1871: "Bun Alert"

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1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Flumble » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:02 pm UTC

Image
Title text: “Since buns range from crepuscular to nocturnal, it's recommended that you enable the scheduled "Do Not Disturb" mode on your phone to avoid being woken by alerts about Night Buns.

A bun alert might not be such a bad idea: I don't think I've ever seen rabbits in the wild (*cough* Europe doesn't have true wilderness *cough*). The alert would have to be highly localized of course, because there's no way you can arrive 5 minutes after an alert and still expect to see a rabbit.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby jozwa » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:13 pm UTC

Europe doesn't have true wilderness

Sweeping statement of the week.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby svenman » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:03 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:A bun alert might not be such a bad idea: I don't think I've ever seen rabbits in the wild (*cough* Europe doesn't have true wilderness *cough*).

Non sequitur - rabbits are quite willing to live in close proximity to humans. I've seen rabbits right in the middle of my city on surprisingly small patches of greenland. Like many other city-dwelling animals, they apparently are much safer from predators there than in the open countryside, the occasional stray cat or dog notwithstanding. They also seem to be quite happy to take advantage of artificial lighting to extend their silflaying grazing hours into the night.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:24 pm UTC

A couple of days ago, I was walking along a canal towpath, and came across a guy wearing full camouflage suit and hat (not matching, but clearly "the good stuff", not transiently fashionable camo-patterned stuff from a market stalls or TK Maxx) and what was likely an air-rifle bag slung over his shoulder. Not a normal sight, for this semi-urban city-scape green splotch of land. But neither entirely unexpected, given the demographics in the areas near which I'm passing by.

This not being London1 I greeted him, covering up my internal social awkwardness by saying as how I nearly didn't see him, with his camouflage (which was various hues of brown, not at all blending in with the metalled path his was stood in the middle of, nor the verdant undergrowth off to the field-side), very much in the manner that one could 'claim' to fellow travellers not to have seen the military convoy travelling up the other side of the motorway, what with their camouflaging. (Or is that just my family's whimsy, never used elesewhere?)

He says (I'm strolling, leisurely, he is standing, it is quiet, it's amazing how much dialogue we shared without my yet having stopped or even slowed) that he hopes that some rabbits can't see him, in a field (across a fence, the other side of a wide and thoroughly waterlogged ditch, the other side of the shrubbed verge, the side of the path away from the canal).

I stop. I look, am told that one is standing up 'there'. Somewhere. I don't see it. But I do say I do. "Ah, I thought that was a clump of grass, at first" covers my hesitation and subsequent 'revelation'. "I'll leave you to it", I continue, dipping into sotto voce and terminally punctuating our impromptu natter, stepping off again.

Would he try to shoot something? Well, the bag indicates he generally might (the non-misanthropic reply indicates nothing me-shaped), but shooting those (presumed, but highly likely non-Harveylike) bunnies would have served little obvious purpose given the relative inaccessibility of their subsequent corpses. Let him watch them, that's probably all he was going to do. (I'll just make a note not to clue him up on the Bun Alert app, should I see him again.)

Further along the towpath, anyway, I know I'm going to turn off into an overgrown path, trees above, bushes around, railway fencing (then overgrown embankment, then track) to one side, industrial site's security fencing (more overgrown undergrowth, a concrete wall then the site itself) to the other, down which I regularly see rabbits sitting in the middle of of the muddy/earthy track (depending on recent weather), with the best part of a quarter of a mile of sight-line in places. Or see the flash of movement in a distant spec as they see me first. (Grey specks, travelling sideways, that is... Black, dark-brown and dark-with light-patches specks that rise up and into the trees or over the fence are probably birds. Or maybe ferrets!)

I've also observed (i.e. noticed, just before I've risked treading on them) toads and the odd lizard, on that path. I've never wanted to shoot them (nor tread on them), yet they all tend to react as you'd expect, and so avoid the possibility of my being out hunting for my supper. I just meander my way through the dappled semi-industrialised narrow strip of woodland, and by the time I'm underneath the HT electricity pylon I'm close enough to one of the busiest stretches of roadway in the region to no longer be in a peaceful steel-and-undergrowth-lined magical bunny-bountiful glade, and my mind returns to the real world once more.


But you'd have to be there.


(Over the next hill, the woodlands I pass through are a squirrel haven. Gr[e|a]y, not Red, unfortunately. But, once more isolated from traffic noise (with only birdsong, airliners and (occasionally!) the buzzing by of a police or air-ambulance helicopter) I'll take what I've got, and know that I'm practically back home. Which, incidentally, regularly has fox cubs playing on my street in the small hours, at the right times of year. And thus probably less chance of rabbits?)


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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Angua » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:39 pm UTC

Loads of buns and baby buns on the walk to work in Slough. See them all the time on other country walks as well.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Showsni » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:49 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:I don't think I've ever seen rabbits in the wild (*cough* Europe doesn't have true wilderness *cough*). The alert would have to be highly localized of course, because there's no way you can arrive 5 minutes after an alert and still expect to see a rabbit.


Where do you live, if you don't mind me asking?

We have a roundabout near us that has a warren of rabbits on it. It's a fairly busy roundabout, so I'm not sure how they originally got onto it (tunnelled under the road?) but they seem quite happy living there; you drive past of an evening and you're almost guaranteed to see one or two hopping about.

The next roundabout along the dual carriageway was briefly home to a deer or two, but I don't think it is any more.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Reka » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:11 pm UTC

Relatives in Europe always think we must live in a totally wild/rural area, because we complain about the deer, rabbits, and bushy-tailed tree rats squirrels, but the mid-Atlantic East Coast is actually among the most densely-populated areas of the US.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Dark_T_Zeratul » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:33 pm UTC

My wife would love to be part of such an alert system.

Being that she's a falconer, though, I suspect her reasons are considerably different than others.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:40 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:He says (I'm strolling, leisurely, he is standing, it is quiet, it's amazing how much dialogue we shared without my yet having stopped or even slowed) that he hopes that some rabbits can't see him, in a field (across a fence, the other side of a wide and thoroughly waterlogged ditch, the other side of the shrubbed verge, the side of the path away from the canal).


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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby orthogon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:44 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:A couple of days ago, I was walking along a canal towpath [...]

Rabbits seem to like towpaths. Do they like watery habitats in general? I've seen a few by the side of the Thames not too far out of London. Cycling is a good way to see them - you approach quickly and quietly so they don't hear you coming.

I still don't accept bun as a form of bunny, though. It's spoiling my enjoyment of this comic. (To be honest, I don't think I get it anyway).
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:52 pm UTC

(@da Doctah: Indeed.)

I just met a man (on the 'squirrel hill') walking a fox! Black fox, white-tipped tail. Apparently a silver fox (I was thinking it was some Russian type, until he told me... It can be, but not exclusively).

Just to add to my prior rambling about my prior rambling.


"Bun" to match with "loaf of bread" seems deliberate, although I do know that it seems to be an Americanism, or at least it's from US culture that I solely know about, that Bunnies are Buns.

As for rabbits and towpaths, I suspect it's the Green Corridor effect. And as long as there's earth undisturbed enough to burrow in...

(Multiple edits, mostly to add words in I forgot. The fox twisted my mind.)
Last edited by Soupspoon on Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:00 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:55 pm UTC

Reka wrote:Relatives in Europe always think we must live in a totally wild/rural area, because we complain about the deer, rabbits, and bushy-tailed tree rats squirrels, but the mid-Atlantic East Coast is actually among the most densely-populated areas of the US.
The whole of the UK is less dense than Connecticut but denser than Maryland. England would be the second densest US state, sitting comfortably between Rhode Island and New Jersey. The Netherlands are on par with England, and Belgium would be third, behind RI but still denser than Massachusetts.

I don't think I've ever seen a rabbit in the wilderness-wild, either, but I've seen tons of them in people's yards.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Silhalnor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:59 pm UTC

Are you sure that's not just a duck?
A lot of people get'em confused.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Jorpho » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:03 pm UTC

No shortage of them hereabouts, especially at dusk.

I expect they are substantially less cute if one finds oneself in the habit of garden maintenance.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby BrandonH66 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:27 pm UTC

Who saw the title and thought it would have man buns somewhere in it?

If you work in a bakery, you should turn off your bun alert. They're already right there.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Zenexer » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:49 pm UTC

So, who's going to make it?

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby orthogon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:19 pm UTC

BrandonH66 wrote:Who saw the title and thought it would have man buns somewhere in it?

Are they the same as moobs?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:35 pm UTC

Showsni wrote:The next roundabout along the dual carriageway was briefly home to a deer or two, but I don't think it is any more.



how big are your roundabouts that they have enough vegetation to house a deer or two? good grief. I've lived in some areas where deer were quite densely populated and practically lived in people's yards (eating the old lady's rose bushes which always gave us a good chuckle) but to live in a roundabout?!?

Where I live in Kansas on the edge of a town. There happens to be a wheat/corn/soybean (depending on the year) field I can see from my Back patio. We get everything from big game like deer, coyotes (they tend to stay on the outskirts but they do keep the stray cat population down) and turkey to rabbits, squirrels and the occasional skunk or opossum (though the coyotes help with them too). I don't consider my house to be 'rural' (indeed, we are within city limits even) but I suspect most people would say we're practically redneck hicks.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:35 pm UTC

Not that there are any deer here, but it could probably support a small mostly-hidden colony, off the top of my head...

OTOH, here is a documented occasion of an actual (temporary) residency...

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby orthogon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:42 pm UTC

OK, I've given it some time, and I definitely don't get it. So there's an app that pushes notifications of rabbits - I presume that birdwatchers have exactly such a thing, and - the world being what it is - it's not a massive stretch to suppose that there might be rabbit-watchers too with their own app. It just ... I don't see how it's even supposed to be a joke. I've read explainxkcd.com, which reminds us of comic 1682, which established that small rabbits are the kings. (Maybe the problem is that I didn't really get that one either). And the title-text: the app lets you mute notifications during the night ... so? A sensible feature, which many apps provide, but what's the joke? And "they're like loaves of bread that hop"? No they aren't. Is that (as Soupspoon suggested earlier) a pun on the word "bun"? Even if it's just supposed to be a weird Beret-guy comic - they're not always laugh-out-loud funny - it's not out-there enough. A rabbit notification app isn't a soup-dispensing wall socket. If it just doesn't work for me, fine - Randall has had a run of really good ones recently, and you can't please everyone all of the time - but am I missing something?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:43 pm UTC

BrandonH66 wrote:Who saw the title and thought it would have man buns somewhere in it?

If you work in a bakery, you should turn off your bun alert. They're already right there.

But serially folks, if you have a family history of kidney problems, an alert for abnormal Blood Urea Nitrogen levels is probably a very good thing.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:51 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:So there's an app that pushes notifications of rabbits - I presume that birdwatchers have exactly such a thing
Fun Fact: This was what Twitter was, before the trolls got to it...

(Much of the humour, IMO, is of the in-universe perceived (and, it seems, actual) demand for the alert.
And see also http://www.wideopenpets.com/bun-loaf-wh ... s-it-mean/ for more about the loaf.)

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:12 pm UTC

I figured most of the humor was a continuation of the use of the word "bun" to mean rabbit, which was the punchline of the previous comic. Also, that previous comic mentioned texting "BUN ALERT" to people in its title text, so this is really just a sequel to that, continuing the same joke.

It's funny because "bun" is a short, cute, silly word. Also it can mean "butt", which makes it kind of funnier. The punchline in the previous comic was using such a silly word in a classroom and calling it the "scientific term". In this one, there's also the bread pun (that I didn't get at first), and yeah, just the fact that people are actually so excited about a product that, in reality, would be kind of useless, on top of already being just silly.

(Useless because the rabbits wouldn't be there by the time you responded to the alert, which would also be the fatal flaw of a bird watcher equivalent. What might be useful, for people interested in spotting animals in the wild in general, would be some app that lets you just record that you just saw whatever kind of animal, which could then build maps of where those animals are frequently spotted, which could help people going out to look for them in the future).
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:42 pm UTC

Newcastle (Upon Tyne) used to have rabbits infesting the grounds of the civic center, but they disappeared at some point (at the time, I was passing by every few days, but not seeing them every time - so it was probably sometime during a particular fortnight that they disappeared - voluntarily or otherwise). As the name suggests, it's pretty central to the built-up area...

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:50 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:[(*cough* Europe doesn't have true wilderness *cough*)


[Citation needed] just cross the Baltic sea and head north and have all the wilderness you need.

In my town (pop. 600k) rabbits are seemingly everywhere. I'm told they spread along railroad rights-of-way. On autumn mornings I have to dodge them on my bike ride to work. Growing vegetables in your backyard is a neverending war. One day they'll learn pole vaulting and eat the tomatoes off my third floor balcony.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby somitomi » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:57 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:A bun alert might not be such a bad idea: I don't think I've ever seen rabbits in the wild (*cough* Europe doesn't have true wilderness *cough*).

You don't need wilderness, just some crop fields easily accessible by dirt roads. Rabbits usually make a beeline for the closest hiding place upon hearing anything, so the experience is fleeting at best. Same goes for pheasants, deer and the occasional fox.
Deer can often be spotted from paved roads (including motorways), they seem to like hanging out in the middle of large open fields.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby freezeblade » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:02 pm UTC

bunnies love High School and College campuses, so much green space. Bonus if there's a FFA program with a garden plot they can steal from.

Honestly, here in the urban environment, there's far more raccoons than rabbits, and they cause far more problems.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:27 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:Honestly, here in the urban environment, there's far more raccoons than rabbits, and they cause far more problems.
It's not actually the raccoons that are the problem. It's usually one of the aardvarks...

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby JDGA » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:50 pm UTC

Rabbits being pests here, I anticipated the alert would summon someone to shoot the thing. Sadly I then realised it wasn't Black Hat Guy...

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:20 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
BrandonH66 wrote:Who saw the title and thought it would have man buns somewhere in it?

Are they the same as moobs?

Ideally not, no. They should ideally be very unlike that. But I suppose that they can converge.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Isaac Hill » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:52 am UTC

Flumble wrote:The alert would have to be highly localized of course, because there's no way you can arrive 5 minutes after an alert and still expect to see a rabbit.
The bunnies that live in my neighborhood are somewhat acclimated to humans. I'll see some of them in my yard for maybe half an hour at a stretch. They don't run off when they see me, either. They'll keep their distance, but won't dissappear unless I head in their direction. Just this morning, there was a bunny in my front yard when I headed off to work. It ran to the side yard when I opened the front door, but was within 15 ft of my driveway as I drove off.

Usually I'll only see one or two at a time. The most I've ever seen at once is 4. I thought, "That's one bunny per limb. They could take me down if they wanted to."
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby keldor » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:01 am UTC

We have sooo many buns that live around my house. Actually, they're mostly rabbits this time of year, but still. I counted 11 of them in and around my yard just a couple days ago, and when I read the comic, I decided to look out the window, and yep! 3 rabbits! I think if you set a bun alert around here it would never stop going off.

They're so funny when a couple of them are in disagreement about the presence of each other. They face off a short distance apart, stare, then one charges forward and the other jumps straight up in the air over the first one's head! After a couple times of doing this, one apparently looses somehow and is chased off.

They're pretty accustomed to people and don't particularly mind when I walk around the yard so long as I don't get closer than maybe 15 feet. The key is to not walk directly toward them, and to announce your presence, but not too loudly. Don't look like a predator sneaking up on them - they pick up on that sort of thing!

The young ones occasionally fall into my window well, which is about 3 feet deep and about 4-5 feet wide so it lets in a lot of light. About once a year, I have to hop down in there and rescue one. We call those dumbunnies. Thankfully, they tend to freeze when they're afraid, and if you move very slowly you can get your hands around them and grab them before they can react, then just lift them up and put them out on the grass.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby qvxb » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:43 am UTC

When I saw the comic title, Sarah Hyland came to mind.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby keldor » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:07 am UTC

For what it is worth--English buns are different from American buns. English ones (European) live in colonies aka warrens; American buns (cottontails) are generally solitary--or at least, they don't share burrows.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby heuristically_alone » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:14 am UTC

My dad would love that. There are always buns trying to get into his garden. Normally he just waits with his slingshot waiting.
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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby zjxs » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:09 am UTC

Cinnamon buns are delicious.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Jorpho » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:31 am UTC

orthogon wrote:OK, I've given it some time, and I definitely don't get it. So there's an app that pushes notifications of rabbits - I presume that birdwatchers have exactly such a thing, and - the world being what it is - it's not a massive stretch to suppose that there might be rabbit-watchers too with their own app. It just ... I don't see how it's even supposed to be a joke. I've read explainxkcd.com, which reminds us of comic 1682, which established that small rabbits are the kings. (Maybe the problem is that I didn't really get that one either).
Well, considering the abundance of references to rabbits in children's literature, the sighting of one may be cause for some excitement in geographical areas where they are not readily found, especially considering how skittish they are.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby FOARP » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:11 am UTC

OK, the vague humour of an app for spotting bunny-rabbits is for me outweighed by my annoyance at the idea that "bun" in a nick-name for them when I've never heard it used that way (likely due to the obvious potential for confusion).

But hey, there's no rule that says that I have to like every one of these comics that Randall makes in his spare time and allows us to read for free.

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Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:17 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I figured most of the humor was a continuation of the use of the word "bun" to mean rabbit, which was the punchline of the previous comic. Also, that previous comic mentioned texting "BUN ALERT" to people in its title text, so this is really just a sequel to that, continuing the same joke.

It's funny because "bun" is a short, cute, silly word. Also it can mean "butt", which makes it kind of funnier. The punchline in the previous comic was using such a silly word in a classroom and calling it the "scientific term". In this one, there's also the bread pun (that I didn't get at first), and yeah, just the fact that people are actually so excited about a product that, in reality, would be kind of useless, on top of already being just silly.

(Useless because the rabbits wouldn't be there by the time you responded to the alert, which would also be the fatal flaw of a bird watcher equivalent. What might be useful, for people interested in spotting animals in the wild in general, would be some app that lets you just record that you just saw whatever kind of animal, which could then build maps of where those animals are frequently spotted, which could help people going out to look for them in the future).


And yet, birdAlertPRO is a thing.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

Showsni
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:09 pm UTC

Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Postby Showsni » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:12 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
Showsni wrote:The next roundabout along the dual carriageway was briefly home to a deer or two, but I don't think it is any more.



how big are your roundabouts that they have enough vegetation to house a deer or two? good grief. I've lived in some areas where deer were quite densely populated and practically lived in people's yards (eating the old lady's rose bushes which always gave us a good chuckle) but to live in a roundabout?!?


It was this roundabout: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.86587 ... 312!8i6656

I don't think they were actually living there, just that they'd wandered onto it and couldn't get off for a day or two, and were spotted by passing motorists. Unlike the rabbits, who live on this roundabout:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.86395 ... 312!8i6656

Looks like the streetview camera got them a few times:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.86390 ... 312!8i6656 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.86408 ... 312!8i6656


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