Hints . . . Shelly doesn’t take them.
(Sphinx produces two-handed clue-by-four from Hammerspace, and…)
Shelly’s deer-in-headlights look in the last panel is priceless.
In Shelly’s defense, if I was nose-to-nose with a massive legendary killing machine, my thought process might be a bit slow too. OTOH, between this performance and what we’ve seen before, I think the Navy could use her for reactor shielding, she’s so dense.
You know, I think I would be, too. In fact, I think I’d be dense on purpose. “I swear I don’t know anything about what you’re talking about (thank goodness I actually don’t)! So you don’t have to worry about me doing whatever it is you don’t want me to do because I won’t!”
“…except by a total accident. Ooops.”
Shelly! Stop thinking and trust your in-sphinxs.
Do a barrel roll!
That has got to be the best pun I’ve encountered this week … a triple pun, for heaven’s sake! If you didn’t do it on purpose, I suggest you smile modestly, take your bows, and don’t disillusion us.
I did. I thunk it up this weekend and spent a hole lotta time figurin out how to usen it. lol. Thnx.
With a grandiose bow, Zachariaha the Bard; A bard of great renown, at least from one side of the street to the other, makes a stately exit.
He hears a faint splattering of applause that just manages to be heard over the rumbles of the crowd. Congratulating himself for a job well done he goes. Then he hears a shout from the room…
“Hey? What happened to the can?”
Then Zachariaha applied the most important lesson he ever learned as a bard.
Darn, woman! couldn’t you learn your text before we start the whole show? that’s what rehearsals are for!
At some point, Reverse Psychology can actually make you go backwards.
This is that point!
It seems the Challenge of the Sphinx is to force you to go beyond yourself in the face of fear. If you’re willing to stand up and be counted, you pass.
Yes. That’s your cue, Shelly. Your line is “Ha! As if you could stop me! Stand aside or face the Whanee rath!” Learn your lines and read the rules. This would all go better if you were prepared. Did the Dungeon Master not go over any of this with you?
OTOH, this may be the point where the sphinx says something like: “Just pretend we fought a pitched battle that you won and go over and slice the tree already! I’m missing Dancing With the Stars as it is.”
I wouldn’t be too surprised. Phix would be too sophisticated to watch drivel like that, but this sphinx… seems just up her alley. 😛
Trying to decide which stars might make the tastiest snack, perhaps…
Yep it is the challenge and the sphinx is giving her lines correctly. The blocking is a bit off but that’s the director’s fault usually. Now where is that dang prompter? She is supposed to be ready for things like this!!!
I have been thinking over the weekend. One handed sword, what else does she need? A shield! most shields have devices or symbols on then in the center. Like Athena’s shield that Achilles carried. I wouldn’t be surprised in that is what has to be cut out of the tree. A shield with a Celtic cross in the center.
Speaking of which, from long ago…
Shelly and the Hammer of Phix!
I wish I could contribute more to the narrative, but I am so totally lost. All I know is that this trip to see this Sphinx has got to be different from earlier iterations because the calendar machine is destroyed, and Shelly now has to solve this problem to help fix Jin.
Or something completely different…
To the confusion corner!
your right 😀
tho even if the calender machine hadnt been destroyed the scenario would have been different.
Jin only knew certain events happening. not everything.
Which is why monica could have been close to three people and not only shelly 🙂
makes you kinda wonder if they HAVE been through this before (which i sincerly doubt) then would the sphinx have met Janet and said the same things to her 😀
No worries! When you can’t contribute to the narrative, do what the rest of us do…face palm and make disparaging remarks about Shelly’s ability to put 2 and 2 together to make 4. 😛
Especially for very large values of 4!
yeah, like.. 🙂
“gosh dammit, I was hoping for a paladin, not this dweeb….. :/ 😮 🙁 “
There is always the very real possibility that in past iterations that they tried to complete these tasks as a part of fixing the machine and thus perhaps before that attempt. It is also possible that this task is personal for Shelly and that machine or no she goes threw this at around this time no matter what. Once again this sphinx seems awfully personal to shelly. Wasnt Monica’s exp different?
“…and the pixie with the rack puts up with you how?”
DAGNABBIT!*!*&%# You beat me to it…
Grmmbl, grmmbl.. >:(
you can get the next one.
…which can be found here
And the winnerr of the awesome quote cookie for today is Fairportfan! *applause*
*looks at 1st panel*
I see something that rhymes with ripple!
Yeah, that is a nice stipple effect on the ground there.
No–isn’t he referring to the triple tree trunks in the background?
until i saw someone comment on it later on I didnt even notice them. 🙂
That’s been visible before, you know. 🙂 She’s been all kinds of nekkid for a few strips now. I just have been waiting on the males to say something (though admittedly they could have in one of the longer comment strings that I just skimmed due to time constraints).
And you were expecting….
How about… ah…. normal?
Well, they could have been phixelated out…
I hate you.
OTOH, this is just a bunch of phixels on a scream!
You saw the wall…she should be using a couple of human skulls…
well, those are the vaguest ones ever… nearest I can think, like a big female dog, or gorilla… you would *have* to be desperate, to drag this nearer to the gutter…..
Is that a challenge?
It’s not that often that you get a clue that keeps repeating itself.
Unless you’re Jin in which case they are repeated 57 times give or take
Why are there suddenly nipples in this comic? Please, it isn’t that I mind, I rather enjoy them, but after years of nip-tease and areola-blocking, suddenly having a character who out and out is bare towards the issue has thrown off my groove, if you get my meaning …
tl;dr – Nipples! But why now? Do some more!!
Because they’re not being shown in a sexual way.
Yet, they seemed to have gotten a bit more point from when this new Sphinx showed up to today as if it’s gotten colder where they are, or the Sphinx has something to be excited about. 🙂
Trying to get Shelly in on the gag has raised her blood pressure…
Meh…as a woman, I’ll vouch for the fact that nipples have minds of their own. Sometimes they pop up expressively for no friggin reason at all…except perhaps to embarass you in the middle of an important meeting.
That actually makes a lot of sense.
It was such a pointed and sudden shift that I didn’t think of that as a possibility.
Katherine’s at-home nudism is non-sexual; Bud’s nudity as she ran across the beach or slept soundly on Monica’s bed after a wild night at the Cerebus was non-sexual; yet these always had a strategically placed arm or other obstacle to the view.
Here’s hoping the new attitude continues. 🙂
This sphinx is a nudist and likes to go “supernatural” so she doesn’t have a problem with it; besides it’s in her contract.
PLUS..Can you imagine the costs for a good bra that size at Lydia’s??? O_O
By the way..To all males here that get giddy at the nipplies here: Do some historical research and discover that many ancient civilizations’ women thought nothing of walking about topless.
Now move on, nothing to see here what cannot be seen on a sunny day at th beach (except for the wings and lion’s hind-part, that is..)
They are called the good old days for a reason
Not so long ago anklesweren’t shown in public by ‘good’ girls. Restricted access makes things desirable and erotic.
Jay-Em: I second that.. please refer to my 4:25 comment above…
One thing about the appearance of nipples, it would tend to indicate a female sphinx suckles her young. This means sphinxes are born of female sphinxes, not just zapped into existance. I don’t recall, do either of the sphinxes in this comic have a bellybutton? If they give live birth, do they need a male sphinx for fertilization? If so, what do they do? Are they much larger than the female? Is it much like a pride of lions with few males who have little purpose in life except to make more sphinxes and fight off other males? Perhaps it’s more civilized than that and they don’t need to fight. Are the strongest of the females taken away and trained to be (better?) killers? So many questions, so few clues.
I don’t think we’ve seen Phix’s stomach to check her for a navel. It’s not really the sort of thing Monica could ask Gregory the museum director, but we can guess that he’s not seen anything he found abnormal. Enjoyable, no doubt, but not inexplicable.
So….. What you’re saying is….. You don’t
Want me to cut down (gestures with sword)
THIS (thwack!)…. Oops.
I don’t know of sphinxes but i know griffins lay eggs… there are other ways to give birth than umbilical cords, and even then who says it’s attached to their belly? it could be on their back, their head, or even their foot! we’ll never know and Paul doesn’t have to tell us….
Hard to tell, actually–both seem to be a mix of birds and mammals. The mammae (breasts) would seem to indicate that they nurse their young, but that would work with eggs too. OTOH, what are flying creatures doing with such non-aerodynamic protuberances hanging down flapping in the breezes? Seems rather counter-productive and inefficient. So, I guess the answer is in the mind of the people who created these beasties.
That’s the trouble with mytholgy. When it turns out to be not so mythical, you get all the gruesome details the writers of legends kindly left out.
“They do WHAT! I’m not writing THAT! My audience can imagine it themselves if they’re that interested! 😯 ” 😉
Actually, it’s quite possible that female sphinxes are created ab nihilio complete with girl parts even though sphinxes neither breed nor bear.
Just to confues us.
Sort of like the creationist “argument” that holds that, even though the geological record indicates an earth billions of years old and steady evolution of life, what it really means is that when God created the world in 4400BC, He built in a complete “backstory”.
When asked why He would do that, the ones who have actually thought about it answer “As a test, to see whether we have proper faith in God and believe The Truth, instead of what crass, false-prophesying, materialistic science tells us.”
Unfortunately, that edges awfully close to a God who gives all sorts of coherent details just to deceive us. Which rather defeats the point of believing in him. . . .
Yes, the Creationists are something else. I feel pretty sure they are the direct descendants of those who firmly believed the earth was the center of the solar system and the universe. Some may still believe it and consider proof to the contrary to be a huge conspiracy. Yet another test of their faith. It is, however, clearly a test of their intelligence and common sense, not unlike Scientology (may Xenu be with you).
Come to think about it, believing in Creationism would not prove faith in God. Instead it would prove a faith in the Christian Bible, two very different things. One can believe in a supreme being and not believe anything in the Bible (or the Quran, or any such book).
Allow me to add that in no part of the Bible does one find an argument in favor of Creationism, yet on several occasions, there’s evidence suggesting such things as DNA manipulation, In-Vitro fertilization and yes, even the possibility of embryonic science.
Now if only the U.S. Congress could find it in themselves not to let religious wackos influence their policy-making.
and like a complete idiot, I messed up the last part…
I meant to say Stem Cell manipulation or something like that.
Whatev… I have certain beliefs that I credit from the Bible that run way against the religious wack-jobs and the nonsense they spew.
I mean, the earth is only 6k years old? and what pray-tell is your ‘infallible’ claim based on?
grrr.. this is why I don’t go to church. that and the over-abundance of perfume.
Oooh! The Minnesota sun is coming up! Bye!
The bellybutton is probably on the lioness part, covered by fur. Just a thought.
Well, I looked and neither sphinx has shown her midrift, so bellybuttonatude is still undetermined. I did, however, note that the human-shaped demons do have them. Even if we get to see Phix in a bikini, it won’t be conclusive since the appearance of a bellybutton would simply go along with the transformation to human shape.
Maybe Shelly the Clueless can pry some exposition out of our hapless sphinx.
It would be information that none of the other girls (with the possible exception of Jin) would have access to.
Thay’s it Shelley, keep reeling her in!…
Whahahahaha… The “for petes sake”is hilarious…
Nothing beats “Sphinx Facepalm” 😆
Made me think of creepy girls’ remark:”And the pxie with the rack puts up with you how??” or sumptin’ like that.
I wonder..how can anybody that dense, get a music-degree without cheating????
Something also tells me that this Sphinx actually likes Shelly somehow. Would be funny if every sphinx gets her “protegee”, Phix has “M”, and-not so crazy-Irish sphinx gets Shelly.
she’s not dense. she just works slowly is all.
and yea the face-palm from the sphynx is awsome.
Darn it do ANY of these characters act how you assume they’re sposed to??
Bud with her teasing of monica over the artifact.
phix when they first met.
Heck even Katherine went all school-girly-gleeful when she got added to the group-of-mysterious-object-fixers
Now there’s a clue, we all can relate to:
All hail the mighty Pete, patron of all those who have to be beaten over the head with what they should do (instead of those strange, cryptic, headnumbing riddle-thingies that everyone ist talking about).
I wonder who he was.
Did he whack people over the head with a large haddock.
I’ve read somewhere that your environment can affect your brain and develop the parts that are used the most. As in Taxi drivers in big cities – the part of the brain that is used for spacial awareness and memory has a larger capacity than the brains of the pedestrians they shuttle around. Shelly has been ignoring the music side of her life and has been into and teaching body-building – “I lift things up and put them down!”
Yes, I’m really feeling sorry for the Sphinx now. She’s trying so hard, and Shelly’s just not getting it…
Conscience needs to manifest, explain it to Shelly, then give the Sphinx an excuse to be distracted (riddles? promises of a makeover?) while the Tree gets sliced.
I wonder what that’s going to do, anyway?
‘zactly – the face palm set me to giggling so bad I had to wait before typing 😉
Poor Shelley.. This is one of my worst nightmares, too… being thrown out onto the stage without a clue of the script, blocking, or even the name of the show! (I think it’s a variation on the old “School test”, or “Naked in public” nightmares.)
That’s it Shelly. Stupid her into submission.
Yes, Shelly. Use the Stupid side of the Force. Use your clueless feelings and strike her down! 😀
Reminds me of the whole “Duct tape is like the Force” thing…Shelly would totally be the dull gray side that doesn’t pick up anything.
“And whatever you do, dont do this.” *slice*
i presume she means the tree she first saw when she got there ^^
shelly might think that its another tree 😀
or that expression in the last pannel looks like ‘too terrified to think’ expression 🙂
Shelly shes trying to tell you what you need to do
get with the program girl
Me thinks someone is not following the script…
OK, here is my guess as to what has/is/will happen:
The Sphinxes got a prophesy that someone is going to draw the sword and slice the tree, assumed it would be a deliberate act, and assigned one of them to stop it. It has been a long wait, and the sphinx is tired, cranky, and over reacting.
Unfortunately, the sword is going to slice the tree by accident when Shelly dodges the sphinx. It is going to be a ‘Uh Oh’ moment for the sphinx, comparable to when Phix allowed Nudge to escape from the library. The real fun for Shelly starts when the rest of the sphinxes arrive to clean up the mess and pass judgment on their sister, and Phix shows up as a witness for the defense.
Maybe a little less coffee? 🙂
Here’s your money back.
rofl. here’s my one.. 🙂
phix: hold the sword like this..
shelly: uh, right… ugh, it slipped!!!
– sword slips out, slices a conveniently circular part of the tree off, very narrowly missing a vital part of phix, pained faces all round….
shelly: oops, sorry!!
phix: hey you now have your shield! the road to the quest goes thataway, bye bye!!!
Circular shields, the most irrational defensive devise I can think of short of an umbrella. 😉
*is taking spelling lessons again.
DEVISE=coming up with a way not to be Sphinx-chow.
I meant the top one.
You use device to hold deobject when you use dedrill…
Defeat of deduct went over defense ahead of detail? 😀
My Numunu sense is tingling. What I am thinking, is that not only has Shells gone through this before, but has acted the same way each time. With Tree Sphinx having to explain the whole process every time. Comanches: Sometimes too blunt for our own good.
It’s “Comanche” in Comanche. Just about all tribes’ names for themselves is their word for “people”. Pronounced Nuh-muh-nuh or thereabouts. Unwritten languages can be hard to spell.
Ah! Thank you.
You know, going with the “Sphinx remembers previous calendar machine cycles” theory…
I wonder whether Shelly’s been this slow on the uptake in the past? Is that a “oh god I have to deal with this again” facepalm, or a “how did you get even stupider this time around” facepalm?
I think it’s the second.
This facepalm exudes total exasperation.
Maybe this repeated denseness, (repeated 80-something times) explaines the sphinxes crankiness….
This is cranky-Sphinx(fits Shelly like a glove), while Phix is happy-demeanor-intellectual Sphinx.
Every sphinx, apparently, deals with the looping of history (until now) in it’s own inimitable way.
Shelly tries ‘UTTER CONFUSION’.
It is highly effective.
SPHINX slaps its own face.
hee hee hee.
I needed that chuckle.
Making actions into pokemon actions makes everything funnier.
Sounds like an Infocom game to me…
Hel-LOOOO! Earth to Shelly!
Poor Shel! The lights are on, but nobody’s home.
Poor sphinx – “Oh for Pete’s sake! How many times do I have to EXPLAIN this to you! Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Aw CRAP! I need a beer!!”
Maybe she lost a bet.
Now is the time for the sphinx to take her aside and show her a sign; “See? Right there! Right above this little sign I placed on the tree. The sign which says Cut Here Shelly! with the little arrows pointing up. And then there is the dotted line I drew.”
Shelly promptly slices the sign. The tree is undamaged.
If there is any consolation, Miss Sphinx, Shelly makes everybody face palm.
So many assumptions. How is Shelly to know slicing the tree is going to produce the right results? Maybe slicing the tree is a cure for potato blight instead of fixing broken golems. Or is slicing the sacred tree a multi purpose fix?
Maybe slicing the tree is a cure for potato blight instead of fixing broken golems
Well, considering that they’re probably going to Ireland, that might be part of the purpose of the quest…
Not sure fixing potato blight in 2011 is all it’s cracked up to be. Not that there’s not things to fix in Ireland (and everywhere else) but potatos seem a bit…outdated.
But it’ll be retroactive…
And if the economy tanks Big Time over there, it’ll be “Pass the praties, Bridget” again…
Maybe slicing the sacred tree fixers the national budget issues. That is current, is it not?
I can see Shelly refusing to harm even a tree until she knows why it’s necessary, and even then trying not to seriously injure it. Would that stop it from counting as an “Attack” that the Sphinx needs to oppose?
So, how is it the sphinx knows (and uses) a modern idiom such as “oh for Pete’s sake?” Seems like it’s getting to be “pay not attention to the man behind the curtain” time.
Hey, maybe she knows St. Peter…
Now You mention it.
Maybe this sphinx isn’t locked-up in her realm like Phix was, but can move about freely and, indeed, picked-up some modern idiom while doing what Phix has been doing recently i.e. take a human appearance and go for coffee at the Irish variation of Mucho-Mocha.
.. or she could have cable…
“As long as you’re here, why don’t you look at this web-comic I’ve been working on…”
It could be possible that in order to figure out who gets what vision, the artifact (now the sword) scans through their memories, and the sphinx gets a copy. It’s also quite possible that in the 57 cycles, this sphinx has been out of the house…
Reading all these comments about how dim Shelley is just makes me wonder how any of the critics would do under similar circumstances.
Utter confusion coupled with wetting one’s pants when accosted by a sodding huge and mean looking Sphinx would probably be the order of the day….
Well, yes, fear and intimidation would be a factor. But the Sphinx has now uttered the same, ‘coming out of nowhere’ phrase twice while making a lot of display – smooshing the boulder, looming over Shelly – but no real hostile acts. All this should start someone with functioning brain cells thinking “Wait a minute, something’s not adding up here…” Unfortunately for the Sphinx, Shelly is slow on the uptake at times and this is not going the way either of them would like.
Well, fear, intimidation, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Po…
Oooh!! I’ll come in again.
One on’t cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
. . .
I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!
Your words make sense but you’ve completely lost me. Please explain. I’ll be waiting in Confusion Corner. I’m the one hiding in the back.
I’m sorry, in english please??? something about beams???
Alas, does nobody remember these things? “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! . . . Now, Cardinal — the rack!”
Nobody expects the …Oh, bugger!
I confess to having been confined to the crazyness of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
The trick is, Shelly should NOT slice the tree (or the sphynx).
Shelly should impale the tree and have tea with the sphynx. Unless this one’s a coffee drinker. 😉
Poor Sphinxy .. imagine being stuck there guarding the tree .. like a girl planning their perfect wedding for 10.000 years. Plenty of time to plan EVERYTHING down to the last detail (like a good evil henchmen speech, nice long list of retorts and intelligent comebacks and practice evil laughter) .. and the “hero” shows up in her undies and cant remember her lines (at least didn forget the ring ;D )
The lady doth protest too much, mesphinx…as soon as she gets her head clear of the present danger, we’ll see that Shelly has a better idea of what is going on than she is showing now…hence the Sphinx’s exasperation.
(watch for falling puns)
*shakes the pun jar menacingly*
hey, that jar should be well full now…
I sphinx not. Like all good pun strings, it has no end.
Shelly … in all her innocence.
*sigh* Use your listening skills
Wow, a sphinx facepalm? You have to really screw up to get one of those now.
I said I’m not going to let you slice the sacred tree! That tree right there. The sacred one. Yeah, that’s it. Not going to let you slice it. Not even a little bit. Cause, you know, I’m a guardian and stuff. Nope. You should not slice the tree.
The following video demonstrates either 1) what the Sphynx is hoping will happen; 2) what will happen; or 3) what Shelly is scared will happen. Any of the three would be awesome.
Not about today’s comic, but I stumbled onto a Maxine comic the other day and got a surprise. That dog looks like Dietzel – he even has fingers! Has Dietzel been sneaking off to other comic strips?
Nope. Maxine and her dog have been around much longer than Wapsi Square. If Paul didn’t copy it from them it’s a total coincidence.
Good point. Besides, we all know Dietzel spends his off hours chatting up the pizza girl, anyway.
Anyone remember the four pages for these scenes?
Lotta sphinxs in the mix. This one is a “warning beacon”?!?!
Nope, thats the monument the survivors of the “Chimera Incident” made to make sure no one ever made a Chimera again. The only problem is Egypt has some harsh weather for stone monuments, and as such, it has suffered greatly.
I thought was just a testiment to the world going byebye
Since everyone who ‘could’ make a golem was destroyed by the chimera.
There’s always Mayahuel…
*cue ominous music*
Shelly’s expression is priceless…XD
…and the sphinx has some good posture, i’m quite impressed with Paul’s anatomy work once again…
I am like shelly
I have no Idea what is going on.
The Sphinx is apparently trying to guide Shelly through what’s she’s supposed to do next by verbally prohibiting her from doing it while all but giving her a ‘wink wink, nudge nudge’ type sign saying “Ignore my threats, just do it”. Why she’s doing this is unclear, but Shelly’s not getting it and the Sphinx is becoming exasperated…
A lot of the “interactive fiction” text-only games (like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) do siimilar things.
“When are you going to come to your senses and solve this puzzle?”
“Four out of five sensible people solve this puzzle in six turns or less.”
(Hints if you follow the link above to the on-line game, BTW.)
I still wonder if it’s supposed to be “Oh, for peace sake!” and ….
So at what point do we say “Hello, sailor” and poit back to a small clearing in a living room with scattered pillows to place prize in a small cabinet?
Sphinx-palm for the win!
I wonder…does the sphinx think Shelly means to cut down Yggdrasil with that thing?
As to whether Shelly likes her new swishy-pokey, I’d say the answer is more definitive than ‘sword of’. 😛
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