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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Charles Lee (atomicsnarl) says: Great minds clash when they think alike -- and insult each other...
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Well, at least he's forthright about it.
Rob (rrreed) says: This is one of those times when one's military oath, Hippocratic oath, moral compass, and ethics come into direct conflict with the overwhelming desire to strangle someone.

…which is complicated by the fact that Nick presently doesn't have a trachea per se.
Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says: This is making Tip a really cross dresser.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: *snicker*
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" by Bock and Harnick)

Stick-kicker, stick-kicker,
Kick me a stick!
Write with a Bic,
"This kid is sick!"
Stick-kicker, stick-kicker,
It's quite a trick
To find out why Nick's a dick!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

P.S. @Pete: *rimshot* good one dude

The Blue Ladies (blueladies) says: Hey, I actually understood one of Nick's filtered swears!  I'd given up on trying to figure out what he was saying, it's far too confusing.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: The secret is, only Shaenon crafts things that actually sound kind of like swear words.  I just have too much fun with ridiculous phrases like "albino falcon-wrangler" to worry about making sense with this running gag.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: You can't take the sky from me....
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

To the tune of 'The Ballad of Serenity' (not trying to step on Ed's toes here but I couldn't resist)

Take my GONG, take my glands, take away my FORCEPS hands.

I don't care for that tranny, but I will ogle Ginny Lee.

Everyone's dressed in black, even me: Nick Zerhakk

er, but we're not mourning, see. Gonna race a DANCE Banshee!

I know what you FUNCTION see,

But this chopper isn't me.

Though the world may disagree... 

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Wow. The last panel... kinda touching, actually.
Rob (rrreed) says: "Congratulations! You've destroyed a man! You've left him with nothing! Nothing!"

All in a day's work for… Anasigma! Now to see if they had a chance to install any governors on Nick before the VR was crashed to keep him from just flying off to the nearest Las Vegas television network affiliate.

And with a chapter title like, "I Can Fly," where or who is Tinkerbell?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "You Can't Hide Your Lyin' Eyes", by The Eagles)

Somewhere out near Groom Lake in Nevada,
A lady named Virginia does her job.
'Cause her secret bosses told her that she hadda
Make a helicopter out of some poor slob.

The things she does, they sometimes make her nervous,
But all in all, she means well in her heart ...
She made him for a life of public service
(Which is to say, he's got no private parts.)

She designed ... a guy that flies
After six ... or seven tries.
It should come ... as no surprise,
He replies, he'd rather be the "Enterprise".

D. Connolly (theogrin) says: Anasigma: We remake people. copters.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: Does anyone else detect a whiff of "I finally got these people out of here, now I can get on whith what I was going to do anyway" in Virginia's last-panel expression?
Rob (rrreed) says:

I'm dreaming of a flight Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
With the cyclic for drifting
and collective for lifting
I hear 'copters in the snow

I'm dreaming of a flight Christmas
With every rotorcraft I sight
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases have flight
Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Good one, Ed Gedeon. "the Enterprise" LOL.

Oh, and why does he want to fly? I thought he thought flying was "like being trapped for eternity on the opening cutscene of OpFor!"

Lasly, in regard to Rob Reed's "And with a chapter title like, 'I Can Fly,' where or who is Tinkerbell? " remember the guy we saw with Nick as a human identified himself as coming from Pixiedust inc.

Mark Orr (agentoracle) says:

Nich as a Human was a VR simulation though, played by *snaps* Dr. Lee.  So,  Virginia Lee is Tinkerbell here.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: "You mean, I'm a V-22 like in the Transformers movie? Do I get to make BaySplosions?"
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: I do not like that grin...
Rob (rrreed) says: KLNG… KLNG… KLNG…
Mark Orr (agentoracle) says: Kinda makes me glad that Goldbug woke Nick up early... better to look boss with Dog tags than spend your life thinking you're just a playtester...
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: Awww - what a sweet motherly expression in that last panel.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by Martin and Blane)

Have yourself a merry little flight test,
I can show you how --
You know you're a fogging helicopter now ...

Have yourself a merry little flight test,
Fax the F.A.A. --
In an hour, you'll be a hundred miles away!

Here we are now with Dr. Lee
Looking motherly
And sweet!
You've got missles and guns and stuff!
This is monkey-fluff-
Ing neat!

If you want, then you can wear some dog tags
(Though I'm not sure how ...)
Paint a topless pin-up girl upon your prow!
And have yourself a merry little flight test now!

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

I'm not going to compete with that Ed.:)

It looks like Dr. Lee is Tinker Belle to Nick's Peter Pan. Nothing like mixing up your mythologies, Shaenen and Jeff. :)

And isn't Nick the perfect Boy Who Never Grew Up?  

Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: Now the question is, does Nick envision regular-sized dog tags hanging somewhere in his interior like fuzzy dice, or giant, externally mounted ones like truck nuts?
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

By mentioning Nick and truck nuts in the same sentence, this has officially gone from the Best Readership Ever to the Worst Readership Ever.
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: I'm still curious as to who Gold Bug is.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: Yes!  I am become Darkness, the Bringer Of Bad Readerhship!
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Bad Reader! Bad Reader! No cookie!
Rob Davidoff (eofpi) says: I half suspect Goldbug was Lee all along.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: The world shall soon feel my cookie-less vengence!  But. . .how can I have vengence when I am dispirited by a lack of cookies?
Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says: It's all right, Jeremy. Everyone knows the Dark Side has cookies. How else would we do our recruiting?
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: Berke Breathed did an Opus Christmas story titled "A Wish for Wings That Work".  Looks like Nick's going to get a set, too.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Oh great, a helicopter with a FREESTYLE sense of humor.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Well, it's only 55 billion if Nick dies. The Osprey itself is only a few million, unless it's got all sorts of non-recoverable Nick-support bits in it. I expect most of that 55 billion is R&D rather than actual hardware. A second vehicle would probably be a bargain by comparison.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh. Oh dear.

And Merry Christmas!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Someone should explain to Nick that "hitting on women" does not mean crashing 16 tons of aircraft on top of them.

 (TUNE: "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer", by Randy Brooks)

Dr. Lee got hit on by Zerhakker
Way out there in Area 51 ...
If he crashes, post the clip on YouTube!
(But if you're underneath, then it's no fun.)

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Chris N (walkingcat) says: "Amateurs are trying genetic engineering at home" ( ) is in distribution from the AP today. I imagine a web search on "amateur genetic engineering" would turn up interesting results nowadays.
Terry Smith (wcfan) says: Is that a prop in panel two? Then it's not an Osprey.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Next up, Nick discovers his sensor suite, and "down" the shirts is abandoned in favor of "through".
Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: Is it me, or does Dr. Lee seem a little sweet on Nick?
Camille Dumas (camidumas) says: Yeah, I had the same thought, but I'm having trouble encouraging the relationship since Nick is gross and has no dick.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: I kinda like Dr. Lee. She's like a sane Jane Narbon.
Alfred Deere (redearsau) says:

Freaking MelonFarmers - nice to see a reference to the misswears of Repo Man.

keep up the FLICKing Good work

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

The line, "Yippee-kay-yay, melonfarmer," may be the best line you've ever come up with.  (Although "Score one more for the forces of evil," definitely gets an honorable mention.)

(TUNE: "Silent Night", Josef Mohr and Franz Gruber)

Chopper Nick!  Osprey Nick!
You can fly!  Man, that's slick!
Prop wash blowing up Dr. Lee's skirt,
Infra-red can see right through her shirt ...
Hey, let's fly off to Ve-gas!
Sal, kiss my dark metal axe!

Katie Tandler (katesith) says: Melonfarmer! <3
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

"Flying is the second-greatest thrill known to man.

LANDING is the first."

Are we ready to work on that next?

K C (spotweld) says:

"I am a leaf on the wind, watch me soar!"


Chris McLeod (rosadraconum) says: I don't think it's so much that she's sweet on him, I think it's more of a "there's my baby, all grown up" sort of thing.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: They leave the nest so soon...and before you know it, they're blowing up small European nations. Aren't kids adorable?
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: Isn't "melonfarmer" what Fox used as a PG dub over Bruce Willis' "motherf***er" lines in the "Die Hard" movies?
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: I can see Nick making money at those July Air Shows, until he uses his mad skillz to make smoke boobies.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: I wonder what Sweetheart thinks about that....
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Oh, and dotted-P = bewbie? Way to bypass the filter!
Cat Bascle (mage_cat) says: I just find it amusing that they apparently have a guy whose main job is to dispense generic Advil.  Just how often are headaches and such a problem there?
Rob Davidoff (eofpi) says: They overlook Area 51, right? And you ask how often unauthorized launches are a problem? This guy with the advil-knockoff? Hell, he probably also has a night relief and a third guy on emergency standby.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

So we're now mixing "Alice" references (Cheshire) in with Peter Pan?  And is this guy Colonel Hook?

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: I like how what Nick says causes the radio-ops hair to curl in the third panel. :)
M. Alan Thomas II (crazydreamer) says: An Airwolf reference?  Amusing.  Why would Nick be familiar with Airwolf?  I wonder if there's a Blue Thunder reference hidden in here somewhere, too. . . .
Typhin Reynard (typhin) says:

Personally, I'm just wondering how one can make rude gestures with airfoils.  Or how familiar one has to be with various aircraft to recognize such gestures as rude...  ^_^;;

And maybe she just really hates being called a champion dog-walker.  ^_^

Mark Orr (agentoracle) says: Why would Nick be familiar with Airwolf?  Dude! Nick's a geek's geek! he's fluent in all pieces of geek culture!  As for Airwolf?  there was, in addition to the TV series, and NES game, so he could have been familiar from his famicom days.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Very configurable airfoils.
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile