1786: Trash

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 1786)
Jump to: navigation, search
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.


Black Hat is, once again, thoroughly confusing Cueball (another example of this is 908: The Cloud). 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 kinds of portals appear on about half of all the furniture that Black Hat buys, and he is somewhat annoyed about it. (This sounds more like something Beret Guy would encounter, although he would have reacted very differently than Black Hat.) It would be interesting to know whether all the portals lead into the same alternative world/dimension, but it seems Black Hat is not interested in visiting these worlds, instead just being annoyed about his broken furniture. (Given Black Hat's personality, this may well be a practical joke meant to mess with Cueball's head rather than an actual portal to another dimension.)

Cueball quickly realizes this is a reference to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published book in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. In the books, the child characters use different portals to get into the alternative dimension/world of Narnia. The children first find a portal inside an old wardrobe, and use it at least three times to travel into Narnia. Black Hat confirms his trash chute indeed leads to Narnia and explains how this is a great time-saver for him, as he can easily get rid of his trash. The Narnia books are for children and Narnia is a magical world, so Cueball is appalled to learn that Black Hat dumps his trash there.

A discussion of problems with this comic vs. Narnia chronology is discussed in the trivia section.

The "huge cat" he refers to is Aslan, a magical lion in Narnia. In his lion form he sometimes walks around and 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 takes on different appearances, implying he is Jesus, just in Narnia.

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[citation needed]. He would probably try to stop this by any means necessary, including coming up through a trash chute into another dimension. But because lions are a type of cat (feline), apparently Aslan can be repelled with an ordinary spray bottle. The joke is that this is a technique used to tame small house cats; it would be unlikely to work on a lion, especially if the lion was really a deity[citation needed].

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 the portal in Black Hat's wardrobe accessed a different world than Narnia. So everything that is actually pushed to the other side of the portal would be disposed of very efficiently, as the trash could completely decompose within just a few Earth minutes. This would then explain how Black Hat can keep pushing more stuff into the other world: anything sent through the portal will decompose and vanish before he comes with his next load of trash.

The title text mention of Yucca Mountain is a reference to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, a partially-built nuclear waste repository that has been defunded at the 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, radioactive waste would be far worse[citation needed]. Of course in Earth time radioactive materials would soon decay back to background levels of radiation. This is thus another jab at all the world's environmental problems, as is also done with 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. This was done in the past but is now banned, as Earth's oceans are not endless[citation needed].

The title text copies the idea behind the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic from October 15 2014. The button at the bottom of that comic shows a sad Mr. Tumnus, a faun Lucy meets on her first visit to Narnia, rather than an angry Aslan as suggested in this comic.

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


[Cueball looking at garbage chute attached to wardrobe. 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.


  • If one cares about the rules of the Narnia continuity...
    • If the portal travels to Narnia specifically, this comic would have to be set during the books (that is to say, during the 1940's) because in the last book Narnia ceases to exist.
    • Note however in the continuity of the books, Narnia is not the only alternate world -- three of them are explored in The Magician's Nephew -- just the most famous to popular culture.
      • This other world could still also have Aslan, as implied in the books.
  • The wardrobe in the first book only worked sometimes, and after the first book it could never be used again. Had this been such a wardrobe then it would just fill with trash, so this could not be that wardrobe.
    • Even if it was always open, it doesn't actually suck anything in; Black Hat would have to push the trash over or it would just pile up on his side of the wardrobe, defeating the purpose of the trash chute.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


I put in an explanation, but I'm on a mobile device, so someone will need to fix all the spacing, and necessary links, and probably fix a bunch of other stuff too. Yosho27 (talk) 07:26, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Yucca Mountain is a nuclear waste storage. STEN (talk) 07:33, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps one should mention that Narnia is a retelling of the Christian tradition. Aslan created all 'dimensions' or worlds including ours and is the allegorical Jesus. Narnia is a wonderful world for children, at least most of the time, when there are no witches, where they can have fun and are able to prove more noble than in the real world. Both makes dumping trash in Narnia quite sacrilegious. Sebastian -- 08:07, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

I have mentioned some of it. But I do not think it is especially important for this comic, only for the fact that Aslan is God everywhere, and since Narnia is a dead world today, then Aslan could be in a different world that Blacl Hat taps into. --Kynde (talk) 14:50, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Presumerably also the whole comic is a reference/cynical look at human's history of dumping things in the sea and so on? ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_debris for example) 11:25, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Added some on this especially regarding the nuclear waste --Kynde (talk) 14:50, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Is Black Hat getting his furniture from Beret Guy's new shop? The wiki itself says that this seems like something that would happen. Comic 1772: Startup Opportunity. SteelStarling (talk) 15:10, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Yeah but probably rather this shop: 1533: Antique Factory ;) The wiki says what the users can agree upon. I wrote most of the current explanation. (And then someone else was so nice to copy edit all my spelling mistakes - not a native English speaker!) --Kynde (talk) 18:45, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

If we dumped radioactive waste into Narnia, wouldn't Narnia receive much less waste per unit time, than we are inserting? Therefore the nuclear waste problem would be much less severe than on Earth? -- 23:31, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Well for some isotopes the half life is billions of year (Uranium for instance) so that kind of waste would not wither away in Narnia which only reaches an age of a few thousand years... So they would sum up even though they came in over a longer period. And most importantly, it was not their problem but ours. Just like 1st world problems are exported to 3rd world countries... --Kynde (talk) 14:24, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Actually, subduction zone tectonic deposition of nuclear waste is a very promising form of nuclear waste disposal that would be considered oceanic disposal, which is why no one's been able to try it yet. Additionally, I'd like to point out that oceanic disposal of nuclear waste isn't really a current issue, since it's been banned by a number of treaties, and nuclear power plants are monitored closely enough that it doesn't really happen anymore. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Anyone else think that this is pretty derivative of this SMBC comic? Similar themes of Narnia and the nuclear waste: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Yes, added it to the explanation. Thanks ;-) --Kynde (talk) 14:21, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

The first two panels read naturally with "Narnia" as a metaphor for a culture's sacred narratives, and "garbage chute" as a metaphor for the exploitation of those narratives by sociopathic individuals/corporations/subcultures (in the person of Black Hat). Then per the Narnia Wiki ( http://narnia.wikia.com/wiki/Cat ), the name of the "large cat" is Ginger, whose Narnia-fate is to become soulless; transparently a reference to a "ginger"-haired American politician "He Who Must Not Be Named". John Sidles (talk) 11:02, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Could be, but more probably Aslan is referenced as cat. -- 09:57, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Do we need a Narnia category? There are quite a few references to the books now... --Kynde (talk) 15:18, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

The Pevensies went to Narnia because Aslan wanted them to know him better there so that they could learn to know him here. Edward and Eustace both learned to be much better people there. If half his furniture has portals, then it seems to me that Aslan is *really* trying hard to reach Black Hat! (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The explanation refers to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe as being the first Narnia book. However, it is only arguably so. As I understand it, it was the first one written, but as it turned into a series, C.S. Lewis wrote another book to be book 1 of the series, The Magician's Nephew, as I recall, making this actually the second book of the series. But Book 1 seems often skipped, especially in adaptations (such as the BBC miniseries series of the 80s and the more recent movies), so Wardrobe is the best known and Book 1 seems often overlooked. Nevertheless, it IS the first book now, and has been for decades. - NiceGuy1 03:33, 20 January 2017 (UTC) I finally signed up! This comment is mine. NiceGuy1 (talk) 03:54, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

When reading, 'The Magician's Nephew' feels like it fits more naturally as the sixth book (which is when it was published), even though its events predate 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe'. A similar thing happens with the fifth published book 'The Horse and His Boy', which has events that take place within the time jump in the last chapter of 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe'. Thaledison (talk) 16:38, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Also, I used to collect copies of this series. Most of the copies I have have the book number on them, and the first time I saw a collection with 'The Magician's Nephew' as the first book was in the mid-late 1990s. -- Thaledison (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)