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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Justin Grubbs (the_purple_knight) says: Makes me glad I'm conservative.
John Campbell (jcampbel) says: In any kind of sane world, Tip's last line would be a non-sequitur.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Now...are they threatened by the silverfish, but some as yet unknown faction, or do we snip the loop off and see them threatened by, say, the fanged mushrooms?
Rachel S. (masamage) says: I wonder what cybernetic fish smell like.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: Fish ozone and oil
Martin Weld (ikari_gendo) says:

To find out how bad the fish smell, check out "Gyo" by Junji Ito at


Fish ozone? How does that compare to regular ozone? 

John Campbell (jcampbel) says: Tuna booze oil?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: You've heard of mahi-mahi?  Tip's dress smells like mechi-mechi.  Or possibly robotilapia. 
Eric Burns (ericburns) says: And now we understand why Unity resorted to sterlizing the environment for centuries to come
Jane Narbon (lady_madsci) says: And thus does Tip summarily lose his temper.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: This way lies madness.


Today on the Mad Scientist Wars:

The Awe-Inspiring Martian Craft, and Jane Narbon Plots to Take Over the World.

Only on Comics By Shaenon II - !! Visit it today!!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Whom the gods would destroy, they first send on never-ending circular missions to the basement.
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

. . . . . . . . I don't like these ones. Bring back cobras please?

Please, mommy? I'll be good! 

Justin Grubbs (the_purple_knight) says: Um, I'm just gonna say that Tip must be really desperate to be happpy for a rat infestation
Alycia Shedd (leeshajoy) says: Just one rat, eh? That can't be a good sign.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says:

Rat singular? Not rats, plural?

Uh-oh. This reminds me of the bit with the Giant Rats in Geneforge 3.
Andrew W (mrandrew) says:

Are rats subject to the Conservation of Ninjitsu?

Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: I suspect that like "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" this may be a tale for which the world is not yet ready.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Basil:  Well, ready or not, here it comes!


Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

OK OK OK hold it hold it hold it!  I can just tell ... this is going to be a guest strip for "Palindramas"!

Tip goes in to dark room.  Meets rat wearing 1940's type gangster pinstripe suit.  They shake hands, introduce themselves, then realize they are both sinking into a pool of something dark and sticky.

The entire strip's dialog:  "Tip."  "Rat."  "Tarpit."

Me for the win!  Woohoo!

Indigo C (indigo) says: It may still be rats.  Rat infestation is singular and plural both.
Bill McGann (odo) says: Ummm... this "mutated object of the day" stuff is getting tedious. Sorry :(
David Palmer (viadd) says:

Would this be a rodent of unusual size?  I don't believe they exist.


Andrew Schepler (schep) says: indigo: Yes, but "He hasn't met the rat yet" is the kicker here.
Jane Narbon (lady_madsci) says:

"Tip. Rat. Tarpit."


I liiiiiike it. 

Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says:

"Tip. Rat. Tarpit. tip rat."

can be done in four frames too.

Incog Neato (ghede) says:

Tarpit, tip, rat, tarpit tip rat.

 bob a Bob.


So It Begins (soitbegins) says:

Tip, rat, tip, rat, tip, rat, tarpit? Tip & rat: tarpit, tarpit, tarpit.

Andre Richard (andre) says: Will it top the rat invasion in Metropolis? I can now see why the Skin Horse crew probably prefer their own break room though.
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

Tar-pit, Tip, tar-pit, Rat; trap.


And  Bill McGann? For shame. Sit back and enjoy.

Sor Cyress (sorcyress) says:

Hey, Mr. Andrew? Your link needs a warning label: TV Tropes will ruin your life.

 (I've been sitting here paging through for *how* long? *How* did I get to 'Here We Go Again' from the page you linked? *sigh*)


Justin Grubbs (the_purple_knight) says: It' has the face of a hamster
Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says: Or maybe a gerbil?
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says: But that tail is all rat, all right.
Rockphed (rockphed) says: I think there is a problem.  I can't see the comic!
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says:

And the kerosene that was mentioned earlier makes its second appearance.

Unity is on the case! 

James Rice (jhrice) says: It's either an Ur-gerbil or an R.O.U.S.  
K. Myers (bassetking) says:

R.O.H.S. I believe, Mr. Rice, pronounced as you would "Tip is so far up the creek without a paddle, he is unable to R.O.H.S. himself to safety."  

NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says:

Unfortunately, Skip has yet to learn monstrosities produced through Mad Science rarely add up to the sum of their parts. "So I should do EXTRA well with a human-sized rat." Ya, right.


Ya, sure, I know it's mostly Tip trying to CONVINCE himself rather than an actual belief, but still, if he hasn't put together 1 + 2 = Lack of Reason by now, it's his own fault. 

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: On the upside, if the Rat really is the last link in the chain, perhaps he can convince it to relocate to Artie's Rodent Paradise.  I refuse to belive that anyone as nice as Artie wouldn't have started a privately funded habitat or two for other trans-genic rodents.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Um, that rat isn't human sized, he's bear-sized!

Basil:  Just because it's dripping doesn't mean it's kerosene.... 


Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Tip is juicy-looking?  He looks a little tough and stringy to me ... maybe needs a good marinade and some plum sauce., that just being a humorous observation and not based on personal experiences of cannibalism in any way.  Really.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Well, on the scale of psychologists, he may well be on the juicy end. At least in the rat's personal experience.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: And that is why you should never go in a Secret Government Basement with less than a .44 Magnum.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Hey ho. Oh well-- at least he's sentient. Again.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: Is it just me, or is that rat friggin' adorable?
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

Ed, don't be silly. We need honey glazing and chocolate sauce, here.

. . . . . . . . . .. .. ... . . hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. 

Jane Narbon (lady_madsci) says: That is a rat.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: I abhor the implication that the Civil service is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says:

Today on the Mad Scientist Wars:

The Do-Gooder's Escape, the Monologue of Jane Narbon, That Guy's Terrible Secret, The Professor and the Teddy Bear, and Why You Should Never Say Certain Phrases While In Orbit, In Case Things Go from Bad to Worse.

Only on Comics By Shaenon II - !! Visit it today!!
Bill McGann (odo) says: Did someone say "hamster"? Anybody got duct tape? ;)
Ryan Boes (thatguy) says: Maybe, when the rat says juicy, he means hot. I'm not going to judge him, Tip is hot
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:






Basil Jelly says: "I abhor the implication that the Civil service is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control."

Rugby Player A: "Rugby players eat their dead!!!"

Rugby Player B: "No, we eat our *wounded*. The dead we leave for the fans..."

Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

little... i wonder how big the psychologists were that this giant rat knew.

man. giant inteligent rats. or rat. if there is a breedable pair, they will destroy all of humanity, by sheer numbers alone. give them a food supply, space, and time alone for a year, there will be 15,000 rats. assumeing they keep the same cycle as a normal sized rat. which they probley wouldnt. but still. as products of mad science, i would not want to bet on it. or get bit by it.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says: Eh, my money's on the ur-gerbils.
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: Uh-oh.  He's a Philosopher.  I think Tip needs some back up.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: There were brown ones and blue ones
And white ones and whiter,
In the hidden and forbidden
Downtown of Clown Town.
There were horrid ones and horrider
In the brown and yellow corridor.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: I've been waiting a long time to use that quote.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"I assume eventually they'll release some sort of enormous terrier down here."

And they'll make a movie about it, and call it, "The Crypt Of Terrier".

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Well, if it's any consolation, we have found the end of the great chain here.
Jane Narbon (lady_madsci) says: Are you sure there's not a tarpit anywhere near here at all?
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Foolish rat!  The psychologist <i>is</i> your bane!

So let's see:  should Tip recruit the rat, send him off to college, talk him into catatonia, inflict a useful phobia, or just inflict a plague of silverfish upon him? 


D. Connolly (theogrin) says:

I would go so far as to say 'enormous terrier' is an oxymoron, but frankly, at this point we're so far gone that it almost seems normal.

That said, can you imagine the _noise_?  No wonder they'd flush it down the sewers.

Chab Guthrie (chab) says:

Note re "enormous terrier":  please see AIRDALE.

And, while this Rat is bigger than an Airdale, I still wouldn't bet against the monster terrier . . . and certainly not against two Airdales vs. the Rat. 

Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says: . . . . . Tip, just go and grab the cobras and go home. Leave the mascara. 
Andrew Farago (andrew) says: I like that everybody just wants to save the cobras.  WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE ZOMBIE HEADS?
Mark Orr (agentoracle) says: I've got two terriers, both with double-digit kill counts, so i'm reading this thread with great interest...
Justin Grubbs (the_purple_knight) says:

um, it's getting awfully dark


Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: I notice that the ones on the top of the food chain are the ones are pretty mellow about keeping it that way.
Dov Mittelman (silentspeaker) says:

Hmm. On the archived past week, I don't have a comment box, and the last post I see there is Eddurd's "Crypt of Terrier" joke (by the way, Ed, a terrier that size couldn't have crypt in there without making enough noise that we'd already know about it).

I'd noticed that on my home computer before, but I had assumed it was because my home compuer is decrepit. If it's happeing on my laptop too, maybe there's some bug in the site?

Hardy Sharla (yllaria) says:

This story arc is twisting my mind.  I saw an email ad for a decoration called a 'hammered metal dog' and I immediately added a drunken robot canine to my mental list of the denizens of this basement. 

He's not eating anyone, he's just sitting off to the side, crying quietly to himself.  He was composing sonnets in his mind and is just a little too tipsy to find a good rhyme for 'oxidation', which is bumming him out.  

Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

Uff. Just for the record, this is exactly the sort of pilisophical standpoint I despise. 'all is a circle- this is how it is' sort of #@$%.

FOR ONE THINg nature is hardly so linear and fragile. Mr. Giant rat, you fail for me. Fight it Tip! Fight it.

. . . . and get the cobras on your way out! 

So It Begins (soitbegins) says:

Today on the Mad Scientist Wars:

Jane Narbon versus the Benevolent Man, and The Rebels on Mars and What That Guy Had To Do With It. Also, Anti-Virus SoItBegins: Inside.

Only on Comics By Shaenon II - !! Visit it today!!
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Tip's got the Giant Rat of Subasementa monologuing!!!

So we know what's coming nexxxt....

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: Silentspeaker:  To my chagrin, WCN just hates certain versions of Internet Explorer.  I don't know if that's the browser you're using, but it sounds very much like you're hitting the MSIE thing.  If so, using Firefox or something might solve this problem for you, if you're comfortable with that and have the hard drive space to spare.  If you're not on MSIE, I have no suggestions other than to take it up with Joey Manley.  Sorry!  :(
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

We all have a place in the cycle.  Some of us are big wheels, some are spokespersons, some are the framework that holds everything together, and some just provide support (even if the one you support is just a big ass).


John Campbell (jcampbel) says: And, of course, some of us are just two tired and really need a brake.
Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says: It's the CIIIRCLE of LIIIIIIFE!
Jane Narbon (lady_madsci) says:

Is it a tarpit trap? Or just a part for Tip and the rat?

Sorry. :-D 

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: And then the lion with the funny-looking hair leaps out and eats the rat after it expresses an opinion on Mario Party 4.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Is it PART of a TAR PIT for TIP's RAT TRAP?
Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says:

I wonder if the person who brought up a tarpit in the first place even realized it was 'tip rat' backwards?   If so they are far far more clever than me, I just figured it out reading other posts.  *L*

Rockphed (rockphed) says: Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says:

"I wonder if the person who brought up a tarpit in the first place even realized it was 'tip rat' backwards?   If so they are far far more clever than me, I just figured it out reading other posts.  *L*"

It started earlier this week, and whoever brought it up did realize that "Tarpit, Tip, Rat" is a palendrome.

Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: I want to see Shaenon's mutant Brazillian swimsuit models. I bet they are adorable.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Well, they'd turn out to be hot male swimsuit models. Still modeling bikinis, though.
Justin Grubbs (the_purple_knight) says: I didn't realize how fat the rat was.
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

. . . . . . Dave, I like the way you think. Yannow?

 . . . And the RoUSaZ ( Rodent of unusual Size and Zen) is growing on me. Not, ah,literally tho'. 

Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says: ... that rat is the size of a Grizzly bear. *shudder*
Jane Narbon (lady_madsci) says: What is it now?! If it's the silverfish, then...
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

YES, I KNOW about the "Tip - Rat - Tarpit" palindrome, that's why I suggested it in the first place.  *heavy sigh* I was planning to wait until next week but now I gotta stay up all night and draw the thing just so I can post a link to it and SHOW you what the heck runs thru my scrambled little neurons.  Darn you all!  Darn you to heck, say I!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says:

Step right up! Step right up: Today, live in the Mad Scientists' Tent, we have stories of surprise, wonder, wit, virtue, and MAD, MAD, MAD SCIENCE! Find out about:

Escape by Hypersub and All the Sinister Plots That Occurred Thereafter, The Professor and the Rebel, and Antivirus SoItBegins: Game Plan.

Come one, come all! Only here, now, live at Comics By Shaenon II!! See it today!!
Joseph Osako (schol-r-lea) says: I've been waiting a long time to use that quote. You know, at this point I can see Tip running into Lady Arabella Underwood and Charlie-is-my-Darling. It would be even better if it turned out that Tip's real first name is either 'Emile' or 'Alan' ;). But if someone starts burning dog-children at the stake, I'm outta here.
Joseph Osako (schol-r-lea) says: Ack, I forgot to put the attribution for the quote: it was, of course, Basil Jelly, from a few days back I guess.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: I need a temporary dog
For a temporary job
On a temporary place
Like Earth!
Joseph Osako (schol-r-lea) says: /me Rocks down to those groovy Congohelium beats
Joseph Osako (schol-r-lea) says: Nothing like a mysterious, unstable weapon of mass destruction when you want some wicked tunes. But can you play a version of Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World"?
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile