And THAT’S why Tina was so scared. Good call to whomever predicted that.
If Monica’s reasoning is correct, it would appear that Phix is the Sphinxian equivalent of a temple cat. The Siamese, for instance, which is said to have been originally bred specifically to kill snakes.
Well, putting together various comments over the last few pages, and Paul’s cookie confirming Phix as a top-level predator for demons, Tina’s reaction makes a lot of sense.
Imagine, if you will, a hiker on a narrow trail encountering a bear. Can’t outrun it, can’t out fight it — any panic reaction will trigger aggressive instincts — all the hiker can do is stay very still and quiet, let the bear sniff her over and satisfy its curiosity, and then go off about its business. Which, the hiker fervently hopes, does not include digesting a hiker ….
Where is this cookie of which you speak?
Sitnalta scored the cookie several pages back, for the comment the sphinxes were the equivalent of top-level predators in the demon world. I don’t have the link at the moment.
Sitnalta wrote, June 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm:
The way I interpreted it, Phix was once something like a top-level predator in the demon world. Which would explain why Tina is instinctually terrified of her (they have no memories before the car crash after all.)
However, since Phix doesn’t want to be seen as a killer anymore, she instead helps Tina overcome her fears.
Paul Taylor wrote, June 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm
@Sitnalta – Here’s a cookie. 🙂
She just wanted some quality time with Tina so that they could come to an understanding. A heart-to-heart if you will…
As in “break her heart and I’ll eat yours”…
And, we’re off!
Next issue, see why Monica Doesn’t jog! (Raaaugh! Monica Bounce!)
(Don’t remember the issue number for the above quote)
Paul already did that gag a long time ago.
That’s what I mean, couldn’t remember the issue – during her attempt to exercise, I think.
Didn’t he even use that, ummm, “gag” twice already?
That might’ve been the time Mon ran to her office when she realized Katherine was about to meet Tepoz. Damned if I can remember that comic’s date or tagline, though.
Actually, Katherine met Tepoz two pages before this one: http://wapsisquare.com/comic/delayedreaction/
Then there was the strip where she knocked around her knockers with her knees while running.
So that’s Pablo’s version of a ‘Running Gag’?
As opposed to this one! 😀
Phix better not hurt my Tina !
Monica, you can poit now!
Yeah ! Poit ! Poit !
Maybe she’s running to find a nice place to vanish, like a bathroom.
or a phone booth.
(cue the John Williams music)
dun dududun dun dududun
dun dun dun dududun
dun dududun dun dududun
dun dun dun dududun
Oh, yeah – them!
Another new word! I had to go look it up.
▸ adjective: having the power to prevent evil or bad luck
— which tells us a little more about Phix, perhaps…
Thank you wikipedia
(also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx )
But, now — where will she run to? The coffee shop, or will she finally visit the liibrary annex she was just told about? or perhaps both (in order) — when she sees that Tina is relatively unscathed, she’ll then go looking for Phix to find out what’s up.
I guess in her panic, she forgot she could just discretely poit to the ladies room in the Cafe?
Well, i suppose she could uniquely and individually poit …
…but Monica’s arrivals tend to be anything but diseet.
Errr… When zinging someone about word usage, one should attempt to spell the correct word correctly: “discreet”.
I is so unbarrassed, Pogo…
Besides, if she was using the ladies room, wouldn’t that be excrete-ly poited?
Oh, man, it’s just too early for that. It will always be too early for that as a matter of fact.
BTW, she didn’t use the ladies room before. Also, if you think about it, it could be really awkward if someone was already there.
Monica is geeky enough to think the alliteration of the 3rd panel (above link) makes it worthwhile. :-/
Actually, Monica was of the same opinion …http://wapsisquare.com/comic/fresh-as-a-daisy/ … too early for that.
Maybe it’s just me, but leaving a Monica-shaped vacuum behind is gonna be everything but “discreet” once the surrounding air notices…
(That, or maybe I just read too much Perry Rhodan where teleporters don’t go in silence, at least if it fits the story… :D)
It could be simply an exchange of Monica-matter in one place with the air in another. Obviously, there’s a disturbance, (hence the ‘point’,) but it clearly isn’t at the level of creating a pure vacuum, either.
Ah, to crank up the geek element about trans-poiting…
By density, the ratio of gas to liquid/solid is at least 1-800. So even if you replace the matter within a gaseous volume with yourself, you still have to come up with another 700+ units of matter to fill up your volume.
So whether you poit in or out, you have a huge density mismatch coming and going. The air displaced either way will still generate a shock wave equivalent to your volume, and so you get some sort of noise depending on how fast you displace the air.
On the other hand, a simple exchange of volume would be soundless, if the air pressure at point of departure and arrival was the same, and the distance involved was short enough.
FWIW, the poits weren’t depicted as being instantaneous sometimes.
@atomic: If the volume of Monica moved from point A to point B perfectly matched the volume of air moved from point B to point A – and it has to match even in shape, to explain why Monica doesn’t have air bubbles in her brain and blood vessels – it should be soundless.
As I said, obviously the match isn’t perfect, since there is a sound made, but it must be close, just from a physics perspective.
I get the impression that Poiting takes around a second… pretty much the same length of time as the sound effect, hence why the sound effect is simply a “water drop” sound.
I love the progressive evolution of M.’s facial expression, from quiet thinking to positive panic!
…and told you : I don’t like Phix!
…but Tina, should be safe, according to the few words phix told her : she’s obviously harmless for Phix, so there would be no need for Phix to trick her!
But will Monica make it back in time to save Tina? Tune in tomorrow…
(Unless Paul draws another “Deitzel and the Pizza Girl” comic.) 😉
Pleeease don’t give him any funny ideas – while I’m pretty sure Pablo draws the strips a few days in advance to have a buffer he surely could cram in a speedily drawn filler strip to torture us… 😉
 As in “leaving us hanging even longer at a certain metaphorical cliff”, that is…
Deitzel and Pizza Girl? *WANT*! Yes, I’d even suffer this so-called torture… since we know already that Phix didn’t do anything (bad) to Tina
mm i would like monica job i think.
love all these facts she comes out with.
would NOT like to work in a creepy museam at night however so meh 🙂
Well, since we saw Phix leaving Mucho Mocha (and Tina intact, so to speak), Mon probably has nothing to worry about.
She didn’t “leave” as much as she turned her back on Tina. She might not have walked out AFAWK.
I see Paul doesn’t use the comic strip convention of ‘speed lines’ to indicate movement, or in Monicas’ case, wobbling.
Bouncing would be a better descriptive word. 😉
Anyone who has seen the animé music videos Bouncing Without Honor or Humanity and Bouncing Without Honor or Humanity Yet Again would know what I’m talking about. Be warned, though: They have naked animé boobs. 🙂
Running in sandals is hard. Although I suppose it beats heals.
But is Tina evil? Is something evil because of what it IS or what it DOES? If demons have free will, then can’t they choose to do good?
Phix seems to think the conglomeration formerly known as Tina has chosen to do good, so we have nothing to worry about, right? Right?
Monica doesn’t know that yet. Phix wanted to talk to Tina alone. It was like a teacher pulling a student out into the hall or a coach holding a player after practice. Phix was satisfied and is probably gone by now.
No, Tina is not evil. She harmed Monica once, but even that was for a good cause. Recently, Tina was twisting Monica’s arm to bring Amanda to the Phix’s library. Phix was not pleased about that, but Tina didn’t know any better. Now that Phix has explained things to Tina there won’t be any problem.
Recall also that Tina said that demons aren’t evil – that’s a human element.
They may lead you to doubt yourself, but they will also lead you to doubt the nice man who needs to get his money out of Nigeria. They are a necessary part of a person’s balance, rather than just out to mess a person up.
The idea of “Demon” in this strip is not so much “Evil Force of Malevolence” but rather the Maxwell’s Demon sort of being — an agent of change, no more, no less.
It’s the amorality of Demons in this vein that can be destructive as well as creative! Tina is, after all, an entrepreneurial collective — and an intentionally positive agent of change!
Monica’s hair looks a little like a cape. I tried to look for an emblem on her chest, but got distracted.
Hehe. Interesting twist. Just for fun, I’d love to see Phix wearing a “nazar boncuğu” pendant or earrings.
Check the “Wapsi” folder at the Comfy Couch
I did, and it’s wonderful. You ought to get a link to it that people here could see…
Must say, reading this strip+comments is very educational. Rare that I don’t read a day’s worth without having to google something. Here’s 2 cent’s worth:
Discreet – modest, careful to avoid offence, good at keeping secrets.
Discrete – separate and unconnected — the “T” separates the two “E’s”
If Monica is indeed headed back to the coffee shop, does she really imagine Phix did not have enough time to do whatever she wanted to Tina in the time Monica was absent?
Howver, even though there is clearly an interesting backstory concerning Phix v. Tina, I’m guessing that Since Phix told Tina on Thursday not to let “someone like” Phix rattle her nerves, perhaps no harm is really meant…but I could be totally wrong. I do not recall, other than the fact that everyone seems to be able to answer Phix’s riddle, evidence that she is no longer the violent type. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Monica may be dreading what she thinks she might find. She would probably hurry back anyway.
I don’t think there is necessarily any specific backstory involving Phix and Tina. If Tina reacted instinctually to Phix, it would be like a rabbit reacting to a wolf. There wouldn’t have to be any history between the individual rabbit and wolf. On the other hand, Phix implies that there was something for Tina to not remember. That could be something very general, however, because Phix was well-known. We’ll have to see, I think.
The best indication I can think of that Phix isn’t violent anymore is the regret she shows here. That’s not very specific, however.
One thing…I did some reading on the apotropaic function of the Sphinx, and it always seems to be more of a guardian role, to avert supernatural attack of a temple, or in the case of Greek temples, the sacreligious acts of humans.
How does Monica assume a sphinx would hunt demons rather than simply avert a demon’s attack? Does she think Phix will go rogue?
Perhaps she assumes that Phix would act as her guardian?
A sphinx need not hunt demons to be dangerous to them. Simply because the tiger wears a collar and is restrained by a chain doesn’t mean it won’t kill anything within its reach. Within the bounds of its responsibilities, a sphinx might be utterly lethal to demons. Stay outside the warding and you’re safe — until the day the door to your coffee shop opens and the tiger, sans leash and collar, walks in …
What then? Will the guardian be civilized and well mannered? Or — did you ever see the video of the junkyard dog that tried to eat a police car?
Don’t forget that this is fiction. Paul tweaks things to suit his needs.
It would make sense that if sphinx were excellent demon predators they might be magically captured or a deal might be struck with them so that they could be used as guardians against demons trying to infiltrate holy places. It would be something like keeping cats around to guard against mice. Monica seems to think something like that happened in the Wapsiverse.
That’s pretty much what Raja Deekshitar wrote of the purushamriga (half human bodied) sphinx: http://www.swaveda.com/articles.php?action=show&id=51
I’m sorta thinking that this is how Phix ended up in Greece. Someone staked out a demon, much as one stakes out a goat for a tiger, and when she came to collect it, collected her.
yeah, I think i stated the question poorly…what i was really wondering was what about the purushamriga specifically made her run, like they were the only ones that apparently go mobile and actually hunt rather than just play defense at a temple…my conclusion is that if any sphinxes should find themselves roaming the earth and happen to cross paths with demonic entities, something like this might happen (courtesy of our favorite succubus…)
Yes, that may be what Monica is thinking, too. It could be that the Greeks just didn’t know about the sphinxes’ demon hunting tendencies.
On thing to consider, if you hadn’t already. Phix had confined herself to her library from the times of the Greek legends until just recently. This would have been the first chance in a very long time for anyone to see how Phix would react if she crossed paths with a demon, assuming demons weren’t regular patrons at the library, that is. (It’s too bad Monica can’t write about this stuff. It would be worth one paper, at least!)
Thanks for the compliment, BTW. I don’t think I’ve ever been complimented quite like that before, either. 😀
Take a second compliment, from me. I think you just provided another piece of the puzzle.
Phix originally banned herself into Limbo;
She ended up in the Library;
A sphinx is a guardian, protecting and warding against demons;
Phix is warding the Library against demons?
Chill out, Monica…she’s not gonna kill her…she’s just going to make her pee her pants a little. Maybe mess her hair up…stretch her shoes out…maybe even a wedgie. But that’s it.
I just have a difficult time with the image of Phix, with the air of a schoolteacher/librarian, giving Tina a wedgie. Does not compute, Will Robinson. Does not compute –
Worse case scenario — Phix takes up a position at the door, and refuses to allow any of Tina’s customers in until they answer a riddle.
You know, it occurs to me that I cannot remember any customer of Tina’s that wasn’t directly a part of the storyline. Surely she can’t keep a business open without a larger crowd of regulars …
Don’t know about that . . . you don’t know what kind of deal she got on that place . . .
Actually, start here, then continue through the next two or three strips, for the whole shebang.
So if Phix is an apotropaic sphinx, could Monica be Purushamriga?
She hasn’t the figure for it.
There is the matter of Deitzel, too. I have trouble imagining someone who is half cat being a dog person and Diezel accepting someone like that as his master. That just would not work.
All tongue in cheek aside, not possible. Monica’s provenance is too well established.
Oh no, not the apotropaic sphinxes of southern India!
I wonder what ‘apotropaic’ means? sounds ominous…
Apotropaic means something that wards off evil.
Ohh, that explains a lot. There’s nothing as terrifying as being glared at by an apex predator…
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