Great Inside Joke

One of my (heretofore) secret vices is that I read Kevin and Kell online every day (via the Herd Thinners Incorporated site). It’s a very funny Internet-themed online comic strip, but really getting the jokes sort of requires that you go back and read Kevin & Kell from the start.

I mention this because today’s strip’s daily sponsor ($5 donation) is Larry Niven (or someone pretending to be Larry Niven), and the message of the day is “Kzinti Diplomatic Corps/let’s do lunch.” Which will be very funny to some, and incomprehensible to everyone else…

(Note to super-purists: Yes, I understand that if Hroth is invited too then it’s not as funny.)

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2 Responses to Great Inside Joke

  1. Confused says:

    You’ve really got to explain that…I’ve read the books (at least a few) and am puzzled.

  2. Michael says:

    It’s a reference to Ringworld (the first one, the good one):

    Without lifting his head, the kzin who had been called Hroth spoke up. “I must apologize for my comrade, Speaker-To-Animals.” Louis said, “Huh?” “This is my function,” said the kzin with the yellow striping. “To be found in situations where one must apologize or fight is kzinti nature. We know what happens when we fight. Today our numbers are less than an eighth of what they were when kzin first met man. Our colony worlds are your colony worlds, our slave species are freed and taught human technology and human ethics. When we must apologize or fight, it is my function to apologize.” Louis sat down. It seemed that he would live. He said, “I wouldn’t have your job for anything.” “Obviously not, if you would fight a kzin barehanded. But the Patriarch judges me useless for any other purpose. My intelligence is low, my health is bad, my coordination terrible. How else can I keep my name?” Louis sipped at his drink and wished for someone to change the subject. He found the humble kzin embarrassing.

    (Of course if he’s not there, the joke is that doing lunch with Kzinti probably involves being it.)

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