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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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50 ccs
There's been a raccoon accident at an accordion bacchanalia! Double doses!
Title text: There's been a raccoon accident at an accordion bacchanalia! Double doses!


This comic presents a busy day in the clinic for doctor Ponytail, who orders 50 ccs from a nurse (probably Megan who walks in front of her rather than Cueball walking away behind her), all the while everyone is hurrying along the hall. This could be a typical scenario in a busy hospital. However the pun is that the 50 ccs are not medicine but should be used to write "hiccup vaccine" 25 times...

In medicine, "cc" usually means "cubic centimeter", and is often called that by medical personnel. A cubic centimeter is equal to 1 ml (milliliter), so "50 ccs" usually means 50 ml of a certain medicine. In this case however, the doctor has not told the nurse to bring 50 ccs of any given medicine; she needs to write "hiccup vaccine" 25 times, with both words containing the letter combination "cc", so she needs to write those combination 50 times.

That is the joke, that the 50 ccs literally means the two-lettered 'cc' fifty times.

  • 50 cc would be
    • cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc
    • just enough 'cc's to spell hiccup vaccine 25 times.

There's no conventional vaccine against hiccups. However, performing tasks meant to distract one's self is a method to stop hiccups. Therefore the act of writing "hiccup vaccine" 25 times would itself comprise a hiccup vaccine.

The title text text refers to a fictional event with four words containing "cc" (raccoon, accident, accordion, bacchanalia), which means she needs to write "cc" 100 times. Referring to the 50 ccs from above, this would be a double dosage.

Although the words of the sentence has been chosen based on their cc's the sentence is quite interesting in itself:

  • An accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument with tangents like on a piano. The instrument is played by compressing or expanding the bellows. It has sometimes been accused of being a hellish instrument... It has not been used in xkcd before.
  • The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus (Roman name for the equivalent Greek wine God Dionysus). The festivals were based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia.
  • The animal raccoon, has begun to appear in urban areas which has given rises to increasing conflicts with humans. A dead raccoon had thus found its way into Cueball's car in 1565: Back Seat and already back in 1025: Tumblr Megan has a raccoon sex dungeon in her attic!

So here there is talk of a wine festival with music played on accordions that has had an accident involving raccoons. On top of the need for vaccine against the hiccups.


[Ponytail in a doctor's coat, walks right while reading from a clipboard, passing Cueball walking the other way while she talks to Megan walking in front of her.]
Ponytail: Nurse, bring me 50 ccs!
Ponytail: I need to write "hiccup vaccine" 25 times!

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