes underneath are labeled "Drills" and "Non-Drills."]
After a week or so of questioning his own sanity, the owner will stay up to watch the house at night. I'll make scratching noises in the walls, pipe in knockout gas, move him up to his bed, and never bother him again.
[The events he's describing are shown in two mini-panels below.]
Cueball, off-panel: Nice prank, I guess, but what's the point?
Black Hat: Check out the owner's card, on the table.
Cueball, off-panel: Chair of the American Skeptics Society? Oh, god.
Black Hat: Yeah, this doesn't end well for him.

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I took the comic to be less about a haunting and more about a "Did that really happen to me?" Especially when considering that Black Hat never bothers him again. 08:16, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Quite so. People who manage to pass the course for most sciences tend to become sceptical. I think that this is to allow them to worship the beast more readily than the uneducated would. -- Weatherlawyer (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The comic number is 666… Is this intentional, given the creepy premise of the comic?

I would think so; after all, Hat guy is metaphorically the devil of this comic. --Fallencrow305 (talk) 21:56, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

I disagree with the Title Text explanation. My guess is that Black Hat was still talking, but Cueball was just being Cueball by absentmindedly trying out the silent hammer with the first piece of wood he found. Cody Hackins (talk) 03:54, 12 October 2016 (UTC)