YODO – Chap. 4, Act 2, Strip 32

Normally, something like that flimsy parking clamp shouldn’t give our heroes too much trouble, given how they’ve just managed to escape from a heavily guarded gaol with reinforced concrete walls. But of course it can give them problems if the plot demands that…because anything can give you problems if the plot demands it.

All it requires is that all the obvious ways to deal with the problems are overlooked or dismissed with threadbare arguments. Biff, Snuka and the Professor demonstrate the three main strategies b-movies employ to achieve that: Biff uses the classical “only one tool will work” handwave. It’s simple: the character tries to use an obviously unsuitable tool to tackle the problem, fails and immediately declares that only one other, obviously unavailable tool can do the trick. Typically, no source for that strange epiphany is given.

Snuka, meanwhile, goes down the “moral qualms” route. With that strategy, a readily available remedy is dismissed with reference to the character’s moral qualms about availing themselves of it. It works markedly better in cases where
a, the lifes of innocents don’t hang in the balance
b, the character isn’t an amoral scoundrel
But Snuka thought he could give it a try, anyway.

The Professor, meanwhile, hangs a little lampshade on the most common tactic: the “it slipped my mind” gambit. That’s one that he can actually pull off much better today than when he was younger. Societal acceptance levels for an absentminded professor are just vastly higher than for an absentminded postgraduate student. With the professor, forgetting crucial information from one moment to the next is pretty much taken for granted, with the student, it’s often taken as a sign of substance abuse issues.

Mopey, meanwhile, is just too elated about the whole situation to even pretend she was seriously looking for a way out. Not sure what she means with “YODO”, though…having a zombie for a boyfiend and seeing Snuka return from the Netherlands of the Force should actually have taught her better.

More on Monday.

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