2402: Into My Veins

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Into My Veins
"Okay, for the last time, the shot is free, so we can't--" "Shut up and take my money!"
Title text: "Okay, for the last time, the shot is free, so we can't--" "Shut up and take my money!"


This comic is another in a series of comics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also references a common meme.

Two of the next four comics also contain references to the vaccine, 2404: First Thing and 2406: Viral Vector Immunity, and the first of these, like this one, additionally references a common Internet trend.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most consequential and broadly unpleasant events in living memory.[citation needed] As of the publication of this strip, it is estimated to have caused over 1.5 million deaths worldwide, with over 300,000 deaths in the United States, and many more serious cases, often with lasting impacts. Even for those who have been spared infection, measures to slow the spread of the virus have been highly impactful, and have been ongoing for nearly a year.

As a consequence of all of this, many people (including, presumably, Randall) are excited for the vaccine, which will hopefully end the pandemic. This comic shows Cueball clearly thrilled to receive the vaccine. "Inject this directly into my veins" is a meme based on a line (from The Simpsons): in the episode "A Star Is Burns", an alcoholic character wins a lifetime supply of beer, and replies "just hook it to my veins". The meme is typically applied to things that are not injected at all (such as a form of media or entertainment) to express exaggerated enthusiasm. When Cueball applies the meme to the COVID-19 vaccine, it causes some confusion, because the vaccine is delivered by injection, but not directly into a vein. The medical staff delivering the vaccine have apparently heard this or similar lines frequently, and appear to take it literally, explaining that it's intended to be administered intramuscularly (usually in the upper arm). In fact, at least one study has shown that inadvertent intravenous injection of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines may induce myopericarditis, i.e., inflammation of the pericardium (tissue surrounding the heart), although this claim has been disputed.

The title text references another such meme, "Shut up and take my money," which derives from the 2010 "Attack of the Killer App" episode of Futurama. This meme, like the first, expresses extreme and immediate desire for something, with the implication that the speaker is not only willing but eager to pay whatever it costs, and is too excited to wait for a sales pitch or for any warnings or disclaimers. The COVID-19 vaccine is being provided free of charge to Cueball, so taking his money is entirely unnecessary (and possibly illegal). Once again, this is a source of potential confusion because, under the American healthcare system, many people likely will have to pay at least part of the cost of vaccination. The workers administering it could easily confuse the meme for a genuine request.

This was the last comic before this years Christmas comic. It was about the COVID-19 vaccine. The last comic before the 2021 Christmas comic, 2558: Rapid Test Results, was about COVID-19 tests.


[Close up of Cueball.]
Cueball: Yesssss
Cueball: Inject this directly into my veins
[Beat panel. Ponytail looks down at a clipboard while Cueball is looking at her.]
[Zoom out to reveal that Cueball is standing by a stool, with Ponytail in front of him with a clipboard and syringe and Hairy behind him with a box of bandages and a first-aid kit.]
Ponytail: Ok, but the vaccine is intramuscular...
Hairy: Why do people keep saying that?
Cueball: Sorry, sorry.
Cueball: Just excited.

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I'm not sure if Barney Gumble is the intended reference. It reminds me more of a drug addict. Barmar (talk) 00:36, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

-- Does this need to be a reference to something? I feel like 60% of the "references" we find are just things Randal or society in general would say/think. These things are probably circulated by the bloodstream, so requesting it be directly injected into the veins could be considered as a request to skip the "extra "steps (absorbing into bloodstream), or a possibly common misconception of how this vaccine works. Definitely not a reference to Simpsons... there isn't even a slight relation other than the fact they both use words.
I believe Randall definitely intended it as a reference to the "into my veins" meme, which is a very commonly used one, having spread far beyond viewers of early Simpsons alone. (And yes, Gumble is an addict who essentially requested 'mainlining' his drug of choice. The fact that it's alcohol doesn't make it any less a drug addiction, & while beer would no doubt cause horrific tissue damage thru intravenous injection, Gumble isn't the first 'person' to suggest an alcohol IV.) I see little reason to doubt that Cueball is riffing on both memes. Randall even went straight from one Groening show reference to another, with the Pkilip J. Fry quote. With the alt-text being a direct quotation, I believe the former reference is therefore strongly implied, if not obvious prima facie. ProphetZarquon (talk) 22:12, 25 December 2020 (UTC)
While alcohol is not healthy, it is at least something which actually can be in blood as a result of drinking it. I wonder how many other components of beer would cause even more damage intravenously than alcohol while are completely safe when drunk ... hmmm ... the bubbles of carbon dioxide for example ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 05:19, 26 December 2020 (UTC)
Not sure whether you meant the vaccine, but the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not mean to circulate in the bloodstream. They cause cells in the region of the injection to express the antigenic protein (a duplicate of the viral spike protein). That protein is in turn detected by various immune cells, e. g. dendritic cells, and presented to the lymph nodes, which then causes B- and T-cells to proliferate which are sensitive to the specific antigen. The T-cells do circulate in the blood, finally. Nitpicking (talk) 03:36, 26 December 2020 (UTC)

I imagine this is poking fun at how excited everyone is about a vaccine, despite vaccines normally being pretty boring. It signals the end of a terrible pandemic, but you will just be getting a shot. 00:39, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Especially since most people probably won't get it soon, we are unlikely to reach 75% vaccination at all, & even if we did, it doesn't address the wider issue of transit-amplified transmissible disease exposure in a transit-dependent society, in which overall immune health is declining due to multiple compounding factors that are non-trivial to address. A vaccine for CoViD '19 is surely called for, but it won't solve the underlying issues that created this pandemic. ProphetZarquon (talk) 22:12, 25 December 2020 (UTC)
The covid vaccine also uses some novel methods which may result in faster generation of vaccines against other viruses. If the only virus-specific part of vaccine is the RNA, it means it can be transported over internet, synthesized and turned into vaccine in distributed way. It's not something actually taken advantage of yet, but maybe next time ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 05:19, 26 December 2020 (UTC)
Was this in response to what I said? Because it still doesn't address any of the broader issues I raised: Vaccines aren't a solution, they're a band-aid. Plus the vaccine in question is necessarily highly specific; it does not confer added resistance to bird\swine flu, MRSA, ebola, or e-coli for instance. In fact, vaccination of this kind has negative health effects of its own, which although typically minor, nonetheless preclude vaccinating against everything all the time. Even accounting for varying lifestyles, US populations are categorically less healthy than we were two generations ago, & that trend will continue to worsen indefinitely so long as the environmental stressors we've been creating continue to increase exponentially. Unless we address the innate dangers posed by high transit volumes, & reduce environmental degradation of our immunological capacity, we're likely to see much worse pandemics in the near future. ProphetZarquon (talk) 18:30, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

I have to say, the "COVID19 may have inconvenienced some people [citation needed]" is cracking me up. 09:39, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Death is usually considered inconvenient. -- Hkmaly (talk) 05:19, 26 December 2020 (UTC)
BUt only 1-2% of infected people die, right? aaaaaaaaaaaoijgpisbHtejsykl7ekderhtsjk6r64os4kys\\\[]jsrtjgdrghtvgwrhtejyku5dli6;78t7l6rk5j4h|||||#Rty-----WWWWWWfflfllfllfllfeogk0q9wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww4-cv;c;;c;c[;]z\]d;v[\]????????OH GOD IT'S CRASIHNG MY PC����������������������������������������������� (talk) 13:49, 28 December 2020 (UTC)

I'm beginning to think Randall has a terminal CASE of meme infection. It's even affecting his Regular Expressions! ProphetZarquon (talk) 22:12, 25 December 2020 (UTC)