A classic comedy gag. Although I never found those things to be that evil.
My reaction the first time i encountered one of those was about the same as Connie’s.
But the one with a peg instead of a cup on the handle and a hole in the ball is even eviller.
The ideal kind is the one with a big cup, a small cup and a spike.
Mine was a hybrid. You had to catch the cup itself on a peg. Harder than Super Mario I.
All that frustration would be good practice for pitz (ōllamaliztli, or ulama). The rings for the ball to go through are nearly the same size as the ball.
Yeah, but that’s a game you absolutely don’t want to lose.
But it’s ok! The ball is on a string, and it’s attached to the cup!
(Can only find audio for this one XD)
Kinda nice to see Shelly’s bass guitars.
nice catch. I completely forgot she was a bassist.
Yeah. but she hasn’t been playing much at all recently.
Her difficult stint in the Time Forest, and the drama with Justin has apparently left her feeling a bit off bass.
Shouldn’t that be: *plink* ?
Perhaps. If I keep this up, somebody’s going to take that tree she cut down, run it through a sawmill, and hit me with a *plank*
Nah he had it right. “plink” is the sound of coin hitting the bottom of the pun jar.
“Plunk” is the sound of it landing in a pun jar filled with the tears of the people who read the pun before he paid up. 😀
Considering the timing of this comic, I guess this pretty much confirms that Connie is the ‘other’ Phix was talking about on Friday.
Suggests, yes; proves, not even. Paul jumps plot lines often. This shift on a monday means nothing more than he is now picking up this plot line. Don’t read more into it than there is. With that said feel free to guess away like we all do. lol.
My thoughts exactly. This is definitely a point in favor of those who believed that Phix was referring to Connie…even though I still don’t want to believe it was her. I’m still only reluctantly willing to admit that her mortality is big similarity between her situation and Tina’s. 😛
We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out. 🙂
Not only does Paul jump plot lines (not a criticism Pablo – stream of consciousness, I am down with that!) but sometimes he can also be downright ornery.
He may have someone else in mind but just because we were discussing Connie as a likely candidate … what better reason to fill a week with comics that get us thinking even further along those lines, giving him time to get a nice firm grip on the rug we are standing on.
And right as we reach for the doorknob, his arm muscles tense and …
Yeah, you know where this goes, we’ve been there before. And we keep coming back because it is the best … ride … EVAR! 😀
What? Is she gonna hunt him down and make him pay?
He’s dead you say? That wouldn’t matter to her!
Hey, kids of America, it’s hand-painted, wooden Ball in a Cup! Who needs constant electronic video stimulation when there’s Ball in a Cup, Mexico’s favorite toy for over 340 years! Toss the ball, catch it in the cup, dump it out of the cup, toss it, and catch it in the cup again. The ball is on a string and attached to the cup, so there’s no worry if you don’t catch the ball in the cup, and clean-up is as easy as catching a ball in a cup! So why spend another day not catching a ball in a cup when you could be catching a ball in a cup?
– Family Guy
All kids love Log!
–Ren & Stimpy
And somewhere between the two, there’s Plank…
I know that’s Connie in the picture — but is it really Connie doing the voiceover in the first two panels, talking about Shelly/sphinx as “the guardian” — or is it the other way around, with Shelly as the narrator? I seem to recall a strip where she was saying that Connie saved her or something.
Connie is the COmpanion – remember when Tsilla introduced herself to Shelly?
It’s pretty clearly Shelly doing the voice-over. This strip is where she first introduces Connie to Monica and the gang, and explains that Connie was the one who scared the sphinxes away.
Interesting. This is not how Shelly usually narrates, a style Paul has reminded us of this very week past.
It could be Connie’s perspective. But narration occupies a unusual place in Wapsi Square, so this may be more significant than it looks–especially with the punchline cutaway.
The ball-and-cup make for a nice metaphor, though.
There was some discussion, a few weeks back, about whether Justin knew about Connie’s existence (and how he’d feel, knowing that Connie is probably “around” in some sense at all times).
If this is in fact Shelly “speaking” here, we may be hearing her working up to a full disclosure about Connie. Perhaps revisiting the memories of that long exile has her dropping back into a “Sage of the Time Forest” mode of speaking.
It almost reminds of Shelly’s conversation with Heather. It’s certain that Shelly’s time in the Forest has changed her, and that her sphinx heritage is now alive and active. It wouldn’t be surprising if she now has access to a deeper and more reflective way of thinking and expressing herself, if she allows it to surface.
Possibly. It would explain her frustration with her younger thought patterns. But Paul seems to have made the contrast awfully vivid. “Shelly” still thinks in doodles. This episode is more evocative than even the commission he did of the Time Forest.
If this is Shelly narrating (rather than Connie or even a third party) she is selling herself very short. Connie is a terrifying amalgamation of demons, with capacities, I suspect, would let her dominate any being that crossed her path.
But Shelly… made her.
A little awe for the author/engineer, I believe, is in order.
I suspect that Shelly is still coming to terms with everything that has happened to her, and probably will be for quite some time. It can’t be easy, having a whole new body-image and 80,000 years of experience, layered onto a 20-something personality. She seems to have made some good progress lately in integrating her Time Forest experience into her Wapsiverse persona… but to some extent she’s probably still the old Shelly, duct-taped to a sphinx. Old thought-habits are hard to shake.
Capricorn (♑) !?
Only if you think the eons in the Time Forest can be referred to as a wonderful life.
(deposits coin in Pun Jar… a belle is heard, and somewhere a sphinx earns her wings)
Yeah, it’s a wonderful life…
Also, Paul is allowed to invent his own monsters.
I used to work at a goat farm. They had weird eyes, but were generally friendly and happy to frolic about. It was a bit odd to see them strapped up in rows to the milking machines, they were okay with that apparently, too. Farm animals are generally not scary.
But a creature with half a dozen ram’s heads coming in to check up on me where I was trapped? There’s a nightmarish reversal.
Definitely answers the question as to whether Connie is / can-be corporeal. Although, I suppose a spin on the Law of Funny could apply… perhaps she can only manipulate objects which annoy her?
It is amusing (and a bit comforting) to realize that even an eldrich being of demonic origin, capable of frightening away Beings of awesome apex power for tens of thousands of years, can be brought to a frustrated standstill by a simple toy. Makes me feel better about the fact that I could never make a yo-yo work 🙂
Definitely Rule of Funny there in panel three. But it’s nice to see her getting out and about. If she can’t make the cup thing work on her own she can always ask Dietzel to show her how.
I had trouble with yo-yos too! And doing tricks with them?? HA! I remember the closest I ever came to “walking the dog”…the yo-yo slipped off my finger and rolled under a dresser. 🙁
If you take the string off, then wind it on the axel, you do the Walk-The-Dog, when it comes off and rolls away, that’s the Runaway Dog. With he string still attached, you do a good, fast Sleeper, take the string off your finger, then let it run across the floor, with the string going plap-plap-plap! like a tiny motor, it’s a racing yo-yo. Race ’em with your friends!
Can also just think of all the times in movies or TV where a ghost or other noncorporeal being manifested a phantasm equivalent to some real life object and interacted with it, usually for comedic or dramatic purposes.
So could be Connie is still noncorporeal and conjured an “image” of the toy just out of boredom then out of expression of frustration, heh.
Then again she may be corporeal just like Tina’s tentacle demon was when it worked the window blinds.
Sphinxes apparently come in human, ram and falcon headed varieties with the human headed versions being the most benevolent.
Hmmm. and Hmmm again. Last week… plus this….
Connie had said that the sphinxes in the Forest were disturbed by her, because they couldn’t pigeon-hole her – she didn’t fit any of their categories. She’s a single mortal being, formed from multiple immortal demons… I wonder if it’s that very fact that they found so disturbing.
The sphinxes seem to have a very stern (even rigid) attitude towards demons… step over this line and we wipe you out. They have a benevolent attitude, overall, towards humans (they’ll kill them if demon-infested, but “all in a good cause”). Now, they’re faced with a being which is neither a simple demon, nor a human, but shares the natures of both… and they can’t figure out how they should feel about her.
I really wonder how they’re going to feel about Tina! She’s becoming another outside-the-box hybrid they’ll have to consider, when they find out… and Phix’s comments make me think that the sphinxes in general may not know about Tina’s evolution yet, or might consider her to be “illegal” or an abomination.
Phix may be playing a solo game, and the other sphinxes may not be terribly happy to find out about it.
The sphinxes know about Tina, http://wapsisquare.com/comic/relish-your-ignorance/ though not how she is changing.
TI thing that the sphinxes may be totally locked into following THE RULES (and insist that everyone else do so), so when something is outside the rules they cannot do anything until they reach consensus for a new rule to cover it. Tina and CG are 2 of those exceptions. A big question will be how fast the sphinxian deliberative process is. Given that Tina, Shelley, and CG are all mortal, the situation may be moot before the time the Sphinxes are ready to rule. Which means that the loophole will still exist just waiting for the next demon collective to form, maybe with a little help from Phix and Nudge.
First a mommy sphinx finds a nice middle-aged museum director…
A terribly lucky middle-aged museum director… 9_9
They may not breed so much as manufacture young as needed.
HARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHARHAR!!!!!!!!! Little ‘dark boiler-room girl’ who scares Tina and a variety of others, who was born of grief and nurtuered on misery, who was never allowed to heal was allowed to play with one of THOSE things?!? I never could master them either… or skateboards, for that matter. Total klutz as a child. Bring her over to my place, I’ll teach her how to play a banjo and she’ll do fine… (snicker)… “sadistic asshole” indeed…
The thought of Connie ominously plucking out the Dueling Banjos theme, while giving a Frame 2 sort of glower… brrr. She could make the horrors of Deliverance seem positively milquetoast by contrast.
Naw… get her riffin’ on “Shucking the Corn” or “Wreck of the old 97” and she CAN’T be scary. I’ll back up on bass with Jim Chitternden dancing on guitar and do a proper jam… or pull out the fiddle and add a whole ‘nuther dimention… “Arkansaws Traveler”, “Ashogan Farewell”, “Way Down Yonder”… and, of course- “Orange Blossom Special”…
… all aboard…
Always wanted to learn how to play banjo. Sorry I can’t take yer lessons… 🙁
it’s only five strings…
There was a terrible musical tragedy the other day – someone tossed an accordion out a second-story studio window into the dumpster.
And it missed the banjo.
… them’s fightin’ words…
I know Family Guy made the ball and cup more famous but I prefer the version where you catch the cylinder on the pin at the end of the handle. It’s much more challenging.
Which is why I hate it. 😛
I know that Torquemada made the rack more famous, but I prefer being thrown into the Iron Maiden myself – it’s much more painful.
Yeah, well, I was into Iron Maidens BEFORE they were popular.
“… I long for the touch of your lips, dear-
but much more for the touch of your whips, dear-
you can raise welts like nobody else
as we dance to the maschochisem tango…”
Fracture my spine … and swear that you are mine!
As we dance to the masochism tango …
God bless, Tom Leherer …
It is just too bad that he got bored with the music & parody biz and stopped making his songs.
It’s simple really, just a little hand-eye coordination. I never had any problem with those as a kid. After the wreck was a whole other ball of wax, but I eventually got the hang back.
And just as an aside, where did Connie’s clothes come from, that lasted 80K years. I have shirts I can’t keep together when I leave them in a drawer for a decade without them turning see-through (t-shirt collection from the 1970s was gone by 1990 in spite of never wearing any of them)
It’s may be part of her – there may be ‘nothing’ under the shirt. I don’t mean no more clothes – I mean nothing corporeal at all – the existence of absence.
But I doubt it. Hey! All you pervs! Stop That! Don’t make her get Scary on you….
So you’re saying it’s one of Schrodinger’s t-shirts?
Except when you open the box, it’s a pregnant ferret….
For XKCD, it’s a bobcat.
Ha! You know, I never really thought about Connie that way, but you have a valid point. After all…she did conjure up Monica’s head out of thin air before too. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to think of her in the same vein as ghosts.
as they say, that is how they look to *us*, with our limited perception… 🙂
as in HHTGG:
pan-dimensionl superintelligent beings, whose projection into your puny 3 dimensions, just happen to look like mice…
My shirt from the 1992 Cropredy Festival is still in good shape – of course i’m too fat fo wear it…
The most feared entity in the time forest foiled by a simple toy. LOL
The ball and cup toy is easy. It’s that $#@&in hoop and peg one that I hate.
For extra evil, (and zen practice), learn to do it with your non dominant hand…
Some of us don’t have non-dominant hands. 🙁
I suppose I could use one of my feet. It’ll be a nice break from writing practice.
And some of us are completely inept even with our dominant hands…which is fairly frustrating for someone who used to have great hand-eye-coordination and play clarinet. 😛
I really, really, hope you are ambidextrous.
Maybe like that one character from Aeon Flux (movie)–Sithandra? (with four hands)
Sphinxes or not, Wapsi Square’s apex goat-themed creature has always been Bud. I wonder if the forest critters have met her?
It’d be interesting to see where Bud stacks up to the apos. Of course comparing them is like comparing hydrogen bombs. One may be more powerfull than the other, but they will still reduce you to ash. It’s been awhile since any of the GGs have taken their animal form.
No contest, I suspect. My impression is that a sphinx is the ultimate one-on-one killing machine, claws and teeth and bad attitude. But the golems are basically indestructable, and packing the power to destroy *worlds*.
I tend to agree, though Shelly, a hybrid “gaurdian” Sphinx was un affected by firey cerberus breath. The way it made her wings glow and as fast as it peeled off Justin’s flesh, it had to be in the thousand degree range or more. If Shelly, presumably one of the weakest Sphinxes is essentally plasma proof, I wonder how much heat energy a full blooded Sphinx can shrug off. Of course that’s presuming Shelly IS weaker than the other Sphinxes. She has a mortal lifespan and can be actively killed by demons through suggestion due to her not being either human or True Sphinx. That’s not to say she’s physicaly weaker, though. Mules are stronger and tougher than either of thier parents. The danger the apos posed may have been before she manifested her Spinxyness.
We’ve never had the question addressed in the comic, much less by Pablo. My guess has always been that the golems are the physically toughest things out there, but that many of the other paranormal creatures have vastly different power sets and it’s an apples-to-oranges thing.
@SoWhyMe, I think you’re right. Without Connie, they would have mobbed her. Kind of what the first panel implies. A days rest can clarify things.
@Wyvern, I like the apples and oranges. At the extreme end, even if a Sphinxes were immune to most of what a GG could throw at them(not saying they are), Bud or Brandi could obliterate the battlefield. Kind of makes the battle pointless.
If she gets fed up with that thing she can try learning to play the bass guitar. Shelly’s instruments are right there, and if it’s no easier she can at least hear what she’s doing.
All she needs now is Bud to get it in the first go
Bud gets it on first go….and Connie VAPORISES IT (not Acacia)in the Blink of an eye. 😉
That is so old a toy, I doubt it would Bud’s first try at it….
You know…without the curseing that last panel could work as an opening scene: Tardis lands(materialises) door opens and The DOCTOR emerges playing with Ball in cup saying the same as Connie (Creepygirl) only NOT as Salty. 🙂
Yes but The Doctor could kill the guy that invented the infernal thing, unlike Connie.
HEY!?! Get out of my mind!
That’s what I thought when I first try that Cursed Contraption!
Yay, Connie’s back! And her front, too!
*punching in codes for pun vault* I don’t think there is enough room in hammer space to pay for that one… pay up.
Is that a pun? I think it’s more word play. But oh well. (takes a page from Car Talk and drops a Meade LX200 10 inch telescope inscribed “How deep is the ocean, how high is the sky?” into the pun vault)
Is there any room left on the Confusion Couch – I need to sit a bit – with my head in my hands.
This is what we like to call Paul Taylor’s special brand of plot whiplash… you may want to grab a neck brace… also, there is always room, just look for your name on a cushion. Would you like a scone and a coffee?
What are you talking, neck brace?
That’s why they installed a full support traction unit, in the back room …
Welcome. Madeleines fresh out of the oven coming right up.
I have a couple of extra webs for the walls for just such an occasion. It’s nice up here, between the bookshelves. And the local spiders are impressed.
I was blind side to the gutter
And Merlin happened by
Asking me “why do you lie down there bleeding?”
I answered him, Magician,
As a matter of a fact
I was jumping to conclusions
And one of them jumped back
Al Stewart & Peter Morgan,
My Enemies Have Sweet Voices
Demons of Wapsi make me play this oldie on my iPod…
Jin, Monica and Shelly go through my head with each of the three verses.
Best line ever!
Testing… testing… 1… 2… 3… Hey, I’m finally out of the blackhole that has been hovering up my comments for the last 2 weeks!
Welcome back 😀
yea tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear not evil… for I am with the meanest bitch of the valley and she kicks ass… SO WHY AM I VEXED BY A WOODEN CHILDREN’S TOY?!? I am really starting to like Connie
Well Bud sure liked the “little elemental”.
They actually remind me of someone… and I didn’t think of Sphinxes. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, knowwhoImean) Note also that “they” are never named “Sphinxes” here.
FWIW and two days late, I liked the cup game… paddleball will drive me insane, though. My favorite is the giant button on a string with handles
which you spin, and then pull the handles to make it keep spinning until it eats your hair. 😀
I dunno how that toy frustrates people so badly! I always have a ‘ball’ with it!
I like the second frame. “Fuck with. me. Go ahead, I want you to.”
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