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Strong Bad Email #152
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"Ma'am, please calm down. Your CD tray is not a cup holder."

Gary from the UK asks about Strong Bad's ISP.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, Homestar Runner, Bubs, Strong Mad

Places: Computer Room, The Office, The Field, Bubs' Concession Stand, The Garage

Computer: Lappy 486

Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Running Time: 3:23

Page Title: Lappy 486

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Five, Sbemails' 50 Greatest Hits DVD

Contents

[edit] Transcript

STRONG BAD: {singing} A badaly-doo, it's time for email, bra-doop-da-dabadoo.

{Strong Bad says "Not even close," very quickly after "Your bestest buddy in the whole wide world," and says "UK" as, "You 'kay?"}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Yeah, I'm fine, Gary. Calm down. Of course I've got the internet. How else could I download this awesome animated gif/gif {Pronounced as /gif/, /jif/} of a cute breakdancing rodent?

{A progress bar pops up with a Windows sound that says "11% Complete" with "Less than a fortnight remaining" below}

STRONG BAD: {typing} What??!! Eleven percent? I started downloading this thing like two days ago! Oh, that's IT!! Hold on to your fat, sweaty D&D playing headsets, tech support. 'Cuz Strong Bad's about to Do-Sum-Bow-Dis!

{The camera rotates around the Lappy to a rear view as Strong Bad picks up the telephone. There is a phone ringing sound and the screen is split by a phone cord with Homestar Runner in the office on the left and Strong Bad on the right. On Homestar's cubicle wall there is a Post-It Note that reads "Note to self: Chew more." Homestar wears a headset.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Thank you for calling the internet, may I have your account number or identity theft, please?

STRONG BAD: No, but you can have a heapin' helpin' of my unbridled rage!

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {reading slowly from sheets of paper} Ma'am, please calm down. Your CD tray is not a cup holder. {turns page} I cannot help you clear your browser cache. No, I'm not in India.

STRONG BAD: Shut up and listen. {Homestar drops the papers in surprise. Strong Bad bangs his hand on keyboard} My internet's crawling along like... something... funny... that crawls along.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: All right, I can help you with that. Please hold while I transfer you to someone who can help you with that.

STRONG BAD: {incredulous} What?!

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {singing} Doo doot. Tch. Doo doo dit. Tch. Doot doo doot. Tch.

{Cut to a long shot of the office as Homestar stands up. Homestar is the only visible tech representative.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {still singing} It's the hold music, do doot. Tch. Pa doo doot. Tch. Boodoo doo doot. Tch. {high pitched voice} Hold music!

{Cut back to the splitscreen as Homestar sits down.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {in a telephone voice} Thank you for holding. Your call is very unportant to us. The next available representative wi— {normal voice, Strong Bad's head twitches slightly} okay, I'm back! Lemme just verify your address so I can send you my weight in free sign-up CDs.

STRONG BAD: Ugh, enough! {bangs hand against keyboard again} I'm marching my pasty white bwathom down there to talk to the man in charge!

{He slams the phone down and walks offscreen during Homestar's next line.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: I'm so glad we could get that resolved. Is there anything else I can—

{Cut to Strong Bad marching across The Field at dusk as march music plays in the background. Strong Bad ends up at Bubs' Concession Stand, slightly out of breath from the marching.}

BUBS: {as the camera zooms in} Well if it isn't my lone internet customer. How's e-business?

{Cut to Strong Bad from inside the concession stand.}

STRONG BAD: Now listen here, old man Bubs! What's the big idea of throttling me down?!

{Cut to the front of Bubs}

BUBS: Throttling you down?! {rising arms up} That's not one of the ninety-nine ways I rip you off! {lowering arms back down}

{Cut to Strong Bad from inside the concession stand.}

STRONG BAD: Well, back in the day I used to connect at twelve-hundred baud, but ever since the merger, I'm lucky if I get twelve baud!

BUBS: Hmm...

{Cut back to Bubs.}

BUBS: Let's head down {raising left arm for directions} to the Datum Center and see what we can find.

STRONG BAD: Datum sounds good.

{Vertical scroll wipe to the garage which is currently housing several computers with Bubs's face on them and is sporting a sign labeled, "Datum Center". The march music returns briefly as Strong Bad again marches into scene.}

BUBS: {indicating the computers with his right arm} So this is where the magic happens. {right arm scratching his head} I wonder where the trouble could be.

STRONG BAD: {sarcastically} Yeah, I wonder.

{Camera pulls back to reveal a computer with a garden hose sticking out of it and smoke issuing from the back}

STRONG BAD: It's probably not this computer with the garden hose coming out of it.

BUBS: {eyes briefly enlarge in surprise} Hey! {eyes returning to normal, right arm pointing} Somebody's suckin' up all my bandwidth!

{Cut to a hole in the wall with the garden hose running through, then outside to Strong Mad sucking on the end of the hose. Strong Bad and Bubs walk up.}

STRONG BAD: Strong Mad!

{Startled, Strong Mad takes the hose out of his mouth. His mouth is now tiny.}

STRONG MAD: {in a high-pitched voice} I'M A WEBSITE!

{Cut to Strong Bad and Bubs as they both start laughing, with the off-screen Strong Mad soon joining in (in his regular voice). The laughter gets more and more hysterical until it reaches a psychotic peak. At that point we cut back to the Lappy. For a moment, the status bar reads "99%" and has "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..." written below where it previously read "Less than a fortnight remaining". With the same ding as before, this is replaced by "100%" and "Already?!!" The Lappy's screen then shows an animated gif of a rodent dancing to a computer tune. The rodent is then replaced by yellow text that says "NOT REALLY BREAK DANCING" and The Paper comes down.}

[edit] Easter Eggs

CD Runner
  • When Homestar mentions the free sign-up CDs, click on the post-it note that reads "note to self: chew more" to see a picture of them.
  • At the end of the email, click on the "O" in "NOT REALLY BREAK DANCING" to see the collection of free sign-up CDs in the shape of Homestar running backed by music similar to the Theme Song Video. This particular musical arrangement was heard in Bug In Mouth Disease.

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Explanations

  • "ISP" stands for "Internet Service Provider".
  • "D&D" stands for Dungeons & Dragons, a popular pen and paper role-playing game that, like working in tech support, is often associated with "geek culture".
  • Baud is a term used to describe the data transmission speed of modems, meaning "symbols per second". Note that a single symbol can convey more than one bit - therefore, 1200 baud is only 1200 bits per second under certain encoding schemes.
  • "Datum" is the singular form of the word "data".
  • A fortnight is a period of two weeks. The word "fortnight" is most often used in the UK, which is where the emailer is from.
  • Throttling means limiting the amount of data that can be sent through a network connection. An ISP might throttle a connection to a customer who uses a disproportionate amount of bandwidth, or throttle a specific network application (such as BitTorrent or other popular Peer-2-Peer software) to keep it from slowing down other applications.
  • A cache is a collection of data duplicating original values stored elsewhere or computed earlier.

[edit] Trivia

A not-so-empty room.
The Lappy's back panel.
  • The Easter egg showing Homestar's weight in CDs uses the first image on Sub Central's history page as a background. At the time this email was released, it was one of the first results for a Google image search for "empty room".
  • While the back of the Lappy was visible in the email part-time job, this is the first time there is a clear view of the various ports and inputs on the back of the computer.
  • A CD usually weighs about half an ounce. According to Marshmallow's Last Stand, Homestar weighs 100 pounds, deducting Pom Pom's weight of four pounds. If Homestar sent Strong Bad his weight in sign-up CDs, then he would have to send about 3,200 CDs.
  • The Sticky Note reads "Note to self: Chew more."
  • At a length of just three letters, this email, along with car, has the shortest title of any on the site.

[edit] Remarks

  • It is unclear how Strong Bad is connected to the Internet - there does not appear to be a network cable plugged in to the back of the Lappy, and it is unlikely that the computer has a wireless connection (even though he was able to answer emails from under Marzipan's kitchen table in part-time job). However, it is possible that Strong Bad's Internet connection works in a similar way to disconnected telephones.
    • In the SBCG4AP Gameplay Trailer, The Cheat points to the Lappy's power cord when Strong Bad mentions internet connection. It is possible that the Lappy used powerline networking, a form of of internet connection and networking tool that uses power lines and the house's or office's electrical wiring to access the data servers of the ISP or company intranet.
  • The GIF file format does not support any form of sound on its own. The animation that Strong Bad downloaded is either not a true animated GIF, or it is embedded in a webpage that also contains embedded sound similar to a YTMND.
  • When Homestar says the word "internet" after he first answers Strong Bad's call, he speaks without his trademark rhotacism.
  • Bubs refers to Strong Bad as his lone internet customer. It is unknown whether Free Country USA has other ISPs, but Strong Sad, The Cheat, and Homestar all seem to be connected to the Internet too. However, The Cheat and Strong Sad would presumably use Strong Bad's internet connection since their computers are in the same residence, and it's possible Homestar gets his connection for free as an employment benefit. Pom Pom may or may not have subscribed to an ISP through his Pom Pilot, though he can clearly access the Internet.
  • When the file has been 11% downloaded after about two days, it would probably take 18 days to download from start to finish. This would suggest that there were 16 days remaining, which is more than a fortnight.
  • In order for the internet to move so slowly for such a long time, Strong Mad must have been sucking up the bandwidth nearly constantly for at least the two whole days Strong Bad had been downloading for.
  • Although they are normally considered unimpressive, the GIF does employ two common dance moves: The Cabbage Patch and Raise the Roof.
  • At the end of the email, outside the frame on the left, just below The Paper, there is an invisible button. Clicking on it doesn't appear to do anything.
  • Even though Strong Bad's connection is running slowly, he is able to bring up the email very quickly. It's possible that the email could have been downloaded in advance and simply brought up from his hard drive, as with many email client programs.
  • When Strong Bad and Bubs start to laugh at Strong Mad, Strong Bad is a little bit taller than Bubs. Usually, Bubs is slightly taller than Strong Bad.
  • It is shown before that Homestar and Strong Bad work in the same tech company at the same times, but this time Strong Bad is not working while Homestar is.
  • Also in this email, it is shown that Bubs runs Strong Bad's internet service, and that Homestar works as a technical support for the same company, this could mean that Strong Bad and Homestar work for Bubs or that Bubs hired their company to do technical support.

[edit] Goofs

Walking backwards?
Remnants of the "Coach B/Zubs" project?
  • The last time Homestar makes the "tch" sound in his hold music or when he's getting up from his chair, his mouth doesn't move.
  • Bubs's mouth outline is just barely visible on the backside of his silhouette. Altering the brightness and contrast can make the error more apparent.
  • Looking closely reveals a green speck on Bubs between his head and neck when he is at the concession stand.

[edit] Inside References

  • Strong Mad first unsuccessfully attempted to alter his voice in helium.
  • Strong Bad's confusion over the pronunciation of the word "GIF" is a reference to website.
    • Strong Bad was also first seen using an animated GIF involving a rodent in that email; it is also used on his website.
  • Strong Mad's computer illiteracy was previously pointed out in the facts.
  • The icon of a 5 1/4-inch floppy disk on the download-progress screen is another instance of Strong Bad using outdated technology.
  • The tech support scene also has a disconnected telephone.
  • Strong Bad's hysterical laughter is similar to his laugh in A Jorb Well Done.
  • Strong Bad telling Gary that he is "not even close" to being his best friend is a possible reference to lady...ing where "Fabrosi" claims Strong Bad is his best friend.
  • Homestar's hold music sounds very similar to the Duck Guardian One theme music.
  • Strong Bad says "pasty white bwathom".

[edit] Real-World References

  • Homestar's line "Your CD tray is not a cup holder" is a reference to a variation of an urban legend about an infamous tech-support call.
  • Homestar's line "No, I'm not in India" is a reference to the increasingly common practice of offshore outsourcing, in which Western companies transfer some of their labor (most commonly tech-support) to countries with lower labor costs, such as India.
  • Homestar's weight in "free sign-up CDs" is a reference to America Online, an ISP which is notorious for aggressively marketing its services with free-trial CDs through mass mailings, newspaper and magazine inserts, and in-store displays.

[edit] Fast Forward

  • "Bwathom" is one of the mother-approved synonyms of "butt" in environment.

[edit] DVD Version

  • The DVD version features creators' commentary. To access it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

[edit] Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by (in order of appearance): Mike Chapman, Coach Z, Karen Wagner, and Matt Chapman)

MIKE: Uh—

COACH Z: You guys never thought that I was gonna come—

KAREN: Wait!

COACH Z: —creepin' into the the— the DVD again, did ya?

MIKE: No, Coach Z.

KAREN: Uh, Coach—

COACH Z: You guys want me to leave, don't ya?

KAREN: Remind me about this email, because I— I cannot remember what happened—

MIKE: It's called isp! {pronounces "isp" as spelled}

KAREN: —in this email.

COACH Z: Yeah, I don't know what that stands for. I think, uh, it's, like, if you can't talk right, and you got— I think I've got an isp!

MIKE: You can't talk right!

COACH Z: No. {laughs} That's for sure. AaAaAaAaAaAaAa.

MIKE: That's enough, Tarzan. Um, this is the one with the customer service call between Strong Bad and Homestar and they go to Bubs's, uh... what do they call his data centers?

KAREN: Oh, the—

COACH Z: Datum?

KAREN: Oh, right.

MIKE: Datum Center, yeah.

COACH Z: Datum sounds good, Mike!

MIKE: Thanks. You got that joke from this cartoon, Coach Z.

COACH Z: No, I just made it up... my own dang self.

MIKE: You're going to get fired from this commentary.

COACH Z: I can't wait.

KAREN: So—

MIKE: Do you— Do you work at this place, Coach Z?

COACH Z: I, uh— I've never been— I don't know where they're all going. I got, uh, steady employment.

MIKE: You do?

COACH Z: Uh, or, uh— Maybe—

KAREN: He's the coach!

COACH Z: —you could add a U-N in front of there. Unsteady...

MATT: Uh, unsteady—

COACH Z: Unsteady unemployment. I can't even stay unemployed consistently.

{pause}

COACH Z: So how come— So, Homestar— I gave him that suggestion to start chewin' more. I noticed that he was just gobblin' things down left and right.

MIKE: You gotta enjoy them.

COACH Z: Exactly.

MIKE: And do some of the work for your, uh, gastric juices.

COACH Z: Exercise those choppers with some good hard foods. {Karen laughs} That's the way I was raised.

KAREN: The incisors bite right through.

COACH Z: It's true!

MIKE: I think that, uh, place— I think— So, Homestar must be working on a Saturday. That place looked empty and dead. It looked like it was 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon when you gotta go into the office. You know how that is. We all know how that is.

COACH Z: Uh oh. Hey!

MIKE: {laughs} Coach? You don't— Workin'?

KAREN: I think he left.

COACH Z: That looked—

KAREN: Strong Bad is not happy.

COACH Z: There were some serious noxious fumes floatin' around that day.

MIKE: You gotta mow the lawn there, too. There were some long blades of grass.

COACH Z: Is that— Will you hire me to do that?

MIKE: I thought that was your job.

COACH Z: I could use a couple bucks! {pause} I'm outta here!

MATT: Sounds like Coach Z just left.

MIKE: Yeah. Okay. So, Matt, did you— did you see him on your way out?

MATT: Yeah, we— he—

MIKE: Or on your way in? Did he pass right by you?

MATT: Yeah, he was in a hurry.

KAREN: It doesn't stink anymore.

MATT: He brushed— He brushed past me. {pause} Look at that! So— So, is this, uh— I always imagined this as being maybe in Bubs'— in the— in the secret basement of—

MIKE: Yeah.

MATT: —Bubs' Concession Stand.

MIKE: I think so.

MATT: But then it's also pota— por— portantially— potastrally, it's—

KAREN: Potassium?

MATT: in— in Strong Bad's garage.

MIKE: {overlapping Matt's comment} Well, it's not the basement 'cause it— that was just goin'— you saw the grass!

MATT: Uh, that's true.

MIKE: So this is just a separate building.

MATT: Look! He finally got his voice to get high like he wanted to in helium.

MIKE: By sucking up bandwidth.

{pause}

MATT: Oh!

MIKE: When you can't figure out how to end a scene, just throw in some maniacal laughing.

MATT: And jarring close-ups. Just like The Cheat tells you to. Look! Raise the roof! Do the cabbage patch!

KAREN: {simultaneously} The cabbage patch!

MIKE: We used to have these labeled.

{pause}

MATT: That's true.

{Matt sniffs}

[edit] Fun Facts

  • Coach Z mentions making up a joke by his own dang self.
  • Coach Z's "exercise your choppers with some good hard food" refers to this television commercial.

[edit] External Links

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