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Smithson Thus Far... ·

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

Wow, I've never seen Unity so well-behaved for so long. Is there like a little off switch inside that noggin of hers?

woozy (woozy) says:

Maybe Unity as a gestalt entity has left her body.  I imagine she may tip over sometime this week.

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

That's just a Unity mannequin, isn't it?

Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

She's probably off daydreaming.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I assume she's spend her honeymoon visiting Jerry Garcia's grave, since she's obviously a Deadhead.

Did Sweetheart sleep in today?  For that matter, did Tip ever return from Cleveland?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The Letter", The Box Tops)
(AKA "My Baby Wrote Me A Letter")

Can't just sit around, we don't have time to waste!
To the airport, gotta make haste!
We'll be leaving soon
On our honeymoon!
Our flight will leave in an hour!

We always run into a long delay,
Freaking out workers of the TSA!
I'm a carry-on!
I'm not carrion!
Our flight will leave in an hour!

   Yes, a flight we'll be taking,
   And we're gonna be baking
   On some sunny beach!
   Nick, he tries to picture
   It, then he's getting sicker!
   He's needing some bleach
      For his brain, yeah!

If our marriage license you can't notarize,
Nobody sucks more than you guys!
Time to say good-bye, head!
Gonna fly United!
Our flight will leave in an hour!

Mason Kramer (masonlk) says:

Yeah, I think Unity's still back in N'arleans, smooching Remy.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Who said that last line? There's no electronic distortion on it, so it wouldn't be Nick through the intercom.

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I'm a little worried about what's going to happen to the Skin Horse offices.  When Unity daydreams it's like pressure building up under a volcano, the longer it builds the bigger the explosion.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

The TSA guys are going to be really creepied out when they have to pat her.

Frank (pokefan_frank) says: @JP Chatbot: Blueberry Waffles
Rob (rrreed) says: @Andrew—maybe not. Since Skin Horse apparently takes place in the Narbonibrane, Weirdness Censor rules are in effect. The TSA guys might see the two of them as one woman with a bad case of scoliosis.
Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@woozy: Didn't Unity already "Tip over" in the "Sandwich Day" bonus story? *rimshot*

@pokefan_frank: I thought of that, too, but "Blueberry waffles" usually causes her to grimace in pain, not freeze with a creepily vacant smile on her face like she's doing here. I suspect this is from something else, but I don't know what.

Mary Potts (queenofcapes) says:

@Andrew: "Cheese Danish"?

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Wow.  A real 'Brain Bleach' ref, and not one single pointer to the TV Tropes page?  I'm shocked.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@queenofcapes: Oo, yeah, maybe. Like "Blueberry waffles!" suspends her aggression patterns, and "Cheese danish!" or whatever it is makes her whole brain go to screen saver. Good call.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

The funny thing is that, based on what she could be doing, she's actually right.

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Poor Nick. He'll never learn.

Viktor Dosk (hugin) says: Maybe this will be incentive enough to get Dr Lee to remove his wordfilter? If that thing's causing actual problems, instead of just eliminating his basic rights, it needs to go.
JP Chabot (speedball) says:

...I look at them and I keep thinking that they need to sew the one's head onto the other's neck. That would probably cause its own problems, but still.

Rachel S. (masamage) says:


Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

If it's true that marriage makes two people into one flesh...


...does that make Unity polygamous?

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

Okay.  What the farm was Nick really trying to say?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Maneater", Hall & Oates)

They gotta go catch a flight!
But man, this isn't right ...
A pain in the neck, like we ain't seen before!
Now they're offended!
Langi's picking her up,
And they're heading right out the door!

Now, Nick can't properly swear!
And Unity's just sitting there,
Not doing a thing; Moustachio's run down his spring!
This flocking swear filter,
Is a little off-kilter,
The zingers have lost their sting!

    Oh-h, there they go!
    Called them names, they think you're sick!
    Oh-h, there they go,
    Called 'em head-toters!
    Oh-h, there they go!
    Dammit, Nick, you're such a dick!
    Oh-h, there they go,
    Called 'em head-toters!

Matthew Mather (madtinkerer) says:

Someone must have promised Unity a Sandwich Day.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Ever since "hug" became the default swear-filter replacement for a certain four-letter word, it adds weird subtext to a LOT of otherwise innocent sites.
joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Can a zombie sue an agency the public doesn't know about for §1983 discrimination?

Tim Jewett (ryushikaze) says:

"Our Notary Public is an a temporary Coma" isn't discrimination, though the 'Head-Toter' bit would be.

One wonders what Head-Toting actually is. It seems to be one of his floating censors.

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

@JP Chabot: Unless that torso is very flexible, that would be the exact opposite of what they want.

...and I can't quite believe I just said that.

Glenn Gorsuch (glenn) says:

Huh.  As a gubmint worker periodically in a slightly analagous position to Our Heroes, I have to wonder.  As a Federally Funded Agency, Skin Horse would be required to abide by the Pub 13 regs on discrimination...but who would they get to do the audits when someone calls them on it?  Do they have to give out the Pub 13 fliers when working with a new client?  Do they feel the familiar frisson of fear when Gavotte happens to mention that the Pub13 compliance guys will be coming to visit the office to check on their procedures?

Discrimination based on disability, of course as everyone knows, is covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Ed:  Man, I'm still laughing.

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

The Barry Ween chip strikes again!  

(I'm sorry, I know that's the PS238 term, but "Barry Ween chip" just sounds better than "profanity filter."  So suck it up, you [fruiting] [cheeseballs].)

Amy Fiori (amy82986) says:

I didn't notice at first that the word "Ma'am" is in wrongswear font.  I have a feeling Nick dodged a bullet there.

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

So...what are the odds Nick said "Bitch" there in the first panel?

Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

Bees being bees, would 'prick' have been totally off-target?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Joyride", Roxette)

I make my co-workers nervous,
They're allergic to me!
As far as customer service,
That was terrible, see?
If someone were to observe us,
They'd give us an "F", not a "bee"!

Take a cussword and bend it ...
Nick is calling me Ma'am!
That wasn't what he intended,
But I don't give a gram!
Unity sits there, contented,
Having a daydream of ham!

And she's not ... afraid ... of those stings ...
Did you know ... she likes breaking things?

She says, "Say what?  What's that?  I'm sorry ..."
She just said she's sorry!
Said she's sorry ...

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

So a swarm of bees tries to sting an airplane.  Fail.

Maybe she could build a nest in an air intake?  Turn on the turbines.

Stop paying for his net access.  Ooh.

Nick Lardas (voyager) says:

I'm thinking honey in the gearbox.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

@Grant: I'd feel weird calling a female entity 'prick.' I think 'bitch' is the most likely one.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

JP and Grant: I can't believe even Nick would be reckless enough to call Gavotte either of those things, but perhaps "buzzkill?"

Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

"Zombina" is my favorite word in this strip.  Maybe the best word I've ebcountered all week!

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: A: Nick called her bee-gotcha. B: Now we know why Unity was so well-behaved...she was daydreaming.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Curse you autocorrect! Bee-yotch is what I meant.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Oh the horrors of having someone who is a fan of How I Met Your Mother.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

Honestly, of the two of them, I'd have pegged Tip as the one who would like soap operas and sitcoms.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

We can haz cobras?

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Funny, I remember this from somewhere...
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "In The Air Tonight", Phil Collins)

I can't stand it, I don't really care, all right?  Enough!
You've been talking 'bout this sitcom, from last night ... it's rough!
I don't really care what's on the air, all right?  No bluff ... enough!

Well, you're telling me all the details ...
I wish I could get rid,
'Cause I just don't care 'bout who went where,
Or what she said he said and did!
See, I had a date, and it ran kinda late,
Had a threesome with these twin brunettes ...
But in poor Sweetheart's case, I guess "Melrose Place"
Is as int'resting as it gets ...

But she keeps telling what was on the air last night!  Enough!
Same ol' same ol', it's so corny, lame, and trite!  Just fluff!
All the details, you relate with great delight!  It's rough!
I don't have a care about what aired last night!  Dumb stuff ... enough!

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

Well, we're lookin' for som mem'ry,
And anything else down here too.
And I'm worried you've imprinted,
But I'm trying to play it cool.
I'm cross-dressed in latest fashions,
And you can give me missions every day.
But there's just one thing,
That I have to say,

I don't watch daytime soap operas
So don't feel you have to share.
No, I don't warch daytime soap operas,
That's enough,
'Cause, Sweetheart, I don't care!

Tim Jewett (ryushikaze) says:

@Brewer: When you're a effectively a character in one from how you live your life, I can imagine they'd lose their appeal.


Besides, he prefers the OTHER soap that runs at the same time.

Daniel Ross (nentuaby) says:

Uh, Jeff, Shaenon? "Tranny" is considered a really high octane slur these days. Kind of not cool seeing it here.

Sor Cyress (sorcyress) says:

Seconding Daniel. Especially because I enjoy the absurd cover-ups Nick uses instead of curses, so missing out on that *and* hearing him use a pretty heinous slur is a double disappointment.

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

I'm sure they know how horrible a slur it is, but it's probably the sort of thing that would skip through the language filter.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

"Tranny" wasn't always considered a slur: I had transvestite friends who claimed it for themselves.  However, we shouldn't use it if it is now seen as derogatory.  Is there an acceptable, affectionate alternative?  "Tranny" had the advantage of applying to cross-dressers generally, whether transgendered or just transvestite (it isn't always obvious).  What are people calling themselves these days?

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

It could be that Nick's swear filter doesn't consider many new urban dictionary terms, even if tranny might be in there. He could probably say "two girls one cup" without any problems.

Hilary Bruce (cameoflage) says:

I think it's in-character for Nick to call Tip a "tranny", and it would kind of make sense for the programmers of the language filter to overlook it because it's a slur rather than a regular swear word. Still kinda icky. Perhaps his language filter software needs a patch. As for its slur value, it's the kind of thing where it's perfectly fine to say it if it applies to you, but if it doesn't then trying to use it is a dicey proposition.

As for being expandable to both "transgender" and "transvestite", it seems like the most popular term these days is just "trans", which has that covered automatically. Sometimes people put an asterisk on the end, which does add emphasis to the fact that it can be expanded to different things but it might also get mistaken for a footnote marker or make people's code cough up hairballs.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Andrew: NO thanks for sharing.  That is Beyond the Valley of Don't Go There.  Now where's that brain bleach?

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Guess I'm out of touch.  The only time I've even heard the word 'tranny' used was in reference to a car's transmission.  "I stripped a gear last night and now I have to change the tranny in the old Chevy."

Yeah, I'm old and from the sticks.  Still, I know our beloved authors wouldn't use it to offend anyone.

Tim Jewett (ryushikaze) says:

I can't think of a short positive term exclusively  for transsexuals (Sexies just isn't specific enough), though 'Vesties' suggests itself for transvestism. It's so happy and peppy I have a hard time imagining anyone using it as a slur being taken seriously.

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

I guess it would have been too obvious for the silverfish  or the centipedes to be bugging Tip...

Also a bit out of their character as far as we've seen.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

....What, are they immune to music now?

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

[quickly reviews the "Borrowers" story, then gets half way to Sweetheart's "rampage" before managing to put SH v. 1 down, and notes someone else has posted]

Hmm, a good point from the School of Wierd and Unusual Science and Engineering!

Why do I get the feeling that karaoke isn't going to save Tip this time?

Viktor Dosk (hugin) says: Ugh, hope this is just for a week. I wasn't a fan of "Borrowers" first time around, redoing it would really annoy me.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Where's a tuning fork when you need it?

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Yyyyyyyyes.
lishaohong163 lishaohong163 (lishaohong163) says:



Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "It's Only Rock'n'Roll (But I Like It), The Rolling Stones)"

On the lower level, sayin' "What the devil?"
And wonderin' what to do ...
Talkin' 'bout the soaps, but Tip just sits 'n' mopes,
Seems the fellow's feelin' blue ...
Feelin' blu-u-ue!

Stuck in these odd things, these crystal pod things,
Lettin' Tip have his wish ...
But he won't start 'bout Dr. Jones or Artie ...
Strange, because he loves to dish!
Loves to di-i-ish!

    Because, you see ... the crystal entity
    Doesn't like us!
    You see ... the crystal entity
    Doesn't like us, like us, no they don't!
    Oh, they don't like us ... don't like us ... don't like us ...
    Now we're trapped again!
    Crystal pods are such a butt-pain!

cai yue (yuegarl) says:

My dear friends, do you want to be  more charming than others! Just come in please!

Coach online shopping could be in no way distinctive this due to the fact the powerpoint demonstration of your material is undoubtedly prevalent. Numerous potential purchasers attempt to coach bags as well as you could possibly get your travelling bag that should certainly carry on for quit some time. Coach factory.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@hugin: That's always one of the variables of fandom, I guess. The "Borrowers" storyline was one of my favorites. And the "Tin Soldier"/"Brave Little Toasters" storyline, which I didn't enjoy nearly as much, was almost certainly someone else's favorite. C'est la vie.

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

I... really cannot argue with panel #4.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: "Glenn Beck is batsh*t crazy," Katie Goodman & Soren Kisel (Broad Comedy, 2010,  While you're there, watch the video for "I didn't f*ck it up."  Katie Goodman is too brilliant!

Well, we went to get Moustachio
Some new memory
Went down to Lower Storage
Just Sweetheart and me

Now the entities of crystal
Play catch and release
This happened once before,
When I tried to make peace

The crystals rule an empire
Of beasts small and large
My efforts to unite them
Put these lunatics in charge

Crystal pods (crystal pods)
Crystal pods (crystal pods)
They are [clap, clap] batcrap crazy
Crystal pods (crystal pods)
Crystal pods (crystal pods)
They are [clap, clap] batcrap crazy
We've got some odd sub-basement species, but the worst, you'll agree
Is this random-batcrap-crazy entity

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: HA!
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

The crystals must speak like a ten year old French girl who has seen too much, oui?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Release Me", Eddie Miller, Robert Yount, and Dub Williams)

We release you, you may go;
Our be-ne-fi-cience we will show!
Of course, we captured you as well,
To show we are crazier than hell!

We've learned so many useful tricks
From all your surface politics ...
We've locked folks up because we could,
And then they were killed for their own good!

Our lunacy will overflow,
Like Tom Cruise did on Oprah's show!
The nut-ti-est that's ever been ...
We'll try to out-crazy Charlie Sheen!

We'll study well your government
To make our minds completely bent,
And then we'll maybe get a show
Each weekday, on AM radio!

John Ames (commodorejohn) says: Panel 1 Sweetheart is just adorable.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

Hia guys. Sorry for not addressing your concerns about Thursday's strip in a more timely fashion; Shaenon and I have been in transit to and in programming related to Intervention pretty hard-core these past few days and I haven't been able to monitor or update the site in the usual way.  I literally just read of your concerns a few minutes ago.

Nick's use of language, is, of course, Nick's, and it does not reflect the views of the authors of this strip; above and beyond that, however, I thought in writing it that it was a casual, if slightly vulgar and inaccurate, abbreviation-slang on Nick's part.  I apologize for my obliviousness in this regard and having inadvertently written an actual slur.  The strip will be edited to remove the offending language as soon as Shaenon's back home and has access to her machines and files and such.

As always, thank you for reading.

Rex Vivat (sirgarberto) says:

ok... now that's Political Correctness Gone Mad.

Andrew Perron (ununnilium) says:

I think it's Politeness Gone Reasonable.

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