1. They’s just come out of the movies, and the movie had a plot twist. Slugs always expect salt to be the killer.

  2. Wow. Even with WW’s comment, I find it hard to recognize that building as a movie theater.

    Even so, don’t you normally think of a person as the killer in a movie, rather than the implement?

  3. I thought it was chuckle worthy. In health trends there’s always things like “we always assumed it be sodium that would be the killer, but it turns out it was processed and refined starches that are far more damaging to our health” and this takes that and twists it to … slugs, who always afraid of salt as a deadly desiccant… and then twists it to a plot twist in a movie and an irritated guy hearing a spoiler.

    I think this is actually really clever and works on all three levels. Way to go Reality Check! Now I have to check if earth is still in alignment in its orbit…

  4. I keep looking at the guy in the background with the money. What is he doing? He’s obviously ticked off. Is he mad because the others spoiled the movie?

    I guess he’s buying a ticket. But I had no idea that was a theatre either.

  5. Looking at it again (this time with knowledge that the setting is supposed to be in front of a theater), the joke is much better, and I really like the expression on the snail who is about to buy a ticket, but was annoyed to overhear the “spoiler”. Even the rodent kept his trap shut: all in all, definitely way above average for “Reality Check”.

  6. It might have helped make the building recognizable as a theater if he’d come up with a movie title for the marquee. OTOH, secondary jokes are where Whamond most often wrecks his comics, so maybe we should be grateful for small favors. There’s also the problem that very few movie theaters look like this anymore. It’s a visual cue we all understand, but it may be headed for geezerhood.

  7. I got it was a cinema (or theatre) OK – the lines on the marquee help indicate a cinema, though I think the two lit windows in the upper storey help damage that impression. It would have been better if the artist had put some text up… if he couldn’t think of a relevant title (Bread or Dead, Follow the Dough, The Pastry Patsy Caper) then simply some part of NOW SHOWING would work.

    But yes, not many cinemas actually look like that any more. In the same way trains are no longer pulled by steam locomotives but that is often the graphic image used for railway crossing signs, or some vintage Hassleblad-style camera graphic is used, in the UK at least, to notify motorists of speed cameras, even though almost no-one will have used or even seen such a camera.

  8. White flour has increasingly become the bad guy over my lifetime, first because the nutritious bran and fiber had been stripped out of it (40 years or more ago), then because it was a starch (circa 2000), then more recently because of gluten – and this winter they’ve made a big deal about how raw cookie dough will kill you because of both the raw eggs and raw flour. Never mind that if that was the case, 99% of Americans would be dead. Ugh.

  9. p.s. My grandfather had his first heart attack in 1972, and at that time they were sure the killers were salt, fat, and egg yolks. He ate a lot of angel food cake after that, all for naught.

  10. You were all a step ahead of me, because not only did I not realize that the building was a cinema, but I also thought that the characters here were aliens. On top of that, I figured salt as a killer referred to the fact that too much sodium is considered unhealthy. So yeah I was totally confused.

  11. Oh, and as mentioned by The Bad Seed, white flour is now “bad” because of gluten. So I thought that the comic was going from salt intake = bad to gluten = bad.

  12. The Bad Seed:

    Just because a food is potentially dangerous doesn’t necessarily mean everyone who consumes it will die! “If raw flour was really bad for you, 99% of Americans would be dead” is an absolutely ridiculous straw man refutation and has no place in a reasoned, fact-based discussion. You should be ashamed.

  13. Powers: nothing wrong with using hyperbole to make a point in an informal discussion. Especially with regards to the raw egg supposedly in raw cookie dough, The Bad Seed is pointing out the ridiculousness of the fear mongering: when there is a real salmonella threat, you hear about it, the CDC is on the case, and there are other symptoms than death — most people get severe cramps, diarrhea, etc. ( https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/news/20120820/deaths-in-salmonella-outbreak-traced-to-cantaloupe#1 ) Common sense tells you that if a product as popular as raw cookie dough regularly caused these symptoms, and caused a death or two, and caused the CDC to mobilize, and caused recalls of the product, you’d have heard about it over your lifetime — you haven’t, so the hysteria around it is unwarranted. No need for a rigorous defense, the burden of proof lies on the other side.

    Trying to shame someone for casual discussion on a comics discussion board is also way over the top.

  14. I just read an article today on AAAS about how choline helps prevent Alzheimer’s, Guess what has *lots* of choline? Egg yolks. The demonized egg is once again rehabilitated. And delicious.

  15. I actually thought the impenetrability helped it.

    I did not recognize them as slugs at first. I thought they were … things… the dialog was familiar; the same type food health trends that gets rehashed in articles over and over … and I realized they were slugs and that’s funny because slugs shriveling when sprinkled with salt is a twisted interpretation of the dangers of salt. Then I didn’t get what the guy looking angry and holding a bill was supposed to be and then i got he was angry cause he overheard people giving away a movie plot. And the idea of taking a common health trend phrase and turning it into a spoiler for a murder mystery was so surreal and abstract it was almost Lewis Carrollesque.

    I wouldn’t have appreciated if it had been too obvious. I certainly *wouldn’t* won’t some squirellish jokey movie title spoiling the subtlety. But maybe a “Now Playing” or an ticket seller in uniform behind a window would have helped. It didn’t have the abstraction that declares Cinema.

  16. Woozy: you’re right about the squirrelish joke movie title, so naturally we should suggest some:

    Now playing: The Usual Suspects
    Now playing: The Unusual Suspects
    The Butler in the Pantry with the Salt Cellar
    The Cook in the Kitchen with the Flour Sifter
    Flour for Algernon

  17. I got most of it immediately, but not that they were shifting to health concerns over the usual “salt kills slugs”.

  18. Possible movie title: “Slugfest!”

    (OK, not great, but at least woulda helped us see it as a theatre)

  19. Where has all the flour gone?
    Long time passing.
    Where has all the flour gone?
    Long time ago.

  20. I thought it was obvious they were slugs, it was a movie theater, and salt hurts/kills slugs. But does flour have any effect on slugs? Perhaps we’re supposed to interpret it as “that white powder was so scary because we thought it was salt, but in the end it turned out to be harmless flour,” rather than “flour was the killer!”

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