1054: The Bacon
Title text: Normally pronounced 'THEH-buh-kon', I assume.
This comic plays off the English colloquialism "bring home the bacon", which generally means to work hard and bring money home to your family to put food on the table. If a man is out of work he may be stressed out about how to "bring home the bacon".
Later, however, Cueball finds out that what White Hat actually was saying was "Thebacon", which is a common name for dihydrocodeinone enol acetate, an opioid commonly marketed under names like Acedicon and Diacodin. As a pharmacist White Hat's wife has easy access to such drugs, and this may be the reason that he is so calm, because his wife supplies him with painkiller drugs. Opioids suppress emotional pain as well as physical pain, keeping White Hat’s stress levels low.
Thebacon is compared to the better known drug Vicodin, another opioid sold as a painkiller, which can (and often has) become a drug of abuse.
The title text lists what Randall assumes to be the normal pronunciation for Thebacon. This hints at the second joke in this comic. If White Hat said "THEE buh kon" there is no way for Cueball to confuse that with "the bacon". Apparently Cueball was reading White Hat's word balloon rather than hearing him speak aloud.
According to Wikipedia, Randall seems to be mistaken in no fewer than three places (which seems to indicate that Randall has only passing knowledge of the drug and did not do extensive research beforehand):
- The proper name is
- Dihydrocodeinone enol acetate, not
- Dihydrocodeine enol acetate.
- It is a semisynthetic opioid not a synthetic opioid.
- The pronunciation is /ˈθiːbəkɒn/
- THEE-buh-kon, not
- By saying I assume, Randall indicates that he didn't research the pronunciation.
- As an alternative explanation, there may be a joke/pun in the mistake.
- [White Hat is holding out a hand towards Cueball while telling him about his job situation. The space between the and bacon is very small.]
- White Hat: I'm out of work, but I'm not stressed about it because my wife is a pharmacist and she brings home the bacon.
- [Caption below the panel:]
- Only later did I learn that "Thebacon" is the common name for dihydrocodeine enol acetate, a synthetic opioid similar to Vicodin.
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