This, technically, is the first Random Doodles comic.Way back in my first semester at UW-Madison (in 2004 — let me take a minute to feel old here…), I sketched a silly little comic in my CS302 class. A nearby friend said it looked good and that I should totally draw comics for one of the student newspapers. I filed that idea away for later. Eventually, when I did finally decide to start drawing comics, I redrew this one as my leading candidate. But first I felt I should introduce those characters there doing the talking, hence the previous two comics. :)
As for the joke itself, the UW-Madison campus had a free bus route (the 80, at the time) that would go between Union South and Memorial Union (and I think the UW-Hospital too). It would get especially crowded during the winter months as people would try to avoid the cold (which I assume would be annoying for people who had more legitimate reasons for riding the bus, as opposed to traveling for 2 blocks and getting off).
Either way, the buses have a screen on the front and side telling everyone the destinations. Sometimes drivers put in non-route related phrases, like ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Go Packers’, into the rotation. The comic just takes that idea a little further… :)