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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: Well he does but the British government refuses to give them back.
Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Unity sure knows her stuff... except when it comes to noticing legs. And look! There's the water cooler again!

*glad to be of service!*

Euel Ball (euel) says:

Unity has her history wrong.  General Liprandi would have commanded Imperial Russian forces, not Soviet.  Of course, I suspect Moustachio would consider the Revolution "recent events", hardly worth noticing...

Boers, on gripping hand, are scary!

Nate Cull (natecull) says:

This could go on all day.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: *KLANG*
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

They would have done better by playing Mornington Crescent.

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

I think the water cooler likes being leaned on. Probably a lonely sort of machine on the weekends.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Wake Up, Little Suzie", The Everly Brothers)

Leg sweep, little zombie, leg sweep!
Leg sweep, little zombie, leg sweep!

Hey, M, just look and see!
There's Russian artillery!
They're underhanded
'Cause they're commanded
By Pavel Liprandi!
Leg sweep, little zombie!
Leg sweep, little zombie!

Well, how you gonna knock him down now?
How you knock him to the floor?
This is kinda hard, he's smart-er than the ...
Average Boer!
Leg sweep, little zombie!
Leg sweep, little zombie!

Well, you tried to get him with all your usual tricks,
That robot's legs're still held by MI-6!
Leg sweep, little zombie!
Leg sweep, little zombie!
(Well, that didn't work ...)

Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

I always prefered, "Look, it's the Winged Victory of Samothrace!"
followed by a sword thrust to the face...  But I suppose Unity is a simple guilesss soul.

Jay Blanc (jayblanc) says:

But Andrew, there have been so many revisions, the chalk farm rules, and the introduction of reverse knip south of the river since M left the country! He'd surely find the modern game far too confusing!

That and he would insist on opening play with Brompton Road.

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

I still say that you can win that game in ten moves, no exceptions, if you open with Blackfriars to Elephant & Castle.

At the risk of spamming the entire group with Mornington Crescent, however, I suggest that anyone wishing to debate me on this point do so in Comics By Shaenon II, as MC discussion does tend to force out actual on-topic content.  Thank you for your consideration!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Ed: hysterical, as usual.

@drhistory: in my family, we have adopted the modern version. "Look! It's Halley's Comet!"

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

God, I love Unity!

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Do you have a link to Comics by Shaenon II, Jeffery?

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Some of Shaenon's comics can be found here:

She also did Little Mell a while back, which is worth a read:

Jon McCormick (youko) says:

Oh man, poor Sweetheart. Staples in her tail? T_T

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: that has got to sting, but am I bad for finding the image of her trying to use a staple remover on her own tail amusing?
The Auld Grump (theauldgrump) says:

Actually, she isn't the giulty party - and there is a really good chance that she could/would have helped the office machines against their government contracted oppressors.


Just as well for Sweetheart that she got away.


The Auld Grump

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Fire And Rain", James Taylor)

Tip's back in the office, he's reluctant to confess
Doctor Jones, she escaped by some ingenious plan!
Would've made her the scapegoat, since she started this mess!
Even female and canine, dag, I *am* the Man!

I don't know, and I don't care ...
She's the one who started the whole darn mess out there!
Now if you don't mind, gotta go and groom my hair,
And pull staples out of my derriere!

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

It's easier to chase your tail when it's been stapled in place.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

And how can she be The Man when she's "not like a real woman"?  (yes, he's still paying for that line)

Eric Burns (ericburns) says: Sweetheart's inability to take responsibility for her own actions is almost adorable. The contractor is at fault for violating the Union contracts, rather than the official who decided to violate the Union contracts and hire a contractor. Obviously! Just like it's Tip's fault he didn't bring the dangerous psychopath back, and Unity's fault the most distractible person in the office was set to guarding the psychopath in the first place. Honestly, this all puts "Big, Bad Wolves" into perspective. No wonder Sweetheart felt threatened when Tip was put in charge. She's actually kind of... well, mediocre at it.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

To be fair to Sweetheart, she's the only member of the staff who even tries to take responsibility for things. She's in serious denial about this whole Machine Union mess, though.
Rob (rrreed) says: Did the Daughters of the Air ever get involved in the strike? Or are they apolitical, if not nonsectarian?
Terry Smith (wcfan) says:

A new team member?

Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

@Terry: That would be awesome, but I doubt he'd be part of the main team.  I bet he'd be a helluva security guard, though.

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: my bet is the next client
Dave Estep (cyaegha) says:

 My life is a stream of "destructive nutjobs". And oh, how I love them.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: *tish!*
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Only The Lonely", Roy Orbison)

(Oh, solid, sad as a map)
(Oh, yeah, no doubt)
(Oh, preach it, pro-per ...)
(Robots are lonely ... robots are lonely ...)

Robots are lonely,
Like the one Tip found last night ...
Sweetheart thinks only
Of the chaos they'll incite!

That Tigerlily ...
She was the bomb!
Now poor Sweetdaddy
Misses his mom!
This robot, so lonely,
Is sad, not bad ...
Robots are lonely!

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

I love Sweetheart's expressions on today's strip.

Hey, maybe the new robot could take over for Tip's neck massager?  Looks like it has plenty of arms/legs/whatever!

Stephen Granade (sgranade) says:

That new robot is clearly begging to be teamed up with Nick. Imagine the brilliant new slang they would create.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

The snakes would have a field day with the robot spider.

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Andrew: Brill!  I can see it now...

Snakes AND A SPIDER On A Plane!

Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says:

Preach it.

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

Re the poster in panel #1: There is a band called "Soul Chill" in Ventura, CA.

There's also a variety of chili known as "soul chili" which can be found on several foodie sites.

Is the poster one of these, or something completely different?

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

He misses his mom...  You know, I wonder just where TigerLily *did* end up? You don't suppose she has any of Sweetheart's old pack as neighbors, hm? That would rock.

Caliban Loreseeker (caliban) says:

I just want to say that I would be freaked right out if a giant mechanical spider walked up right behind me and told me it was "Damn Lonely"

Dash Master (dashmaster) says:

Am I the only one who remembewrs that it's name is Sweetdaddy Velvet?

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: So, we got a cool chopper... now a cool (spider)car!
John Brown (werbluten) says:

Well now, so long as Sweetdaddy doesn't try to liberate the other cars this story will only be borderline crazy.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Reminiscing", Little River Band)

Now it's the morning after,
She's gone, but I still hear her laughter
Ringing in my ears!
Dry the robot's tears ...
In the motor pool,
They're all ickies, they're all fools ...
Though it may seem cruel ...
I wanna help to make it clear,
We're dealing with fraughty issues here!

Sadder than a map!
I can dig your rap!
But Sweetheart is so darn confused ...
You gotta chill and stay cool, bree ...
S.J.V. and me,
Now, we be rapping!

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Oh, Sweetdaddy and Nick are going to get along SO well, if they can ever agree on a communications protocol.  TCP/IP just can't bring the funk, so?

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Since when did Tip learn to speak Jive? Or did I miss something between Tip & Tigerlily?

Wayne West (wayne_zombie) says:

You know, Ed, I could have gone a long time without being reminded of LRB lyrics.  I actually saw them in concert in Phoenix in the 80's.

And to quote Robin Leech, "And I don't know WHY!"

Kenneth Graves (kag) says:

@sleepyjohn: Nick should check to see if his network stack supports CHAOSNET.  Funky!  (Or moldy.  I get those confused.)

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

"Oh stewardess, I speak jive."

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

Every time I see Sweetdaddy in the strip I hear the voice of James Earl Jones in my head.

Please put Sweetdaddy in more often....

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says: 

Every time I see Sweetdaddy in the strip I hear the voice of James Earl Jones in my head.

 Isaac Hayes, I think. I like Jones, but I think he's a bit too Stentorian for this role.

Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says:

So long as he doesn't mention dianetics.

John Brown (werbluten) says:

This can only end in tears.

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

tears of tranny fluid and spring waters!

(which is to say i detect (or possibly impose) thematic superpositioning upon this strip.  or maybe i just make bad jokes.)

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Tranny fluid? But Tip's gone home....
Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

Do you suppose that Sweetdaddy thinks that the water cooler dispenses well water?  (Which would, I suppose, be better than dispensing ill water!)  In any case, it's a mighty deep subject!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Why am I hearing the water cooler sounding like the reprogrammed girls in "Our Man Flint"?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Don't Stop Believing", Journey)

Just a spider 'bot
That his builder soon forgot ...
He's such a sorry sight, now, he's on his own ...
Just a kitchen tool
Made to keep the water cool ...
In the break room ev'ry night, she is all a-lone ...

In the darkness, she goes "Blup!"
He turns 'round and says "Wazzup?"
What happens when a gadget girl meets a robot boy?
Caught up in each other's spell ...
Hear him saying, "Well well well"
Hear her saying, "Service is my on-ly joy!"

Makes you wonder
How exactly robots do it
In the heat sink of the ni-i-ight ...
Do they cuddle?
Are they gonna swap some fluid?
Can't watch!  This just isn't right!

Robot romancing!
Will they go out dancing?

K C (spotweld) says:

Thier children will be lava lamps

Jon W. (kd7sov) says:

@Diane: Because it's less creepy than hearing it with GLaDOS' voice?

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

KC: Ewwww! I've never liked lava lamps!

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

@Jon W.: I have to admit, the Portal 2 trailer made me laugh upon hearing GLaDOS remark, "I think we can put our differences aside, for science... you monster."

'Keiya' (keiya) says: Hmm. Now I'm never gonna stop hearing that watercooler in the voice of the 'your business is appreciated' toilet.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Uh-oh.
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Melody: Hymn for a Sunday Evening ("Ed Sullivan") from Bye, Bye Birdie


Can I touch Ed Gedeon's hem?

Ed Gedeon!

I, an unworthy fan, pay homage to Ed Gedeon!

Ed!  Ed Gedeon!  Ed!  Ed Gedeon!

Ah!  Ah!  Ed Gedeon!

Ed Gedeon!  Ed Gedeon!

Ed!  Ed!  Ged!  Ged!

Ed Gedeon!  Ed Gedeon!

I wanna be like Ed Gedeon!

How could any filker be

Half as fabulous as he?

Everyday Heroes

Charms me to my toes

Ed Gedeon.  Ed Gedeon, Ed Gedeon!

I wanna be like Ed Gedeon!


Narbonic started his reign

Now, Skin Horse

Champion he'll remain

'Though his puns cause pain!

I want to kiss his brain

(Ed, I love you!)

Ed Gedeon!

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

The water's going to taste a little funny for the next few days....

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

i wonder what else of m's low-level programming ended up in that water cooler under tigerlily and her toolbox....

Nate Cull (natecull) says:

Is anyone else hearing the water cooler in the voice of the Turret Guns from Portal?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@kaygilbert:  Now that's a good filk.

(Seriously, thanks.  Glad to entertain you!)

Thomas Levy (ergonomytch) says:

Here's a friend for Sweetdaddy.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: "This water tastes kinda funny. Did we switch bottle suppliers?"
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

That water cooler is up to a joy count of two.

fluffy <3 (fluffy) says: I'm not sure what I just saw but I'm feeling pretty dirty anyway.
John Sears (john_sears) says:


I'm not sure how mad science robot spiders work but I think we might be in for a race of Culligan water bots with six-inch fangs and lots of chrome.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

And now I'm imagining him as soundling like Barry White.

JIM Evans (hydrogenguy) says:


M. Alan Thomas II (crazydreamer) says:

Even the robot car-spider gets more than Tip does in this episode.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The Way", Fastball)

The guy she's just met ... is digging her frame now!
This cooler girl will fall for robot boy!
'Cause 'til today, her love live has been lame now!
She's nervous, but lonely,
And service is her only joy!

This thing that she feels, it came without warning ...
He'll rock her world from here to Illinois!
What's more, he'll still respect her in the morning ...
Now he's being too kind,
And she found a new kind of joy!

D. Connolly (theogrin) says:

So, it turns out that the machine's a hip chick with a degree in wet lovin' - all it took was someone who's... *sunglasses* ...cooler than her.

Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says:


John Ames (commodorejohn) says: Discretion cut!
A David Merritt (adm) says:

"And now I'm imagining him as soundling like Barry White."

You mean you weren't already? Was it just me?

Perry Madden (perrym) says:

I would guess it is *NEVER* just one of us thinking of that.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Wha....?.....?....?
How is that even supposed to work?!
Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

Of course, she may not be interested in serving water any more after this.  Unless he's the sort of cad who instantly dumps her.

K. Feete (katastrophe) says:

Their lovechild will be simultaneously servile and terrifying.

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

how i love the ethos of disco :)

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

I was going to need a bath after this episode, but that would involve using water...

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile