506: Theft of the Magi

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Theft of the Magi
Every Roomba needs a dueling harness.
Title text: Every Roomba needs a dueling harness.


This comic is a satirical play on O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi." In O. Henry's story, a couple with very little money goes to great lengths to purchase gifts for one another. The wife sells her prized possession, her hair, to purchase a fancy chain for her husband's prize possession, a watch; the husband sells his watch to purchase some fancy hair accessories (clips/combs) for his wife. The story is about selflessness, as each party sold their prize possession to purchase something to enhance the other's prize possession.

In this comic, however, the opposite occurs: Black Hat stole Danish's Roomba (an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner) and sold it to buy a new game for his Xbox, while Danish stole Black Hat's Xbox and sold it to buy a "dueling harness" for her Roomba, highlighting their mutually destructive selfishness. Although these actions reflect their sociopathic personalities and are at each other's detriment, both are apparently touched by the simultaneity of their selfish actions and the symmetry of the consequences. This is a play on the reaction that readers typically have upon reading the O. Henry story: although neither of the characters can actually use their gift, the gifts are touching nevertheless because they are literal symbols of the self-sacrificing love the characters have for each other.

An alternative interpretation is that the word "AWW.", rather than an expression of being touched, is an expression of disappointment. Thus they are each disappointed by the turn of events.

The "dueling harness," also mentioned in the title text, is an invention by Randall, which presumably would allow Roombas to wield weapons and battle each other like the robots in Robot Wars.


[Black Hat is holding up a copy of Left 4 Dead. Danish is holding up a small harness.]
Black Hat: Hey. I sold your Roomba on Craigslist so I could buy myself Left 4 Dead.
Danish: But I eBayed your XBox so I could get this dueling harness for my Roomba!
Black hat and Danish at the same time: Aww.

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Is it an "aaw" of dissapointment, or an "aaw" of affection? 23:28, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

In the comic, it's spelled "aww", as in a cuteness overload. Please note the difference. /s
I think it's an aww of affection, as explained above. 21:24, 18 April 2014 (UTC)BK201

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in "The gift of the Magi", wouldn/t the wife's hair grow back eventually, thus meaning she actualy gave away nothing (And got a very nice set of hairbrushes in return)? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Said like someone who doesn't know how much effort maintaining long hair takes! -Pennpenn 03:44, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Why is L4D expensive enough to cost a used roomba? and why does an expected-to-be-like-20-dollars dueling harness cost a used xbox? -- 22:40, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

It's not about the money value of the items, but the sociopathic malice invested in their theft that counts! -Pennpenn 03:44, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

i'm pretty sure it's an aww of dissapointment, as in aww i couldnt get that!

I'm pretty sure an aww of affection suits the dynamic of their relationship where there mutually destructive tendencies are a key factor binding them together. 13:09, 31 December 2021 (UTC)

Fun fact, this page shows up first when you search "theft of the magi" and the actual comic is second! 18:54, 20 March 2022 (UTC)Bumpf

guys, this actually exists! search "roomba dueling harness" New editor (talk) 20:46, 25 August 2022 (UTC)