Wheaton Comic Dare: Check Your Bag Before We Wreck Your Bag

Ewok Stare Shirt

When Southwest called me to tell me they had found my bag I was in the back of Jason Finn‘s car with Wil on the way to meet Stepto and Marian Call. Jason and Wil were talking Mini Coopers and there was talk radio coming over the car speakers, so I pressed my phone against my right ear as hard as I could and plugged the left one with my little finger. I asked the woman on the other end of the line to repeat herself. “Shredded,” she said. “Shredded?” I replied. “Like we were a polar bear and your suitcase was a seal covered in maple syrup,” she responded.

They couriered what was left of my bag to my hotel later that night. From the extent of the damage I was completely unable to come up with a scenario by which this violation could have actually occurred. It hadn’t simply been dropped or snagged. It seemed as though some sort of manimal had clawed into (or out of) my small rolling suitcase in a blind rage. Can a creature truly hate a piece of luggage? I dare say it can. In my search for a reasonable explantation, Wil offered the Sarlacc pit theory and thus a comic was born. Later in the weekend I would prototype this comic in Wil’s copy of HE Book 2.

[Special thanks to Wil for contributing his first line in panel 1, a reference to his character in the Penny Arcade D&D Podcast.]

I toyed with the idea of continuing the Emerald City Comicon Sketch comics [Part 1 and Part 2] another day, but decided instead just to show you the rest of the sketches I wanted to share in this blog post. I will call this series “Sketches For Celebrities: Both Internet And Otherwise.”

Commenters: Feel free to offer up more examples of how and why specific airlines lose your luggage. Does JFK have to pay off the mob in “misplaced” golf clubs? Does Newark purposefully chuck your bags in the river to remind you not to go to New Jersey? How about some new slogans for Southwest? I like “Southwest: Hey whattayou Expect?” “Southwest: No Guarantees,” “Southwest: Come Fly The Functional Skies,” and “Southwest: This Whole Thing Is A Scam To Move Pretzels and Diet Coke.”

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  1. Delta once performed magical magic on my luggage, removing the entire zipper. Not the zipper pull. The ENTIRE ZIPPER. All the way around the circumference of the bag. Once my eyes stopped twitching and I could form words, I asked the guy how it happened. He looked me straight in the eye and said "I can't actually imagine a real world scenario in which this could have occurred."
    I couldn't even stay mad at him.

  2. From your description of the bag I can one come to one conclusion. Your plot to smuggle a rabid wolverine to ECCC in an attempt to surprise Wil Wheaton was a failure. Next time remember, only use Samsonite for all your rabid wolverine smuggling hijinks.

  3. Maybe the nice patriotic Americans aboard that Southwest flight correctly identified your suitcase as a terrorist. They had to stop him – take him down – before he could hijack the plane, or WORSE – throw Mentos into all the Diet Coke, thus exploding the aircraft.
    I feel safer knowing that passengers aboard Southwest flights are not fooled by "luggage".

  4. Perhaps a terrorist midget (sorry- little person) concealed himself inside your bag and cut his way out midflight, in order to assassinate a diplomat or UN official?

    And yes, pictures!

  5. The Union Baggage Handlers went nuts after hearing about what happened in Wisconsin. They are worried that they will be next.

  6. LAX is built on top of the (a) Hellmouth.
    In BOS, some percentage of the conveyor belts dump your luggage directly into the harbor.

    • At Dulles, they'll just give your luaggage to anyone who happens to claim it, then return it to you after they've used everything inside it.
      In PHL, they'll rifle through all your things for vaccienes, candy, money, or Mad Dog, then get angry when you don't have any.
      I believe in DAY, they'll just check for pr0n, dub it, then return it to you. Otherise, they just fart in your luggage and call it a day.

  7. I was always happy they didn't kill off Boba Fett. He was my favorite character and I enjoyed the part he was later to play in things like the Young Jedi Knights.

  8. In Denver they have to take into account the thin air and thus have to leave a certain portion of bags behind more if the plane is heavier than expected so if you want you bags to make loose weight.

  9. About the same thing happened to my luggage. We flew to Germany (the whole trip there was fucked, I'll not get into it,) and they lost my and my parent's luggage for 4-5 days. On the fourth day my parent's came back and was fine. I got mine on the fifth day shredded like that. We used it the whole time and shipped the fucker back when we left. I was just happy to have my luggage back. After 5 days, my clothing were "crunchy." Eww.

  10. Well, if you'd been flying Ryan Air (Europe's version of Southweat), they'd've charged you an extra 15 Euro for misplacing it and another 20 Euro "shredding fee."

      • I flew on Aeroflot back when it still WAS the Soviet Union. In the Kharkov airport your luggage arrived in the baggage claim room piled high on series of carts and burlier passengers would climb the luggage mountain and hand / throw suitcases down to their owners. My luggage got some awesome gouges on that trip, but it did stay with me and was not "shredded".

  11. Air Canada ALWAYS loses a piece of my luggage every time I fly. I think the constantly crabby flight attendants secretly take out their frustration by tossing bags into other planes before they board.

  12. At Pearson International (in Toronto), they ask each bag their favourite NHL team and if they answer Montreal or Ottawa their beaten with hockey sticks and mulched to become replacement stuffing in the Leaf's mascott.

  13. At SNA 3% of the luggage is systematically melted down to provide filler injections to Orange County housewives, the other 97% is used to build a wall between Santa Ana and Newport Beach, to help keep Newport Beach "clean."

    Also, Southwest Airlines: Bags fly free and you get what you pay for.

  14. At Atlanta, they remove all zippers and dangly bits for homemade pimp cups for the baggage handlers.
    Atlanta is the home of Crunk,you know.

  15. Awe SeaTac is not that bad – That is my main airport hub, and have never had an issue.

    Newark, on the other hand, after experiencing flying through there, I have dubbed it the Voldemort of airports. It is the airport that-shall-not-be-named. *shudder*

  16. First off I have to agree that your Wheaton is so good it's creepy.

    Second, your "Meeting Jonathan Frakes" sketch is a nice complement to the gag on "Community" recently when Troy met LeVar Burton and went catatonic. I'm pretty sure those are the two responses people have to meeting celebrities…

  17. Ever hear what Bill Engvall said about his luggage and Buffalo? Same thing happened to me when I flew back from Japan. One of my bags was missing and the woman at Northwest's counter asked me if my plane had landed yet. Then they wanted to know if I wished to wait around three hours for the next flight from Detroit to land with my last bag. Other than that, they just slightly mangled the zipper on one of the other bags.

  18. OK: I just discovered Hijinks Ensue a few weeks ago, and am making my way through the archives, greatly enjoying them.

    What surprises me with this particular comic (and the question asked), is that nobody mentioned David Carroll's "United Breaks Guitars" (which is from 2009): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo ;

    To which I can add that my most recent intercontinental flight with United Airlines from Amsterdam to Norfolk was also the flight from hell. Southwest might be bad, but in our company we call United "Useless Airlines".

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