1713: 50 ccs

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50 ccs
There's been a raccoon accident at an accordion bacchanalia! Double doses!
Title text: There's been a raccoon accident at an accordion bacchanalia! Double doses!


This comic presents a busy day in the clinic for doctor Ponytail, who orders 50 CCs from a nurse (probably Megan who walks in front of her rather than Cueball walking away behind her), all the while everyone is hurrying along the hall. This could be a typical scenario in a busy hospital. However the pun is that the 50 CCs are not medicine but should be used to write "hiccup vaccine" 25 times.

In medicine, "CC" usually means "cubic centimeter", and is often called that by medical personnel. A cubic centimeter is equal to 1 ml (milliliter), so "50 CCs" usually means 50 ml of a certain medicine. In this case however, the doctor has not told the nurse to bring 50 CCs of any given medicine; instead, she needs to write "hiccup vaccine" 25 times, with both words containing the letter combination "cc", so she needs to write that combination 50 times.

That is the joke, that the 50 CCs literally means the two-lettered 'cc' fifty times.

  • 50 cc would be
    • cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc
    • just enough 'cc's to spell hiccup vaccine 25 times.

There's no conventional vaccine against hiccups. However, performing tasks meant to distract one's self is a method to stop hiccups. Therefore the act of writing "hiccup vaccine" 25 times would itself comprise one more of those hiccup cures that never seems to work. What these techniques all rely on is that they all force one to hold one's breath, thus resetting the diaphragm from its out of sync spasms. But if Ponytail has discovered a vaccine that does somehow cure or prevent hiccups, then this unexpected result is worth reporting in medical journals and seeking grants for further study. Thus, wanting to write about it 25 times is understandable!

The title text text refers to a fictional event with four words containing "cc" (raccoon, accident, accordion, bacchanalia), which means she needs to write "cc" 100 times. Referring to the 50 CCs from above, this would be a double dosage.

Although the words of the sentence has been chosen based on their cc's the sentence is quite interesting in itself:

  • An accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument with tangents like on a piano. The instrument is played by compressing or expanding the bellows. It has sometimes been accused of being a hellish instrument. It has not been used in xkcd before.
  • The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus (Roman name for the equivalent Greek wine God Dionysus). The festivals were based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia.
  • The animal raccoon, has begun to appear in urban areas which has given rises to increasing conflicts with humans. A dead raccoon had thus found its way into Cueball's car in 1565: Back Seat and already back in 1025: Tumblr Megan has a raccoon sex dungeon in her attic!

So here there is talk of a wine festival with music played on accordions that has had an accident involving raccoons, in addition to the need for vaccine against the hiccups.

A similar doctor Ponytail is shown in 883: Pain Rating also along with Cueball and Megan and just with Megan in 996: Making Things Difficult.


[Ponytail in a doctor's coat, walks right while reading from a clipboard, passing Cueball walking the other way while she talks to Megan walking in front of her.]
Ponytail: Nurse, bring me 50 CCs!
Ponytail: I need to write "hiccup vaccine" 25 times!

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I don't fully get this joke but I do get that people do all sorts of strange things to cure hiccups so I think it has to do with that but I don't understand the title text at all MrEnder (talk) 05:26, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Thinking more CCs is a measurement of medicine usually referring to pain killers. Maybe people are coming in with the hiccups and the doctor is going to hand out pain killers (or just sugar pills) saying they are a hiccup vaccine and is annoyed at having to do so. So this could be a joke about placebo drugs. MrEnder (talk) 05:33, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

No, 1 cc here literally mean "cc" which is egnogh c's to spell vaccination -- so 25 cc's is literally "cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc" 13:53, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

50cc is a volume measurement typically used to measure injectible dosages. A metric measure meaning "cubic centimetre" it is equivalent to 1 millilitre. Thus, the title is referring to volume of injection. However, the words hiccup and vaccine both include the letter combination "cc", hence writing them down 25 times each will be a total of 50 "cc" words. This is supported by the additional "cc" words in the mouseover text 05:36, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Folks, it's a matter of spelling: it takes 50 pieces of the letters "cc" to write "hiccup vaccine" 25 times (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Could it be related to http://xkcd.com/1383/ ? 05:45, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

No I see no connection. This is about words with cc and the volume cm^3 as cc, whereas the 1383: Magic Words is about language and sex... --Kynde (talk) 14:24, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Just noticed something else! maybe coincidence! But raccoons are known to have rabies. If you read the title texts first letters of the description of what happened fuck you get R A A A A B (could be pronounced Ray Bee) because accordions have nothing to do with women's roman drinking and ecstasy parties as far as I can tell MrEnder (talk) 05:47, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

#overthinking 11:10, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Agree ;-) --Kynde (talk) 14:24, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Y'all are making this too complicated. It's the classic garden-path joke which says something simple and obvious, then says something that completely changes the meaning of what went before. "I shot a n----- in my pajamas. I don't know how he got into my woodpile." 14:17, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

That joke makes no sense; maybe you meant to use the slur "coon" instead...? 17:40, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Is that not what the explanation says? --Kynde (talk) 14:24, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Felt obliged to edit above - Being born & raised in MS, I have no tolerance for the word. The pajamas / woodpile joke is presumably familiar enough, or findable. Miamiclay (talk) 08:35, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Is this supposed to be an evolution of the Groucho Marx "I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I'll never know"? Because I have never heard the woodpile ending, or the racial slur before. 20:04, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Drinking has been known to cause hiccups. Do you think the raccoons from the bacchanalia are the ones who need the hiccup vaccine? 16:19, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

1713 cc also means carbon copy. So 50 carbon copies of either of those words could be called for. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

CC (CopyCat) is also the name of the first ever cloned cat. [1] Maybe they need 50 copies of her? Zorlax the Mighty'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 11:45, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

If the distraction works against already existing hiccups, it's a hiccups remedy, not a hiccups vaccine. Physicalattraction (talk) 08:48, 30 July 2016 (UTC)