table 22

June 30, 2010

Heyyyy, comic for you. And in reference to the poster requests vis-a-vis the previous comic, let me now stride majestically to the balcony, motion for the throngs to be silent, and splutter in an embarrassing, screechy voice that merchandise is totally on the way, now more so than ever. Stay tuned!



87 Responses to “table 22”

  1. NoobSauce Says:

    Oh wow, is it just me or are there like no words in this episode. I loved the decision-making checkboxes, though. Also the pink hair at the end.

  2. coyotenose Says:


    So I have a bad habit when reading anything, including comics, of letting my eyes wander towards the end. I made a special effort to focus while reading this.

    The last panel actually gave me a start. Thank you.


  3. Stinger503 Says:

    Yay! You go girl! πŸ˜‰

  4. schtroumpf Says:

    Pink-haired and fancy free once again! Hooray!

    Now please give her a name, Winston. πŸ™‚

  5. S. A. Ravenheart Says:

    So. Much. Win.

  6. William Says:

    AWESOME! You go Pink-Haired Girl!

  7. GeoX Says:


    I remember back in the day reading a letter to Ann Landers by some dude (or possibly dudette) whining about waiters saying “you guys.” I really don’t understand what goes on in some people’s heads. Or maybe I just don’t WANT to understand it.

  8. Nathan Says:

    It didn’t look right at first, but then I realized its partly because her earrings are pink too. Fist her earrings were gold, then they went silver in comic 99 when she got her brown hair. Then in comic 114, they’ve already turned pink, and today her hair turns pink. I guess she’s either got hair based super powers, or her inner pinkness just shines through super easily.

  9. Dusty668 Says:

    1. Good luck waving her over now.


  10. Strigoides Says:

    Hooray! She finally got her pink hair back!

  11. Richter Says:

    OMG!! She’s back! Dun dun duuuun! Awesome, unexpected, brilliant! Can’t wait to see her again!

  12. Joey Says:

    This happened to me. I was a TV salesman and I approached a somewhat elderly couple and said “Hey, how’s it going guys?” and the guy just looked at me in disgust then going on to say “my wife is not a “guy””. Me, being unhappy and more easily put out of joint than the girl in the comic, told him to relax, as I was only using the term as a collective noun, not implying that his wife looked like a man. He then went on to say that if I couldn’t address her properly, she looked quite bored of the whole situation by the way, then he didn’t want my service. So I made a personal apology to his wife and told him to go fuck himself.

  13. Gatewatcher Says:

    “This restaurant is crappy! So, who is our waiter tonight?”
    “The Sphynx!”

    That should serve them right πŸ˜‰

  14. Christopher Norton Says:

    I love that she’s got her pink hair back, and her self respect…but speaking as someone who has been trying to get out of a crappy job for the last two years, it’s going to be a lot harder than she thinks.

    Well unless you take into account that she’s a drawing and doesn’t have to abide by the rules or reality. ;D

  15. Hafwit Says:

    Yay! Good luck, PHG!

  16. LightHorseman Says:

    Hooray for FPHG, or is that now FFPHG (formerly formerly pink haired girl?)

  17. DaveB Says:

    I love that the last straw wasn’t the asshole customers, it was PHG’s own co-worker being so disconnected. Good luck PHG!

    Winston, be sure to make some new t-shirts in XL bro!

  18. bachterman Says:

    the blondie is playing with an iphone4?

  19. hmason Says:

    The fact that pink hair girl is back is probably the highlight of my week.

  20. hmason Says:

    By the way, let’s get some pink hair girl merchandise, eh?

  21. Meghana K Says:

    YESH! I love this… The pink haired girl is back with her pink hair… πŸ™‚
    But yea… the moment you are through something that was binding you and not letting you be, you start feeling free… almost automatically!
    Love this πŸ™‚

  22. Melvazord Says:

    Hooray! I hope she burns her bridges,I do love the view of a smouldering river crossing.

  23. schism Says:

    I guess she’s either got hair based super powers

    Maybe she’s like Empowered; the higher her self-confidence gets, the more pink her appearance becomes.

  24. *looks at the date of the strip* Oh wow. Happy birthday to me. You know, my life is finally seeming to fall together for the first time in my life. Co-workers who respect and support me, a wonderful girlfriend who is geekier than I am, and just… I like life now. This is just a beautiful capstone. I’m sorry if I’m sharing too much but, yeah… thank you.

  25. Tomas Catz Says:

    YAY! i missed her pink hair pride in self ^^

  26. YK Says:

    YAY for character development! and insightful satires of employment! which echo my own experience!


  27. valy Says:

    i agree with the view from the pink-haired-girl (she’s back!) about wath makes a job crappy…not the costumers, they just come and go, and sometimes you get someone’s the co-workers, a good environment makes it easier waking up everyday to do a lousy job…

    about her hair…it’s a part of her, although it’s just something about her appearance, it’s who she is, and it must be really harsh to give up on something you like just to get a job (i know,it’s hard these days to get a job even if you have a “normal” appearance). i’m one of the lucky ones who didn’t had to give up on piercings and cover up the tattoos to start working ^_^

    as always…a great comic

  28. wanderlust Says:

    Tee hee! Sorta reminds me of my current situation. I’m one of those “lucky bastards” that is given barely a damned thing to do at work but I make a decent check anyway, for no reason at all apparently. I practically drool on myself due to boredom. I’s feels my brane bekom softerer and slowsies until… blllaaahhhhh…

    So I’m thinking career change. Family and friends hate me even thinking it. “Duuurr, you get paid to do nothing! Duuurr, why wouldn’t you want that, that sounds awesome! Derp derp!” I didn’t take this f—ing job to do nothing, I wanted to make a passion and a career out of it. And since that’s apparently not happening and my current job is making me worse at what I do due to inactivity, I’m gonna apply my time elsewhere.

    Can’t wait till things fall into place and I can make my hair go pink, metaphorically speaking! Thanks for this comic!

  29. Chamale Says:

    Yay! Pink-haired girl is back! Sorry, Sphinx, I think I have a new favourite character.

  30. mike Says:

    Yay! It makes me so happy to see her get her hair back.

  31. Dillon Says:

    Yes!!! pink hair is back!

  32. Anthony Says:

    I definitely feel better about my current situation (which is very similar to this) and look forward to quiting. πŸ˜€

  33. adrian Says:

    I always try to be friendly to people serving me, just in case they have a fifth tick box that involves spitting in my food πŸ™‚

  34. BRD Says:

    yeah!!! The pink hair is BACK!!!!

  35. Oh Says:

    Where’re the jokes? This needs more jokes.

  36. Yeah finally she quit!!!

    I totally agree with this whole comic. I was in differents jobs and the problem was the smae. Costumers.

    Except now, that I’m in a Job that I hate, but the Payment is oustanding, the Work Gourp is marvellous and I can take anytime for my carreer. Shame is that the costumers are a pain in the bloody ass.

  37. yoche Says:

    So glad to have her back πŸ˜€

  38. James G Says:

    I actually did a little happy dance when I saw that last panel. Yay!

  39. Jamie Says:

    Thank you for paying attention to my moaning and bitching mr. roantree! Keep em coming, today was pretty damn good.

  40. Richter Says:

    Gotta love the closeup panel too. Frames just the face perfectly for the tension AND obfuscates the hair, which is important for the last panel reveal. Nice touch. πŸ™‚

  41. snap1415 Says:

    Happy, happy, joy, joy. FPHG is PHG again.

  42. Iris Says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see her quit. I swear, sometimes I could feel my soul being crushed along with hers.

  43. DoubleW Says:

    I…I don’t know if I can take this much…CONTINUITY! D:

  44. bm32 Says:

    I wonder what will happen now?

  45. Gwyn Says:


  46. Mike Says:

    I’m a massage therapist, so my situation is about 100 X better than waitressing, but I survive on tips and a complaint from a customer could get me fired too.

    Hell, yeah, you nailed it! The cow-orkers are what make it work or not.

  47. Questo's Dad Says:

    HA! Awesome. I think the word “guys” has undergone a significant change in meaning within, well, let’s just arbitrarily say the last 10 years. I use the term “guys” to refer to any pretty much any group of people for a couple reasons: it’s a remnant of my French Immersion days where any group with one male in it is automatically “ils” (just like Pink has here), and because there is no informal group names for women that I can’t use without feeling like I’m being condescending. Women is fine when I’m talking to the church choir, but when I’m with my friends? Not a chance. Ladies? Too high school gym teacher. Girls? Evokes elementary school children, not females with a university degree and working on the next one or the one after that. Anyhow. I’m saying it’s a generational use thing.

    Anyhoo, another gooder.

  48. simon Says:

    Fucken A Yes! (fist pumps the air). That was a looooong time coming. I only hope that she doesn’t end up under a bridge downtown. I’m not exactly in her situation although it feels a lot like it sometimes, but my hair turning pink (metaphorically not literally, my hair has been many colours) would most likely result in me being made homeless.

    Also, what Questo’s Dad said, we’ve been roaming the plains for 200,000 years and we still don’t have an ubiquitous non-possessive casual verb for female acquaintances?

    Anyway, I hope the pink hair is not the sum of the spontaneous transformations, let’s hope the next step is a Wonder Woman costume, and a set of handcuffs and a whip, so she can punish me for being bad.

  49. Ian Says:

    I’m really happy about this one. It’s about time she took initiative. Love the coic, first time commenting. Worth it I think.

    Happy Canada Day!

  50. NavajoMX Says:

    Yaay!! Pink-hair girl is such a great role-model, in a way!
    Unless I’m just crazy, I think she’s totally a part of each of us (cause I sure relate to her), and so I think she’s better off without a name.
    It’s like the parents in Calvin and Hobbes. What mattered was their relationship to Calvin just as “Mom” and “Dad” and any name bestowment would have made them lose something special.

    Anyways, I’m always rooting for her! Yay!

  51. coyotenose: I’m always worried about that (i’m a glancer myself) when there’s a reveal in the last panel, so i appreciate your vigilance!

    schtroumpf: I may or may not have a name for her, but assuming i did i don’t think i’d use it in the comix. To quote NavajoMX from further down in the commments: “…I think she’s better off without a name. It’s like the parents in Calvin and Hobbes. What mattered was their relationship to Calvin just as β€œMom” and β€œDad” and any name bestowment would have made them lose something special.”

    I totally agree with that, but counterpoints are of course welcome…

    GeoX: It’s best not to think about it.

    Joey: I applaud your for employing The Correct Response.

    Christopher Norton: Being a drawing aside, it’ll definitely be harder than she thinks.

    Valerie Keefe: Hey, happy birthday! You’re within a week of mine, so high five.

    Oh: Jokes, eh? How about this:
    What did the man say when he saw a herd of elephants coming over the hill?
    -“Look, there’s a herd of elephants coming over the hill!”
    And what did the man say when he saw a herd of elephants wearing sunglasses coming over the hill?
    -Nothing. He didn’t recognize them.

    Richter: Yeah, it took me a while to figure out how best to play that. In a comic, having something instantly change color for effect is trickier to do than it seems apparently.

    DoubleW: I know, it’s definitely rather… continuous. I will endeavor to not lapse into any 17-part “Very Special” epic story arcs though.

    bm32: As do i…

    Questo’s Dad: I may be biased, but i declare this the Comment of the Week. “Too high school gym teacher,” i love that. “Guys” is clearly the best we have now; it’s definitely undergone a complete shift in meaning, as you say, though i hadn’t really thought about it (despite having made the comic) so thanks for the analysis.

    Ian: Cheers, happy canada day to you!

    NavajoMX: To reiterate from earlier, i definitely agree about the whole no-name thing.

  52. Pink Power!

    I love it, I’m glad she’s back too.
    Great job, Rowntree.

  53. GerryB Says:

    Mmmmmmeta crossover injoke plot device references GO!

    Somehow I saw PHG’s nose do a Tabitha bewitched wiggle in the penultimate panel and read the the last with a soundtrack.

    I fully expect to see Sphynx taking her interview in coming strips.

  54. Filipe TomΓ© Says:

    aaand she’s back! =D

    i missed her!

  55. E. Dejeva Says:

    (long story, kinda relevant)

    So I got kicked out of the apartment, and let me tell you, living alone blows. To help me save money, my hippie/punk/whatever friend took me through a crash course in frugal living: which shops give a five-finger discount, where to find clothing to last a season, how to buy a suspiciously cheap Swiss gold-plated watch, how to save on public transport (give the guard a quarter, he said: a quarter gets you anywhere) and where to eat. Because cooking for one person blows.

    Now, I don’t shoplift, I’m too scared to bribe cops, I have more than enough clothes and watches, but that last tip was really helpful. So each day I go to the nearest Italian diner for two slices of Margarita.

    Restaurant management tends to hire ethnically-looking workers. Of course, no sane Italian or Japanese would work in a cheap diner for $500/month, thus, sushi is served by Vietnamese, Yakut, or Buryat people, and those from the former southern Soviet republics play the roles of Italians (just the right skin tone, you see). While the practice is sorta good – labor laws are retarded, discrimination against the “wrong sort” of foreigners is really severe, thus, working in a diner beats shoveling shit any day of the week – it is still incredibly racist. (Btw: the local branch of McDonalds hires people who fit the most narrow definition of “white”).

    I ordered three delicious-looking pizza slices (let’s celebrate the glorious holiday of “One week till payday” with something that isn’t Margarita) and the worker lady put them into the oven to heat up.

    “So, what are these called?” I asked, quite innocently. The lady (her badge read, “Galia”, a common Russian name) looked at me with a very strange expression (sad? tired? annoyed? offended?), “This one is three bux, and this pair is two and a half per slice.”

    …ohhhh bummer. She thought that I, being a racist fuck, got into my head she was overcharging me for pizza. That sounds crazy, but racist fucks and retards happen (and these two types correlate nicely); I used to work at a mortgage bank, and lots of people asked whether the bank is going to crash (it did eventually) – WHY DO YOU CARE IT’S US GIVING YOU MONEY DON’T BE STUPID SHUT UP AND TAKE IT DAMMIT.

    I smiled my best smile (which was probably a stupid grin, but it’s the thought that counts), “No, I just want to learn the name of the dish so I’d know what to ask for next time – these look real delicious”.

    She smiled back, radiant, shining, and that was awesome. (I also found out the most delicious pizza bears the very imaginative and highly descriptive title “Tomato and Cheese”, which is why none of you 1.7 people reading this would be able to find out what ambrosia tastes like.)

    I looked at her badge again and remembered the pink-haired girl. After sitting at a table so as not to offend the lady, I studied the receipt. It read,”[surname] Umayganat”.

    The management stole her name. The “equal-opportunity” bastards are not adverse to hiring pretty Dagestani ladies as long as they can kick them out when convenient (“Sick, you say? Healthcare – what healthcare? You’re not fit to work with food anymore, get out”), ban tips and steal names.

    Also, the management considers customers to be racist retards unable to find Dagestan on a map. But then again, they’re probably right.

  56. Pedro Ribeiro Says:

    Very cool. But I wonder… Does deciding to change your present (and consequently your future) immediately changes your present (and hair color)? I mean, is this a very oblique time travel reference??

  57. Nathan Says:

    On the subject of what to say instead of “guys” I moved to Texas for a couple years and quickly got into the habit of saying “y’all” instead, and then moved back to my current location. I keep using “y’all” though. It might make me sound terribly hick, I’m not sure, but I haven’t found anyone yet who is offended by “y’all”, no matter where I live.

  58. Leo W Says:

    WOOOH!! pink haired girl is back!

    love it. love it. love it. love it. LOVE IT.

    this rocked. and it is so true.

    big things happen when you make changes.

  59. pG Says:

    Co-workers make the job. I’m one of those fools who stay at a sh!tty job longer than sanity would allow if the guys I work with are great. Which they usually are. From the gonzo developer that spend his free time rock climbing, the painfully shy systems architect that is actually a hardcore metal fan (I still listen to Opeth because of him) to the gorgeous girl-next door PA that is the kid sister I never had. BTW. Why did no one tell me that complete honesty works so well with women? I only discovered this after I got married.

  60. ScottyDoE Says:

    So, I have been waiting patiently…. Or not so patiently, since I read through all of your material… Long time reader, first time comment.

    But just to let you know, this warms the cold, dejected cuckolds of my heart, truly.

    Also, people become quite agitated when they feel as if they do not have power in a situation, therefore, when a waitress comes up and starts being friendly, this power balance is knocked right off. So, man struggles to make it “right” by asserting their power and demeaning the poor sodding food transporter, alienating those at the table not taking place in said power struggle, and making everyone jump through their hoops (i.e. “Get me more lemon!” “My glass is empty even though you just filled it!” “Holy shit it takes FIVE MORE MINUTES FOR MY STEAK TO NOT GIVE ME FOOD POISONING?!?!?!?”)

    But then again, we live in a world full of inconsequential people who believe they are a gift to the rest of us.

    ^,^ By the way, thank you so much for writing this comic strip… It makes me so very happy.

  61. D Hue Says:

    Woooooo! Pink hair is back!

  62. Moxx Says:

    Hooray for PHG!!

  63. Richter Says:

    Mr Rowntree, I hope you make us wait for a looooong time before featuring PHG again. Take your time. πŸ™‚ One of Subnormality’s strengths is that it flows with sense, yet you never allowed it to become rote continuity or went through the motions to deliver the expected through the easy path. It’s always fresh, and that’s beautiful and rare.

    Anyways, again, thumbs up for this comic, it’s absolutely heart-warming. Made me grin all morning on my way to brown-haired work.

  64. Thomas Says:

    Loved how her blonde colleague keeps playing her Game Boy (or whatever it is she’s doing) and manages to actually pay attention to PHG at the same time. Maybe waiters are just good at multitasking in general?

    Anyway, maybe PHG is now going to end up in the gutter but of course she’ll have some decent company there if #511 and #515 are anything to go by. Also, yay for individuality! πŸ™‚

  65. Yamara Says:

    Hooray! Now she can blow her last paycheck on a Fun-Fun & The Funs concert!

  66. Sean Says:

    Generally the wise thing is to get the next job while working the current. Also not to blow off your references by dis’ing them or walking out mid-day.

  67. Sean Says:

    Love the transition panel from brown to pink.
    Well done, as is the rest of the comic.

  68. Chris Says:

    Woo! Go pink-haired girl!

  69. dannykins Says:

    I love it! breaking free of it all, going back to her free spirit self. i am so happy.

  70. Nat Says:

    So, in her situation, my ideal response would have been:

    “Wha — I apologize, I seem to have inadvertently violated some generationally dependent norms. I sincerely assure you that no offense was meant and shall do my best to restrain myself to age-appropriate vocabulary for the remainer of the evening.”

    but my real response would be more like:

    “Huh? Oh gosh, I’m sorry, I totally didn’t mean to offend you gu- PEOPLE! Sorry! Sorry! I’m going now.”

    I love that she started to say “Guys” while apologizing for saying “Guys”, that’s exactly what would come tripping out of my mouth. It’s little details like this one that really make the comic for me.

    @ScottyDoE : So, the usual phrase is “cockles of my heart”, although “cuckolds” could kinda work if that’s where your marriage is at and you’re bound on sharing that with us… guess that would explain the “cold and dejected” descriptors, too…

  71. benS. Says:

    This comic makes me so depressed that I can’t even comment on it.

    What do we have ?
    Plumb batshit customers, table 22, bipedal 450 THz* red-haired ex-waitress, team work ? crash landing ?, Hitchhiker 22 ? Paul Krugman !

    Questions, questions !

    *) That’s around 666 nM

  72. sasha Says:

    LOVE!!!! This is such a great strip. I hope people take this one to heart (I’ve done what she’s done before, but even with the restaurant job I had Highlighter Yellow Hair)

  73. mike Says:

    so I’m a long time fan; for years at least. this is the first time I’ve been left a message. I love that she has reverted ho her ‘natural’ hair color. it seem cyclical to me. Keep it up, I hope to see one of your comics adapted into a movie someday…

  74. Seeker Says:

    I am not so sure about the benefits of unemployment. Over the last few months I lost my job at least three times due to budget cuts. So yeah, I immediately felt the benefit of not having to get up early, but starting to get really worried.

    Maybe it’s time I got out of this cursed country (don’t ask which).

  75. Nadine Says:

    I know she’s unemployed now, but she has her pink hair back.

    This comic just made my day and now I’m smiling like a lunatic

  76. craig Says:

    Are you following me around Mr. Roundtree? I swear, im that coworker that she could relate to.

  77. Miles Says:

    It seems a few people are missing the point (or perhaps it is I) about the coworker. The coworker is not even playing full attention. She seems to be texting (although I’d rather she were playing Gameboy). Not supportive in the least, she seemed just kinda… there, until the very last panel, and pretty much was just the someone who was there who could have either made things just a tiny bit better, or was the epitome of the kind of coworker who makes a place not good to work at. Also, “Half the people working here don’t even listen to you.” =D Awesome and ironic. I hope I am never like that while playing Animal Crossing.

  78. Oglokoog Says:

    I think her behavior was inappropriate. Well, it depends on what kind of restaurant it is – customers should probably expect familiar treatment from the personnel in a lower-tier, cozy place. But she was definitely the one at fault and had absolutely no right to complain.
    I mean – you can’t even treat people on the street who are basically your equals that way, much less paying customers.

  79. Pome Says:


  80. Roadtoad Says:


    God, if I could only get a nickel for every time I felt the way our heroine does…

    (Winston, please: Do NOT make her a trucker in her next gig. If she hates being a waitress…

    (Like the T-shirt at the truck stop says: I’m here to deliver your freight, not take your shit.)

  81. Jeremy Says:

    Love the pink hair reveal!!
    I too blind myself to the final reveal in your comics. SOMETIMES ITS TOO HARD 😐

    Great news on the posters and such things!
    Any word on a printed compilation???????????

  82. migue Says:

    yeeeeah, pink-haired girl is back!

  83. TinMan Says:

    When I first read the comic where Pink Haired Girl takes the waitress job and dyes her hair brown, I was genuinely sad. I had read the comics that featured her and actually developed a little crush, so it was heartbreaking to see her surrender such a bold statement of her individuality in order to make ends meet.

    Over time, seeing her growing frustration at being the world’s doormat, I only liked her more and more.

    So, it goes without saying that when I read this I just about cheered. Go on, Pink Haired Girl. I’m proud of you.

  84. Gregory Says:

    yes finally. i was rooting for her pink hair to come back.her freedom to return.i hope she finds a better job in the future

  85. I literally said after the first row of panels, “Fuck it, get fired. You don’t speak to people like that. Tell them to go fuck themselves.”

  86. i decided to quit my job not 2 hours ago because it is a soulsucking grind and I cannot force myself to do it any more. and then i click on this comic and feel that little bit extra validated. nice one.

  87. Mystyr Nile Says:

    Table 22, Catch-22. I see ya, I see ya.

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