1. When your wife asks if that dress makes her look fat, she knows the answer already, but she wants you to confirm or refute whatever that answer is.

    Or “How does my new haircut look?” Somebody asks that, they have a desired response.

    Think of the safety benefits if Frazz’s explanation were true. No more could a drunk going the wrong way on the road kill innocents.

  2. I don’t think she knows the answer, she just knows that Frazz’s answer is wrong. But it was entertaining, and therefore more satisfying.

  3. “England and America are two countries divided by a common language.” George Bernard Shaw (attrib.)

  4. Kilby – thanks! While this wasn’t a CIDU for me, I love how a C&H strip written decades ago explains a strip written this year.

  5. It’s not that she already knows the answer; it’s that she’s smart enough to know (or recognize) that Frazz’s answer is a joke.

    In other words, he’s not trying to deceive her, but rather he’s trying to share a witty idea with her.

    If she weren’t smart enough to recognize a joke of his, Frazz wouldn’t’ve even bothered to say it.

  6. Frazz is encouraging her to think. Rather than spoonfeed her the right answer, he’s making her think about it, instead. As a side bonus, he’s also teaching her to examine all the answers given to her because sometimes authority figures will straight-up lie to you, for reasons other than providing more entertaining answers. Critical thinking is a skill that many people leave undeveloped. In public education in particular, the preference by management is for individuals who do not question what they’re told.

    A child might ask “why does this rule that I find presently inconvenient apply?” Many if not most teachers and school administrators will tend towards “because. Now conform to the rule.” This leads eventually to older children who reject rules they find inconvenient. Some teachers will patiently explain why the rule exists. Frazz is taking a third approach… making the child examine the rule and determine why it exists, and how it might apply to various circumstances.

  7. Just because you don’t know the right answer doesn’t mean you don’t know the answer someone gives you is wrong.

    She probably had a set of possible answers of which she expected to hear one, like “Two names for the same thing” or “Different proportions of ingredients because of British emissions rules” or “Petrol costs more.”

  8. “Just because you don’t know the right answer doesn’t mean you don’t know the answer someone gives you is wrong.”

    Of course, Frazz probably has a reputation among the kids for giving out answers that sound cool but aren’t really true. It’s easier to tell when someone isn’t giving you the straight answer when they are known to you to sometimes give non-straight answers. Most people need to learn how to tell when people are lying to them, and some are better than others at making the assessment.(obvious political example skipped because I’m tired of being in moderation.)

  9. “Doesn’t saying she likes Frazz’s answer better than the correct one imply she knows the correct one?”

    No. Because, again, Frazz has a reputation for providing satisfying answers, even if they aren’t the “correct” ones.

    Plus, there’s lots of cases where people prefer a made-up answer rather than what’s true.
    Why is the sky blue? Because God said so. No need to go into partial diffraction for most people.

  10. WHOA!! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?? Bill, can you remove it? I guess my previous URL didn’t get copied over by this one . . .

  11. The moon comic reminds me of how many people believe that everyone acts weird when there is a full moon because the moon pulls water (just water, nothing else) to make the tides and the human body is 90% water.

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