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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

Those zombies are putty in their hand.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

By the pricking of my Humeri,

Something Silly this way comes?

woozy (woozy) says:

By the pricking of my thumbs
Something wicked this way comes
By the pricking of my nose
Here it comes and there it goes
When wickedness has gone its way
Sillyiness returns to stay
Leaving a trail of cookie crumbs
Something silly this way comes.

The Auld Grump (theauldgrump) says:

Thank you for that.... now it's stuck in my head. :(


The Auld Grump

Rob (rrreed) says:

"Right, right, stop it. This film's comic's got silly. Started off with a nice little idea about grannies zombies attacking young men, but now it's got silly. This man's hair is too long for a vicar oungam too. These signs are pretty badly made. Right, now for a complete change of mood."
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Happy Jack", The Who)

Silly Tip was a man, but he wore a dress ...
He battled the zombies to blow off stress ...
Young Venus told Remy, the local houngan,
"Now from death, you'll retrieve my belovéd young man!"

With weird zombie army,
They fought, fought, fought!
Said Tip, "You won't harm me!"
He shot, shot, shot, shot, shot!

Now, badass-ness of Tip can't be overstated,
But they couldn't make Alphonse be incarnated!

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

The next edition of Redneck Rampage!

Redneck Rampage: A Dog and her Boy?

(If you don't know...

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Do you read that "Em Alphonse" or "Monsieur Alphonse"?

@Rob: Monty Python's No-Nonsense Colonel?

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

This is going to lead into a Monty Python spoof isn't it?

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

Frank (pokefan_frank) says: 

Do you read that "Em Alphonse" or "Monsieur Alphonse"?

Je pense qu'il se lirait «Monsieur Alphonse.» (although Cajun usage might be different…

woozy (woozy) says:

I know what Tip is thinking.  But I haven't the slightest idea what Sweetheart is thinking.

woozy (woozy) says:

No, I really do not think Sweetheart is thinking about Wedding Dresses.  Try again.

Liz Butler (hypothetical_woman) says:

It's such a pity there isn't a way to get Tip and Alice in here to deal with these spammers. Or call in the big guns and get Nick.

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: Personally I am surprised Sweetheart has ever even seen that video.
Rob (rrreed) says:

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so, but is the world ready for angora bellbottoms? I mean I can see wearing them inside out, but that would—"
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Thriller", Michael Jackson) (Did you expect anything else?)

We're in New Orleans,
And fighting through the streets where zombies roam!
Yes, it's a bad scene!
Let's duck into this old abandoned home!
We don't have long!
Those zombies won't by stopped by flimsy boards!
It's like that song,
Where teenage kids were trapped by undead hordes!
I hear the chords ...

Of Jackson's "Thriller!"
Will there be
A funky beat to help repeat that choreography?
Our moves are killer!
Wait and see!
A hand you can rely on
Is what Brian
Is tryin'
To be!

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

(Cue Vincent Price laughter here.)

Bruce Bergman (brucebergman) says:

And on a related note, Captain Eo is back at Disneyland "for a limited return engagement." 

(Meaning "until we mine it for every nickle."  They're good at that.)

Terry Smith (wcfan) says:

I thought the cat's eyes were a predictable cliche, really... Also the dancing dead were tacky.

I just didn't like the video, I guess...

woozy (woozy) says:

I never saw the video.  And I didn't know Captain Eo had ever been gone from Disneyland.

So what's Sweetheart thinking?  Or has Tip's psychology finally gotten to her.

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I knew there was a safe room.  Now if they can keep Lewis from swiping all the pills...

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

Terry Smith (wcfan) says: 

I thought the cat's eyes were a predictable cliche, really... Also the dancing dead were tacky.

I just didn't like the video, I guess...

When did you first see the video? It may be cliché today, but in 1983 it f***in' rawked.

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

In 1983 I already thought Michael Jackson was too creepy to like.  Good instincts?

Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

Rescue Ex Machina!

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Nah, it's Nick. Not only was he talking at the beginning of the mission about the giant flying buzzsaw work he was going to be doing, that's his distinctive wrongswearing in the last panel.

Martin Hooper (martinjh99) says:

Just remembered who it was so deleted my original comment - Tigerlily??

Sure sounds like it to me...

woozy (woozy) says:

Sweetheart does a good Spudz McKenzie impression in panel 3.  (Or was she going more for Petey of Our Gang?)

Wow.  Guess she wasn't thinking of *anything* about evil cat eyes yesterday...

Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

@jcampbel: The very machina rendering the rescue, yes.

dexitroboper (dexitroboper) says:

great googly eyes!

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

Has Nick ever actually said melonfarmers yet?



woozy (woozy) says:

>>>Just remembered who it was so deleted my original comment - Tigerlily??

I don't think we're actually supposed to have any doubt as to who it is.  I think we're just supposed to release a breath of relief as we realize Nick has come through with yet another eleventh hour rescue.

I could be wrong and maybe tomorrow we'll all but one be startled by her emminent funkiness.  That'd be kind of cool.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

My previous comment wasn't in response to yours, Andy, but rather, through bizarre fluctuations in the space-time continuum (or possibly someone deleting their original comment and re-commenting after they remembered the name of the character they were talking about), in response to the comment after mine.

In unrelated news, it's sad that the air cavalry riding to the rescue didn't wait a few seconds longer so that Tip and Sweetheart could make some embarrassing last-minute confessions.

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

Given how Nick's sensoring circuit seems to work and how it's often possible to tell what he /meant/ to say, I have to admit it is going to bother me ALL DAY what on earth Nick originally intended 'nickle-pickers' to come out as.


Thanks for that.

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

Also, per Andy's comment... given the origin of the term deus ex machina, couldn't this rescue count as machina ex machina?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "You'll Be A Dentist", Ashman & Menken)

Way back in August, the folks at BP
Picked up the phone and made a call to me ...
"Mister Zerhakker, could you bring your blades
And help us clean up ... the mess that we made?
Take fallen timber, make it toothpick-sized!"
That's when I re-a-lized!
(You realized?)
I realized that I could chop
A bumber crop
That even George A. Romero can't top!

I am a buzz-saw!
Working the coastline and chopping down trees!
I am a buzz-saw!
And I dismantle the zombies with ease!
You know that there's nobody quicker
At rescuing both of you nickel-pickers!
And now!  And now with a crash, man,
I'm coming to save your ash, man!
(Get it?  "Ashman"?)
'Cause I'm a buzz-saw,
A chopper named Nick!

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Now available, the Zerhakker Kitchen Buzzsaw!  It dices your melonfarming ghouls!  Juliennes the backstitching undead!  And makes great zombie conkers slaw!

D. Connolly (theogrin) says:

Freeeeeow.  Because when you borrow onomatopoeia, borrow it from the very best: Zaphod Beeblebrox.

(Not that I'm complaining.  *Sound of Helicopter Chewing Through Zombies* just doesn't work unless you're Moore or Vernon.)

Liz Butler (hypothetical_woman) says:


N B (daveclone7) says:

@rainpacket: would that make Nick phasma ex machina ex machina?

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

@D. Connolly Actually, Nick's surname sounds like something Zaphod might zarking say.

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

Am reliefed. Boing.

Here I was thinking Nick would be relegated to the "Don't mind me; I'm just the car" position, but now look! He saves people.

John Breckenridge (jbrecken) says:

He's had it with these monkey-fighting zombies in this Monday-to-Friday swamp!

woozy (woozy) says:

In unrelated news, it's sad that the air cavalry riding to the rescue didn't wait a few seconds longer so that Tip and Sweetheart could make some embarrassing last-minute confessions.

Sweetheart admitting she liked evil cat eyes in the Thriller video seems like  (by Sweetheart standards) an embarrassing confession.

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: Ah Nick, he adds so much fun to every panel he is in.
Just Here (justhere4coffee) says:

All Nick needs now is a new radome, for the proper Bruce Campbell chin!

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

And Tip, once again, proves to be the rational one.  "If we were doing Michael Jackson videos, he can do Bruce Campbell."

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Groovy Kind Of Love", The Mindbenders)

Zombies are malicious!
Rescue's expeditious!
Bet Bruce Campbell wishes
He had one of these!

Made for chopping trees,
Cleaning up the Gulf Coast!
Man, you guys would be toast
With-out me!

Wouldn't you agree?
Can't you fatheads see
It's a groovy flensing saw!

Andrew Schepler (schep) says:

There are some neat YouTube videos to be found with searches like 'helicopter tree trimming'.  But none of the helicopters featured in them look nearly as awesome as Nick, of course.

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: I love yesterday's (not-so-)Silent Penultimate Panel! (Despite breaking style, those boggle-eyes are an awesome followup to the "Goodbye friend" scene! Also, it's nice that they get a disaster or two on their side! Flying buzzsaw versus rogue swamp for the title!
Eric Burns (ericburns) says: For the record -- just for the RECORD -- Nick was opposed to Air Force service because he didn't want to be armed and kill. At the time, we thought he had moral difficulties with it. Now, we just know he wants to be *close* when he does it. Clearly, Groom Lake should have had him transferred to Air Cav.
Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

Is it bad that I recognized the reference immediately?  I mean, come on.  The "who's laughing now" scene defined that movie.

As did the use of tree-trimming equipment to protect the living from the undead.


Makes me think that Brian's presence on Tip's shoulder is no accident, either.  Nor the fact that Brian is a rightie.

Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says:

Hmm, I don't think the evil Cypress will like those blades near her limbs at ALL. 

Doug Wykstra (dougthehead) says:


Why do I suddenly think that a certain '70s-obsessed mad scientist was involved with this?

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

Doug: Because you're not too familiar with Evil Dead, I think.

Mike Kozar (mikekozar) says:

@Dougthehead - Allow me to provide some context.  The film series that Nick is excited about is called Evil Dead, staring Bruce Campbell.  The premise of the film is that a bunch of friends go visit a cabin in the woods, and find the last resident's audio notes on the Necronomicon.  After playing the recorded invocation, all hell predictably breaks loose.  In the ensuing mayhem, the hero loses his right arm.  Later, the survivors buy a few minutes in the toolshed, resulting in this classic scene:


Also, Ed: 'Groovy flensing saw' is going to haunt my nightmares, thanks.

This guy I know (thisguy) says:

Eric Burns: I rather doubt it. My guess is that mindless zombies don't count. They aren't people any more, heck, they're not even alive. (Note that sentient zombies like UNITY are another story altogether.)

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Inasmuch as these zombies are part of the Cypress Daughter, this is all technically part of Nick's tree-trimming assignment.
Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

Did Nick's filter turn "hella" into "hecks of?"  That's the only way I can parse the sentence... they could stand to turn that thing down half a notch.

Rob (rrreed) says: Actually, the first thing to came to my mind upon seeing that saw apparatus was The World is Not Enough, where it was used in almost the identical fashion that Nick used.

"The insurance company is NEVER going to believe this!"
John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Nick's just upset because Dr. Lee isn't there to appreciate his Cousin Bruce quotes and his huge dangling thing.

(I'm sorry. I wouldn't have gone there, but Tip and Sweetheart blazed the trail.)

Nick, next time you see Dr. Lee, try, "Gimme some sugar, baby!"

Brian Rogers (billionsix) says:

hehe. Nick would love it if Dr. Lee gave the "That's what she said!" line. He just doesn't like Tip.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: The pot is speaking to the kettle.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I Just Can't Wait To Be King", Elton John & Tim Rice)

We battled with the zombie pack,
Their ranks kept closing in!
They kept on pressing their attack ...
It seemed we couldn't win!

We thought that we had met our end,
We sadly said "Adieu",
When you came crashing in, old friend,
And chopped them into goo!

I said to Sweetheart, "Man, that's gotta sting ..."
When you used your huge, dangling thing!

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

The difference is, Tip has probably heard someone say that.  To him.

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

Awwww... Nick looks pudgy and cute in the first panel!

Little adowabwe hewwicoptew!

Corey Klemow (cklemow_g) says:

Apropos of very little, a band named "Mistle Thrush" used to rehearse in the basement of the house I lived in for the first couple of years after I graduated college.  Just Googled 'em and they're still together and gigging around Boston.   Good on them.

woozy (woozy) says:

 Nick would love it if Dr. Lee gave the "That's what she said!" line. He just doesn't like Tip.

... or he could be trying to ignore that one of the few short-comings of his awesome new non-human existence is that he no longer has an organic huge dangling thing. 

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

@ E.T. the Eccentric Type: I think that Shaenon may have inadvertantly designed a Nick Zerhacker plushie.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

I can't even draw military hardware without it gradually becoming cuter and cuter.
Mike Kozar (mikekozar) says:

@Shaenon  It's not your fault - the Osprey is a pretty round-hulled helicopter, without a lot of inherent intimidation value.  If he was based on an Apache airframe, you could cover it with little G.I. Joe missile pods, and if it was a Comanche it would have the cool predatory angled hull.  Still, Nick is basically a foul-mouthed pacifist geek, so the model that is pudgy but useful is actually a pretty good fit.

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

Is anyone counting the Firefly/Serenity references?  If so, I believe Nick just incremented the count.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Thumbelina", Frank Loesser)

While Nick is floating on the breeze,
Trimming trees ... with such ease,
He rescues teammates by the threes!
Save the crew!  Zombie too?  Chopper, please!

Nick Zerhakker, Nick Zerhakker, interrupt your raid!
Come now to our aid!  But you won't get paid!
Nick Zerhakker, civil servants must get by on praise ...
'Cause your heart is full of love, you get no raise!

Glenn Gorsuch (glenn) says:

Oh, yeah.  Thanks, Sweetheart.  I forgot why I came in to work today.  Full of love.  Got it. 

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

Just in case anyone still thought it was because nobody else would hire a sweary helicopter.

John Ames (commodorejohn) says: Is that why they do what they do? This explains the nice people at the local Post Office, but the folks at the DMV could use a polite reminder by Sweetheart...
Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

Man, my workplace'd LOVE to hire Nick. Nothing a mental health RBHA needs more than a talking, chainsaw-toting black ops helicopter for patient pickup.  The follow up paperwork would be amazing.

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

Nick can't say "damn"?

What if he was heroically saving Unity while she was stranded on a large dam?  Could he be a Big Dam Hero then?

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:


I submit that the Firefly/Serenity reference count goes up by two.

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

I suppose the question is whether Nick's "Barry Ween chip" (to use the term from PS238, which itself refers to a /different/ comic... wow, that's like three levels of meta there) reads intent or actual word.  If he says "dam" as a way of getting around the censorship, does the chip know his intent (to swear) or only the actual word?

(Of course, another question is whether Nick's chip takes the same approach that Zodon's chip does in PS238, wherein longer streams of profanity are simply replaced by show tunes rather than censoring the individual words.)

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