Perception Check

Mandy\'s avatar

People keep asking us “so how’s married life?” It is exactly the same as it’s always been.

Fox\'s avatar

It’s a passive stealth bonus.
That’s only half a joke. I’ve a condition that can best be described as ‘chronic jet lag’. I’m basically nocturnal.
Forget going to learn to be a ninja by living on a mountain and studying from monks.
If you have to spend your entire life being quiet so others can sleep, moving silently becomes modus operandi, regardless of the time of day.

55 comments on “Perception Check

  1. Yes, I completely understand what Fox said in his comments. The hardest part is when you’ve done it like that long enough you end up with a kind of “Perception Filter” around you making it difficult to get service at restaurants.

    1. I think service at restaurants in general is difficult.

      “Excuse me ma’ …”
      “Sir, can I … no ?…”
      “Um …”

      Each of these accompanied by infinite waves of the hand and raised eyebrows. I don’t blame servers and waiters though; it’s a tough job and they are overworked. I lasted two days when I was a server, and I think that was the only time in history someone was fired and their response to that news was,

      1. This is why you don’t sit at tables. I always go to the bar.
        My wait staff is then trapped behind brass and wood and always where I can see them.
        And if they’re super busy and you notice them taking a long time to get to you, order as many drinks as can be served to you at once based on local laws.
        Or order more and tell them it’s for other people with you. 🙂

  2. The previous comics stealth could be the culprit, but this time she was looking in that direction. Perhaps is more along the lines of her having passive negative in observation skills

  3. I have a similar issue. To keep from scaring people while I’m at work I have a large wad of keys and a shoe with a loose arch support that clicks while I walk.

    1. Ha, I made my cousin’s girlfriend scream;
      We were at my brothers house at night celebrating … something, and I was outside playing with the dog. There were no lights installed outside, so obviously you cant see out from the house INSIDE.
      She was sitting at the table texting when I come through the sliding glass door.

  4. The startled look on Mandy in the second panel is just awesome and priceless at the same time.

  5. I have a similar stealth ability… to such a degree that once people missed seeing me in an EMPTY room (save me), and they looked straight at me.
    Maybe us Foxes just have a natural cloaking ability, with the perk of appearing in just the right way to spook whoever is there.

    1. “Stealth Fox” could be true! I used to spook one woman regularly at work just by sitting quietly in a chair and reading a book when she came around the corner. 🙂 Always the same chair around the same corner too. 🙂 (My main OC is a (mostly)gray fox.)

      1. You can count me as the fourth “stealth fox”. I consciously make noise so people are aware of my approach.

        1. You can count me as one as well. I also have to actively think of making noise when around people…….Well when I remember too think about it.

    2. She has learned by this point to try not to startle me, after the first few times of dodging reflex launched spines when she spooked me on purpose or by accident.
      The really funny thing is I do this to people, even my mother. I’m a big guy which makes me laugh (I once dressed up as Jason one Halloween due to this and it seemed to heighten my stealth)

    3. Haha, I’m in the “Stealth Fox” club too! I have dark red hair and used to wear a bright orange hoodie and people still didn’t see me. I have also scared the life outta my Dad more times than I can count when I make sure he can hear me following him down the hall. XD

      (Foxes have been my fave animal for years now)

  6. I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve startled my mother.

  7. 6’0, 260lbs here. And the worst of it, is my voice is naturally loud and carries. My job involves me moving amongst coworkers, sometimes on a bus, but generally in relatively confined areas where personal space is a fantasy. And often I have one of my coworkers jumping like that because I’ll say something right behind them. This generally followed up with “Seriously! How do I sneak up on you!?!

      1. Didn’t see any purple on him, yet may have taken off a purple cloak, because Purpul iz da sneekiest colah.

    1. I used to have one like that, but I lost it years ago.
      I made a comment about this to her, cuz I saw it when she was inking and thought it was going to be my tan trenchcoat. Then she made it black like my wool longcoat.
      “Yeah, well, the colors for the comic were red and black.”

      Maybe one day…but I already don’t have enough room to store the coats I’ve got.

  8. Who else tends to quietly walk around the house and scare the beck out of everyone

    1. Yip, And I find it strange that the noisiest door at my parents house chooses either to not to make noise or not make any noise whenever I open it. Hmm maybe it likes seeing/hearing my parents getting scared by me.

    1. *glances at reviews*
      My button-downs don’t have breast coat pockets with buttons, and if they did it’d need replaceable faces to match the shirt.
      But ignoring that, the reviews alone are worth passing it up.
      I’m waiting on a clear winner for body cams, or a Chinese knockoff with decent enough quality that it doesn’t matter.
      Besides, if people don’t hear me coming, I don’t need a covert camera.

  9. Is it me or is it my imagination that the majority of stealthy people happen to guys? It’s almost as if most women (at least the ones I happen to know) can’t sense when another person is nearby. What’s really funny is when THEY try to sneak up on YOU, only to get scared themselves (spelling?) when you turn around at the last possible second even though you’ve sensed their presence long before that. I’ve seen it happen enough times and it’s one of the funniest things one could ever imagine.

    1. Women are far from the only victims. I accidentally sneak up in front of people of both sexes all the time.

      (Accidentally sneaking up behind someone, I can understand… how can I accidentally sneak up in front of someone who is alert and looking around? But I do it.)

      1. That is a rare and special power you have.

        You must study it, practice it, sharpen it, and above all, use it on as many people as you can.

        1. I have, but that isn’t as great of a pick-up line as you might think.

          Oh, you mean the stealth thing. ^_^

        2. “…What I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”

  10. I’ve got this natural ninjaness thing going on . I’m the kind of person who can walk in front of everyone and sit down, and later have someone say something to the effect of “I didn’t even see you sit down” X3

  11. ..that is the 3rd record (as a comic) about stealth… You sir is officially a ninja – and I know well those passive skills: being a shadow, uncontiously standing on blind spots or behind persons, stealth walking.. and any amount of stuff in the pockets or tools only cause a movement penalty (as seen before)..

      1. I developed it in the beginning of highschool but the sleep came 3…4:00 rather than when people wake haha. Some years ago it turned into non 24h sleep disorder and now I swirl around the clock with my ~26 hour days, with day and night getting swapped roughly every 2 weeks.

  12. Can you please do a drawing tutorial for your artwork? I’ve been trying to draw characters like this but they always look too cartoonish. Can you do a video or something that goes through a step by step process for drawing characters like those in this comic? I’m a big fan of your artwork ???

    1. If she does, probably no time soon. She’s swamped with the upcoming kickstarter & convention piled atop weekly comics & day job.
      I’d recommend a quick google search for something similar. I’m no artist, but she uses the typical ‘circle & cross’ technique I’ve seen a lot.
      She’s also refined her technique and style over several years, and has slowly accumulated a wide variety of different drawing implements. (Seriously, I think she’s hundreds)

      1. I didn’t know there was a Kickstarter; I’ve only just recently read the comic but I’m already such a big fan of the artwork. Can anyone tell me what the Kickstarter is? I’d like to donate if I can.

        1. Appreciate the enthusiasm but it hasn’t been launched yet. Maybe next month.
          It’ll be prominent on the site.

    2. Thank you very much for your interest and your kind words! I’ve thought about documenting my process, but for various reasons it just hasn’t been a priority.

      I can make a couple of suggestions, though! Tracy Butler, of Lackadaisy fame, has a few great drawing tutorials in the “Ishkabibble” section of her site. I’d very highly recommend them, especially the one about expressions (of the face-type kind). 🙂

      Speaking more generally, Kelly Turnbull’s “More drawing advice than anyone asked for” is a long-ish but totally worthwhile read for the more general “how do I draw” question.

      Thank you for reading, and have fun drawing!

      1. Thank you for making such a great webcomic and thank you for the links. I read over them and the one by lackadaisy made me smile as I read it because of the comical side. I hope I can eventually have fun making comics like you do and get people to smile at it. I’ve gotten hooked on your comic mainly because the viewer can clearly see that you enjoy what you do and that you are good at it. I ramble a lot when I write, sorry 🙁 but thank you for the help and I hope you Kickstarter goes alright 🙂

  13. I managed to sneak up on my sister who was yelling at my other sibling through the front door and smack her in the back of the head with a king sized pillow while yelling, “SNEAK ATTACK!!” at the top of my voice. I then ran off cackling. I’m pretty sure that if she had a full bladder before, then she does now.

    I have also had the problem of playing a stealth game then jumping when a guard suddenly turns around without warning.

  14. I can relate to this. I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve done this very thing to because I walk so quietly. I also have the ability, at times, of sitting so still that no one can see me, even if I’m wearing fluorescent orange while sitting on a black background.

  15. It’s always being the tallest person around and still naturally sneak up on people. My aunt would always freak out when she was staying with us for a short time, since to her I would just suddenly appear behind her when she would turn around. Didn’t matter if I was wearing my shoes or nylon pants (which never really liked anyway), I would often just somehow sneak up on her without realizing it.

    It’s also fun when it happens to the family cat. Course, I’m sure she doesn’t like it, but it is adorable to see her tail poof out into a racoon tail.

  16. This happens all the time to my wife. It’s like she forgets she’s living with someone. She walks out of a room and I’m walking to another room and her reaction is like I’m wearing a hockey mask and weilding a Xenomorph.

  17. a fellow “nocturnal” here, i tended to refer to my condition as insomnia though. occasional naps during the day is all that keeps me going most of the time. and yes i also have the “light foot” technique down to pat. (though the floors keep ending up messy in the house… i suspect my brothers leave it a mess to avoid me spooking them constantly XD)

  18. I’m totally like Mandy.

    People at work try waving their arms/hands around near me before they actually try to talk to me. Otherwise I jump out of my skin because I don’t notice them so close. Mostly because I usually have my headphones in while doing work.

    But even when I don’t, I still usually don’t realize someone is standing nearby, until I turn to do something and they’re right in my face so I jump sky high like a cartoon cat that sticks to the ceiling.

  19. Lol I have a similar talent in hiding my presence
    But I can also hide the presence of my VERY large carry pistol… Full size 1911(not bragging, maybe just a little)
    I normally open carry it but I’d love a shoulder holster except no one makes a lefty for a giant

    1. Mandy, I was just thinking of the first Curtailed comic that I remember seeing. It was of you sitting at a desk and Fox walking up behind you and sneezing. That should have given you an idea of what to expect in this relationship. LOL.

  20. This really shouldn’t happen anymore. I now wear leather boots pretty exclusively. They make loud thudding noises. I must have simply been standing still when she came down the stairs.

    1. You never know, Fox. Mandy seems to be a bit high strung. Those kinds of people could be startled simply by you talking to them unexpectedly.

  21. I’m one of those rare individuals. I’m capable of startling people and being startled as easily. I’m hard of hearing in one ear and if someone walks up to me from that side, I’ll jump out of my skin when they speak or touch me, especially if I’m busy doing something.

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