398: Tap That Ass

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Tap That Ass
Hey, when you're done draining the syrup, just leave the hole, okay?
Title text: Hey, when you're done draining the syrup, just leave the hole, okay?

[edit] Explanation

This comic uses verbal irony to exploit the application of double meanings. The phrase "tap that ass" is a colloquialism for "to have intercourse with that person" and is most likely how the reader expects the phrase to be used. However, throughout the comic, this is not the case.

In the first panel, it is possible that Cueball is using "tap that ass" sexually. However, it is more likely that he is using "tap" to mean "pick" or "choose", in which case he would be the one choosing the next committee chair. "That ass" refers to one of the individuals in the meeting room to be picked for the position.

In the second panel, "tap" is referring to wiretapping. It is possible that it is being referenced in a sexual manner, but makes much less sense than the wiretapping explanation. "That ass" likely refers to the person on the telephone, although the person on the telephone might be attempting to acquire a warrant, prompting the thought.

In the third panel, "tap" is referring to extracting sap from trees. A sexual connotation would make no sense in this context. "That ass" refers to the maple tree.

In the final panel, Cueball attempts to take the scenario from the third frame and interpret it sexually, showing how absurd it would be to assume "tap that ass" always refers to having intercourse.

The title text links the third and fourth panels, requesting that after extraction of the syrup is complete, don't plug up the hole, so sexual intercourse can be established with the tree.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball in a hallway looking in on a board meeting.]
Cueball: I'd tap that ass to be the new committee chair.
[Cueball wearing headphones with a briefcase and a laptop. Another man on a telephone.]
Cueball: I'd tap that ass without a warrant.
[Cueball with his hand on his chin, looking at a tree.]
Cueball: I'd tap that ass and extract delicious maple syrup.
[Cueball standing in a blank frame.]
Cueball: I'd have sex with that tree.

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no, "tap" in the first frame means "pick," as in, "today the mayor tapped Mike Smith to be interim head of the planning department." No idea where you got the borrowing money bit from. MR (talk) 22:27, 5 March 2013 (UTC)MR

Agreed. Someone who is better at life than us should correct it.--JSekula71 (talk) 20:29, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Also agreed. I've changed it, but it could be better :-) Mark Hurd (talk) 02:35, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Changed the explanation about the first panel and mentioned the title text at the end, but it really could be better:D 05:21, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
It should be known that "xkcd: Volume 0" includes a continuation of this comic in which Cueball has sex with the tree and eventually a child. 16:22, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
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