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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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(c) You can have a scooter when you pay for it yourself, and (d) if you can't learn to start a new thread rather than responding to an old one, you'll be banned. [thread locked by moderator]
Title text: (c) You can have a scooter when you pay for it yourself, and (d) if you can't learn to start a new thread rather than responding to an old one, you'll be banned. [thread locked by moderator]

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by A LG Chocolate. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

The joke of this comic lies in the dates of the forum posts and the (presumed) relation between the posters.

The initial post was made in 2000 by NIN85 who was, at the time, a teenaged girl (likely 14-15 years old given her username ends in 85, implying she was born in 1985), complaining that her mother did not allow her to get a Vespa. Vespa is a brand of scooters and mopeds produced by the Italian manufacturer Piaggio. Most U.S. states require motorcycle licenses for any vehicle with an engine size over 50 cubic centimeters. Most Vespas are larger than this, although 49 CC models (classified as mopeds) do exist.

The reply was written in 2020 (twenty years later) by JULZ (or Julian), the son of the now-adult NIN85, likely in his teenage years. "Julz" complains about his mother refusing to allow him to get an electric scooter, which doesn't require a license. He is implicitly pointing out the hypocrisy of his mother, as a 15-year-old, thinking that teenagers with scooters are perfectly reasonable, while as a 35-year-old, being against the idea.

The humor derives partially from the fact that this isn't really hypocrisy: we expect teenaged viewpoints to evolve into mature adult viewpoints, and do not hold adults to promises made or beliefs held when they were teenagers. Humor also results from the unexpected situation of the child tracking down his mother's old forum post, and his mother still being active in the same niche forum 20 years later. She quickly responds to his comment, addressing him by his real name, which makes it clear they are related. She points out that they had already talked about it (presumably explaining why he is not allowed to get an electric scooter) and expressing her disbelief that he managed to find her original post on the message board.

In the title text, the parent is apparently a mod on that board now, or at least can quickly twist the ear of an actual mod. (It is unclear whether she ever got her scooter and perhaps became a different kind of Mod.) She threatens banning if the kid does not learn to post a new thread for stuff like this instead of dredging up dead threads from decades ago, a common complaint on message boards. The act of 'reviving long-dead threads' is often described as "necromancy", or "necroing", and some subforums may actually encourage tagging onto existing but idle discussions (to add new/updated information) rather than repeatedly creating new threads (that end up rehashing or linking all old information).

This 'necro' does not seem to be particularly informative, however, except as a curiosity. It's possible the motivation to lock this thread is more about hiding her hypocrisy from other users on the board than for the usual reason of letting dead threads stay dead, but a locked thread is usually still readable. It could easily be found and read by old and new forum-goers alike. Even, if not lost entirely by then, by a son or daughter of Julz in yet another twenty years. And they may even be able to have the discussion unlocked on some pretext, then append their own topical teenage complaints against Julian the parent.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Single panel showing a view of the "MopedPro" forum on a message board, with a caption below the panel.]
Forum Tab: MopedPro Forum (Top Left) | (4 tabs with illegible writing on them. None of them appear to be selected) (Top Right)
NIN85 (posted December 5, 2000 - 13:01):
So mad that my mom won't let me get a Vespa. I'm old enough for a moped license and they're really not that dangerous.
JULZ [new user] (posted September 23, 2020 - 17:05):
At least she's not stopping you from getting an electric scooter you don't even need a license for
NIN85 (posted September 23, 2020 - 18:36):
Okay, Julian, (a) you know we talked about this, and (b) how the heck did you find this thread
[Caption below the comic]:
I love that message boards are now old enough for this to happen.


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