1. Well, it’s a CIDU for me. I have no idea what “Zero serving six” means, and I haven’t got the foggiest idea what the significance of the last panel is. Apparently, it’s a reference to something I totally missed in 2000?

  2. The score (0:6) means that the Wizard is better than Rodney, and the decorated ball is a reference to “Wilson”, who was a significant character in the movie “Castaway”.
    P.S. I just happened to pick up the DVD recently at a local bookstore, but I haven’t watched it yet.

  3. jajizi: It’s a volleyball, Wilson, that “lived” on the island with Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway.

    “Zero serving six” is just the score.

  4. You know, just as I hit send it occurred to me “I should probably refresh first, to make sure it’s not a duplicate, since this is such an obvious thing to post.” But I thought of it a second too late. “Triplicate” didn’t occur to me.

  5. Thanks, all. I indeed did not see Cast Away. WW, your explanation was concise and helpful. I vaguely remember that there was such a movie, but knew nothing about the volleyball.

    I tried to Google “Zero serving six” and came up empty. But I guess that’s just volleyball jargon that would not have helped anyway.

  6. jajizi, it’s just a way to remind everybody of the score: this just means the person/team with zero points is serving to the person/team with six points.

  7. @ jajizi – I think Mason revived “serving” because the plain score would have been even harder to interpret. All of the “ball+court” games (volleyball, tennis, pingpong, badminton, squash, etc.) have the custom of naming the server’s score first, but it’s been decades since I’ve heard anyone actually say “serving”.

  8. I’ve heard the word “serving” used.

    Which actually makes sense, since not everybody knows the server’s score is spoken first.

    The guy I used to play racquetball with never failed to announce the score before every serve, even though we were the only people there.

  9. I don’t think the Spook has thought this through. Wilson can certainly provide companionship, but he is still dependent on the jailer for food, water, emptying the bucket, etc.

  10. Bill: I think everyone I’ve played tennis with (and myself) announced the score before every serve, even sans spectators. It makes sense to me: It helps keep track of the score, and makes sure that we’re all on the same page about what it is.

  11. jajizi:
    1) Google ‘volleyball scoring’ and you’ll learn MORE than you ever wanted to know about it and the ever-changing methods of scoring; and
    2) ‘Castaway’ is worth the time to watch it; Tom Hanks does most of the movie without speaking, at least ’til Wilson comes along, but he’s still alone. I read that there was a two-year hiatus between the beginning and the end of the movie for him (Tom Hanks, not Wilson) to look the part of the castaway.

  12. Many of these games run to 21 points (don’t recall about racquetball). You don’t want to play for quite some time, then have one say, “Well that’s game.” Then the other says, “What are you talking about?! That’s not the score!”

    Calling out the score gets the argument started in a more timely fashion.

  13. When we used to play volleyball in gym a million years ago, only the serving side could score. I think from watching some Olympic action that now it’s like tennis and either side can score off of a serve. I’m sure I’ll get a correction if that’s wrong.

  14. There’s no reason Spook needs to have seen the movie. He could have come up with the idea independently.

  15. “Which actually makes sense, since not everybody knows the server’s score is spoken first.”

    Not everybody knows this because it isn’t always spoken first. In some ladder competitions, the higher seed’s score is always first. And in formal competitions where someone other than the participants keep score, sometimes they use other conventions.

    “The guy I used to play racquetball with never failed to announce the score before every serve, even though we were the only people there.”

    The only other person who cares what the score is is you. Why would other people being around change that? As was pointed out, the habit of announcing the score is helpful if the two sides have unequal recollections of what the score currently is. (Also, of course, you’d want game points and other landmarks announced, even if the others weren’t, so you have choice… announce every serve, or sometimes do it, and sometimes don’t do it, and if there’s a complaint about NOT doing it… well, better to avoid that by just announcing every one, right?)

    In a REAL friendly game, there’s no need to keep score.

  16. The “I really don’t need you around any more” part is a CIDU for me… presumably the warden(?) has to feed the furry prisoner, not just keep him company, right?

  17. CaroZ, as you note, he needs the turnkey, but he no longer needs him *around* (i.e. to have someone to talk to).

    BTW, I didn’t see the movie and didn’t recognize the allusion. I figured the turnkey had often done the equivalent of “talk to the hand”, and now the Spook had a hand he could talk to any time.

    (And after not reading the strip for all these years, I can’t believe I came up with Turnkey and Spook.)

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