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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Nahuel Méndez Diodati (chirigami) says:

Hmm... Something I don't remember clearly from Narbonic (I think it was never mentioned), as a gerbil, was he also insanely hot for other gerbils (just like Tip is even in wolf form) or is it only when he's human?

Viktor Dosk (hugin) says: I'm not really liking the "Tip is bi" plot. I preferred him as a straight male who identified as male and happened to like women's clothes. It was an interesting change from how crossdressers are normally portrayed.
M M (mm73) says:

I take it Artie's used to getting numbers written on underwear.  Probably even from otherwise straight males.

Nahuel Méndez Diodati (chirigami) says:

@Viktor: Remember Tip is really REALLY interested in fashion and "looking good", so Tip might not be hitting on Artie, but he's probably really interested in having such a good looking acquaintance! He might even be interested like a "fan" looking at his "idol".

There is no sexual attraction explicitely stated at all. (P.S.: Sorry if my English sucks, it's not my main language)

Rachel S. (masamage) says:

Nahuel: Artie in Narbonic isn't particularly horny even when human. He's primarily attracted to bronzed young Latino men and to Antonio Smith, Forensic Linguist. He never displays attraction to another male gerbil, but is uncomfortable around the females and their pheromones.

Scott Lawrence (risky) says:

Question... did Artie mean to say underwear or did it just "slip out"?

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Inspired by the sestina from yesterday's Narbonic, I though I'd write one for Skin Horse.  For my rhyme scheme, I chose the six names of the Project Skin Horse team, which are also common words.

Captain Bram's Fancy Valentine Sweetheart
Sadly unthreatening, her white, fluffy tail curling at the tip
Field Commander, cat-herder, striving for team unity
Rooming with teen Unity, gives grabby hand the odd nick
Of a fang to save the TV dinner, dancing a gavotte
With mayhem as she tries to rampage, twirling her moustachio

Twirling nothing with his Tigerlily armlets, Moustachio,
Scourge of the Crystal Palace Exhibition, now a sweetheart
Thinkonium, greets visitors, hums a sprightly gavotte
He'd love to bow and give his top-hat a courtly tip
But London mayhem left him legless in the nick
Of time, saving the world, bringing him into unity

With Upgradeable Independent Necrotic . . . well, Unity
Evil done, no need to twirl a tell-tale waxed moustachio
A super-soldier gone amok, stopped in the nick
Of time from fragging future friend Sweetheart
Houngan Remy Sage-Marron gave her a kiss and a tip
Upon her shoulder Brian danced a kind of mad gavotte

No mad dances for Project Director Gavotte
Hundreds of thinking, spelling bees swarm in unity
One mind, one entity, tea poured into a tiki cup, a tip
Of the pot, "But how?" they wonder. Moustachio
Shares tales of long-gone days with Lady Bees, a sweetheart
And a leader too, who grabbed the stealthy chance to nick

The Whirligig Project washout, once software geek Nick
Zerhakker, who sat alone with joystick, never did gavotte
Awoke a VTOL tiltrotor, and said to Dr. Lee, "Holy sweetheart,
I can fly! That's who I'm meant to be. Wait! There is no unity
Between my thoughts and words!  What gull-winged moustachio
Is censoring me? I'm gonna fructose that scrubbing run-on-a-tip!"

Oops! Talk therapy puppets with Army-chic misfit Dennis "Tip"
Wilkin, psychologist, arm-hair shaved without a nick
Mainbochered muffin magnet, manly sans moustachio
"You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte"
So vain, as dance partners line up, seeking horizontal unity
With this ballsy, sometimes busty, always bishi sweetheart

No twirling of moustachios; they tip their hats, their fates embrace
That some sweet heart, some knowing mind, in nick of time, found them a place
In Annex One, they all gavotte, in unity of smiling face

Ben N (mittfh) says:

Rachel: Don't you mean ANTONTIO SMITH, FORENSIC LINGUIST? :)  (Narbonic in-joke - the character's name and job title were always capitalised when he was on a mission [which was almost every time he was encountered])

As for Artie potentially hitting on Tip, that's only to be expected given the number of people (and creatures!) that have been attracted to him over the life of the strip. Heck, someone's already updated "Even The Guys Want Him" on TV Tropes...

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: @Viktor: It's a superpower. And I'm not talking about Tip, for once.
JP Chabot (speedball) says:

Nahuel, your English is PERFECT.

Josh MacLeod (alcar) says:

Kay: Awesome.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@Kay: most excellent!  You win the Internet today!

(TUNE: Theme to "Underdog")

Our Tip's not felt like this before,
With Artie shares a strange rapport,
Now there's some digits he must store,
He'll write it on some paper or
His underwear!  (Underwear!)
Underwear!  (Underwear!)

That Niue's such a harpy!
Artie's groovy, has a Sharpie!
Write on there ...
Underwear ... underwear!

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Josh and Ed: Thanks for the kind words, but I see I've switched two words in Unity's acronym.  It should be "Necrotic Independent," not the reverse.  Crud!

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Yep, I was right. The Boxers Or Briefs question for Artie is answered "mu".


John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

He doesn't even wear pants when he isn't worried about losing his keys.

Tim Jewett (ryushikaze) says:

So, Shaenon, you have now officially confirmed (as opposed to merely extremely strongly implied) that Skin Horse and Narbonic share continuity. Presumably, Li'l Mell is also in the same timeline as these two comics because Mell, Artie, etc. Joe and 'Homeschool Joe' in Smithson and Li'l Mell also appear to be the same character, which implies Smithson might be in this timeline as well (The RA growing skin fish isn't helping either), and your High School and College comics both share continuity with Narbonic because of Dave and Mell starring in them.




So, it seems you have a singular, giant continuity in which all this crazy stuff is occuring. There are a few questions which need to be answered.


A: Was this intentional, or did it just happen? Especially in the case of Smithson and Skin Horse, which doesn't and until recently didn't have any recurring characters.


B: Will Sergio be appearing in Skin Horse any time soon? AFAIK, he's only appeared in Li'l mell, but he's still around and being all 'Good Mad Scientist' in this time.


C: Any chance of a Graphically enhanced (or even original) look at the full versions of your old strips? I'm curious.


D: Do you prefer the term Shaenonverse or Narbonicverse? Or is there another term you use here?

Marni Rachmiel (marniferous) says:

I love that someone else is having the effect on Tip that he usually has on women. Artie's mojo trumps Tip's! This is a great strip, it makes me happy! :)

2 things: 1. Still with the 'odd couple' theme: Sweetheart/cat and Tip/Artie... very curious what's up with that. Which leads me to:

2. My "wait-a-minute what's really going on here?" plot twist bump is tingling. One character unexpectedly straying from their norm is one thing, but two is a Pattern. But what's the pattern? No idea. I just bet it's there. Because Shaenon is an Evil Genius of Brilliant and Subtle Wonderfulness!

(And personally i say Narboniverse.)


Nahuel Méndez Diodati (chirigami) says:

@Rachel: No, no, I meant the opposite question, sorry if I messed up with the wording. I meant if he was hot TO other gerbils. I mean, did other gerbils think Artie was hot AS a gerbil? I do remember Artie's crushes, and that he was mostly intellectual, and not so "horny", as you said. What I meant is if he was attractive to other gerbils while in gerbil mode, like Tip was attractive to wolves when in wolf mode. :P

Prodigal (snakebitcat) says:

Looks like artie's answer to the "Boxers of Briefs?" question is "I'll sign either."

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@kaygilbert: Forget "today," you win the Internet for this whole month.

Also, @ryushikaze: I, too, usually say "Narboniverse," though I admit that conceptually "Shaenonverse" makes more sense. (I suppose there are other possibilities, too. "Artieverse"? "Melliverse"? "SweetdaddyJupiterVelvetiverse?")

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Kay: I think Unity's first line works *better* this way, as though the poet can't get the full name right and gives up in disgust.  Well, that's how I interpreted it.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@deecee: Can I "Like" your comment? I want to "Like" your comment. That interpretation of the line works really really well here.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@ Tim, Mami & Andrew: I call it the Shaenonandon.

@Diane: At one point, Dr. Lee, I think, was saying the full acronym, but only got as far as "Upgradeable Necrotic Independent" before Unity made her stop.  I don't think we've learned what T and Y stand for.

Michael Kimmitt (punditusmaximus) says: Tip isn't bi -- I have some friends who self-identify as straight or gay but who have a few very specific crushes in the other direction. Tip's deep aesthetic sense is going to have him aimed in the direction of a few particularly gorgeous men.
M. Alan Thomas II (crazydreamer) says:

@punditusmaximus: Agreed, although marniferous has a good alternative. As the Kinsey scale has already been brought up in the strip, this is merely showing that he is a Kinsey 1 and therefore still overwhelmingly heterosexual.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:


A: Sometimes it was intentional, sometimes it just happened. Skin Horse was intentionally set in the same world as Narbonic from the start.

B: That's up to him, I guess.

C: Nah, I'm too lazy.

D: TV Tropes calls it the Narboniverse. It's out of my hands.
Tim Jewett (ryushikaze) says:

@Andrew- Melltiverse.

@Kay, oh, groan. But appropriate, given she's been running in the same continuity for around 15 years or more.

As for Unity- Upgradeable Necrotic Independant Talking Yabbo


Tim Jewett (ryushikaze) says:


A: I figured sometimes it just happened because Cameos are fun and can get away from you, but yeah, Skin Horse always seemed to fit exactly in line with Narbonic's sensibilities.

Now I'm curious what this series would be like in the bad end version of Narbonic.

B: An interesting and intriguing way to phrase that.

C: But, but, but, it's all your extremely old art that you're extremely embarassed about! What could possibly not be motivating about that?

D. Clearly, then, we must use our glorious mad science to break free of the tyrranical heel of TV Tropes! I'll grab my Anti-Tank pistol.

sprrwhwk (sprrwhwk) says:

♥ Tip.  ♥ Tip so much.

@hugin:  While I liked that, I'm also liking this.  De gustibus &c.

Rob (rrreed) says: I'm partial to Narbonibrane, myself, given Helen, Dave, and Tip's specialties (and one of two of Unity's seemingly constant features), but that could just be the bulk talking. Plus it alliterates!
Typhin Reynard (typhin) says:

I apologize, but I cannot resist asking:

Does this mean the Gerbil Inseminator is going to come into play as well?  ("Do you really want to give birth to gerbils?" is still one of my favorite threatening lines ever...  Never underestimate the madness of Mad Science!)

Amy Fiori (amy82986) says:

@Nahuel:  My guess would be no, because Helen specifically bioengineered Artie's human form to be incredibly hot.  Somehow, I doubt that was a priority for her with his gerbil body.  (Although, with Helen, you never know.)

Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

Sudden realization of ... hypocricy?

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Artie appreciates a good hat (they're handy to ride in), unlike SOME people.
Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

I'm sure there's gonna be some interesting reactions when the find out each others dates. :P

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

tip is just so SWEET here.

i think sweetheart really doesn't like him all that much, but he so clearly wants to be friends :)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Mellow Yellow", Donovan)

I'll have dinner with Artie,
He'll have dinner with me!
We'll have dinner, then party!
Sweetheart's bringing H.T.!

    They call it double dating!
         (Have fun, hon!)
    They call it double dating!
         (Have fun, hon!)
    They call it double dating!

At transgenic convention,
I've been getting a date!
Sweetheart shows apprehension,
She's been getting ... um, wait ...
     (repeat CHORUS)

Broke it off with Niue,
Sweetheart's dating a cat!
Things might get a bit screwy ...
We'll just see about that!
     (repeat CHORUS)

Four companions will need to
Find a meeting of minds ...
Still, this evening could lead to
"Congress" of more than one kind!
     (repeat CHORUS mellowly ...)

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Do I want to know what the picture is, in panel 2?

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

Me, I *am* enjoying the idea of Tip-as-bi. As comfortable as he is of genderplay and role-changing, I can see him at least giving the idea some consideration even if he's never personally seen the appeal before this.  It makes sense and feels like something he'd do; go Tip! Go Artie!  And for that matter, go Sweetheart and H.T!  Guess I'm just a big ol' romantic.

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

I hate to say this, but Tip is looking very Sarah Palin-ish today....

Soren Smith (freemage69) says:

@Sam: Think of it as Tip looking very Tina Fey-ish today, and it produces fewer heebie-jeebies.

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

sarah palin has NEVER had tip's smile :)

James Henderson (cgreylore) says:

I love Tip and Artie, this is a match made in madscience heaven :). The idea of Unity meeting Mel is simply frightening. I'd love to see tip with someone who is his equal.

Eddddd theawsome (eddddd) says:

i agree with theysabel: i can't see Tip just leaving an entire half of the human race un-hit-on

Ben N (mittfh) says:

@James And those are probably the only Narbonic characters with unresolved relationships. Helen and Dave are probably having fun on their island, the hamsters are too keen on world domination to worry about love, I can't picture any surviving Madblood androids being interested in affairs of the heart, but now Lovelace has open-sourced herself, it's remotely possible there's a fork or two interested in researching emotions (and maybe modifying their own codebase as a result)...

Thomas Levy (ergonomytch) says:

In my mind Dr. Narbon and Gavotte meet for tea once a year, and discuss the long con they have running on the government, the Institute, the Machine Union, and the Transgenic Antidefamation League.

Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

What; no-one is shipping Lovelace and Mustachio?

Mason Kramer (masonk) says:

Isn't she a bit young for him?

Rob (rrreed) says: @Carl -- Hmm... 'shipping Moustachio. I think we have the beginnings of a harem comedy, a la Tenchi Muyo!
  • Moustachio = Tenchi
  • Gavotte = Ayeka
  • Tigerlily Jones = Washu
  • Lovelace = Sasami?
  • Unity = Ryoko
  • Tip = Mihoshi?
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Of all the male Skin Horse characters you could put at the center of a manga-style harem comedy, Moustachio is... absolutely the most perfect. I like it.
Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:


What are interrobangs?!?

I just used them twice?   How could I have done that without knowing what they are?

(Actually, I've heard "bang" as verbal shorthand for exclamation point, so it's fairly obvious, given the context and Sweetheart kindly providing samples.)

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

oh tip, artie *is* a small, busybody rodent.  he's just also kind of heroic and nice, not to mention REALLY CUTE.  (it's not just the human form either, i remember the tiny sling :)

Ray Radlein (radlein) says:

Well, technically the interobang is a single glyph: ‽ but a "?!" combination is close enough.

Ray Radlein (radlein) says:

Interesting. Evidently it's not only a single glyph, but it's a magical one that bolds comments here. Go figure.

Just Here (justhere4coffee) says:

Interrobangs‽‽‽ I see no interrobangs…

Eddddd theawsome (eddddd) says:


i just looked up the tiny sling


Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

As I said. Interesting reactions. :P

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: "Papa, don't preach," Brian Elliot & Madonna Ciccone (Madonna, True Blue, 1986)

Sweetheart, I though that I was lost
I got aikido'd by a squirrel
Then I looked up and saw
A vision in dreadlocks

He chased the thugs away and then
I saw the handsomest of men
I love the ladies, but
This guy is a stone fox

Thought he was just a rodent pest
Then saw his biceps and manly chest
You'd feel the same way too, so don't get crazy

Don't go on like that
Go out with your cat
'Cause I've made up my mind
I'm gonna date Artie

Are you that surprised?
When he's human-sized
He's a hunk and a half
So I'm dating Artie
And I am hot to party

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Dun de dunnn!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The Age Of Aquarius", The Fifth Dimension)

Well, our Tip is having drinks tonight ...
He's getting dressed, and going out ...
But Sweetheart thinks this isn't right ...
Inqui-iring with a shout!

She's asking questions that are
Full of interrobangs!
Full of interrobangs!
Interrobangs?!?  Interrobangs!!

Skeptical interrogation,
With an added exclama-a-a-tion!
Questioning and disbelieving!
Tip says, "Shouldn't we be leaving?"
How can double dating be fine
With a rodent and a fe-e-line?!

Thomas Jones (spudd86) says:

those aren;t interrobangs THIS is an interobang‽

Jerry Costlow (jerryc) says:

Dear God don't let the mysterious people behind the destruction of our favorite swamp turn out to be members of the Dave Conspiracy.  I had more than enough of them at the Narbonic strip. 

Eric Burns (ericburns) says:

@jerryc: Do you know what can be put into place if the Cypress is destroyed? Mass transit.

Do you know who works as an engineer in the Transit Industry? MIT Graduate Dave Barker

Do the math! The horrible, horrible math!

Eric Burns (ericburns) says:

Also, in regards to the Interrobang: the interrobang glyph is not considered a standard punctuation mark in any usage guide or style guide I'm aware of. The typical rendering of the punctuation in standard written English is '?!,' though there is no specific standard and '!?' is often employed as well.

The reasoning behind the question mark being rendered first is because the sentence structure in question is interrogative, and the core verbalization would be with the characteristic raising of one's vocal pitch at the end of the sentence. The exclamation point (or 'bang') is added to increase emphasis when written or indicate an increase in vocal volume when spoken, without changing the structure of the sentence. In specific, a sentence that 'properly'* uses an interrobang would be an interrogative sentence spoken loudly, not an exclamation.

*='properly' instead of properly because as a non-standard mark and convention, the interrobang has no hard or fast style or usage rules. Your milage may vary. Post no bills.

Eric Burns (ericburns) says:

As a useless, useless side note, an interjection expressing a questioning nature could conceivably have the emphasis on the volume instead of the question. In such a case, I'd have to assume it would be acceptable (for some value of 'acceptable' for a non-standard stylistic choice) for the exclamation mark to precede the question mark. (e.g. "WHAT!?", Van Pelt, L. What have you done, you blockhead?, 1967 Holt, Rinehart and Winston.)

Rob (rrreed) says: @Jerry & @Eric—Of course it's not the Dave Conspiracy at work here. I have it on the best authority that it's actually part of a plan, sheer elegance in its draconian complexity, of the Moderately Insane Cabal of Engineers (M.I.C.E.).

Or so I've heard.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Eric: You've been reading from Strunk and White again, haven't you?

Ed: Come here, I need to hurt you again.

Eddddd theawsome (eddddd) says:

I love so much sweethearts expression there in the third panel!


woozy (woozy) says:

Ah, Sweetheart, you rebel!

Amy Fiori (amy82986) says:

I wonder if Artie and Helen are still close?  I can't help but picture what someone who could breed a carniverous hollyhock could do with Artie's "medicine".

Shane Wegner (shanewegner) says:

I don't know about dogs, but I have friends who swear their cats love the soothing effects of some nice, mellow ganja. I have to presume it affects their neurons somewhere on the same "plant-based pleasantness" as catnip. Which anyone who has seen it knows, cats are cuckoo for.

PS- I wonder if Helen ever made any side funding dabbling on that market? An evil biologist could probably clone up some seriously righteous weed. It cheeses off the cops and makes ill-begotton cash all the while! But... somehow it feels too mellow to really qualify as evil. Which is why it's hilarious that Artie's into it.

Beach Fox (beachfox) says:

Sweetheart and Artie living under the same roof? It's like all my zany CrackFic came true!


And Sweetheart's last comment just slays me. You're not the only one, hon. :)

Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

Sweetheart with a contact high paranoia?

Too precious for words!

I'll bet Artie, the seasoned Cal stoner, distracted her with bacon and microwaved burritos...  Nom,  nom, nom.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: "Dem bones," traditional spiritual (I like the totally whack version in "Fall out," the last episode of The Prisoner)

Since when have you gone gaybones‽
Since when have you gone gaybones‽
With Artie, who is well-known
Oh, wow, this beats goblin porn!

Your brain is connected to your dick bone
There's drunk girls connected to your dick bone
There's Ginny connected to your dick bone
There's Julie connected to your dick bone
There's Marcie connected to your dick bone
There's 'Lily connected to your dick bone
There's coeds connected to your dick bone
There's Phoebe connected to your dick bone
Now Artie shows up and you're all gaybones
Oh, wow, this beats goblin porn!

Since when have you gone gaybones‽
Since when have you gone gaybones‽
With Artie, who smokes homegrown
Oh, wow, this beats goblin porn!

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

I visited Berkeley last year, it's like a time warp back to the 60s--the People's Park, the street vendors selling bumper stickers warning about The Man, the strange, possibly homeless people ranting Shakespeare on street corners. And the ever present lingering aroma of weed.

Like they say, "You don't remember the '60s?" Hhhhhwuh! "Me neither, man."

Steven Ehrbar (see) says:

Wild, rebellious phase.  Oh, what a bad dog.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

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

When she first came to the U.S.,
Then her life was all such a mess!
Hanging with the Berkeley crowd
Where walking in a smoky cloud
Is allowed ...

Artie says it's just for his eyes!
It's me-di-ci-nal, he implies!
Contact she could not avoid,
And now she's getting paranoid!
Surrender to a cop right now, oh wow!

She's a rebel, and she thinks she's really cool!
She's a rebel 'cause she bent one tiny rule!
But just because she had a sniff and ... took a little whiff in,
That's no reason to turn her-self in!
She's not running wild!
She's no Sixties flower child!
And she's not a rebel, see her go!
She's not a rebel, 'cause we know
She's sweet!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:
  1. "Mostly medicinal"? Artie is (was?) still too honest for his own good....
  2. That was Sweetheart's "wild, rebellious" phase? Of course, IIRC her creator was trying to dominate America. Rebel against that, and... ???
  3. Sweetheart seems to get particularly snarky when she hasn't quite caught up to a new situation....

Shane: A number of herbs affect cats. Besides catnip (hallucinogen to them, mild stimulant to us), both MJ and valerian affect them more-or-less the same way they affect humans. Yes, dogs will eat MJ, but dogs will eat effing anything! Ask any vet, but be prepared to supply them with extra drinks.

Amusing point: About one in ten cats is immune to catnip. I've heard of one such cat, who used the catnip patch in his back yard to dominate the entire (feline) neighborhood:

  1. "Hey, I'm twice your size, and I say I'm boss of this street!"
  2. "You wanna come over here and say that?"
  3. "Sure!  Say your prayers, kid... uh...  oh, wow, the colors!"
  4. "Got some more colors for you... black and blue!"  <WHAPPITY WAP>
  5. "Urk..."


vicka corey (drbrain) says:

oh hai, i just put yesterday's strip and the cast page together -- artie's a hat monster too!!

Kathy Moon (flipkat) says:

Any guesses on those books? And how is it Shaenon can recall and provide the illegible titles on books drawn years ago, but can't do the same for much more recent work?

Zorah Oliver (danadavo) says:

I had a cat once who HATED catnip!  I got her a catnip ball, and she worried the thing until it came apart so she could ditch the catnip, then carefully carried BOTH PIECES of the ball to me so I could put it together again.  She wanted to play with the ball without the hindrance of the catnip!  (Unmistakable motions of "covering up" the catnip a la litterbox ...)

Glenn Gorsuch (glenn) says:

Mmmm....Berkeley, home of the Cheeseboard I lust after one of their pizzas now (or just to browse through their cheeses)...

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Has anyone considered "it" might just be tobacco?

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: @Frank - I'm afraid tobacco generally doesn't do anything for eyes... Anyway, as much as a straight shooter as Artie was back in the day, I'm kind of amazed that he went there.
Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

To danadavo:  Some cats *don't* like catnip; only about half the population on average (and in some really closed areas, none) will get any effects from it at all, and I've known a couple of cats that'd back off from the smell shaking their heads-- apparently they REALLY didn't like it.  One of mine gets a mild buzz and the other one goes totally batshit.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Cheeseboard collective? Why didn't I see this when I was in the Greater San Francisco area a few years ago?

*Andrew goes out on a Google hunt.

Doug Wykstra (dougthehead) says:

I like Artie's line of reasoning here.  Medicinal marijuana is used to treat glacouma, people with glacouma have bad eyesight, therefore someone with bad eyesight due to a higher-than-normal light sensitivity should take medicinal marijuana as well!  That's logic I can get behind.

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

@flipkat: I guess we'll have to wait for the Director's Cut version with annotations....

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@samhdaniel: Not sure there's going to be one. Mr. Wells and Ms. Garrity (or Jeff and Shaenon, if you prefer) have been providing commentary for some strips as they've been posted. Since they didn't do that today, I think our best hope is (*ahem, cough, cough*) a comment here in the thread.

James Rice (jhrice) says:

Now that it's buried way down here in the comments where no one will read it, I'll propose that it will be really funny if Artie shows up for the 'date' in his non-human form.  Come to think of it, Artie liked Alcohol as a gerbil, but do we know if he likes it as a human?

Shane Wegner (shanewegner) says:

Narbonic Labs? More like NarCHRONIC Labs!!

James Rice (jhrice) says:

I think it will be particularly funny if Artie shows up in his non-human form.

Viktor Dosk (hugin) says: James, that would be funny, until you realize that three panels into the date Tip is going to be in bed with him. While there are things they could do, I'd really prefer not thinking about it.
Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

@ James Rice

Unless Artie is going to try and get Tip to pay for dinner, he'll have to show up in human form. Pockets to put his wallet in and all that.

(And wasn't he going to try and spend as much time as
possible in human form, because of the longer human life expectancy?)

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

@Brian-M:  If Artie knows the Geiko Gecko, he may have learned where to keep things without pockets...

Of course, this also assumes that those commercials take place in the Narboniverse...

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I take it Tip is referring to f***-me pumps?

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Snide Sweetheart is snide.
Cat Bascle (mage_cat) says:

On Tip, all pumps are f***-me pumps.

Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says:

Didn't Tip date Unity once?

Eddddd theawsome (eddddd) says:

Tip doesn't really DATE much at all, does he?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

If the spammers show up today selling designer shoes, it might actually be appropriate ...

(TUNE: "Jump", Van Halen)

Let's go out!  Let's go out on the town!
So hurry up!  Let's hurry up and get down!
Never thought ... I'd be feeling this way ...
I didn't know-ow-ow that a gerbil
Could make me turn gay!
So the totality
Of my own sexuality has always been straight,
But now this guy I will date ...
It makes me wonder -- but wait!

I got the perfect pumps! (PUMPS!)
My high-heel pumps!
Designers pumps! (PUMPS!)
My f***-me pumps!

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

b/c clearly "OH GOD YES" means "i have the perfect pumps!" in tip-speak...

ha, at least he'd like sweetheart to think so ;)

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

James Rice:  Oh, I doubt he'd start off in gerbil form... but the transformation does give him a way to get naked Really Effing Fast!

Viktor Dosk:  Don't go there, dude!

Mason Kramer (masonk) says:

For that matter, transforming into a gerbil at the end of dinner is a great way of getting out of paying. For either party, I'd think.

Amy Fiori (amy82986) says:

@Brian:  I always thought that the longer life expectancy came from just having the ability to transform -- that when Helen messed with his DNA to allow him to do that, she also gave him a human life expectancy.  But your interpretation makes sense too.  Darn it, now I'll have to reread "Hiccup" to see exactly what Helen said about it...

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Amy: You should re-read 'Hiccup' anyway.  'Narbonic' is now at 'Professor Madblood and the Lovelace Affair', so that one is only two story arcs away.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

"Well I couldn't make everything from scratch."

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: "Ted Koppel is a waffle."
Justin Grubbs (jjgrubbs) says:

Some jokes will always be funny.

Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

Wait... Sweetheart plays Second Life, and apparently had other gamers wanting to date her?

The Auld Grump (theauldgrump) says:

Our Spam is made from Reconstituted Mad Science experiments. The special Mystery Meat ingredients are rendered from Indeterminate Protiens found in Storage Room 3. We will offer you a Big Discount on still animate Animal Matter.

(Sorry, reacting to Spam above... I think mine is Marginally Funnier. ;^P )

As for Artie's voice... could be worse, could be Tom Snyder....

The Auld Grump

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:
tune: "Maria," Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story, 1957)

The most beautiful voice I've ever heard
Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel
The stentorian, sonorous shaping of every word
Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel
Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel, Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel!
Yes, Artie sounds just like Ted Koppel!
For me this is a twist
But no one could resist that voice

Ted Koppel!
Not Peter Jennings, but Ted Koppel!
The man is sex on wheels
Of baritones he's the Rolls Royce

Ted Koppel!
Oh the promise of aural splendor
Artie talks, and I have to surrender

Ted Koppel!
Who cares about gender?
Ted Koppel!!!

Steven Ehrbar (see) says:

Sweetheart's phrasing in the third paragraph—"not-our-tribe" instead of "not-your-tribe".  The imprinting mentioned earlier.  Sweetheart getting so upset at Tip saying she wasn't a 'real woman'.


So It Begins (soitbegins) says: And there we have it.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

They don't make ABC news anchors like they use to, eh?

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Tryin' to figure out dating Sweetheart.  Dogs are so much more... visceral?  Maybe scent oriented?

She lives for praise, so only slight changes there. "Your coat looks nice."  Dunno about what she'd consider perfume, although I think she's intelligent enough to realize that smelling like, well, a dog would be unattractive to a human.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Norwegian Wood", The Beatles)

I just got a date ...
Or, you might say,
This date got me!

Non-human, but hot!
Give it a shot!
Why not, I thought?

I just can't forget the melodious sound of his voice!
Ted Koppel, or else Peter Jennings?  Which one?  Take your choice!

Two guys who look great,
Now on a date!
Thought I was straight ...

In his web I'm caught ...
Dinner, he bought ...
 I thought, why not?

Wayne (wayne) says:

Ah, Tom Snyder!  Back when David Letterman was on NBC and I think Snyder was in an adjacent time slot, can't remember if it was before or after.

Brian Bogue (badbear) says:


it was after after David Letterman


Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

My housemate works for Linden Lab on Second Life.  So this strip made me laugh.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

At least he doesn't look like Ted Koppel. :)

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