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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1781 (35620%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

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Go to this comic explanation

Trash
Plus, time's all weird in there, so most of it probably broke down and decomposed hundreds of years ago. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to get in touch with Yucca Mountain to see if they're interested in a partnership.
Title text: Plus, time's all weird in there, so most of it probably broke down and decomposed hundreds of years ago. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to get in touch with Yucca Mountain to see if they're interested in a partnership.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Does it need more on the title text regarding nuclear waste.

Black Hat is, once again, thoroughly confusing Cueball, (like for instance in 908: The Cloud and others). This time, when inquired about a chute protruding from his wardrobe, Black Hat explains that it is a garbage chute into another dimension. Apparently these kind of portals appear on about half of all the furniture that Black Hat buys, and he is kinda annoyed about it. (This sounds more like something Beret Guy would encounter, although he would for sure have reacted very differently than Black Hat). It would be interesting to know whether all the portals leads into the same alternative world/dimension, but it seems Black Hat is not interested in visiting these worlds, but is just annoyed about his broken furniture.

Cueball assumes that this is a reference to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. In the books the characters use different portals to get into Narnia, and in the first book the children find the portal inside an old wardrobe, and they use it at least three times to travel into Narnia. Narnia is a children's book and is a magical world so Cueball is appalled to learn that Black Hat dumps his trash in Narnia.

Black Hat confirms that it is Narnia, and explains how this is a great time-saver for him, as he can easily get rid of his trash. But as it seems he never enters this portal himself, it could be a portal into any of the many different worlds in different dimensions that are mentioned in the Narnia books. Only three of them are ever visited though, but in the book The Magician's Nephew (a prequel to the first book), it is revealed that there is a way station in between all these different worlds, a forest with many lakes where each lake leads into a different world. This forest was referenced in 1352: Cosmologist on a Tire Swing.

If it is Narnia, then the huge cat he refers to is Aslan, a Magical lion that represents God in Narnia. In his Lion form he sometimes walks around in Narnia and he watches over Narnia, but not all the time. It is revealed in the last book that he is also the guardian of the other worlds, where he has different names and take on different appearances, so he is actually a representation of God, but always a benevolent God.

Aslan, or any other large cat or inhabitants of such a different world, would probably be really upset that someone is throwing their trash there. He would probably try to stop this by any means necessary, even if that means coming up through a trash chute into another dimension. But, because lions are a type of cat (feline), apparently he can be repelled with an ordinary spray bottle, usually used on small house cats. It would be unlikely to work on a lion, especially if the lion was a representation of God, the same God as in Black Hat's world.

In the title text the fact that time passes much faster in Narnia than on Earth is mentioned. (Time does not pass at a constant rate compared to Earth time.) This could also be the case even if Black Hat's world would be a different one than Narnia. So everything that is actually pushed to the other side of the portal would be disposed of very efficiently as within just a few Earth minutes, the trash could completely decompose. This would then explain how Black Hat can keep pushing more stuff into the other world. Anything getting over the border will vanish before he comes with his next trash bag.

In the title text Yucca Mountain is mentioned. This is a reference to Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, a proposed nuclear waste repository that has been abandoned at present time. Black Hat wants to contact those that wish to make such a repository and let them dispose of their radioactive waste through his "magical" portal, likely to make a profit for himself. If throwing trash into Narnia is terrible, what then about radioactive waste... Of course in Earth time it would then soon have decayed to back ground levels... This is thus another jab at all the worlds environmental problems, in relation to all the comics about climate change! This comic could be a take on humans dumping waste in the "endless" oceans, more specifically Ocean disposal of radioactive waste, which is a huge problem today.

The portal to Narnia was previously featured in 665: Prudence and 969: Delta-P, and the different passage of time was mentioned in 821: Five-Minute Comics: Part 3).

Transcript

[Cueball looking at garbage chute attached to wardrobe. A Black Hat answers him from off panel.]
Cueball: What's this thing on your wardrobe?
Black Hat (off-panel): Garbage chute.
[In a frame-less panel Cueball has turned away from the wardrobe (now off-panel) and he walks towards Black Hat.]
Cueball: Into a wardrobe?
Black hat: There's some sort of portal to a magical land in there. Half the furniture I get has them-it's kinda a pain.
[Cueball stops walking closer to Black Hat.]
Cueball: You dump your trash in Narnia?
Black Hat: Yeah, it's a real time-saver.
Black Hat: There's a huge cat in there, but I have a spray bottle I use when he tries to come up through the chute.


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  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

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