49 Comments

  1. It sounds perfect. We’re meant to think they both mean “Perfect for sex.” Actually they mean “perfect to do something less salacious.” CIDU BIll, are you perhaps overthinking this?

  2. Does it matter that we can’t trace which character in the first three panels is which in the fourth? I guess not, since they have identical attitudes in 4, and some above have said that is inherent to the point.

  3. This is a Coivid-19 joke. The pillow is the home version of the plexiglass walls installed between restaurant tables.

  4. I think it’s just the stereotype that men don’t want to be too physically close to each other.

  5. Are they both male? The only possible signal is the collars, but that doesn’t seem enough to me to indicate their genders.

  6. This is totally a “Netflix and chill” joke/situation. The invitation is vague and innocuous in terms of word choice, but they both know it is a coded message: “He, want to come over to my place and f&^%?”

    Yes, WW, they’re both male, as indicated by the collars. You’ll notice in the final panel they are both naked (no collars). This is some post-coital hanging out. They are watching some TV. Maybe sports. This is the benefit of male-male sex, there is no cuddling, you both want to watch TV. Or go to sleep.

  7. Winter, the characters in this strip are all, as far as I can tell, genderless. Or sexually ambiguous, anyway.

  8. PLEASE NOTE THAT BECAUSE THE HURRICANE LEFT OUR COUNTY WITHOUT POWER, WEDNESDAY MORNING’S UPDATE PROBABLY WON’T HAPPEN.

  9. Not necessarily naked, SingaporeBill. Perhaps they just changed out of collared-shirt and tie. In any case, the strip seems rather pointless.

    CIDU Bill, I infer that the storm has now passed you by safely, for which I am grateful.

  10. Boise Ed, sure, you can see non-sexual explanations for everything if you look hard enough. 🙂

  11. Not that it’s terribly relevant, but I think they have polo shirts at work. The ‘V’ with the flaps seem like typical shirts of that type. They are also relatively gender-neutral.

  12. Thanks, SBill. The storm has passed, leaving both destruction and a blackout in its wake.

    According to (whoever’s currently answering the phone at) the power company, everything will be fixed by 11:30 or 1AM or Friday.

    But since I can’t upload posts from my phone, everything’s on hold until 11:30 or 1AM or Friday.

  13. CIDU Bill, I can’t take credit for Boise Ed’s good wishes for you, though the sentiment is also in my heart.

    Life without electricity gets rather limited. And in some highrises it means you have no water either. I hope you have water. But not in places it doesn’t belong.

  14. Yeah, definitely in places it doesn’t belong. But that’s a matter for when we get our power back.

  15. I think the joke is simply that although the couch holds three, only two people are on it and the space that should be room for a third person is filled with a pillow and a remote.

    I think that *IS* the joke.

    My couch is worse. between the effing dog bed and the stupid throw blankets she insists on, only one person can site in this four person couch comfortably.

  16. Damn. Sorry to hear that. Heavy rains and no sump pump can cause lots of carnage. Or did the roof come off again?

  17. Battery backup sump pumps can be really useful. They’re not much help if the roof is gone, though.

  18. I follow this comic – and noted the tags on the post, which are Asexual, couch, friendship. I agree with Carl Fink and disagree with Singapore Bill.

    The strip often has situations where the first few panels are ambiguous or read very sexual, and the final is unambiguously non-sexual. And yeah, the characters are very genderless – I can sometimes figure out that they’re supposed to be male or female by the discussion in the strip, but it’s always after the fact.

  19. Water-powered backup sump pumps are winners if you can get cold water to the location! If the power AND the water are out, my basement isn’t my primary concern.

  20. No Thursday morning update. Friday is iffy.

    We’ll definitely be back in time for next year’s 24 Hour Project.

  21. @ PS3 – It sounds like a brilliant bit of engineering, if (and only if) there is an available route to dispose of both the powering water and the water being pumped, but given the current situation, I’ll bet that there isn’t a single one of those pumps available for sale anywhere near the northeast US.

  22. “We’ll definitely be back in time for next year’s 24 Hour Project.”

    I’m glad you’ve managed to keep a sense of humor.

  23. @ S.Bill – “…A clever idea
    Using the Venturi principle that way really is brilliant: it’s much simpler (and therefore much cheaper) than a water-driven turbine connected to an impeller, and it’s probably more efficient, too (in terms of water “wasted” vs. water “pumped”). The only disadvantage is that the valve & nozzle arrangement might be more sensitive to solids in the water, so that a good filter screen on the pickup end would be critical.

  24. Olivier, not in a hurricane you can’t. Windmills/wind turbines can only take so much.

  25. So to improve upon this idea, instead of municipal water, just have a reservoir like some kind of rain barrel up on top of a pole or on the roof or somewhere, just so long as it is higher than where you will be dumping the water. Storm comes, fills up the reservoir, water flows down to water dump, passing through this clever venturi valve on the way, thus pumping up the water from the basement or wherever. Ideally, the water dump is lower than even the basement or where ever you’re trying to remove the water from, because then, as soon as you have completed the circuit, the water keeps siphoning, regardless of the status of the reservoir.

    I guess if I did the math on this, I’d probably discover that there is a neat relationship such that the height the water needs to be pumped up must be less than the total height from the reservoir to the dump, times the volume of water to be moved, so you’d be limited in how deep your basement is and ability to pump it clear by the height and volume of the water reservoir you use to power this whole thing; I’m wondering if I might discover a fundamental limit that says it’s unlikely I’d be able to collect enough water to be able to drain a basement without having a reservoir at least as big as the basement, and as high as the basement is deep…

    (That’s why what I really want is just a siphon, with the venturi valve gravity reservoir system there just to start the siphoning, but that requires a place to dump the water that is lower than your basement, which might not exist…)

  26. When I was kid, I read a book (one of the Henry Reed series I believe) where some lunkhead is hosing the deck around a pool, with the hose connected down in the basement. When he gets done, he drops the nozzle end into the pool, then goes to the basement to shut off the water and disconnect the hose. And proceeds to siphon the pool into the basement.

  27. Brian: I remember that one! Henry Reed sounds right, too. Or *possibly* a Beverly Cleary, though it seems a bit advanced for her characters.

  28. laK: “…that requires a place to dump the water that is lower than your basement, which might not exist…”

    True. Most of the houses around her put the basement on the bottom. 🙂

    If you want to get all mathy, the company that posted the video has more details over on its site. The big takeaway is you need continuous water pressure of 40 psi to make it work, assuming it is lifting the water 10 feet. That includes the depth of the sump, not just from the basement floor to the exit of the pipe, so I can’t see that you’d have a lift lower than that in practice. https://www.waterdamagedefense.com/collections/water-powered-sump-pumps

  29. “Most of the houses around her put the basement on the bottom. ”

    My childhood home was half-way up a hill, the sculpted backyard funneled the water into the basement when there was excessive rain, and then my father would drain it with a hose that he’d fill with water, lay in the basement, and then put the other end down the hill below the level of the basement. It was like magic!

  30. Brian & Phil: I don’t think it was Henry Reed; I recall him figuring out a way to gently lower a swimming pool into its excavated hole using ice at a motel they were staying at during his road trip across the US, but I don’t recall a pool being siphoned into a basement, though that does sound very vaguely familiar — maybe Rupert Piper?

  31. A famous case study of unintended siphoning in Civil Engineering (and I assume public health): The Holy Cross football field installed a sprinkler system to water the turf but did not add a check valve in the supply line. Neighborhood kids used the field to play on and, boys being boys, relieved themselves on the grass. A big fire in town caused a drop in water pressure, siphoning the urine in the field back into water lines. Football players drank from a nearby water fountain and were hit with hepatitis.

  32. Citation needed. There you go. 🙂 The article is from 1972, after an investigation and a medical paper published. Incident was in 1969.

  33. Other options for what? Back up sump pump? There are battery-powered backups but those wouldn’t help if you were without power for several days. You’d run out of juice.

  34. Grawlix, that might require you sitting in the dark for hours, pumping until you develop bursitis. Some houses don’t have a lot of water that flows into the sump pit*, so the pump runs rarely (or there may not even be a pump). But when there is a lot of rain (such as in a hurricane), there will likely be a lot more water coming into the sump pit and the pump might be running constantly, possibly for hours. And if the pump is in the basement, you may be sitting in dirty water while you do so, as the flow rate may exceed your ability to pump it out.

    The worst case of storm-induced water damage I recall was from Southwestern Ontario (around Windsor and Sarnia) a few years ago, when I was still doing residential adjusting. We were getting a lot of rain that year and the ground was already saturated. A long, heavy rain resulted in many basements filling up. In those circumstances, emergency remediation contractors normally show up and pump the water out of the basement (typically with big hoses going out the basement window). But in this instance, they said there was no point to this, at least not initially. There was so much water in the ground that as soon as they pumped out any water, more would seep in. The only thing keeping more water out of the basements was that they had reached equilibrium with the hydrostatic pressure outside.

    *For those unaware, a “sump pit” is a large pit dug below the basement floor. It should be in the lowest part of the basement (so you should grade toward it). When water seeps through the foundation (as it always will)**, it will run into the pit. If the amount of water is not much, it will naturally drain on its own, seeping into the soil. But if there is a fair amount of water, it should have an electrically powered sump pump, with the switch connected to a float, that will pump the water out drain line that takes it outside and dumps it somewhere away from the house. It cannot be tied into the public storm sewer as this would overwhelm storm sewers in a deluge. It is usually illegal to attach to the storm sewer.

    If the sump pump fails, the pit can fill up and overflow into the basement. In the days of unfinished basements this was unpleasant and could damage any tools or junk stored there, but in the era of luxe finished basements, it can be terribly costly. So a backup pump is a good idea.

    **A lot will affect how much water seeps into the basement. First is where the house is located. Water rolls downhill. If you’re at the bottom of a hill (or even on a downward slope, as per larK’s tale above), that increases the risk. Even just being in a low spot in on a gently-sloping plain can be trouble. The natural hydrology of your area can be a risk. I can’t get sewer backup coverage on my insurance*** (it’s a rider that must be added) because I live near the lake on fill. The water table is fairly high here. The quality of construction, such as waterproof membranes on the foundation, weeping beds, etc. can help reduce seepage. The condition of your foundation makes a big difference. If it’s old and cracked, you should really get that fixed. It will be expensive, but if you have a finished basement, not fixing it can be a lot more expensive. If you live at the top of a hill that slopes down on all sides and you’re far above the water table and your foundation is in good condition and you have a good wrap on the foundation and a proper weeping bed, you are not so likely to have a problem.

    *** The policies we had (and pretty widespread in the industry here) defined sewer back up coverage as when there is a blockage on your line or an overflow of the sump pit that results in water damage in your basement. If you have the coverage, you have a certain amount of coverage (not the full amount of the policy on the house) for such damages. If the blockage in a public drain line causes storm water to flow into your basement (as does happen), that is not covered under sewer back up, it’s covered under the regular policy, so you have a larger amount of coverage. Water seeping through the foundation is not covered as a cause of damage, nor are cracks in the foundation.

  35. Re Singapore Bill’s necessary citation: This use of the verb LAY – a variant on “lay the blame,” I guess – is intriguing. It seems to have been most commonly used in newspaper headlines: “Fire destroys home; cause laid to faulty wiring.”

    I don’t see this sense of the verb listed in the Oxford, but it’s in Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Perhaps it is, or rather was, primarily a US usage.

    Today’s newspaper headlines tend more toward being click bait, and “laid to” seems to be in fatal decline. I turned Duck Duck Go loose on the phrase “cause was laid to” and got only 5 hits. I rather like the usage, though. Maybe that marks me as an unrepentant pedant.

    Re Phil Smith III’s water powered pump: that gadget might help drain your flooded cellar if your home is served by city water. If you’re in the sticks, or even some suburbs, and you don’t have electricity to run your sump pump, you probably don’t have electricity for a well pump either.

    Besides, using a large amount of water to move a smaller amount of water makes my greenish side cringe and run for cover.

  36. LVL, those citations and links are there for reference. The company states that the water-powered pump requires you to be hooked up on municipal water, so they’re not trying to deceive anyone. And the link to their site shows water consumption versus water expelled. For the most basic model of pump with municipal water pressure of 40psi, it’ll lift and expel 700 gallons per hour while using 7 gallons of municipal water per minute (420 gallons per hour), so it is pumping more than it is using for power. The table on that site shows different options for different pumps, pipe sizes, and pressures.
    All that said, how does your greenish side feel about sending hundreds (or thousands) of kilograms of soaked drywall, carpet, wood laminate flooring, electronics, and furniture to the dump? Because that’s what happens when the sump pit overflows.

    An unfinished basement may not have much damage, but a large, finished basement kitted out as a “man cave” or rec room or home offices, filled a metre deep with water, can easily result in a $40,000 repair and replacement bill. That’s a bit on the high side, but $25,000 is nothing unusual. Plus, you’ll use a huge amount of electricity on the drying machinery that will need to run continuously for several days and you’ll have construction workers driving to and from your house day after day, using up that precious dinosaur juice. So…running some tapwater is the smarter move. If I had a sump pit, I’d get one of these water-powered backups.

    BTW, we’re all assuming that basement water and sump-pump trouble has affected Bill but we may be wrong. He have had other water issues instead.

  37. Of course my greenish side is also aghast at the waste caused by flooding damage. So is my other side, whatever color it is. (I can’t tell. My neck doesn’t bend readily in that direction.)

    The problem is that a basement is kind of like a giant swimming pool under your house. Most basements are made of block. It’s cheap, but it’s also water permeable, and the water outside is trying really hard to get in. Without extra waterproofing, the steady state for a basement is somewhere between slightly damp and flooded.

    Newer houses normally have footer drains that lead into a sump, and some kind of impermeable membrane applied to the outside of the block. It’s not foolproof, though, and older houses don’t have that waterproofing unless you add it ($$$).

    Making any basement into living space is therefore always a gamble. It’s a gamble a lot of folks in the States (and maybe Canada, I don’t know) take because we have an insatiable appetite for MORE SPACE, even though our houses are already about twice the size of French and German houses and about 3 times the size of UK houses.

    I confess that I hadn’t read your link when I wrote the previous post. Now I have, and now I know that at 60 psi, only 36% of the water that particular pump discharges is wasted tap water. Bravo, I think.

    I didn’t say that I thought that WDD was trying to fool anyone. I just mentioned that a water powered pump isn’t of much help when a power cut has shut down your drinking water supply too.

    It’s worth considering where that 60 psi comes from. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t municipal water generally moved by – drum roll – electric pumps? Even if yours comes from a water tower, something had to pump it up there. I suspect that thanks to our old friend Doctor Conservation O’Energy, using the electricity right here in my basement is more efficient than using it over at the pumping station/ Looking up the numbers and doing the math will be left as an exercise for the reader.

    Besides, a battery pump in the sump (shades of Dr Seuss!) doesn’t waste ANY potable water, which took yet more energy resources to process.

    I can see one advantage to the water powered pump over my electric pump with battery backup: in a really long power cut, eventually my battery could go flat. I’ve never had that happen, though, and I still think the electric pump is the more efficient first choice for most cases.

    If CIDU Bill has municipal water, maybe he should consider getting both, with the water powered pump as a backup-backup.

  38. Getting back to the comic, I still don’t think there was any sex involved in the invitation as it played out in the comic. I think the intended joke was that the reader was supposed to expect that the extra-large couch would facilitate such activity, but (as I commented above @5), the actual intention was that the extra space would allow for Covid-19 distancing rules.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s