How to Figure Out "WHAT?!"

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Reader Comments (36)

Dear god, Scott, you've reached into my soul. And pulled out some kind of hair clog. Please don't show it to me again.

April 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSt. Chris

Thank you. I needed that one... Girlfri-- scratch that, fiancee(very recent, still not used to saying it) tends to have a lot of those.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Rob

this is a win

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohnStaedler

How to get an answer to "What?":

Firstly, get an axe or pick-axe. A big one. One you can wield, not one that wields you (Check out Elmer Fudd attempting to wield a pick-axe in "The Wacky Wabbit", and you'll know what I mean)
Next hunch over and grin demonically like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining"
Start giggling and demanding, "What?" at same time.
Swing that axe around menacingly, while continuing with your giggle-demands.
You'll either get a firm response or work out some pent up maniacal aggression. Lemon juice does wonders, I'm led to understand ...

All women do, and I have to tell you, you are not going to win :)

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesc

I'm sure I would NOT like the honest answer. Doesn't prevent me from asking multiple times every day, though...

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRaj Chaudhuri

*sighs* Oh god, yes. And you know something? I don't think I've ever been able to work out what the original "hmph" was for either! XD Congrats on the engagement, btw, Another Rob!

Another excellent comic! I really should stop reading comics with other people around. I get so many funny looks!

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaotik4266

Ok, this one confirms it. You've been spying on me haven't you? Where's the camera? In the kitchen? the bedroom? lol, seriously you have a way of getting down to the 'basics'. I mean who hasn't had that conversation at least once? I like your treatment.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Pffft. A REAL man's conversation goes like this:

"What's wrong?"
"Nothing."
"Okay! What's for dinner?"

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

This comic was like a window into my soul. This is almost exactly how it goes down with my wife and I. Sheesh!

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCasey

Awesome! Love the irony

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJayTee

When you do win, you'll soon wish you hadn't. Also, you didn't really win, you just *thought* you did.

Also, contrary to above instructions, NEVER start out with "I'm too awesome" - it's a quick way to create another, much worse scenario.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Quickly followed by "Wait, where are you going? Wait! I'm hungry! What....?"

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I did win an argument with my wife once. She said, "You're too impatient." Rather than fight it, I said, "Ok, I agree, I'm too impatient, but you can't admit fault." Then I thought to myself, "wait for it, wait... she's cornered, because denying it will just prove my point!" I almost gave in to impatience. Finally she said "Fine." We're getting divorced now.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill

I was surprised no one had submitted this to Digg yet. Here's the link:
http://digg.com/comedy/Basic_Instructions_Every_argument_ever
Digg 'em if you got 'em.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill

[...] Basic Instructions by Scott Meyer: Your all-inclusive guide to a … [...]

The real lesson was learning to say "I'm sorry" even when you don't know what for. Try to start using it as much as possible and watch the effect. You will lose the battle but not the war.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames Yeamans

Wrong, then she grabs the pick-axe and ka-thunk! (shudder) Time to break out the Clorox.

"I'm sorry" when you don't know what you're sorry for only works in the context of "something I've done has clearly upset you"... and NOT to just get yourself out of the doghouse! Women, particularly those who are upset due to some insensitivity on your part, don't rejoice in your "I'm sorry" - we want to know that you understand us, at least a little bit, even if it's only that you recognize your role in our mood. (Although I realize Missy's not telling Scott what he did is for effect - ba-dum-bump! - if a woman is appeased by a blanket apology, she'll also be happy to tell you what was wrong in the first place IF YOU ASK).

And James, why does "I'm sorry" have to lose the battle? Men... hmph!

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

for this article I must conclude that Scott has bugged my house.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

No, man. It's not Scott; it's the SPACE GOPHERS!

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMister Atlas

this is odd. I'm normally only too eager to tell my partner why I'm pissed.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentereyelid

It's too true. Just apologize and then go down to Cheers where everyone yells "Scott". Then talk about it with your friend Stiff Nailin' (Sad attempt at humorous Cliff Clavin, I know....sad)

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJuttin Pants

Well played. Thank you.

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM. Möhling

the problem with 'hmph' is that my husband doesn't notice nuances/hints/the bleeding obvious. i've learned to be more direct and say, 'you suck'. to which of course he answers, 'what?!'

April 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhiterabbit11

you forgot the classic "if you don't know I'm not going to tell you!"

April 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnthem

You're clearly a genius. This is easily my today's favourite

April 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermartin

You know, you are are absolutely right and I was wrong. If only men could understand women there would be no battles or war. And for that, I'm sorry...

April 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames Yeamans

you crack me up... I was going to respond "ROFG" but the system wouldn't accept such a short reply. I accept your apology. ;)

April 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

as a fan of recursive loops, I can only say "well played, sir."

for real, well done. reminds me of every relationship I've ever had, ever.

April 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterE

Billy Connolly, the British comedian, did a skit about just this, where he says there's this look women give their husbands, and the only response is "Whaaat?". His wife described in her book about him, how, the day after the performance, she had been looking thoughtfully at him, when he saw her, and said "Whaaat". The rest of the people (who had been at the performance) fell off their chairs laughing at them.

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNeville

Let's start with "I'm too awesome." lol'd

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdragonator

If you play this one right, you can get the silent treatment "punishment". Only women call it punishment, men call it peace and quiet.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDa Linz

The way to get someone to tell you why they're upset: "I'm probably not going to get it right on my own, and I'd really rather not upset you the same way again. If I'm going to change my behavior, I need to know what to change. If you don't want to talk about it right now, that's okay, although it's really going to bug me until you do." And then you let the subject change, and you wait. And when the argument's done incubating, you'll find out. Also a good idea: Admit you're not very good at figuring things out on your own. That activates the pity circuits just enough to let the anger at your obliviousness dissipate.

October 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNiki

NO!! SHE CAN'T ACCEPT THAT APOLOGY! He doesn't know what he's apologizing for! Men NEED to know what they've done wrong so they won't do it again! It needs to end this way.

"How can you apologize when you don't know what you're apologizing for!?"
"Okay, then I'll retract my apology."
"What?!"
"What?"
"Nevermind."
"What am I apologizing for, then?"
"It's not important now."
"What?"
"Nothing."
"No seriously, what?"
"I said, nothing! Drop it!"
"Drop what?"
..

[/psychotic girlfriend]

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaeleia

This is still one of the greatest comics ever.

February 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeckoningChasm

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