1. It is a commentary on White heteronormative patriarchy and the way it institutionalizes sexual harassment and institutionalized domestic slavery. The man should not notice that she (or is it “they” “he” or “sie”) exists as a genitaled unit. Instead, he should only see a genderless meatdroid that exists only to enrich their corporate masters. It’s hilarious.

  2. Some people get hung up over terminology. They don’t want to think of (or speak of) going on a “date”, even if it is an outing with intent to woo.

  3. Some companies have rules against intraoffice dating. He is asking her out in a way that he hopes will circumvent that ban.

  4. It’s an odd fact of life that most people who end up being married and living together for, say, 56 years, like my parents, originally never knew a thing about each other’s existence and so met each other for the first time at some point after years or decades of independent life (my father was 28 and my mother 19 when that happened – and up to then they had lived hundreds of miles apart).

    In almost every case, talking to someone you only met five minutes ago about marriage and living together for half a century and raising kids would be weird. But in most cases people who did live half a century together, etc., had at one stage of their lives only been acquainted five minutes, or five seconds, or five days. So for unmarried people aiming for marriage, as this bloke must be, then it is always possible the very next person you meet for the first time might be the person you eventually get married to and in fact it must happen thousands of times every day around the world. Even now, as you read this, some people are meeting for the very first time who in two years time will get married, have 1.7 children and die around 2080.

    I suppose this cartoon plays on that a little bit, though if that is the cartoonist’s intention these people look like colleagues who have known each other in an office way for a while – yet apparently he isn’t sure if they would get along, so they must be largely unknown to each other. He could be an outsider visiting the office, though in that case he might be depicted a little too casually dressed to fit my theory (unless he is part of a consultant team of strangers dropped in to reorganise everything).

  5. (@lazarusjohn — wow, my memory chips had to stretch to recall Sadie Hawkins Day custom!)

    This comic is sort of a counterpoint to a related comic trope, where colleagues (or one is a client, or a colleague from another branch) are planning to meet, on business, but at a restaurant or at least coffee house. Then when they have agreed on the day and time, one says “Okay, it’s a date!” not originally meaning a “courtship date” but raising it as a subtext question in a possibly embareassing way.

  6. To be fair, her calendar says “JANUARY,” so either she’s a bit out of the loop, or the dates of the cartoon world don’t necessarily match up with real-word dates.

    (Or maybe it says “BANUARY.” You can never know for sure.)

  7. @ “dates” – …the cartoon is 2/29 … calendar says “JANUARY”
    Normally one could expect that the cartoonist should be aware of his own syndication lead time, and would set the calendar to match the publication date (rather that the composition date). However, since Mr. Lee has the habit of recycling his own artwork, my guess is that this drawing originally appeared (with different dialog) in a previous year’s January, and just happened to land in a February this time around. Someone who doesn’t even bother to redraw a dialog ballon cannot be expected to rename a background calendar page.
    P.S. @ Arthur – “…intent to woo…
    Even though he professes to be thinking of matrimony, I think his true intent is more likely to rhyme with Arthur’s suggestion.

  8. Mitch: Rhymes with….um a piece of hardware that fastens two things together. Nail? Strap? No those don’t rhyme…

  9. >(@lazarusjohn — wow, my memory chips had to stretch to recall Sadie Hawkins Day custom!)

    Sadie Hawkins Day is Nov. 13-15th.

    Leap day is “Ladies Day”. Same idea; different origins.

  10. Perhaps he should have offered to take her dancing, the vertical expression of a horizontal true intent.

  11. He asked her for a date, she said no, so he’s changing it by calling it dinner and a movie. IOW, he’s a jerk who doesn’t know that ‘no’ means ‘no’.

  12. Perhaps we are racist. Just because these people appear white doesn’t mean they couldn’t be Muslim. He may be “proposing” a nikah mut’ah.

  13. I left a comment last night, but the upload appeared to have failed, and I can’t tell if it’s still in moderation.

    I think the joke is that “going on a date” is so serious that it has to be denied and that marriage would be a less serious next step which can be mentioned before the non-date even happens.

    Pardon My Planet is often (at least when it shows up here) very very mildly absurd and that leads people to reach for obscure socio-political commentary as an explanation.

  14. I believe “the kids today” call it “Netflix and chill”.

    “Do you want to come over for Netflix and chill?” means “Want to come over and f^&%?”

    The words themselves have deniability built in. How can she take offense? You just wanted to watch some TV and get to know her, right? But at the same time, everyone knows what you really mean. It’s like being invited up to look at someone’s etchings.

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