15 Comments

  1. I seemingly have a variant of Male Answer Syndrome. My reaction was to think, “Why doesn’t she use her phone to play some audio?”

    Actually, I did smile at the strip, but that was in my head.

  2. It is not really asking or posing the traditional question about a tree falling where there is nobody to hear it – – but more referencing or making use of it, via that final panel that turns all the preceding scene into a drawing.

  3. Modern technology is a frequent source of plot holes and other internal consistency errors. If an author (or scriptwriter) allows a kid to use a mobile phone for a telephone call (as danger approaches), then it would seem rational that the kid could also use the phone’s location services, compass, and other digital dingbats to fight off the bad guys. All too often, the writers do not consider all the implications of their initial choices, but even if they did allow for a full complement of technological options, this would reduce the plot to being either an advertisement or (even worse) a technical manual for the phone.

    I have seen a few instances in which a character was allowed to use a mobile phone, but it was filmed using a foldable “flip phone”, thereby permitting the call, but no other “smarts”. The disadvantage is that this dates the script to a very narrow time range, or it indicates that the character is a technology-resistant geezer.

    P.S, It is possible that Carol Lay intended this strip to be set in the old “landline” (and pre-iPod) era, but both the hybrid car and the Patreon donation nudge say otherwise.

  4. P.P.S. Larry Niven was famous for inventing all sorts of technological marvels in his science fiction stories, and he also used them in many both expected and unexpected ways, but one thing he never seemed to consider was that one of his gadgets might malfunction, or even run out of battery power. The endless retinue of Deus-Ex-Machina doohickeys occasionally became tiresome.

  5. “. . . or it indicates that the character is a technology-resistant geezer.”

    I finally graduated from a dumbphone to a not-quite-as-dumb-as-my-former-dumbphone . . . it’s a flip phone with NO internet connections. I guess I’m one o’ yer geezers. And get off my lawn, dangnabit!!

  6. Y’all are saying “the character” and “her” as though there is only one. But we should differentiate the straight-haired artist in the final panel from the wavy, dark-ponytailed character she has been drawing in the previous panels. No matter that this nature-enjoying explorer (or maybe just vacationer) may be based on herself or her experiences, still she exists in a different, subsidiary world.

    And once deciding to hew to that difference, we can note that they participate in different stories, different gags. For the straight-haired comic artist, the story board she has drawn is about the experience of being alone and hungry and hungering for relatable sounds. Her question to herself in the last panel is just a technical hesitation.

    But for us, that question is the main point, is the gag of the outer-level comic. For us, most of the panels about the adventurer or vacationer serve just to establish the quiet of the woods, and especially to establish that there are no people there. Then the old riddle of “does a tree falling in the forest when there is nobody to hear it make any sound?” takes the form of the artist’s musing over whether to draw a sound effect.

  7. What is it that she doesn’t “get” in the final panel leading up to referencing the tree in the forest adage? Seems like “So here’s the question…” or “Hmmm I wonder…” would have made more sense.

  8. I don’t think the strip is funny enough for all-out applause, but I’m willing to commit to one of my hands clapping.

    Oh, wait, now I’ve just doubled her problem. . . . .

  9. @ Andréa – A long while back my wife complained that her dumb phone was too small (the itty bitty keys made it hard to use, and the screen was hard to read), and the ringer wasn’t loud enough. She didn’t want apps, just the ability to write a text message. I went to the local Telekom shop and explained that I wanted a phone with a ringer loud enough to wake the dead deaF, and keys big enough for the blind to read. The salesperson and I quickly agreed that a “retiree’s phone” was the proper solution. They had two models: the one I picked had two hilarious extra features: a side button that activated a flashlight, and a small tab that could be pulled out to reveal a plastic card, onto which the user was supposed to write the names associated with the “quickdial” feature for each of the the digits 1 to 9. 😉

    She was perfectly happy with that phone for several years (especially with the laughs that she got whenever she showed off the two geezer features). The only reason that we replaced it (with a second-hand iPhone) was that the charger plug died, and a replacement plug also bit the dust.

  10. The AARP magazine advertises phones like that. I just went to Verizon and bought their $99 phone, which even has a (low-definition) camera.

  11. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to see it, does it have motion lines?

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