Yesterday I analyzed the data we gathered on Monday regarding the death of crocs in Pearls Before Swine and came to the conclusion that no croc in the comic should allow himself or herself to be named ‘Bob.’ Upon further reflection, I wanted to provide a few caveats about this conclusion.
After all, this conclusion is only supported by a single study. This is the conclusion that the evidence suggested, but the conclusion is far from certain. For one thing, we have not proven that there is a direct causal chain in Pearls Before Swine between being a croc named Bob and dying. All we have found is that more crocs named Bob have died than any other named croc.
It is possible that a causal chain does exist, making it such that being a croc named Bob in Pearls Before Swine is dangerous and should be avoided. However, there are other possibilities.
For example, Stephan Pastis may decide that a croc is going to die before being named. Only then, due to some oddity in his personality, he names them Bob. Perhaps he just thinks that crocs who are going to die should often be named Bob. This would also explain our evidence and would not help crocs who attempted not to be named Bob.
In fact, even if such a causal chain existed, this very series of posts could disrupt the usefulness of such advice if Stephan Pastis saw it. He could determine to thwart crocs who listened to me and deliberately start killing crocs named Floyd, leaving Bob crocs to thrive unmolested. However, given that Pastis has an odd sense of humor, he might also start killing more crocs named Bob after he saw this. Really, it is difficult to say what would happen, even if he read these posts.
So, all we have is the fact that our evidence indicates it is dangerous to be a croc named Bob in Pearls Before Swine. We do not know if avoiding being a croc named Bob in the comic will prolong life, but it is certainly something that crocs in the strip might want to consider.
After all, it isn’t like they have a whole lot of other things they can do to protect themselves. Stephan Pastis is a dangerous man for crocs. They are at his mercy, particularly if their deaths would be funny.