Silent Spring
  • Bob
    June 4, 2010

    This is brilliant. When I have nothing to say, I don’t say anything and people take offense. Most people could stand to talk less.

  • Daniel
    June 4, 2010

    Bob and I are alike in that way.

    Also I love the last panel. Especcially in context with the 7th and 8th panels.

  • RichterShale
    June 4, 2010

    When I’ve got nothing to say, my lips are sealed. Say something once — why say it again?

  • Craig!
    June 4, 2010

    I’m not quiet – everybody else is too loud.

  • Wackadoodle
    June 4, 2010

    And I’m sure when you do choose you open your mouths the things you say are so interesting, it makes it all worthwhile.

  • Nate
    June 4, 2010

    I really, really like living in a world where not everybody wants to kill me all the time. Safe, repetitive pleasantries are the rituals through which we create peace.

  • Jacob Adam
    June 4, 2010

    Another master work where every row, every column and even one of the diagonals could stand as its own 3 panel comic (sadly TL-to-BR is a non sequitur). Hats off!!!

  • yachris
    June 4, 2010

    @Jacob Adam — you’re absolutely right, except that you misspelled “fabulously” as “sadly” :-)

  • Esn
    June 4, 2010

    Nate… I guess you have to be able to delude yourself for it to work.

    The alternative isn’t people wanting to kill you, though. The alternative is that nobody cares about you. You can pretend that they do with these social pleasantries, but it doesn’t really change things.

    …this reminds me of a very good Russian animated short film I saw not long ago. A re-interpretation of a traditional fairy tale…
    Well, I liked it, anyway.

  • stok3r
    June 4, 2010

    This. Right here. Is what i think

  • Dresden Scott
    June 4, 2010

    The daily awkward elevator moments, at home and at work … I can’t get away, and I’ve always been too shy to speak. Why did I come to live and work in big buildings?

  • MysticalChicken
    June 4, 2010

    “Silent Spring”… and the last one was about “crutches”… I wonder if Dorothy has been listening to Bettie Serveert’s “Lamprey” album? :D

  • David Thomsen
    June 5, 2010

    At work one day I was serving a nice old man who kept trying to engage me in conversation, but since I’m not one of those people blessed with the ability to spontaneously generate natural phatic responses to things like ‘my grandson really enjoys watching the race cars’, I just smiled and nodded through the whole transaction.

    The woman after him, who had been following the whole interaction, said she was revolted at how impolitely I’d treated the man. I felt bad at that, but after a while realised it’s irrational to feel bad for not doing something I’m not able to do.

    Since then I’ve tried to adopt a greater tolerance and understanding of extroverts, in the hope that this tolerance might eventually reflect back at me.

  • betterforsome
    June 5, 2010

    Hooray for one extra update per week!
    And I think pretending to humour people while they ramble on about pointless bullshit is a useful social skill, especially in the workplace. Just so long as you whip out some snark every once in a while to restore equilibrium.

  • Joshua
    June 5, 2010

    Working front desk at a hotel and sharing girl’s views from this comic do not mesh well. It’s storming outside–I can see it through the windows and hear the thunder–and I swear to God, I’ll have at least two people in the next thirty minutes tell me all about it.

  • Dan Zoyd
    June 5, 2010

    simple is best

  • Jacob Adam
    June 5, 2010

    @yachris, I had to read your comment about six times to stop being annoyed and realize your joke. You know how it goes on the weekends.

  • T. Derscheid
    June 5, 2010

    Dave Barry knows it, too:

  • DoubleW
    June 5, 2010

    All this social grease being slopped onto machinery that isn’t moving.

  • Erika
    June 5, 2010

    Fried chicken has plenty of grease of its own. In fact, food seems to be used as grease for conversations all too much.

    Dinner conversation is ridiculous. Eating and talking are completely incompatible activities fighting for use of the same body part, like playing piano and knitting, or having sex and going to the bathroom.

    It’s sad that the activities we use as pretexts for talking– eating, playing a game, going to a movie– all distract and interfere with the act of talking. I suppose it means we don’t truly want to talk…

  • Meghan
    June 6, 2010

    In my experience, eating and movie-going only hinder courteous folks’ conversational skills. Talking in a theatre or through a mouthful of food is, unfortunately, the norm for a significant number of people.

  • Jabberwok
    June 7, 2010

    wouldn’t it be awesome if social interaction was just eye contact, maybe some fluttering of lashes, but didn’t require words until words were required?

  • Craig!
    June 7, 2010

    Don’t say that sex and ‘going to the bathroom’ are mutually exclusive on the internet. The internet will prove you wrong.

  • Ailu
    June 8, 2010

    I like to think about word as communication of ideas, representations of the world etc, but I have to agree with cat: we talk for social-scheme-reproduction. Really. We mantain our relationships thanks to our nonsense chats, more than to ideas-transference.
    Anyway, it´s not like you could start saying anything just becouse you are keeeping your social contacts on. The thing is, everybody is just waiting for you to say something really idiot and out of place to make fun of you! That´s how world keeps going round.

  • Erika
    June 11, 2010


    True– although sex and bathroom activities are incompatible in my opinion, I know there are plenty of people who find them compatible, even pleasantly complementary.

    However, such predilections are as incomprehensible to me as a liking for dinner conversation.

  • ! Alec !
    June 16, 2010

    Hey! This comic is about my latest favorite word: phatic!

  • Marianne
    June 20, 2010

    It’s working, it’s working. I want fried chicken.

  • Antsan
    November 10, 2011

    Through all that idle talk you gain the momentum in a conversation to make the final jump to something meaningful. Exchanging stupidities for half an hour can lead to five minutes of intense insight. Of course that doesn’t work when you’re doing the idle talk just out of politeness.

  • Quizzical
    March 3, 2012

    At this point in the comments, meaning becomes irrelevant.


  • Golux
    October 13, 2013

    “Oh, you’ve fallen down a 30 ft. well. Are you alright?”

  • Kain
    April 6, 2015

    This reminds me of the Jack Rabbit Slim scene from Pulp Fiction,
    I don’t remember exactly how it went, but mine said something like
    “I love how we can be quiet for five minutes and not feel awkward about it. I wish people could shut up for five minutes.”

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