Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 61: Your Mail Man Is a Dumbass

Introduction

Part 60 | Part 61 | Part 62 >

Act 6 Act 1, Part 2 of 4

Pages 4122-4162 (MSPA: 6022-6062)

NOTE: My two week blog pause will actually only be one week, specifically the first week of August. More on that here.

NOTE 2: Act 6 Act 1 will be divided into four posts instead of three because a week is more than enough time to wait for a post, assuming there are people who care about this blog post series. The next two Homestuck posts will both most likely be relatively short, which I think works better than making one extra long post that’ll take quite a while to make.

Now that I finished Jake’s half of the selection screen, it’s time to do Jane’s half.

Earlier this morning you thought you heard the mail truck, even though the mail never comes in the morning. But just to be sure, you rushed downstairs to check, even though due to recent events, you are FORBIDDEN FROM LEAVING THE HOUSE. Alas, it was not there, and you sort of spaced out at the sky with a goofy grin on your face for no great reason, and then you were caught red handed by your guardian. Then you got in trouble. 

This description of the stuff Jane did in Act 6’s opening makes it seem a lot more ridiculous than the “breath of fresh air” feel it had earlier. It also establishes that Jane is homestu—I mean locked inside her house.

It’s your RECIPE MODUS, an extremely handy little inventory widget your DAD got for you for your birthday a couple years ago. He can be a real hard-ass sometimes (not really), but he sure knows how to spoil his little girl.

The narration states that Jane’s dad can be a hard-ass, and immediately says that’s not really true. Unlike with the beta kids’ guardians, the narration immediately makes it obvious that Jane’s father is not a clown-loving maniac, or a cake-obsessed lunatic, rather an ordinary loving father who likes dad things.

Her recipe fetch modus is ridiculously convenient, which is once again much unlike the beta kids’ modi. It’s basically the regular plain array modus, plus a feature that gives you recipes to alchemize objects. While all the scratched kids start off with better modi than their pre-scratch counterparts, Jane’s is perhaps the best example of that, as brought to full light a little later.

Jane starts looking at her posters, an autographed Jeff Foxworthy poster and a Problem Sleuth poster. It’s stated that Jane and her dad both are fans of Foxworthy, but for different reasons. Her dad thinks he is one of the funniest people ever, but she only finds him to be incredibly handsome, particularly his mustache. Compare this to John, whose father once again loves Foxworthy’s sense of humor but himself thinks his jokes are lame. Even if John wasn’t not a homosexual, I doubt he would be anywhere near as capable of liking people for their looks.

As for the Problem Sleuth poster, it’s stated that Jane is a huge fan of the comic, and after it ended the author started a sequel called Problem Sleuth 2. The narration says about the in-universe sequel:

You are happy that he stayed in that lane, and stuck with a time-tested formula. If he went in a different direction, you probably would have found it really disappointing.

Funnily enough, some readers do indeed find it disappointing that the story Problem Sleuth was followed by eventually became a much more serious story with a lot of focus on relationships and all that. It’s also yet another thing that’s better off in the post-scratch universe: in the new universe, rather than making a new adventure that some of our characters don’t like as much as the old one, Hussie kept going with Problem Sleuth.

The guy from Arrested Development is probably there because that’s one of Hussie’s favorite shows. And one of Jane’s as well.

The narration goes on for quite a while about Jane’s other posters, which I guess is more long-winded character establishing stuff. This time around, our protagonist’s introduction makes reference to more recent works of media, which may correlate to how the comic’s audience has shifted and become younger overall through its run.

You love your fancy spoon. It has several million recipes stored in it, and walks you through each step with a soothing female robot voice, just like in science fiction. Some urban legends say that the device also broadcasts subliminal messages distributing OMINOUS CROCKERCORP PROPAGANDA, but you don’t put any stock in that sort of baloney for a second. 

A few posts ago, I talked a lot about the comic’s theme of myths turning out to be true; in the scratched kids’ universe, the same goes not for ancient mythology, but for modern-day urban legends.

Interestingly, the alpha kids’ coordinated bunny project is talked about both in Jane’s and Jake’s room-examination pages. For Jake’s I assume it’s done because it’s relevant to the bunny storyline, while for Jane’s it’s probably just relevant to the stuff she owns.

As Jane looks out her window to see her dad doing stuff, the narration says:

He just captchalogued the CAR. Oh, that’s right. He was going to wash it today. He’s probably taking it into the back yard next to the garden hose. He keeps a very busy fatherly itinerary. So many dad things to do, every single day. 

If the mail arrives soon, this would be a great opportunity to sneak out and get it! Fingers crossed.

As with the beginning of the comic, Jane feels the need to sneak around and get her Sburb discs, but this time around it’s a tiny bit less childish of her to do, because it’s not like her dad’s going to give them to her as a birthday present.

Note the Condesce’s battleship in the advertisement about Mars.

In this image above, you can see the ads flashing with subliminal messages such as “OBEY” and “CEASE REPRODUCTION”. Although readers can see the messages, we just learned that Jane dismisses them as a dumb urban legend.

You know you really should switch to PESTERCHUM. It’s what your friends use, and it’s a lot better than BETTYBOTHER, if you’re being honest with yourself. BB is just so spammy and annoying with all of the popups everywhere

Ugh, look at this dreadful clutter. You have got to switch. But then, brand loyalty is a powerful thing. 

The implication here is that Jane is brainwashed away from all the uneasy disturbing stuff, rather than simply being a huge ball of ridiculous skepticism.

Jane’s typing animation is considerably more graceful than all the weird stuff we got with the beta kids earlier.

Although I already went through this conversation between Jane and Jake earlier, I’m still going to go through how it reads differently from Jane’s perspective.

First off, to readers who start with Jane, this is Act 6’s first pesterlog. It’s somewhat shorter than the first pesterlog for those who start with Jake (his conversation with Calliope), and it’s also not quite as plot-filled, but it’s still a lot longer than the comic’s very first pesterlog.

Second, the main purpose of the conversation is different whether you read it first from Jake’s or Jane’s perspective. From Jake’s perspective it mostly serves to establish a few more things about Jane, and from Jane’s it mostly establishes a few more things about Jake.

GT: Jane!
GT: Forgive my botherations. I know this is meant to be a spanking ripsnorter of a day for you and all.
GT: But do you happen to know where the devilfucking dickens mr strider might be?
GG: Oh, that’s fine!
GG: I had been meaning to message you sooner actually, but I suppose in all the hubbub today, it plumb slipped my mind.
GG: Which is a shocking fact on its lonesome, considering what I have to tell you! 

For some reason, the beginning of this conversation is even more ridiculous from Jane’s perspective than from Jake’s. Maybe it’s because from Jake’s perspective it’s after Jake previously said weird old man things? Jake’s conversation with Calliope, Act 6’s first pesterlog for those who start with Jake, is one readers are more likely to expect to be unusual because it’s with our new mystery character.

GG: I really want to tell you all about it, but it will take some time to explain, and we both have things to attend to.
GG: You with your time traveling rabbitwork, and I, my vigilant window gazing! 

Previously, I thought Jane was just being really sarcastic about her whole window gazing thing. Now, this bit reads a bit more sincere knowing that she’s spent the whole day with her eyes fixated on the mailbox.

Jane checks the clock, and at 11:11, the company’s rebranding happens. Suddenly, the logo on her magic chest changes to something that is far more inherently ominous than previous, as does the logo on her Sburb poster. In response to that odd change, the narration says little more than “Crockercorp is nothing if not thorough with its branding tactics.” Apparently she doesn’t think it’s odd that her company can do such a thing? I always thought she was kind of locked out of the loop in regards to her friends all being accustomed to crazy magic technology, but now it seems that she, too, is acquainted with such technology, but only if it’s under the Crocker brand. The only questioning remark Jane makes about the rebranding is that she likes the spoon logo better, and wants to change it back when she inherits the company.

The narration says in response to Jane going back to the window:

Nope, still nothing. You surely would have heard the truck pull up. You guess the empire wasn’t able to coordinate the mail with its rebranding. Maybe the U.S. Postal Service is the one thing it doesn’t have its gnarled claws in yet? (Another mental note: sink gnarled claws into post office when you take over.)

Apparently Jane is fully aware that Betty Crocker is a global tycoon company, and yet she still refuses to believe any sort of grander scheme is at play here.

As promised, now’s the time where I’m going to say stuff about Calliope’s role in the story.

As I mentioned earlier, Calliope plays a very similar role early on to Jade. Both know a lot of stuff for reasons many characters don’t quite understand, and give very much cryptic advice and exposition on stuff. They also both are very strong examples of the comic’s recurring theme of withholding information; all those parallels are fitting when you consider that they are both space players.

Both of the cherubs are essentially the alpha kids’ equivalent to the trolls; one may see this as another thing that’s more refined after the scratch. The trolls all go through a whole bunch of time travel nonsense and share random information whenever they please, but the cherubs are different. There’s only two of them; the good one is very meticulous in her sharing information and talking to the alpha kids, while the evil one doesn’t give a shit about any of that stuff. When I got to this pesterlog on my first read, I thought Calliope was a different kind of troll from the ones we knew, mainly because her pesterlogs begin with “(username) began cheering (username)” rather than “(username) began trolling (username)”. Then I looked up her screen name online because I was curious about that mystery character, and thus had her name spoiled way ahead of schedule out of embarrassing stupidity.

Back on topic, Calliope is later shown to not just be a mystery expository girl, but also kind of weird, with her heavy satire of the strange things fans of the comic like to do. This is done not only for satire, but to further obfuscate her true identity, making her reveal, and more importantly the reveal of who Lord English is, especially shocking. When she stops being a mystery girl, she spends quite some time largely out of focus, but keeps many of her classic traits like her love of storytelling and riddles, and her expository role. This is in contrast to Jade, who almost becomes a whole new character after her dream self’s death. Overall, her role is a mix of an expository character and a plot device, which is especially true for her god tier self, assuming the cryptic stuff that happened in Act 7 actually meant anything. I would go on a tangent about that animation’s cryptic events if not for my new policy of refraining from moaning too much about how bad the comic’s current ending is.

UU: good morning, lovely. ^u^
GG: Why, hellooooooo.
UU: so i gUess today is finally the day yoU make everything better.
GG: :B!
UU: it is the day whereafter the legendary octet of mUtUal progenitoriety will come together and heal a great breach in paradox space.
UU: a day delivered throUgh eighty billion years and foUr distinct Universal instances worth of Unfathomable tUrbUlence.
UU: and while the emerald eye of this storm is fixed in the abyss forever
UU: today yoU are poised to escape its scowl once and for all.
UU: by skaias gUiding light, yoU may leave behind its tUrning arms of bright coloUrs and mayhem, and secUre peace for yoUr cosmic progeny for all dUration.
UU: and if yoU are to meet this departUre with trepidation i woUld Understand! bUt also i woUld ask
UU: is there nothing i can do to ease yoUr mind? 
GG: Gosh! So formal today.
UU: yes. u_u;
UU: i’m afraid i am gUilty of rehearsing this pep talk well in advance.
UU: i thoUght yoU deserved a proper sendoff. 

In what is for many readers Calliope’s first pesterlog, she gives a grand poetic speech, only to admit she rehearsed it well in advance. This quite immediately establishes her as not being so above-it-all. Even the trolls aren’t quite as quickly established not to be anywhere near almighty; for instance, as far as we know Karkat’s even more dramatic speech about his hate for John was completely improvised. Oh, and her speech has foreshadowing stuff, but it’s the kind I can probably safely gloss over.

GG: You needn’t worry about easing my nerves.
GG: If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be nearly as thrilled about today as I am! 

It seems like Calliope is the one who got Jane hyped about starting up Sburb. This further supports the idea that she is an agent of destiny, one made to fulfill all the stuff that’s supposed to happen.

UU: have yoU corresponded with yoUr first designated co-player yet?
GG: No, I haven’t seen her online yet today.
GG: I’m really hoping Lalonde won’t flake out on me this time. Have you heard from her? 

This bit suggests that Roxy is going to be Jane’s server player, a pattern that’s expanded on and made quite explicit several times as we go along, in the form of the idea the alpha kids’ server connection order is the same as the beta kids but with each kid replaced with their young guardian. I think this pattern is repeatedly stated to either clue readers in to or drive them away from the very different actual server connection order.

UU: not the today that is local to yoU.
UU: thoUgh i do have a wee bit more troUble monitoring her than the rest of yoU. cUrioUs dark patches in transmission, hUmph. 

An early clue that Roxy is a void player. Dirk’s god tier title is also hinted at earlier/later (depending whether you start as Jane or as Jake), when Jake calls his responder a “dickprince”.

GG: I wanted to tell you, I had an amazing dream last night!
UU: blimey! :U
GG: I believe it may have been of the sort you described. A dream of awakening, presuming I haven’t just flatout lost my marbles.
UU: indeed, im sUre it was. i knew yoU woUld wake Up soon!
UU: might yoU describe what yoU saw?
GG: I was in a bright gold city. Above was a brilliant blue sky, but the horizon was dark as night.
GG: Was this the place you told me about? What was it called…
GG: Ah, shucks, does this count as a “causal spoiler?”
UU: not at all! that is a simple detail aboUt the realm yoU are aboUt to explore, withoUt directly involving yoUr fUtUre decisions of conseqUence.
UU: the place yoU visited was called prospit. it is where i have woken Up every time i have gone to sleep for most of my life. 

Unlike with Jade’s mysterious future knowledge, it’s quite immediately made clear that Calliope knows stuff the exact same way. Although Calliope’s knowledge is far less of a mystery than Jade’s, when we finally meet her in person it’s revealed that she knows stuff through more than just her dreams.

GG: I will gather that if this is all true, then it means Jake had not awoken yet?
UU: i think this is for yoU to determine in time. what is yoUr hUnch?
GG: I don’t know.
GG: But there was one thing about the dream that was very troubling.
GG: I’m becoming nervous to consider what it might mean. 

So Jane doesn’t feel the need to explain the sad part of her dream? Is this weird Homestuck kid pseudo-sociopathy or is it more like she doesn’t feel like talking about it? Normally, if you want to share a dream where your friend died, you’ll specify right away that your friend died.

UU: i know yoU coUld never fUlly appreciate what this actUally meant, bUt i took mUch care to sync Up these conversations with yoU on the same day that i begin playing as well.
UU: that way, we can joUrney throUgh oUr sessions together and compare notes! :u 

Interestingly enough, Caliborn ended up doing basically the same thing, despite his intense disinterest in all the stuff she likes. He probably did that so he could gloat about his victory.

GG: Hrm. I’m still not sure I appreciate what that means, but I appreciate that a nice gesture has been made if you say so!
GG: I guess I should just start believing all of this now, huh? Rather than learning it to be true later and feeling the fool for all my curmudgeonly skepticism?
UU: ~_u
GG: For starters, I guess I could drop my reservations about your story?
UU: will yoU :U!!!
GG: I can write off much to tomfoolery as I’m no stranger to a good prank myself. But quite honestly you seem too kind for this charade. Not the type I’d expect to trot out such persistent falsehoods beyond their humorous welcome.
GG: So what do I know! Consarn it, maybe you are an alien girl from Uranus, and together we are about to play a game which determines the fate of existence. Sign me up! 

So basically, Jane is deciding not to be a stubborn skeptic about everything, only to keep on refusing to believe anything her friends say about her company, essentially making her vow of non-skepticism completely pointless.

In the scratched universe, we learn that John, or Poppop Crocker as Jane knows him, grew up to be a legendary comedian, which is a combination of two of John’s most prominent interests: movies and pranks. His interest in video games is not mirrored in his post-scratch self because those obviously didn’t exist during his time. I think the story does a good job of balancing John’s interests in his scratched self, especially considering that (for example) Jade’s interest in technology is made far more prominent than, say, her interest in gardening. Such differences are later referenced in-comic during Dave’s interactions with Dirk, when the former finds it strange that his adult self was never reported to have any interest in paleontology.

But then, if the whoppers you have been told recently have any truth to them, maybe you will get to meet him after all? It seems too good to be true. The only relationship you have ever had with him are through video footage of his VAUDEVILLIAN ANTICS on stage. Or through his role as Judge Johnny Stone on one of your favorite old sitcoms, NIGHT COURT.

The part about post-scratch John playing the lead role in Night Court instead of Harry Anderson is an especially interesting bit. It shows us that the scratched universe is more different from reality than the original kids’ universe. If an ordinary work of media were to feature such a difference from real life, one could only think it’s some kind of alternate version of reality. Since the scratched universe is indeed an alternate version of the comic’s reality, this explanation for the difference makes in-story sense. This is another difference between pre- and post-scratch: in the scratched universe, the beta kids grew up to be so famous that they influenced history and made it different in some ways from real life.

First appearance of Pony Pals. The word is linked because you should click it.

The contents of Jane’s magic chest are everything in John’s chest plus the Betty Crocker cookbook, tiaratop, and gristwidget, Pony Pals, and the fake mustaches, and with the dunce cap changed to a Betty Crocker cap; in both cases, the dunce cap matches with the design of the chest. It’s worth noting that while John’s chest had a picture of Harry Anderson, Jane’s has a picture of her poppop, who essentially took Anderson’s role in media.

Speaking of which, the next page tells us that Anderson had a rivalry with John, and eventually John proved a better comedian, leaving Anderson to become a detective. This sort of thing is done a lot in alternate reality works of media, where famous people achieve very different things from what they did in real life. It’s an even better example of the concept of alternate realities, but this is still only the beginning, something of a prelude to the tale of a nightmare juggalo presidency.

Next, Jane captchalogues a whole bunch of things at once, something that is absolutely magical compared to the ridiculous sylladex antics John got up to. The narration reminisces on the terrible modi Jane used when she was younger. This modus is extraordinarily simple, which provides a stark contrast against the pre-scratch universe. It even allows you to captchalogue a lot of things at once—how crazy is that??

Next, Jane tries out her gristwidget, a Crockercorp device that turns captchalogued objects into grist. She thinks it’s completely dumb and pointless, though it’s pretty clear why it was really created: to give Jane a head start in Sburb. This sounds like a really nice thing to do if not for the fact that Sburb is bad fucking news. Oh, and boondollars are stated to be a virtual currency used to buy Betty Crocker merchandise, which I think is a really clever way for the company to brand Sburb as its own game.

Jane looks a lot like Feferi wearing her tiaratop like that. Makes sense because they’re both life players and heiresses to the Condesce.

You put on your highly fashionable UNREAL HEIRESS THOUGHTWAVE TIARATOP and flip it on. It immediately hums to life as its blazing fast processes mingle with your thoughts. It is the most efficient computing technology in the world by far, as long as you don’t wear it for too long. But aside from a few migraines, you can’t possibly imagine any OBEY drawbacks that CEASE REPRODUCTION could come with SUBMIT merging CONSUME your thoughts with EMBRACE YOUR CULLING experimental technology CONFORM TO SOCIAL ORDER from an STAY ASLEEP extremely powerful DIE corporation, wait what?

In other words, the tiaratop is BAD FUCKING NEWS. How does Jane not realize any of this when she’s surrounded with subliminal messages and cluttery pop-up ads? Maybe the tiaratop is how. It’s used as a Chekhov’s gun in the best way possible, even if it means destroying her character arc.

Note that the Olive Garden logo has “FEEDING CHAMBER” written below it.

In this image above, which is what Jane sees what the tiaratop on, note that Guy Fieri is apparently the new chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. While Harry Anderson becoming a detective was a bit strange, the thing with Fieri is somewhat more worrisome. One could see this as an early hint of the Condesce taking over the world.

TG: jane
TG: hey
TG: jaaaney
TG: ansrew plz
TG: *answer

Roxy’s introductory pesterlog opens up with her making a typo, which she makes a lot of throughout this conversation to establish that she’s drunk. I find it interesting that although typos are very common in real-life chat clients, in Homestuck only drunk people make them regularly. Also it’s a bit of a character establishing moment.

TG: jaaaaaaaaaane
GG: Omg.
GG: Overreact much? I kept you waiting for all of two seconds!
GG: Where have you been today?
TG: nowhere just chilling here
TG: when all of the sudden
GG: “All of a sudden.”
TG: when all of the sudden
TG: it hits me
TG: thaf we have somethig really fuckin important to talk about
GG: This hit you just now? We made plans to get in touch early this morning, and I have seen neither hide nor hair of you all day.
TG: it hits me that
TG: jakes bday is coming up really soon
TG: just a few days before mine remembr
TG: or i guess it would be if it wasnt for the end of the world thats about to happen
GG: Oh, for Pete’s sake. 

So Jane is concerned with launching Sburb today, Jake with finishing the bunny project today, and Roxy with… Jake’s birthday in three weeks? I’m not sure if this is good (planning ahead of time) or bad (priorities that definitely wouldn’t be on top). I think this concern may be because she’s over-the-top affectionate in regards to her friends, matching up with what Rose’s mom is actually like. The topic of Jake’s birthday never ends up story-relevant, which may match up in a metafictional way with the idea that Roxy is drunk and doesn’t totally have her priorities straight.

TG: i just wanted your advice on what to get him
TG: something sentimental i guess? but i mean im mostly tapped out of precious heirlooms atm so idk
TG: but not like anything coming on too strong
TG: something that says
TG: this is totes platonic and everything
TG: no eyebrow raising funnybiz is goin on over here
TG: but still says you know
TG: call me
TG: if you wanna 

Yeah, because Jake has a really sharp eye when it comes to people coming on to him.

GG: Grrr.
GG: Now I know you’re joking around to get my goat.
TG: ahaha
TG: yeah
TG: the goat getting thing i mean
TG: but joking oh no i think not
TG: u dont think that if i didnt say he was off limits on account of you being my best friend
TG: i wouldnt be all the hell over that???? 

Although this bit mainly appears to be Roxy being ridiculous, it’s implied that she is in fact committing a selfless act by letting Jane be with Jake.

TG: daaaaamn 
TG: that rugged senseof adventure 
TG: the delightful silly vernacular thats like 
TG: weirdly and bewitchingly not self aware 
TG: those adorbable teeth 
TG: swoooooooooon ❤ 

Even though Roxy is just about everyone’s favorite character, at least two-thirds of this conversation so far can only make me think “oh fucking hell”. She starts going on about how hot Jake is, which pretty much establishes that there’s going to be relationship drama. I’ve seen people say they can’t help but associate Jane with Act 6’s boring relationship stuff, but really, Roxy is currently the one the most concerned with all that. I think people like her character regardless for a number of reasons, not the least of which is her humor. 

GG: Nooooo, stop. 😦
TG: well shit jane
TG: what am i even supposed to do
TG: i cant hit on anybody and appaprently i can entertain nary a frisky THOUGHT about anyboby because apparentley evrybodies OFF LIMITS!!!!!
TG: *buncha goddamn typos
TG: shit suuucks 

Here, Roxy freely and openly complains about not having anyone who she can be in love with. Although some readers think her arc should have been about getting over that stuff, I think getting together with John, a character who is generally not concerned with romance, is a lot more of a happy ending for her.

TG: you dont even let me say your dad is hot even though we both know he way the fuck is i mean come one
TG: *one
TG: *on 

Much like Dave, Roxy doesn’t seem to think it’s weird to talk about how attractive her friends’ parents are. She and Dave have a lot in common as I’ll discuss a little later.

GG: Tsk. What would your mother have to say if she caught you?
TG: p sure she wouldnt give a shit
TG: i mean
TG: shes the one who stocked thegod damn liquor cabinets in the firts place
TG: i dont even think she ever had a drop in her life probably
TG: so why else is she puttin it there it was like
TG: a passive aggrassive dare for me
TG: *aggressive
TG: jut the sort of mind game she would play 
GG: So even if your insane and paranoid theory happens to be true, your response is, “Screw it! Time to help myself to all this mind game booze.”
TG: yuuuuuuuuuuuup
TG: pppp mcuh 

This is an obvious callback to Rose’s mother’s supposed mind games, but with some differences. This time around, whether or not adult Rose’s mind games are true (a little more likely than before), Roxy simply doesn’t care about it and gets drunk. What she doesn’t say is that it’s because she lives in a depressing empty future without much to do.

GG: Here I am waking up bright and early, waiting all day with my nose pressed against this glass for the mail to come and wondering if you’ll ever log on, and all the while you are just getting blind stinking schnocker-bottomed drunk.
TG: watcha waiting for
TG: in the mail
TG: is something happening today or something
GG: &%#$@!!!
GG: The alpha!
GG: Jeez-Louise, you are hopeless.
TG: oh yeah
TG: that thing 

Finally, they’re talking about the game the comic is supposed to be about! That took just about forever. Especially considering that the early pesterlogs are mostly just about the game. I think a large portion of the pesterlog’s material is meant to establish Roxy’s character, and I think the game may have been brought up so late to indicate that she isn’t so much into it.

GG: Are you at all ready to play if it comes?
TG: i guess
TG: but
TG: you sure you even want to play this thing
TG: u know its just what the batterwitch wants you to do
GG: Not this again.
TG: if you want to go ahead and be a chump jane its ur call im just saying
TG: i know what a chump looks like
TG: and you dont look like no chump i ever saw
TG: if you go thru with this ill have to add your porfile to my chump roll
TG: which is like this real actual thing i maintain
TG: intsead of being a joke
TG: is that waht you want
TG: *want 

Once again like Dave, Roxy at first doesn’t want to play Sburb, and is quite genre savvy about it, knowing that suspicious things like this are never good.

GG: The “Batterwitch” DOES NOT EXIST!
GG: It is an idiotic urban legend. 

This is an even better example of the theme of superstitions turning out to be true. I find it really interesting that the trolls’ ancestors becoming figures of myth seems to hold true regardless of what planet and time period they’re in.

GG: How many times have I explained this? My great, great grandmother who founded the company and is accused of holding this identity would have to be almost two hundred years old if she were still alive today. The idea is such preposterous hogwash it’s hardly worth dignifying with a rational response. 

Apparently Jane can totally accept that Calliope is an alien, but not that the founder of her company is one? Even weirder is that she can’t seem to process the idea of aliens being hundreds of years old, which is very common in works of media, especially considering that fictional aliens tend to be more advanced than humans. She should seriously watch Star Wars or something to get a feel for what she’s getting into. Or as Dirk would say, be more like Jake.

When asked about getting her copy of Sburb, Roxy says:

TG: it was just
TG: some files
TG: that were there
TG: unsecured
TG: and i took them
TG: jacked them right offa that intraweb telematrice
TG: then applied lipstick
TG: femme fatale style
TG: and was like shit yes i ALL KINDS of know how to use my web browser to download serveral files 

This right here lets you know that we’re going to get a complete subversion of the idea that the kids are all going to play Sburb with their game discs. This isn’t the first time that sort of thing happened when you consider how Sollux simply sent the Sgrub files he made by himself to all the trolls, but that was more of a little aside than anything; here it’s really emphasized that the alpha kids get around to playing the game in a very different way.

GG: Hrm. That is a bit puzzling. I thought this software was highly proprietary.
TG: i told you
TG: she wants you to play
TG: wants us all to
TG: part of her BIG PLANS
TG: and ur playing right into em
TG: like
TG: a
TG: chhhhhhhhhhhhh….
GG: Ump, yes, I know. You’ve made yourself clear. 

Although many readers seem to think early Act 6 is a drag to get through, it doesn’t take long at all for us to learn exactly what’s up with Sburb in the new scratched universe. Nor does it take long at all for it to be revealed that they’re all used as pawns. Actually starting the game, however, does take quite a while.

GG: But what doesn’t add up about your story is,
GG: I believe SOMEBODY doesn’t want me to play.
GG: How else do you explain the recent attempts on my life? 

Oh come on. Jane is almost certainly smart enough to figure out that attempts on her life mean that the Batterwitch is more than just crackpot nonsense, if people are apparently going so far as to try to kill her for it.

GG: But I believe that when we start playing together, you’ll come around.
GG: Personally, I can hardly contain my excitement over it.
GG: If years ago someone told me, which incidentally someone DID, that today I would have an exclusive opportunity to play what is absolutely the most cutting edge immersive simulation game ever released, developed by a company which has already done so much for the advancement of humanity, I would have said, “Shucks, buster, sign me up!” 

Dramatic irony at its finest. Jane says Betty Crocker has done a lot to advance humanity, although we all know that later on its owner completely destroys the human race.

One of those moments where something in a story finally happens when you least expect it.

GG: THE FLAPPY SWINGY DOODAD.
GG: THE ARM DEALIE.
GG: THE DEALIE, LALONDE, THE DEALIE!!!
TG: wut
GG: THE GODDARNED RED SWINGY FLAPPY LEVER ARM THINGAMABOB, WHATEVER IT’S CALLED.
GG: ON THE MAILBOX.
TG: breathe crocker
TG: slow breaths like this
TG: (im breathin regular fyi)
GG: IT’S UP.
GG: IT’S UP, IT’S UP, IT’S UP.
TG: i dont get a lotta mail out here and im no mail expret
TG: *expert
TG: but
TG: doesnt that mean not the right thing
TG: like ur susposed to put it up if you want something taken away not have the guy put it up if mail comes
TG: i think your mail man is quiet possibly a dumbass 

Very early in the comic, John looked out the window to see the arm swingy thing on his mailbox is up, which he thought meant the mail was there. Now, the same happens, but this time around there’s someone to correct the mistake. But both times, nothing is made of this misconception, and I have pretty much no idea why.

OH MAN I JUST HAD A THEORY. We later learn that there was a bomb or something in Jane’s mailbox, so what if neither a random mailman nor the Condesce (as Roxy speculated in a part I didn’t quote) delivered the mail and put up the arm dealie*; instead, maybe her father did it to try to send away the bomb and protect Jane from death? I think that idea makes a lot more sense than Roxy’s theory that the mailman is just stupid.

* For reference, it’s actually called the flag, which is a disappointingly simple name.

Up next is a little callback to Act 1: just like John, Jane leaves her room to get her mail, but not before putting on a disguise in case her dad sees her. But this time around, it’s worse than John’s disguise, rather than better as one may expect. But at least the narration says so. Her section of the selection screen ends right when she leaves her room.

And just like that, I’m done for today. See you next time as everything starts being crazy messed up.

>> Part 62: The Housetrapped Heiress

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