Title text: They're standing at the lip of the canyon, which isn't clear at all.
This is one of the early comics which explores a theme xkcd returns to often: the wonder around us, if we would just look.
Cueball and his friend (that also looks like Cueball), are having a discussion. After the friend have asked Cueball about the time Cueball simply states that it is Now. Then there is a beat panel showing the two standing at the lip of a great canyon drawn in detail and color.
The friend claims that "now" is a boring answer, (a mathematician's answer), since it's a tautology, a functionally useless answer, and a bad joke all at the same time. Cueball, however, asserts that "Now" is the least boring answer he could give. Because the time is always now no matter when you ask or when you get the answer.
It is very typical for humans to focus on the time while world overlooking an amazing landscape with a beautiful an alien night sky above them.
The title text explains that they stand on the lip of the canyon, which may not be clear if you do not look very carefully at the color drawing. On the other six panels there is just a ragged line, which thus obviously is this lip of the canyon.
- [Two guys, both Cueball-like, are standing at some kind of cliff edge.]
- Friend: What time is it?
- [The second guy (Cueball) looks at his watch in silence.]
- [Then he answers the question]
- Cueball: Now.
- [Full scene is revealed: The two men (barely visible) are standing at the lip of a huge canyon in a rocky, barren landscape. A pock-marked moon and a ringed planet are visible in the burgundy-colored sky.]
- [The two guys are again seen standing at what is now know to be the lip of the canyon.]
- Friend: That's a pretty boring answer.
- [Next panel is the same as before.]
- Cueball: Is not.
- [Last panel is the same as before.]
- Cueball: It's the least boring answer imaginable.
- This is the seventh comic originally posted on livejournal. The previous was 24: Godel, Escher, Kurt Halsey. The next was 8: Red spiders. View archive here.
- Original Randall quote: "I'm not sure where they are, but they should be more excited! I would be."