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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Shouldn't there be a disused lavoratory in the vicinity of that one sign?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: ...first?
John Vertical (tropylium) says: Shouldn't the natural basement ecosystem deal with the silverfish soon enuff?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

So It Begins:  Didn't you know?  "Paul is dead."

(OK, to explain the joke, there was a rumor in the late 1960's that Paul McCartney had died.  Supposedly, you could hear John Lennon saying "Paul is dead" in the background of one Beatles song ... he was the only one barefoot on the "Abbey Road" album cover ... lots of other secret signs the conspiracy theorists collected.)

So if the current Paul is a clone ... what's Yoko?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

PS:  I was going to say, "What, no 'Beware of the leopard' sign?" ... and then I spotted it on the wall in panel 2.  Bravo for the classics!

PPS:  Is that supposed to be a compact fluorescent bulb in panel 1?  Or an armadillo/slug hybrid climbing the wall?

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

Ed: Why does it have to be one or the other?  It can be both!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Ed & JCW:  Sory to be boring, but I took it for wall damage.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: IT CAN BE ALL THREE!!!  I DON'T KNOW HOW, BUT IT CAN!!!
Daniel Barkalow (iabervon) says: I'm afraid the boarded-up doorway with the "bad touch" sign is a former disused lavatory, now extra-disused with very good reason.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says:

The song in question is Strawberry Fields Forever.  After it seems to end, a weird, flute-led piece of music fades in, gets really loud, and fades back out.  As it's ending for real, you can hear someone say something.  Supposedly- and it does kind of sound like it- the phrase in question is "I buried Paul."

For extra nerd points, I'll add that this was spoofed in the end credits of the Simpsons episode where Homer discovers his mother's hippy past- he says (among other things) "I buried Flanders" over Yo La Tengo's cover of the end credits theme.  Also, the whole "Paul is dead" things gets a pretty hilarious send up in Eric Idle's overall hilarious send-up of the Beatles' history and mythos The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash.

Sean O'Kelly (malakai47) says: Why is the door barricaded from the outside when swings into  the room?  Another question is how did the silverfish barricaded the door from the outside in the first place?
Bauke Schildt (tephlon) says: Wait... Did the silverfish incorporate an AnthroPC in their fort?
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: Sean, I believe that's just some unrelated stuff stacked up against the door, placed there by other parties.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: It's standard government practice to abandon stuff in front of doors. If anyone is using the room, the stuff gets moved by the occupants. If no one is using the room, the stuff accumulates. If the door is blocked for a year, and you move the stuff, the contents of the room are yours to keep.
Eric (erichamion) says: Doesn't building Renaissance castles suggest a certain sapience?  Shouldn't Skin Horse be charitable toward sapient nonhuman silverfish, rather than plot their genocide?
Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says: eric said what i was thinking, if they are building, that could make them clients instead of squishable.  No matter how annoying they are. *L*
Eric Burns (ericburns) says: Eric -- I should think their actual use of English would indicate at least as much sapience. And yes, "Ho" is archaic but it still counts.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Well, yes, Tip appears to be considering that point.  And despite the officemates' initial reactions, he narrates his Grim Purpose as "we want to know about it", rather than Search & Destroy.

And his punchline in the fourth panel is great!  He may be new to fieldwork, but he's certainly got the right attitude...  Hey, is that a radiation trefoil on the crate behind Silverfish Castle?

Sor Cyress (sorcyress) says: @erichamlon Yes, but they *stole* all his *lipliner*! You just don't mess with a boys makeup like that!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Now I'm tempted to build a tiny Silverfish Castle to go with my Skin Horse miniatures (Tip is almost done, still need color references on Sweetheart).
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: We're Knights of the Silver Fishes!
We dance and break the dishes!
The shrink's annoyed,
We must avoid
And hope that he won't squish us!
Here in our Mini-Camelot
We eat radioactive ham a lot!
Ryan Boes (thatguy) says:

I just hope the silverfish don't show their sapience the way humans do...


...warring against other sapients 

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: No, let's not go there. It is a silly place.
Randy Goldberg (drgaellon) says: There's a WHOLE lot more to the "Paul is Dead" thing than just "Strawberry Fields." See this website:
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

*Clops coconuts together* 

But is the african swallow sapient?

By the way, Sweethearts boots and tights FTW. 



Derek Burrow (bard) says:

...are the radioactive silverfish FRENCH?  The one in the second panel has a vague Musketeer-esque look to it.  That would, I suppose, explain a lot.

I love that they're using trebuchets.  Just like engineering students (...ok, that might just be at my university).

Rachel S. (masamage) says: It's adorable! The saving grace is that they're stick-silverfish instead of real ones.
N La Teer (zapatos) says:

Wow, even stick-silverfish make me shudder.  However, I will admit that that is a very cute hat.

 Still...silverfish. Ugh.

Sean O'Kelly (malakai47) says: No, no, it's not just your university.  I've built 3 throughout my life.  Once in the boyscouts when i was twelve, once when my friends and I had to much to drink (that one didn't work to well) and once in college, with the engineering students.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: It's just that "trebuchet" is such a great word, is all.
Kathy Moon (flipkat) says: I think they look more like the things that infest my apartment (sticks bristling with legs) than actual silverfish (trilobytes without the charm).
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: As before, see the forum for more details. ;)
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Today's band name: "Silverfish In Hats".

Bonus band name: "Poisson d'Argent".


Eric (erichamion) says:

..are the radioactive silverfish FRENCH?  The one in the second panel has a vague Musketeer-esque look to it.

Also, the dialog has a certain non-native-English-speaker flair.  Will Tip build a Trojan rabbit? 

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

And just who are their foes?  Maybe firebrats?

Derek Burrow (bard) says:

I think they look more like the things that infest my apartment (sticks bristling with legs) than actual silverfish (trilobytes without the charm).

Great.  Now I can't stop thinking about house centipedes armed with swords.  

Bonus band name: "Poisson d'Argent".

I kinda like "Poisson d'Argent" as a band name.  It sounds like something fancy that would play at classical concerts.  Right up until you translate the name and spin the words the right way.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says:


 Side note: I, in the spirit of *ahem* peace and goodwill, send a package to Aaron Shades//prof_tinker. (innocent grin)

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: "I fire tiny, non-descript objects in your general direction!"
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

'Your father was a hampster, and your Mother smells of Elderberrys" anyone?

My Votes for nauseating. Silverfish. . . ough. Nyergh. Geh.


. . . . hey! A package for me! How positively lovely.

. . . . . . . . . A robot? What's it d- CURSE YOU SO IT BEGINS! CURSE YOU TO THE DEPTHS OF HECK! 

Eric Burns (ericburns) says: Apropos of nothing, those are fantastic boots.
Derek Burrow (bard) says:

...or they could be Italian. 

I love that they're brandishing swords and trebuchets at Tip, but at the end of the day just get down to biting each other.

"Fortezza di Silverfishi" would be a similarly fun band name.
Rachel (admiralshazbot) says:

I love that they're brandishing swords and trebuchets at Tip, but at the end of the day just get down to biting each other.

I thought that remark was directed at Tip, actually. 

Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: Love the paperclip!
Mats Tusenfot (tusenfot) says: I can't believe that trebuchet was their only weapon... Why didn't they think of staple guns, using office supplies and all?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says:

This is getting good.


Side note: Re prof_tinker's dire predicament: AHAHAHAHAHA! MWAHYAHYAHYA! AH-- what the?

(short pause)

How did this box get under here, anyway, and why has it made my swivel chair start dancing?!

Ah, no matter. I'll just remove it--

*** KA-BOOOM!!! ***

You are so going down.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Shouldn't that be "Fortezza Pesci d'Argento"?  Ten seconds at Babelfish ... then again, the joke is kind of obscure that way ... then again again, how much Italian could silverfish learn in the few hours they've been sapient?

Today's band name:  "Then Again Again"

P.S. Are the silverfish refugees from xkcd?

Joe Hoffman (joe6pack) says: "Fortezza di Pesciolini d'argento", I think.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: Allo! My name is Inigo Silverfishia. You squish my father. Prepare to die!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: Tiff:  good one!  (Except that Inigo was Spanish, not Italian.  Still, good line.)
D Rock (d-rock42) says: Close, but according to Italian Wikipedia it's pesciolino d'argento. And we all know Italian Wikipedia is always right.
Incog Neato (ghede) says:

I don't think they are italian, spanish, or any nationality. They grew up in a basement fer-cryin-out-loud.

 They are obviously basementish. Basementian?

Brand Willis (brandyllyn) says:

Why didn't they think of staple guns, using office supplies and all?

Just how many offices have a staplegun? I'm sure some of the offices you guys work in do... but how many overall? And flinging staples at people would have probably had about the same effect as the trebuchet.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: At least they either never got into Unity's desk, or they didn't grasp what a gun was. After all, if they can steal a phone, they can steal a Glock.
Eric Williamson (nytefyre) says: But what were they doing with the phone to start with?  Methinks some sort of (silver)phishing scam was afoot!!  ^_^;;
(confusador) says:

I'm with Dave, here.  I only think their lack of a staple gun is ludicrous because of the particular office building they are in; a staple gun is thinking small.  Which, of course, is what makes the tebuchet funny.

Well, that and the fact that any budding engineer(ing species) goes through a trebuchet phase.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: The phones were probably used as barracks or even turtle-style siege engines.
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

They should use the Trebuchet as a method to launch their finest sodgers! TO WAR!

. . . . and Tip, we all feel your pain.

Side Note:

Ah, So t Begins, it seems you found my little pet amusing. My mother taught me that it is only good manners to return a gift in kind.

You have three days to deliver the antidote, before this nightmare shall never end!! BWAHAHAhAHAHAA! 

Dov Mittelman (silentspeaker) says: You realize, Captain, that if you do fight Tip to the last silverfish, the Fortezza will have been taken by force. I therefore recommend that you cunningly surrender, thereby depriving him of his glorious victory. Always do what they'll least expect, and here the expectation of fighting makes your charted course clear as some metaphor involving larvae.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: There are no silverfish fortress problems that can't be solved with a pound of Pyrodex, a can of hairspray, and a flick-of-the-Bic. And sometimes government-issued cans of "computer dusting" spray are actually flammable, especially if you turn them upside down so they spray fluid instead of gas.
Rachel S. (masamage) says: SQUEE.
Stephen Crowley (stephencrowley) says: "Perhaps HE can be reasoned with! - it would seem that the silverfish are not fooled by Tip's cross-dressing!
David Palmer (viadd) says:

They haven't specifically seen Tip naked, but they've seen the ovipositors on the humans who dress the other way.

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Hmm, a  "peaceful, enlightened society" that builds armed castles, and assumes that anything bigger than them was sent by their still-unnamed enemies.  But hey, they have one member with the gift of words BS, though even he can't keep the Captain in line.  And they wonder if Tip can be reasoned with?

Googling "Giacomo", this fellow looks like a plausible source, even if he's a little late for the Renaissance proper.  Apparently, he might even consider his reincarnation in silverfish form, as typical of the arbitrary and corrupt forces governing his world....  ;-)
Incog Neato (ghede) says: This is my favorite strip yet. The first three panels are gold, the last one is diamond encrusted platinum.
Jack Charos (jackofchaos) says:

Hmm, a  "peaceful, enlightened society" that builds armed castles, and assumes that anything bigger than them was sent by their still-unnamed enemies.  But hey, they have one member with the gift of words BS, though even he can't keep the Captain in line.  And they wonder if Tip can be reasoned with?

 Dude- check out the hat on the silverfish to the left. These are clearly a peaceful and enlightened people. 

Eric (erichamion) says:

...ssumes that anything bigger than them was sent by their still-unnamed enemies.

But Tip was bent on their destruction, even if he may not be any longer.  The pneumo system connects the whole building like a heater duct, so they may conceivably have heard Tip talking about raining down destruction from aerosol cans.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: Awwww ... I love the li'l teensy pince-nez glasses.  Waitaminit ... how can they be pince-nez glasses if he doesn't have a nose?  Maybe they're pince-tete glasses?
Michael Heath (analyst) says:

Ovipositors!  Snerk!

<Although technically, ovi is egg in latin>

So It Begins (soitbegins) says:

I love the comic!

Side note to prof_tinker: 

Antidote? What are you talking about? I decided to take Montezuma's revenge!

(Note: In 3 days, you should be over it. Should. :-J )

Brand Willis (brandyllyn) says:

I wonder breifly where they got those little hats and glasses from.  And so fast.

And I hve it in my head that silvefish only live a few days, that would certainly make negotiations difficult, since you'd need a new translator/ mediator every few days as well.

Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

Ghasp! Tiny teeny Glasses For The Win! 

To Mr-Miss-whatever So It Begins:  

Then I shall take the revenge of the conquering spaniards! Your petunias are my battleground! En guard. 

. . . . and you might want to check your mailbox soon. Fluffy is getting lonely. 

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: And the set is complete! As before, construction details on the forum.
Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says: Every time I see Majordomo, I think he/she/it is wearing big dark shades, not a hat....
Andy Holloway (garran) says: :-D
Rachel (admiralshazbot) says: These little creatures are so endearing. Please don't kill them off in the next few weeks.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says:

If they were French they would be dead by now.

All that ballet. 

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

I think I get it... the mutated silverfish ate a history book!

I notice Giacomo is using his "spring-tail" to hop around.  Apparently stick-silverfish only have two bristles.


Mark Orr (agentoracle) says:

Silverfishi opera?

Captain! Our vessil has detected a great quantity of "win" in this sector!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(Sung to the tune of "The Toreador Song" from Carmen)

Now, sing a song
Of sci-ence going wrong!
Raise voices strong!
(Please, not too long.)
See us ... defy the laws of men and gods!
Sa-pi-ent arthropods!
A chance to live in peace
Is all we wish ...
I-tal-ian sil-ver-fish!

Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says:

Well if they have a really good tenor you can't kill them. It's a rule.


Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:
@ Ed Gedeon: Priceless!!! FTW!!!
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says: Such a brave little soprano. . . *sniff*
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile