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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

Ira lacks imagination. He should be A LOT sorry he doesn't remember that.

David Wilker (wilkerbeast) says:

Oh he is, but he doesn't remember being more sorry.

Rob (rrreed) says: If Ira lacks imagination from working at Annex One, it's only because it was neurolyzed out of him.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: [snicker]
Lee Bradford (cannibalcoalition) says:

She can protest it all she wants, but Sweetheart needed to loosen up some. Rolling around in the mud was good for her. 

Just Here (justhere4coffee) says:

It's surprising enough that he can remember that he needs to leave himself notes, let alone that he remembered he had left himself a note.

You think he has a map so he can find the toilets?

Lee Bradford (cannibalcoalition) says:

I imagine his home is covered in post-its.

Rob (rrreed) says: But what happens when Ira forgets to remember to make a note to himself to buy more Post-it® Notes?
Sam Setter (eraser820) says:

Hopefully the office supply arm of annex one has some sort of automatic restocking policy for key employees.  Especially the ones that get nuerolyzed on a frequent basis.

Lee Bradford (cannibalcoalition) says:

Maybe they have a former killbot who only lives to /DESTROY/ humans with Post-its.  

Dave Estep (cyaegha) says:

 Welcome Back, Ira!


He will play an important role, someday. I hope.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Sadly, no, Post-Its don't come on a role.

casimir (casimir) says:

@sleepyjohn: sobad...

K C (spotweld) says:

"Blaxplotation-themed Mad Scientist" would make for the most business card text ever!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Try To Remember", Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones)

I don't remember
That fight in September,
When clothes were torn in ways non-gentle ...
I don't remember
That Annex One member
Who got some kisses accidental ...
I don't remember
When girls lost their temper,
A Black Power femme, or
A drinking party ...
Missed out on them, for
I just don't remember,
I'm sorry ... sorry ... sorry!

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

@ Ed: Have I ever told you that you're my hero? *glances at Post-It note* Yes, it seems that I have. Nevermind then...

E.T. the Eccentric Type (et_the_eccentric_type) says:

"Swinging". Relationship to arc title?

Ooh! I hope Gavotte rampages! I mean, "swarms"!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

A fun, swinging woman is one thing.  A fun, swinging entity is entirely different.  It's like the difference between Paris Hilton and Yog-Sothoth.


Umm, there is a difference between Paris Hilton and Yog-Sothoth, isn't there?

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

...not that I've noticed, aside from dress-size. And possibly not that if she keeps eating all those bags of chips.

Lee Bradford (cannibalcoalition) says:

A Gavotte rampage would probably kill everyone. Unity would watch in utter admiration. 

Rob (rrreed) says: A Gavotte rampage would also have a distinct possibility of killing Gavotte, too. Remember, a bee intent on stinging a mammal (whose elastic skin catches the barbs) is essentially making a suicide run. Who knows how Gavotte's hive mind might react to losing a few too many workers to stings?
Q. Pheevr (q-pheevr) says:

I kind of want a T-shirt that says "Prim is the new lascivious," but I suspect that in real life I'd be too shy to wear it.

Nate Cull (natecull) says:

Call of Hilton could be an RPG/reality-show concept with legs.

The Simple Life: Dunwich

Trinny & Susannah: What Not To Wear In Unknown Kadath

American Idol In Yellow.

The Amazing Race of Yith

Theme song: Lily Allen's "The Fear". ( )



Nate Cull (natecull) says:

Also is it just me, or are these guys just too cute? Squee! SQUEEEE!

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: I love these little scenes between Gavotte and Moustachio, they are like the old married couple talking about the youngins.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: (kree)
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Gavotte could loosen up.  A few vodka stingers, and she'd be the buzz.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Alone Again, Naturally", Gilbert O'Sullivan)

Just a little while ago,
On a Tuesday afternoon,
When the guard, P.O.'d
Went and tried to goad
Dr. Wilkin, what a goon!
When the ladies made a fuss,
I got quite curious ...
Asking Doctor Lee
What they're off to see,
And wherever could they be going?
For a little ride?
They replied, "None of your buzz-ness!"
I'm telling them
That being prim's
The new lasciviousness!
But they took off at a run
To have their naughty fun!
How could they not
Invite me?

Nicky . (nicky_diva) says:

I would SO wear a shirt that said "Prim is the new lascivious"!  That's kind of me in a nutshell! 

and Ed... I think I've said this b4, but marry me.  You are the Supreme Emperor of Filk.

Michael Kimmitt (punditusmaximus) says: I delight endlessly in how Gavotte is placed on a pedestal and then gently taken down, over and over. Such a fantastic comic, and with a perfect commitment to the four-panel form. Um, ok, that was gush-y.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Gavotte would get stupider the more bees she lost in the attack, which would probably just make the rampage worse.
Adam (10-0-0-1) says: Interesting to know, I had always figured that she was 1 queen with all the brains and all the drones just followed orders.
Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

No, no, no.  The drones are pretty much useless, except for genetics.  It's the (female but sterile) worker bees who follow orders and do all the work.  Or so I recall.

Mason Kramer (masonk) says:

Okay, I'm suddenly wondering just how old Gavotte really is. How many bee generations has her intelligence gone through? Could she be a contemporary of Moustachio? Could she be, in fact, of the hives that Sherlock Holmes tended in his retirement?

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

@Adam: The most interesting behaviour in honey bees is emergent, that is to say it only begins to manifest when the swarm is above a certain size. (I've gotten interested in apiculture lately.

As for the queen, well, the swarm is quite capable of deciding that the current queen has outlived her usefulness. The workers decide whether a particular grub will grow up a queen simply by how they feed it, and they will kill the old queen by "balling" her (aka "death-cuddle") where the workers cluster tightly around the queen until she dies of heat exhaustion.

Long story short: Gavotte is not the swarm's queen, but the swarm-as-a-whole. The queen would be, like, her hypothalmus or something.

Cesario VIola (cesarioviola) says:

Gushy perhaps, but I agree.

E.T. the Eccentric Type (et_the_eccentric_type) says:

So do Domesticated Plains Apes, only for us, it's asexual reproduction.

Not that big a difference, but I guess you can't call it sex. Unless our stomach microbes have genders, which i doubt.

Aren't worms hermaphrodites?

Stephen Crowley (stephencrowley) says:

"rantipole"? Yay, new word of the day!!

Martin Hellberg Olsson (the_somewhat_knight) says:

Hm. I must confess I don't understand Unity's exclamation.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Calling all members of the Narbonic/Skin Horse commentariat.  Do any of you plan to attend either the Alternative Press Expo on 10/16-17 or the Skin Horse book launch party on 10/23?  After reading about the Narbonicons, I'd love to get together in the analog world.  I'm leaning toward the 23rd, but I'm flexible.

Nate Cull (natecull) says:

Her blood pumper is wronged!

Martin Hellberg Olsson (the_somewhat_knight) says:

Wait... Guess I got it now. Non-native thing, move along.

Martin Hellberg Olsson (the_somewhat_knight) says:

But thanks to Nate, whether intentional or not you tipped me off.

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

Does Unity actually have a heart...esque organic circulatory engine of some form.  Er, let's try this again.

Is Unity actually /capable/ of having a coronary?

W o o d (wood) says:

What ? No you haven't, Gavotte. Unless you're a most peculiar species of bee.

The queen bee only has sex once in her life, which is also the only time she gets to fly out of the hive. The other bees don't have sex at all.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Touché.
Kathy Moon (flipkat) says:

But they're constantly involved in helping plants have sex!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "He's A Rebel", The Crystals)

See the way she's flying around
Making that mo-no-to-nous sound ...
She goes flitting leaf to leaf
Each time that we debrief,
She's our chief!

Trying hard to not condescend!
For our sakes, she'll try to pretend!
Doesn't want the staff to know,
Confiding in Moustachio
That she's a free-love flower child,
So wi-ild!

She's a rantipole who's never-ever what one expects!
She's a rantipole who never-ever stops having sex!
Although she's constantly involved in ... reproduction,
Still, we're eager for her in-struc-tion!
She's a help to us!
Always knows the latest buzz!
Yes, she's never lazy, bless my soul!
She's such a crazy rantipole
To us!

Woof Arf (woofnarf) says:

Geez, now I'm gonna get hot and bothered every time I see a swarm of bees...

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

Gavotte is not what you'd call an average swarm of bees.

At all, really.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

I think Gavotte is exaggerating about how much action she gets from herself. Disturbingly enough, this issue may come up in more detail in a later storyline.
Ben N (mittfh) says:

Erm, good point folks, Gavotte's hardly likely to experience much in the way of sexual reproduction - or at least, an ordinary hive wouldn't...

Parthenogenesis, on the other hand, she should be familiar with, as the majority of her was undoubtedly a result of that process...

But then again, not many bees are capable of human-decipherable speech or making logical decisions affecting a quango. So maybe Gavotte "does it" differently to ordinary bees? Just a thought...

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

I would hate to see what happens when Gavotte encounters a flock of birds.

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

Moustachio's mention of "several million dependents" implies that Gavotte is composed of many, many hives, each with it's own queen.

Therefore, somewhere there is sex going on almost all the time....

Indeed, it may be that all the bee colonies everywhere are a part of Gavotte, and she is unique.

Philip Cohen (treesong2) says:

It seems that Gavotte is not in fact a swarm of honeybees, since those are one-sting bees and she's threatened people with her angry beeness. I wouldn't take a threatened punch very seriously if I knew that punching would make the puncher's hand fall off. Don't know much about melittology, but I imagine there are species of bee that swarm but can sting and live.

Most species, I think, are not parthenogenetic, apart from the relatively few drones. All bets are off with Gavotte, though.

The idea that Gavotte is composed of many hives is intriguing, but they'd have to be very close together to function efficiently as a single entity.

Nathan Wilson (nathan) says:

I bet her bees are dying all the time, and more are being born all the time as well, like brain cells themselves. So, if she threatens to sting you, those bees might die, but it doesn't make a huge difference in the long run, not unless half her hive stings at once.

Eric Burns (ericburns) says: I have to assume that there's quite a bit of human in Gavotte, the same as (say) Sweetheart. It's certainly possible that expresses itself in different ways than average beehives have.
E.T. the Eccentric Type (et_the_eccentric_type) says:

So, in short, yeah, Gavotte has some weird things going on in her, but it's none of our beeswax.

Rob (rrreed) says:

"Gracious, Miss Unity appears to be dead."

Euel Ball (euel) says:

Well, as Unity started out undead, (well, sort of undead...) with a habit of losing body parts (and replacing them with -other people's- body parts) I don't think anything less than high explosives could stop her...

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: (kree)
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: That's our Unity! ::TV theme::
Michael Kimmitt (punditusmaximus) says: Much like UNITY, Gavotte is obviously partially Africanized.
Adam (10-0-0-1) says: Sweetheart seems to be unusually bitchy today *hides from the bad joke mob*
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

So you are saying that Gavotte is the bee's knees?

Nate Cull (natecull) says:

And Moustachio is brazen.

E.T. the Eccentric Type (et_the_eccentric_type) says:

It's your average story. Boy meets Girl

Sapient Swamp meets Collective Apid Intelligence...

Nahuel Méndez Diodati (chirigami) says:

I was trying to "Like" E.T.'s comment. Then I remembered this is not Facebook... Damn, that thing's messing with my mind.

Ben N (mittfh) says:

Further proof Unity suffers from a bad case of ADOS (Attention Defecit Ooh Shiny). Gavotte's response to her should be interesting...

There's also a hint that in addition to the many improbable things Gavotte's capable of, she can write letters (that must require a fair degree of coordination, as presumably it would take several of her to hold the pen...)

Martin Hellberg Olsson (the_somewhat_knight) says:

@Ben My guess would be she prefers typing

Also, it is interesting (or at least amusing, if we're not supposed to read too much into it) that Unity can easily pinpoint the time of the e-mail to 2005.


Also, I too approve of E.T.'s comment.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: ........
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Okay, so we're still in flashback. I was a bit unclear on whether this sequence was post-Cypress and we'd eventually get the rest of that story in flashback. Jumping around the timeline without some sort of visual cue like rounded panel borders can get confusing at times.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Wiper Blades", Heywood Banks)

Hear Moustachio say, "Madam, see,
Your companions need maturity!"
Then a word that perks up Unity ...
"You got a message from a Cypress tree!"

A CY-press CY-press CY-press tree-e-e,
A CY-press CY-press CY-press tree-e-e,
A CY-press CY-press CY-press tree-e-e,
She got a message from a Cypress tree!

Seems this Cypress guy once sent some mail,
But the news has gotten slightly stale!
He asks, "When will her reply arrive?"
But this was way back in two-thousand-five!

That CY-press CY-press CY-press ma-a-ail,
That CY-press CY-press CY-press ma-a-ail,
That CY-press CY-press CY-press ma-a-ail,
We're sorry we forgot that Cypress mail!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Ed, once again your awesomeness perfectly complements the awesome that is Skin Horse.

So why aren't Shaenon and Jeffrey including your filk songs in the bound editions?

casimir (casimir) says:

So true about Ed's filks, deecee, but it maybe something having to do with those durned copyright regs.

The first sequence in this arc being a foreshadowing, Cypress gets a little tetchy about overdue replies!

And what's with Unity opening Gavotte's mail, let alone losing track of it?

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

If we included all the songs in the books, people wouldn't have any reason to visit the website, now would they?
Nate Cull (natecull) says:

Maybe it looked tasty?

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Which leads one to wonder, how would Gavotte 'open' a letter, anyway?

Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

@Tom: "Mustachio, open that letter."

E.T. the Eccentric Type (et_the_eccentric_type) says:

MENSA Annual?

For the last time, Unity, it's not a cookbook.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Of course it's not a cookbook. It's a shopping list.
Rob (rrreed) says: And there's a SALE AT PENNY'S!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", Neil Sedaka)

We see a bee sip tea (clatter clatter)
We see a bee sip tea (clatter clatter)
We see a bee sip tea,
They broke up five years a-go!

There was a note ... that Unity
Went and just forgot about, you see!
I know our office is sometimes slow,
But they broke up five years ago!

Can't make it out ... oh, wait, of course!
It's the papers for someone's divorce!
They sent it here, to let us know
That they broke up five years ago!

It says that they broke up five years ago,
And Gavotte is startled, although
She won't admit it somehow --
I really hate to tattle, but it seems Gavotte is rattled now!

So what is this?  This note we got?
A MacGuffin to advance the plot!
It's upsetting the status quo,
'Cause they broke up five years ago!

Ray Dillinger (bear) says: I suppose I am a language geek, but to me the most interesting thing about this is how "dude" has ceased to be a noun in direct address and become an interjection. And to at least half-a-dozen people who commented, it didn't seem like an error they needed to point out, so there's some evidence that this is becoming normal usage.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@Ray: Dude ....

Rob (rrreed) says:

casimir (casimir) says:

Just so. "Rattling her teacup" is the perfect euphemism for upsetting Gavotte.

woozy (woozy) says:

The Swamp Thingee is Cypress is Mrs. Havisham?  Heh, heh.  I called it.  Didn't see Gavotte as the suitor who stood her (him?  it?) up though.

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