677: Asshole

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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[Shortly thereafter, at a nearby bakery] ::CRASH:: ::RUMBLE:: ::VRRRRRR:: '... I don't know, officer. It just scooped up an entire rack of scones and drove away!'
Title text: [Shortly thereafter, at a nearby bakery] ::CRASH:: ::RUMBLE:: ::VRRRRRR:: '... I don't know, officer. It just scooped up an entire rack of scones and drove away!'


SUVs are large personal vehicles with big engines and a huge amount of cargo space, and are notorious gas-guzzlers and therefore emblematic of pollution caused by cars. Stereotypically, SUV owners drive them because they're compensating for failures in other parts of their lives, and as an example of conspicuous consumption. Upon hearing Cueball call him an asshole for driving an SUV, Beret Guy, not wanting to appear to be such, trades his SUV in at the dealership for a hybrid subcompact.

Hybrid cars are vehicles that are powered by both gasoline and electrical motors, allowing them to consume less fuel and therefore pollute less. But stereotypically, people drive them so that they can feel superior to others about having reduced their emissions, and that's exactly what Megan says, this time, when Beret Guy happens to drive past them again.

Quite annoyed now, Beret Guy trades in his car again, this time to get an excavator (a large construction vehicle) and smack them with it. After doing this, he actually does appear quite smug and pleased with himself.

In the title text we hear some crashing sounds and then we hear a report by an eyewitness to a police officer. Beret Guy apparently used the excavator to smash into a bakery and steal scones, one of Beret Guy's beloved bakery products - see 452: Mission and the title text of 1030: Keyed.

See also 434: xkcd Goes to the Airport where Beret Guy's obsession with bakeries was first mentioned.


[Cueball and Megan watch Beret Guy drive by in an SUV.]
Cueball: Look at that asshole in his SUV, thinking he's so badass while he guzzles gas driving around suburbia.
Beret Guy: Oh no! Am I an asshole? I hope not!
[Beret Guy trades in his keys at the dealership.]
[Now he is driving by in a hybrid sedan. Cueball and Megan are still there.]
Megan: Look at that smug asshole thinking he's better than us because he drives a hybrid.
Beret Guy: ...
[He trades in his keys again.]
[Cueball and Megan is standing.]
Off-panel: RUMBLE
[Beret Guy drives a backhoe in and smacks Cueball and Megan out of the panel with the digger.]
[He drives off, whistling.]

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Hybrids aren't generally plug-in - they run on gas and battery, which recharges itself through braking.MR (talk) 03:50, 1 March 2013 (UTC)MR

...and also directly of the engine. The most sensible way of hybridding, IMO, is to have the engine only generating, so that it can be run at optimal fuel-consumption revs. But it only needs to run whenever the battery needs topping up or the motors can do with more electrical power than the batteries alone can supply. Add in some intelligent stop/start and some road-condition detection in addition to anything the driver can manually switch and that sounds about perfect (short of adding solar panels on top, as well). Don't know why the Hybrid concept initially went off on a tangent with electric-assist taking over for clutch-connected gas(/petrol)-power to the wheels at times. 13:17, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

This is not a sedan, it is apparently a subcompact hatch or a Hot Hatch (Coupé). In europe the subcompact class is known as supermini. Not that it matters much but... I found out i can edit the explanation directly so... I just did. -- Gegueure (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'd always assumed that the engine connected to a generator plan would be the future of hybrids too. But in truth, conversion losses, combined with the extra weight of electrics that can fully propel the vehicle, far outweigh any gains from running the fueled engine at perfect RPMs. There are still places for such designs, especially as auxiliary power in vehicles that require continuous energy, like refrigerated trucks. In retrospect, the gasoline and electric motor sandwich connected to a transmission, was brilliant! Taryn (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)