34 Comments

  1. Could it be that when she says ‘Almost there!’ in the first panel, she’s referring to the end of the book rather than her destination? In a ‘couple more miles’ she’ll have heard the whole thing, but we silly readers thought something else entirely and therein lies the humour?

    I dunno’. That’s all I got.

  2. And what human being in this situation would really say “Enough to hear the end of the psychological thriller audiobook I was listening to” as opposed to just saying “Enough to hear the end of my book” (given that she’s holding up an electronic device and saying ‘hear’ I don’t think there’s any ambiguity about it being an audiobook, and why would she feel a need to define its genre?)

  3. Not living alone often means that it would be rude to put on headphones and/or hear the audiobook on loudspeakers in most situations. So the most convenient time to listen is outside, going from a to b or doing workout. I can understand the sentiment very well, I have sometimes stalled to enter the house to finish a podcast episode.

  4. She listens to audiobooks while running, simply as entertainment. It’s very common, and explained well by Markus.

    I can’t go along at all with the bizarre suggestions from chipchristian and target4cactus (cute name!). Nor either the Editors’ Note mention of “incentive” if it comes down to something similar.

    So I would say Stan at #1 has it right, despite his hesitation. Her routine is probably to run a fixed route for a set distance (while enjoying a story to defeat the tedium of doing a routine). When we see the top panel her thought seems to be about the distance remaining in her routine. Then in the bottom panel we have a switch, and the (okay, probably implausibly explained) remark to her partner forces us to reinterpret the top, as instead being about her “driveway moment” of not wanting to break off listening at an awkward point.

  5. That’s a funny looking Walkman™ she’s listening to.

    (And what’s the other one holding? A transistor radio? You can take those to the beach now, you know.)

  6. Six Chix seems to exist for one purpose: to provide fodder for the commenters to wonder why it is allowed to continue to exist; i.e. if comics are supposed to usually provide at least SOME attempt at humor, then why is this comic not cancelled by now?

    It is written by a rotating group of six women. A new person was added on Tuesday, sometime back which gave the peanut gallery of readers some hope that there might be one scintilla of thought given to have some humor in the strip. Alas and alack. /(s?)

    All seriousness aside (I always like to use that phrase, for its irony), the drawing styles or lack thereof have been savagely attacked at times. I have it on my daily feed, but I guess you might call it a hate-read by now.
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    So, I guess what I’m saying is: don’t think too hard on this one. “There’s no there there.”

  7. Powers, I agree they are probably supposed to be phones. Also probably J-L knew that and was just kidding with the other guesses. For myself, I did for a minute think she might be running with an iPod or other special-purpose MP3 player.

  8. Dollarbill, I would just say tastes differ. It’s not one of my big favorites, but I do see some value in it and also take some amusement from it, sometimes. This one here, for example is worth at least an Aha of recognition (the essence of “observational comedy”), despite the awkward writing noted by Shrug.

  9. I’m with Dana K.

    I think the joke is that she is running for the purpose of listening to the book and measures the value in the workout by how much of the book she can read. The periphery to make a task bearable overshadow the purpose of the task.

    And I think that is enough of a joke, so I disagree with Stan selling his explanation short.

  10. Dana K: “She listens to audiobooks while running, simply as entertainment. It’s very common, and explained well by Markus.”

    It is very common. That’s why I don’t see why it’s supposed to be funny.

    There is a perception switch between the first panel and the second panel, but it’s between a fairly common situtation to a slightly different, but still fairly common situation.

    If the first panel showed her apparently enjoying a roast beef sandwich, but in the second panel we discovered it was actually a ham sandwich, I wouldn’t get that either.

  11. “Wasn’t it better than a ham sandwich?” is the punchline of a pretty good old joke. (But the comparison isn’t being asked about a roast beef sandwich.)

  12. As for why she had to mention the genre of the book, well, would you keep running to listen to the end of “Calculus: Infinitesimals”? Well, so would I, but we’re ..uh, different.

  13. I don’t use audio books, but I would assume that it’s less clear how much book remains than with a paper or e-book.

  14. would you keep running to listen to the end of “Calculus: Infinitesimals”?

    Wait, doesn’t Zeno say that’s impossible?

  15. Improved version:
    First panel: Instead of her thoughts, a fragment of her audiobook.
    Second panel: “How was your run?” “I’m up to two chapters a day.”

  16. “But the comparison isn’t being asked about a roast beef sandwich.”

    Unless it has sour cream on it.

    “It is very common. That’s why I don’t see why it’s supposed to be funny.”

    Because she runs in order to read a book. She doesn’t read a book to make the running more enjoyable or manageable. She only runs in order to read her book.

    “If the first panel showed her apparently enjoying a roast beef sandwich, but in the second panel ”

    in the second panel she says to guy in bed next her, “thanks for the sandwich. My husband’s a vegetarian”

  17. Chak, I sometimes listen to or watch things when I’m running, but I find that they can’t require too much thought, or they’re likely to be counterproductive, as I can’t run really hard and focus on something difficult.

  18. “I don’t use audio books, but I would assume that it’s less clear how much book remains than with a paper or e-book.”

    Although she’s not looking at her device in the first panel, she could have seen how many minutes are remaining on the track she’s listening to.

    Oh, and does anyone else have no idea about the ham sandwich joke? Mitch and Carolz, I’d love to be enlightened. Let ‘er rip!

  19. “Oh, and does anyone else have no idea about the ham sandwich joke? Mitch and Carolz, I’d love to be enlightened. Let ‘er rip!”

    Consider what a priest and a rabbi can’t do.

    Who has the worse deal.

  20. Woozy, that’s an interesting, if eccentric, interpretation you’re offering.
    Interesting, but I don’t really accept it. So I’m puzzled that you seem to be including me among those expressing agreement with you. (Or to begin with, I think you said this was you agreeing with me, making this sort of my theory.)

    Maybe the problem was when I wrote She listens to audiobooks while running, simply as entertainment.. That was supposed to assume she’s running for the exercise. And adds that the audiobook listening is just for entertainment; and not, say, to alarm herself into running faster.

    It’s a big step beyond that, and one I didn’t take, to say even the running itself is something of a pretext, and not motivated as much by exercise as by seeking some alone time, and time with her audiobooks. And sorry but I think you’re alone in taking that step, though both Markus and I were saying something that could be read as tending in that direction.

  21. Dana K. Okay. But if the joke is that she listens to books as an exercise routine then commenting that she managed to finish a chapter is …. well, I’m with Winter Wallaby on this; that’s just a normal thing to do…. Oh, I guess making it the highlight of your recap rather than your exercise achievements could be a joke. And that would be in keeping with typical 6 Chix “humor”.

    Now that i think of it you are probably right. But then WW analogy of a sandwhich would go more like this:

    “How was that roast beef sandwich you have for lunch?”
    “It was really good. The plate had a pretty rose pattern on it”

  22. Woozy saith: But if the joke is that she listens to books as an exercise routine

    Huh? No, I don’t see anybody saying that’s the joke.
    She RUNS as an exercise routine.
    While running, she LISTENS TO BOOKS as entertainment. INCIDENTAL to the running … usually.
    Her ROUTINE is to complete her planned route & distance, come in, disconnect her phone or audio player at whatrever point it happens to be, shower and clean up, and go about her day — picking up the book later in the day or tomorrow on her run.
    TODAY she DEPARTED FROM ROUTINE. Even after completing her standard route, she extended her run (by detour or an extra lap of her home block or whatever) — for the purpose of being able to continue listening NOW and finish the book NOW instead of experiencing the frustration of having to put it away at an inconvenient point.
    The joke is that she departed from routine, but we didn’t realize that until she reported it to her partner.
    Woozy again: Oh, I guess making it the highlight of your recap rather than your exercise achievements could be a joke . Yes, she makes it the highlight, but that is not picking a normal aspect to highlight, it is specifically highlighting a DEPARTURE FROM ROUTINE. Yes, she listen/reads every day. But it is not every day that she finishes a whole book that she has been enjoying, and indeed (as we know even if the partner doesn’t hear about it) finishes the book by extending her run, beyond her routine route.

  23. Some of these disputes about what’s going on seem like very fine gradations to me, that don’t affect the humor value much, if at all.

    I like to jog outside, but find it boring to jog on the treadmill. So to make it less boring, I’ll watch something while I’m jogging. Sometimes I plan to jog a particular length of time. Sometimes I’ll plan to jog until the end of a show. Sometimes I won’t have a fixed time planned in advance and partway through will decide “I’ll stop after another 10 minues,” or “I’ll watch until the end of this show.” Of course, nothing is preventing me from turning off the treadmill, and watching the show anyway, but I make that my goal, and then the show becomes my artifically generated incentive to jog a little longer.

    All of these scenarios seem only mildly different, and I’ll change from one to another on a whim, depending on how I feel on a particular day. If I’m understanding the discussion here correctly, my exercise routine is sometimes humorous, and sometimes not?

  24. Yeah, it’s sometimes funny and sometimes not — we can write a sitcom episode based on that!

    You arrive at the open-plan office and tell everybody you’re really feeling great and revved up to get going, because you put in an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill that morning. Everybody is impressed, and you enjoy soaking it in.

    Later, a group is chatting and someone brings up a new show they’ve been streaming. Not thinking about what will be made of it, you join in and say “Yeah, I watched episode 2 just this morning”. “Hey man, I thought you put in a big run on the treadmill?” Well, you did — but your pure dedication to fitness is a bit deflated, and they stick you with a nickname.

  25. mitch4: That doesn’t sound that funny when I read it, but with a laugh track that goes off every few seconds, it will probably become hilarious!

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