0372: "To Be Wanted"

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angusprune
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby angusprune » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:20 pm UTC

I interperated it like this -

The guy and the girl know each other and used to be lovers.

The girl has gone off on her ship, for whatever reason - adventuring, being a pirate, finding the lost city of Hull. - while the guy is stuck at home living his normal life, waiting for the girl to return.

They both still love each other and are both thinking of each other, and both hoping that the other is thinking of them.

It reminded me of 'A valediction forbidding Mourning' by John Donne

This is the second half of the poem:

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.


Is this a bit deep for a first post?

Mackenzie
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Mackenzie » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:30 pm UTC

Do they exist or are they an illusion? Are they mutual daydreams of two completely and utterly unconnected people, or are they known too each other? Is one illusory and the other real? Which is it, the stark blandness of the office or the adventure?

This comic defies summing up

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tradiuz
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby tradiuz » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:40 pm UTC

I have loved ninety percent of the serious comics. This one is really really deep and though provoking. A lot of the love/relationship ones I've related too, which is more than a fair share depressing. Also, I seem to related to Questionable Content, but instead of Indie, the music of my life is Electronica.
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby SoulMusic » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:43 pm UTC

Wow, if nothing else, this comic has prompted a barrage of first posts, including mine! Yay for catalyst comics.
And I agreed with the idea that this is about the guy at the computer wanting to be seen as living an adventurous life. The last few panels, to me, suggest that the girl really does exist; maybe it's not a specific girl he's thinking about, but we're seeing that no real girl in that situation IS thinking about him and wanting him. I think it's a much sadder comic that some people are seeing it as.
...So there. :-P
I did like the Pratchett reference, though.
J

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Feirgon
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Feirgon » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:21 pm UTC

Bandwagon...?

Anyway, sometimes I wonder if people in my imagination have imaginations of their own. How real are our thoughts?

I think most artists/writers/peoplewhodothings do more than just believe this, but share it. Almost all the characters ever created where imaginary, and yet the author/artist conveys that characters thoughts and imaginations to the reader.

I will agree with almost any take on this comic, it is rather robust and versatile in that respect. However, (what spurned this specific response) was my initial take of the comic AS I was reading it. I thought the guy at the computer was playing a game (one with pirates and ships http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POTBS) and the game was wondering if it was just someone's imagination. I will admit this is not how I read the comic now (and is the probably byproduct of the previously referenced game that is coming out soon... :D).

So how do I read it now? How often do you wonder if someone is thinking about you? Actually, not wonder, but hope. Well, Randall took it a step further and asks:
"Have you ever thought of someone hoping that they are hoping that you are thinking about them?" :wink:
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ricree
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby ricree » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:38 pm UTC

BigMcStrongmuscle wrote:I hope it isn't Adventure Girl and Computer Guy. If it is, it would mean that he didn't go with her, which would be the saddest ending to comic 308 I could think of. I like to think that those two are kissing and shouting yo momma jokes at seagulls in a zeppelin over some tropical paradise.


You could think of this as a prequel, and this is where she decides to go to his office and get him. Or at least, that's how I prefer to think of it.

entourage
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby entourage » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:46 pm UTC

Style reminds me of this panel type cartoon on another site...There's 29 pictures each backing away slowly, the same as "To Be Wanted"
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/75200/

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charmoffensive
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby charmoffensive » Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:04 pm UTC

Allo - I also am new.

Really liked today's comic and the way it played with your expectations. At first you only see a girl on a boat, but then as we pull back you (think you) realise that she is only a daydream - some guy stuck in an office is dreaming of his perfect girl. But then as we pull back further we realise that the girl is real after all and in fact it's the guy in the office who is only a daydream - the girl is daydreaming about her perfect guy - a geek stuck in an office who dreams about girls on boats like her. The final two panels tell us that the girl's definitely real and that she's searching for such a guy - one who wants her. Then finally the alt text tells us that Randall certainly hopes such a girl exists anyway because he is just that sort of a guy and it also adds another jokey meta-level because of course the comic is essentially Randall's daydream. Well that's my interpretation.

Definitely one of my favourites thus far.

Oh and entourage's link reminded me of this - http://zoomquilt2.madmindworx.com/zoomquilt2.swf

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rqm
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby rqm » Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

MissingDividends wrote:
wing wrote:.......

I don't get it?

I thought of it as (in Pseudo Code):

Code: Select all

object Girl {
  dreamOf(Guy guy){
    guy.dreamOf(this);
  }
}
object Guy {
  dreamOf(Girl girl){
    girl.dreamOf(this);
  }
}


That's a freaky syntax up there. What's dreamOf supposed to be? a property? a method? Looks like a function call to me, but's got a definition up there? or that a method chained with a block argument?

bassmangracey
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby bassmangracey » Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:26 pm UTC

I think the difference in drawing styles between the girl's scene and the guy's scene indicates that the girl is real but the guy is just in her imagination. Just my initial thoughts.

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby tetsujin » Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:44 pm UTC

If only that guy had a knife...
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby galatae » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:17 pm UTC


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Dynastic
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Dynastic » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:26 pm UTC

It seems that this is sort of a sequel to http://www.xkcd.com/308/ .
The girl asked him to go an adventure, but he denied her, so now she is going on it on her own.
There, she is disappointed by his refusal, and hopes that he is thinking of her having adventures.
To support this, the guy is a coworker of the old lady in both strips.

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double entendre
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby double entendre » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

fireflymantis wrote:
gormster wrote:Anyways, that's not right (or at least, not how I saw it given the last few panels) - it's much more just girl.dreamOf(boy.dreamOf(girl))

Taking the atl-text into account I think it is Reader.hopeFor( girl.dreamOf(boy.dreamOf(girl)))

I'm female, so I interpreted the alt-text to be the girl's hope.

Reader.gender() == girl.gender()

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby PeaceFaker » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

I love it, it is so creepingly accurate.

I just came out (barely alive) from a 3 year relationship which ended abruptly on christmas eve. Me and my fianceé had been living separately during the last half year due to studies and barely seen eachother. And on chrismas she basically told me that "Sorry but during these last six months I have realised what I really (for real this time) want to do and it doesn't include you, sorry about that whole getting engaged thing."

No trying to work out our differances, no nothing just the end.

So I really hope I will find someone whom I will be able to love like I loved her.

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GiantSnowman
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby GiantSnowman » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:56 pm UTC

I think the guy is imaginairy. There's no point sailing around the world if there's noone waiting desperately for you to come home. She should have thought of that before she left.

melodyj
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby melodyj » Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:06 pm UTC

Well, from a pirate/sailing girl who just spend three months at sea, thinking of a computer guy that I left back at home, this is right on! ...except I'm pretty sure he wasn't thinking of me - that's why I left. I always feel like Adventure girl, asking people to come join me and they never seem to. Why is that?

SideShowMel0329
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby SideShowMel0329 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

In my opinion, i don't think the guy is even thinking of her.

I took it as, the girl is hoping the guy is thinking about her, the guy's ACTUAL thoughts are pretty irrelevant as far as the comic goes. Although you'd like to think he's thinking of her too, just for romance's sake.

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Quixotess
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Quixotess » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:42 pm UTC

This comic shows what I love the most about xkcd: You can take the interpretation exactly as far as you would like. There are multiple levels, and there are multiple levels of the levels. There are the explicit "girl is dreaming of guy dreaming of girl" multiple levels, but these levels are also an implicit invitation to search for other levels of meaning.

For me the other levels of meaning involve previous comics. The first one that comes to mind is the one with Adventure girl. If you read this comic as a continuation of this storyline*, this makes this comic that much more bittersweet, and furthermore retroactively turns the Adventure Girl comic from a fun expression of one of xkcd's fundamental themes (do the unexpected), to an incredibly sad expression of a different fundamental theme (impossible love). Both comics are now heartbreaking. You can say that this, and what I'm about to say, is reading too much into it, but I feel that deep interpretation is encouraged or even called for by the reappearance of the Bun Lady and the surface subject of the comic.

(*What would make the interpretation even more depressing is if they were both a continuation of the Dreams comic, and the man was in desperate straits, changed his profile, got a boring job, and gave up his Dreams for a safe life. Then in Adventure Girl, he was offered an opportunity to throw off his shackles. Adventure Girl would seem to imply that he accepted this offer, but this comic shows that he declined. But this is too depressing for even me to consider for very long)

But the multiple thought balloons also call to mind another comic which offers a way out of this sad situation through another fundamental theme: applying logic to magical thinking in a funny way (I count the silly maps, charts, and graphs among these). The Hypotheticals comic is what I'm thinking of here; if one of them would only think of a knife, perhaps they could be reunited in whichever world they so choose.

In this way, maybe subconsciously, the speaker--the hairless, hatless main character, possibly representing Randall--has 1) felt optimistic and determined to make the most of life with the person he loves (Adventure Girl comic). Then 2) he has been gripped with sadness and possibly despair that it will ever be possible to love and be together with this someone at the same time (this comic.) Perhaps this is how the speaker feels right now. What he might not realize is that before 2, before 1, he has 3) planted a solution to his dilemma; a way to bring resolution to these two conflicting beliefs he holds about life (Hypotheticals).

tl;dr version: Cheer up, Computer Boy and Adventure Girl! Ingenuity, logic, and playfulness will find a way to bring you back together where you belong.
Raise up the torch and light the way.

lihan161051
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby lihan161051 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:08 pm UTC

1) A ketch, with a square sail on the mainmast, rigged for running before the wind? Is there something in that, or is Sailing Geek inside me just being silly?

2) I've spent most of my life daydreaming about being desired to the extent that it would draw someone to me across the ocean, that way. (Because she's GOT to be deepwater sailing in a fine boat like that. :D ) I've been desired, from time to time, but it's never been that kind of attraction.

3) Does this mean my soulmate is single-handing in the Whitbread?

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Dobblesworth
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Dobblesworth » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:34 pm UTC

Nice sombre emotional theme to today's comic. Really liked it. Vertical style made a nice touch, as you weren't sure where it ended until you get the wide shot of the boat moving off. Good detail on the artwork as well, rather than plain stick-men and black lines to indicate desks or PC's.

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auntiesue
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby auntiesue » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

This comic is beautiful. It is not important to understand it.

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Animation » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:41 pm UTC

Hmmm.. tempting comic..

Image

If only there was one more frame of the boat getting smaller and dreaming about the office...

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby hella » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:57 pm UTC

Bernhard, ich denke an Dich.

(We are two computer geeks. We both sail (usually together, I infected him). And even if none of us is currently at sea, this comic touched me... since he is at the moment so far away. Hopefully he will return on Monday)

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:34 am UTC

Mackenzie wrote:This comic defies summing up
Because it is summing up a deep and emotional thought process. I think.
tetsujin wrote:If only that guy had a knife...
You know, I have a knife. Now what do I cut to be with her? >_> Or I guess she has to cut her way out?
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Cefeida » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:36 am UTC

This comic is one I will save. I met my fiance online- we still live continents away from each other and communicate via computer. Well, sometime this year I am going to sea for several months. So this strip is, well, something I can take very personally.

And that's really all I have to say, I registered just for that comment. I wish I could have emailed it to the author directly, but I guess this is as good as it gets. :mrgreen:

Cheers, all. :)

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krynd
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby krynd » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:42 am UTC

rqm wrote:
MissingDividends wrote:
wing wrote:.......

I don't get it?

I thought of it as (in Pseudo Code):

Code: Select all

object Girl {
  dreamOf(Guy guy){
    guy.dreamOf(this);
  }
}
object Guy {
  dreamOf(Girl girl){
    girl.dreamOf(this);
  }
}


That's a freaky syntax up there. What's dreamOf supposed to be? a property? a method? Looks like a function call to me, but's got a definition up there? or that a method chained with a block argument?


dreamOf is clearly an inline function/method. Of course, this is horrible programming practice, specifically in object-oriented programming. What if I want to define my own implementation of dreamOf, where she'll always dream of me, and he'll always dream of being me (because I'm that awesome. Specifically, I have an extra awesome gland where others have a shame gland. True story).

Of course, since your constructor (implicitly Girl()/Guy()) doesn't call these methods, your code won't run. Should be more of:

Code: Select all

class Girl {
   Girl(){
      dreamOf(Guy guy);
   }
   public static void dreamOf(Object o){
      o.dreamOf(this);
   }
}
class Guy {
   Guy(){
      dreamOf(Girl girl);
   }
   public static void dreamOf(Object o){
      o.dreamOf(this);
   }
}


Now, that's an infinate loop of recursion leading to stack overflow!
(or)
There. Fixed it for you.
(whatever works for you.)
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the_johnald
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby the_johnald » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:29 am UTC

I can totally relate to this, albeit with swapped gender roles.

...

She's just... not that adventurous...

:(

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1984
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby 1984 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:54 am UTC

Not sure if this has been brought up already, but I suspect that neither character is real. Sailor Girl only exists in the imagination of Computer Guy, who only exists in the imagination of Sailor Girl, who only exists in the imagination of Computer Guy... Round and round they go in a recursive loop of imagination.

Turtles all the way down...

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby threepwood » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:47 am UTC

My first thought on viewing #372 was "Aww...."

My second thought was, "As a girl who is frequently on awesome piratey-type boats, do I dream of boys at desks?... Nope. I dream of boys on boats."

And so my advice to all of you, male and female alike, is: GET ON A BOAT.

I'm serious. I don't care if you live in Japan, Nebraska, or a wheelchair, there is a sail training program for you, if you have the guts to sign up and get yourself to the harbor. And don't worry that you won't fit in: tall ships are primarily staffed by geeks of all stripes. (I recently sailed with a guy who helped create a game called Half-Life -- maybe you've heard of it?)

As a first-time poster, I can't provide you with links, but the American Sail Training Association website is a good place to start, even if you're not in America (check Wikipedia for URLs). Go ahead, do some research. Consider the possibilities. Consider your inner seven-year-old, and how his/her desire to be a pirate has never truly died. Are you going to ignore that dream for the rest of your life?

For those who take "To Be Wanted" merely as an ode to yearning for the impossible: I apologize for this slightly spammy post.

For those who take it literally: Wanna have an adventure?

russianspy1234
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby russianspy1234 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:50 am UTC

I see it as they are both real, and she is away, and they are both thinking about each other.

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Akula » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:45 am UTC

Y'know, xkcd is a lot like Futurama...

generally very funny, but, at times, it can be quite touching as well.
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby zingmaster » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:04 am UTC

Sometimes I wish people thought of me like this. You know, they're off on a glorious adventure, and the thought that comes to their minds is me in the urban Midwest.
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby disneyscribbles » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:59 pm UTC

Hey guys. I'm a long time reader, but had to post today because of this comic ---

I'm leaving to pick up my girlfriend from the airport. We were teachers in Japan and then suddenly our company folded and we had to flee to our own respective nations... so this is the first we're seeing each other in three months.

Just thought this comic had curious timing!

[like i said, i'm leaving *right now* to pick her up, so i'll say hello in the Introduce Yourself Thread tomorrow!]

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby GCM » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:55 pm UTC

does this remind anyone of Escher?


That dude? Nah, he's more the surrealism impossible reality type artist (endless stairway, anyone?). This one's more speculative, or, some junk like that. Although he is still my favorite MC.


Honestly, I really wasn't expecting that while scrolling down. Which is a good effect, really, otherwise the reader would see it immediately.
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Wilibus » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:39 pm UTC

Feirgon wrote:Anyway, sometimes I wonder if people in my imagination have imaginations of their own. How real are our thoughts?

This is pretty much how I interpreted the comic. The alt text "or so I hope?" kind of made me think he was hoping that the people in his imagination could feel the same desires he felt. I saw everything in the comic as being part of a larger dream or vision, but I tend to look at most fiction, I have a problem with never seeing the fourth wall.
"A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there."
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby yjester » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:14 pm UTC

tetsujin wrote:If only that guy had a knife...
You know, I have a knife. Now what do I cut to be with her? >_> [2]
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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Scepter » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:31 pm UTC

This comic reminds me of this song by a band my friend linked me to recently. It's called "Floating Adrift" and it's almost a sea shanty or something.

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Adventure Girl » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:23 pm UTC

Makes me wish I had a sailboat... and a dude working on a computer to think about.


+

Sometimes I wish people thought of me like this. You know, they're off on a glorious adventure, and the thought that comes to their minds is me in the urban Midwest.


=

Well there y'are... ?!

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Re: To Be Wanted Discussion

Postby Linux0s » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:50 pm UTC

This is definitely very MC Esher-esque. Animation's post above is my take on it too. ~Linux0s
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